Chihayafuru – 03 Review
Episode 03 – From the Crystal White Snow
It seems like this episode would end the flashback to the past arc of the story and hopefully bring us back to present times.
I really can’t wait to see if the mood of the show will change when we are no longer surrounded by kids.
The three kids arrive at a Karuta center and ends up training themselves for an upcoming Karuta match which allows them to participate as a team but having to play individual games. This meant that all the members, including Chihaya, had to brush up on their Karuta skills.
Before the actual day of the match, Taichi announced that he was going to be studying in a well-known middle-school that was 1.5hrs away from the training center and could no longer play Karuta. On that same day (talk about having a bad day), Wataya also announces that he has to move back to his hometown due to his Grandfather having been admitted into the hospital.
There were a few issues with this episode:
- Chihaya regressed and turns into a 5 year old as the episode went on
Seriously, I couldn’t have been the only one who noticed this right? She started to whine even more and even resorted to speaking in a “baby voice”. It really annoyed me because it did not make any sense and her character was childish enough as it was.
- Everything was over-the-top dramatic
From crazy reactions to insane card playing, this episode made sure that you would roll your eyes at least once. =p There were way too many melodramatic moments in this episode and it seems that the only way to hype Karuta up is by making it as dramatic as possible.
- This episode was rushed
Okay, whilst I am glad that we finally have the Past Arc out of the way and can now rid ourselves of the little kids and return to some mature content (and at just the right time if I might say), everything seemed to have happened so quickly and suddenly. The show even resorted to a shady montage of still images that merely panned in order to skip ahead of time.
- The animation quality took a dip
Not much to say about this really, it just dropped and became lazy. Sure, we have all the same glowing filters used on the images, but there were simply too many frozen shots.
So… not everything is bad in the world, here are a few good things:
- We got to see a more expressive Wataya
It was nice to see Wataya act his immature age even though it did feel slightly out of character for him, but yet at the same time not really, since he is a kid after all. I really did like the way Wataya did not trust anyone and simply made it seem like it was normal for Chihaya to be stupid, that was a pretty cute and funny moment. =D
- Wataya is not insane
So it seems like this guy is not actually mentally ill but rather, he is suffering from an occupational hazard. Omg, everyone was busy smacking cards around in that training center.
- Kids acting like kids
Okay, so this is nothing special since it should have been expected but, I really did like seeing the three kids act their age and whine about things at times. It made things appear more believable and gives me hope for the future of the series since this show is trying to stick as close to reality as possible (that is why they are only smacking cards around and not really stabbing the cards).
I was actually entertained by the episode and I liked it. This show proves to be another show that simply requires the viewers to not think about what was going on and simply learn to watch like drones. It is obviously aimed at a more feminine audience (which is why I like it), but hey, I am sure guys can appreciate a bit of pink flowers and soft-lighting glow filtering through their screens every now and then as well.
- The Training Center
We finally get to see the competitive stage of Karuta (even if it was a small one) and this hopefully is showing us a glimpse of what would be happening in the future episodes of this series.
- Taichi has matured
Despite the small banter that Taichi had with Wataya, he wasn’t acting like a spoiled brat as much in this episode. He didn’t allow his jealously to get the better of him and I really like that fact a lot. I am just hoping that this will translate into adulthood, but I doubt it. =P
What a violent game.
Now that the kids are finally out of the way, I can’t wait to see the reunion between the three and the romance between them. Sadly, it feels like romance wouldn’t be taking the center stage in this series but Karuta would be instead. Whether that is a good or bad thing really depends on how crazy the animators plan on making Karuta look.
Overall, this show is turning out to be not as impressive as I had thought it would have been despite the credentials of the production team. But with that being said, the show is still enjoyable and is a mark above many other Shoujo shows that simply wanders into the land of being melodramatic soap operas revolving around love (which I enjoy, but can never claim for it to be a quality watch).
Episode Rating: 7/10