Chihayafuru – 10 Review
It’s shocking how you continue to message the guy.
Episode 10 – Exchange Hellos and Goodbyes
It’s Karuta Season and the comeptitions have started.
The team have to make their way up in hopes of getting to the Nationals and meeting Arata once again.
It is really nice to see that instead of making Karuta out to be some big over-the-top Shounen-like game during the competition segment, the series had decided to take a different approach and focus on the mental state of mind of the characters.
The progression of the episode was quick and focused on the character development as oppose to the aesthetics of the Karuta game. It would have probably been a tad bit better if we had gotten to see how some of the matches were played out in more detail instead of simply stating that “they had won the match”. However, the series had made itself quite obvious that the show is not about Karuta but about the characters and their experience of the game.
What I had liked in this episode was how the show had showed us the mindsets of the different characters coming into the competitive level of Karuta.
Nishida is simply focused on winning instead of the actual team dynamics, and that can be seen through the way he had spoken down to Kanade and Komano by using them as sacrifices in order to gain a certain win so as to ensure their further progress in the competition. It was quite expected from his character since he is pretty blunt about how people should play to win. The trauma from his defeat under Arata’s hands had shown us as much.
Being the president of the club, Taichi was forced to step up in this episode and had to play the role of the team leader in order to build the team dynamics with the club. Although Chihaya might appear to be the heart of the club, this episode had made it clear that Chihaya’s emotional mood swings can leave the club vulnerable and Taichi is constantly the one to pull things together (same as with how he had pulled Komano into the club in the first place). What had made me happy in this episode were the small moments between Taichi and Chihaya. For instance, when Taichi had told Chihaya to breathe, or when he had defended her from the photographers, I couldn’t help but feel all happy for the guy root for him. =D That was sweet, especially since it seems like Chihaya is starting to notice Taichi’s overprotective actions.
(Has anyone noticed how Taichi’s hair has turned into somewhat of a statement for doom? =P It is now his signature move. Fringe over eyes = Do not mess with me)
Then we have Kanade. I had always found it unrealistic when characters would miraculously return being stronger than ever after an epic training session. Thank god this hadn’t happen in this show. Instead Kanade and Komano had struggle to keep up with the competition and even Kanade’s win was written off as being a mixture of hard work and luck. It is really quite funny to see a show try to dramatize itself yet hold itself back at the same time. On one hand we have crazy mind control wind blowing across the river, and on the other hand, we have the series attempt to be a down-to-earth type of show. I am just glad that the show is pretty down to earth for the most part of it.
Komano was probably the most interesting character in this episode. His excitement for the game followed by his breakdown and eventual cheer for team spirit was the main focus of the episode in my eyes. I really couldn’t blame the guy for being so pissed with everyone. After all, it is crazy to expect people to feel the motivation to play when they are being treated as a sure loss. That was really quite a stupid move by Taichi to have discussed the player arrangements infront of the two new members and treating them as if they were air. I have to applaud the guy for standing up for himself instead of simply cowering to the whims of others in the same way he had done back in his personal flashback during his introduction episode.
Why am I not adding an image of Chihaya?
Because this bird is so much more awesome. =D
As for Chihaya, well, she is way too emotional and implusive as usual. She gets a message from Arata and all of a sudden she is messaging him like a crazed stalker despite having not gotten a response. This is the reason why I have to agree with the no-eyes-character (from the opposing strong team) about Chihaya being a Sadist =P Come on, whilst it was endearing at first, her personality is starting to wear on me.
While last week’s dramatic moment was given to Taichi, this week’s one definitely goes to Chihaya. Lol! I couldn’t help but laugh at how the animators had zoomed in on her eyes, followed by focusing on the birds in the sky and people playing baseball out in the fields. =D That was pure comedy. Unintentional or not, that was a pretty entertaining to way to portray Chihaya’s “revival” and this is part of the show’s odd fluffy charm.
Overall, it was a sadistic episode filled with calluses and breakdowns. This episode had spent it’s time making the team stronger in hopes of them winning their battle against the 2 A class members team. Hopefully, this means that we would be in for a treat with a major battle happening. It’s time to bring out all the wind, birds and flowers my dear Karuta club! I can’t wait to see how that match turns out and what new things are thrown our way.
Although the team work element in this episode had some border-lining cliche moments, I had expected it to turn out this way. The fact that these moments are sparse is a positive point for the shoujo/josei series and it is not reason to mark it down. With another 15 episodes to go, I am hoping that Arata will finally emerge from the mysterious shadows and escape his specter like presence. If he doesn’t take a physical presence soon, I am going to write his existence off as being a dream. =P After all, last week’s episode of Mawaru had planted all the seeds of doubt in my mind. 😉
Episode Rating – 7/10
P.S: Isn’t it interesting how every series with a big cast ends up falling back on these cliche stereotype over-the-top personalities in order to fill in the big amount of characters needed? =)