I had the hardest time hitting the button to start this episode. You know, for a lot of reasons really. For instance, you guys mostly know I am a late watcher when it comes to Chihayafuru right? If you don’t, I watched the first two seasons in 2018. More than a minor amount of years after the two seasons ended. This is the first time I’m watching Chihayafuru in a seasonal capacity and this season came out a significant amount of years after the second season. What if I finished season 3 and there is no more Chihayafuru? What if we won’t get anymore? I’m done with Chihayafuru if we don’t get more now. What do I fill this sports anime sized hole in me now? These are questions that I don’t know how to answer and hopefully won’t have to worry about for a while. Please let that be the case.
After the intimate breaking moment last episode between Taichi and Chihaya last episode, both people are a complete wreck. All in that destructive sort of sense where they question who they are and what they’ve been doing up to that point. Let’s talk about them one at a time shall we? Chihaya first because her damage is huge from this exchange. She’s one of the purest characters in the show who lives through her emotions pinned on her chest. Once one thing breaks her, then she can’t function anymore. Considering that this is the first time she’s suffered so deeply because this situation is more then partially her fault. Her major flaw of constantly taking advantage of Taichi without considering his feelings is the maximum level of potent stuff for her and for us.
Then again, I guess having her future being uncertain doesn’t help the matter either. Her new home run teacher being a creep and questioning Chihaya wanting to be a teacher? Kind of crazy. Same with Chihaya failing to perform practice matches against the newer kids in her club leading to her quitting and questioning her direction in life in general. I’m glad that she had that short moment with her english teacher. The talking of poems, him wanting her to study and find a new focus or way to express her feelings which she does shocking everyone around her. It’s so wild after three seasons to see Chihaya trying to start her life anew again. Learning something new is hard, but she’s trying. (All while Hanano is somehow able to keep the club together with its new members. One being Class A.)
On the opposite exchange from that last scene is Taichi and he is the kind of person who keeps everything inside himself. A lot like me. He grades drop from the experience after all which shows how strong the impacts were to him too. I was kind of surprised at that moment when Taichi mentioned he quit karuta to his mother and she didn’t celebrate at all. In fact, she was completely shocked by the exchange. Over all though, the most interesting part for him was during his medical placement exams. Suo was there and they started to have this sort of mentor student exchange already. I wonder if that is how Taichi gets back into it and recovers. The second strange thing to him compared to how unclub like the atmosphere was.
Finally, to bring all this together, we have Arata and his push for starting his own competitive karuta club. You know, after waffling over it the past year in this show’s time line. Now he really wants it in his third year. He even pulls out his Kimono and advertises what he’s doing in different classrooms. Someone a much shyer Arata from years past wouldn’t do considering how much of an introvert he was and still is. Why? Because he’s really grown since the Master’s saga and this shows. The best part? He actually finds people that are interested and starts actually doing it. You know, by having practice matches at Fujioka.
The best part about this finale is how it brings in more people too it and moves so naturally in how it wants to do things. At Fujioka, Arata learns from Sukurazawa that Taichi and Chihaya quit their club. The perfect storm of reasons why Mizusawa won the high school championship just left the club. All that leads to Sakurazawa examining her team and Arata’s team under a microscope. It’s great to see Rion so fired up to take on Arata and see how Fujioka operates. It’s also great to see how Arata is lowering himself to level one in some ways to motivate his team in performing better. You know, despite the fact that he is the only player that won against Fujioka. Still a lot of learning curb there.
I’m so glad that Arata was given the time and space to live and breath in this episode. He really is the line of hope and inspiration needed to push to give this episode a positive edge. His want to bring back the motivation to play karuta like Taichi and Chihaya did for them was great stuff really. The selfie of his new team and sending it to the two in order to mirror the others when he was sent a group selfie. Almost perfect as a call back and a way to end a sad part of this saga. Especially since it probably worked. Hopefully we get another season to find out. Let’s see the two find love in karuta again in their own ways. I feel this last sets of episodes have really sold me on Arata being best boy in Chihayafuru Season 3.
I am not sure if Chihayafuru ended with its best episode because that was last week’s episode. Possibly. Maybe. That was an episode that so powerful because it needed to be. You can’t lightly destroy a long-established relationship between characters. It has to feel hard and it did. This episode focused on the fall out and possible recovery. The impact happened and we only see the remains of it all and hopefully a start for a new beginning with better understood relationships. The perfect way to end a season that had a new one coming soon. PLEASE I BEG YOU. DON’T LEAVE US WITH JUST THIS. Season 3 was exceptional in what it pulled in terms of scope while also having some questionable decisions here and there. I’m glad it exists for sure.
Episode Rating: Arata Selfie/10
Season Rating: :D/10
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