Chihayafuru Season 3 Episode 22: A Path To Happiness

Do you know what? I feel pretty bad about what I said last episode about wanting this season done already and everything. I’m kind of happy about where this arc is going because it’s going to hopefully finish up the loose ends left behind by mainly focusing on adults themselves. You know, the building up of tension between Taichi, Chihaya, and Arata that has permeated the entire season and hasn’t really gone somewhere yet? That and we get to have some fun seeing Misuzawa act like high school kids because they are high school kids. We didn’t spend enough time with them at it is except for some pivotable points, so it’s nice to give them, especially Hanano, a few more moments to shine.

So what is the major theme of this episode? Getting Taichi to smile and relieving the tension building up in the karuta club room. I mean, there is other things going on like Retro-kun being supported by his club for his tenacity despite not being in Class A (yet) and Hiroshi (I finally remembered his name) not having to say goodbye to his current Karuta club’s oldest members yet is what the focus is somewhat on. Then again, I feel like that was sort of established so Hiroshi doesn’t appear out of nowhere when he shows up later in a very quick, but important scene in this episode. Kind of crazy to think about, but considering that Chihaya has been finding it hard to talk to Taichi recently, getting Hiroshi to do it felt like a natural thing to do.

So what is Chihayafuru’s answer to create a more happy atmosphere inside the club room? Well, Valentine’s day is coming soon right? What if the girls got together to make chocolates? It’s pretty clear that Chihaya and Kana had no idea about how to make chocolates, but Hanano shows up at the door and it’s like she’s the star and completely in her element. She has calculated the best way to make chocolates and for boys to handle them. With her somewhat serious instruction, the girls work hard to create a lot of chocolate treats to enjoy in the club room. Unfortunately, no one noticed that Chihaya’s dad ate them all and he only pays back for that later. Valentine’s day mood ruined for the club.

I feel like the best moment in this episode comes from Hanano yet again. With Chihaya mentioning that Taichi gets a lot of chocolates because he’s an attractive guy that has natural charisma, Hanano had no time to ever give tell her confession to Taichi and give him the suggested Fermented Squid Guts for a while. You know, until she found a moment in between classes. Hanano dropping her gift out the window in which Taichi caught them easily, confessing her feelings for Taichi, and then suggesting Taichi should confess his feelings to the ones he likes. Something he sort of tells that he’s about to do to Hanano a month or so later on White Day when he gets her chocolate back and mentions he will tell what he feels to her now. The Misuzawa club was up to something, so Hanano told him to wait two weeks. What was in motion? Well….

We immediately cut to the club room where Chihaya is texting everyone she knows in the karuta community for cards and a place to have a tournament while the rest of them figure out the logistics. There is a Taichi tournament in motion and I can’t help but feel so happy that it’s happening. That transition from Taichi and Chihaya looking at the sakura blossoms to suddenly here is this surprise tournament in Taichi’s honor. That must have been difficult to keep from him for so long, but Chihaya and others did it. Good job Misuzawa. You actually completely hid something from your club president and completely shocked him.

This episode was pretty great. It had some strong emotional points with Chihaya in the beginning and through out with some more then excellent Hanano moments knowing she is going to lose in the end. That is not all there is either when it comes to this drama. At the same time, there is a very solid goofy moments that makes this episode feel alive with high school and teenage drama. I’m pretty into that honestly. It’s not as strong as the best material in this season, but it’s still good stuff. What else am I supposed to say?

Episode Rating: Hanano/10


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