Chihayafuru – 11 Review
My favourite moment of the episode. =P
Episode 11 – The Sky is the Road Home
It is the final match of the regionals and Chihaya and her team have to battle it out to win and move onto the nationals.
Awww, what an adorable episode this was.
We finally get to see a glimpse of Arata and that moment was the most anti-climatic scene ever – mim standing behind the counter in an empty store decked out in his work uniform. =P I have to admit that whilst I was hoping for Arata to reappear on our screens, I had convinced myself that it was never going to happen.
But what do I know? A few minutes later, Arata appears.
Let it be known that I am no psychic. =D
It was nice to know that Arata hadn’t been ignoring Chihaya’s stalkerish emails but merely hadn’t gotten into the habit of checking his mail, perhaps now that he finally knows of Chihaya’s incessant emailing habits, he might actually respond to an email.
Am I the only one who thinks that Arata’s character has become the dullest one of them all?
Since we are on the topic of Arata and Chihaya, I might as well continue on about the romance factor in this series. The one thing this episode had accomplish in the romance department was to convince me that Chihaya is never going to end up with Taichi. Why do I say that? Well, here are a couple of reasons:
- Taichi’s character had this air of defeat hanging over him with him struggling to the best of his abilities to win the match and to ensure that his team does well. It was so heartbreaking to see Taichi struggling to win his game whilst Chihaya is constantly reminded of Arata through every single thing she sees (despite the fact that she was meant to be concentrating on her match).
- Although I think I have made my point about Chihaya’s obsession with Arata, I shall persist and continue with a short rant.
I would like to brush off everything Chihaya does regarding Arata to be mere curiousity over a long lost friend, but her constantly blushing and “young and in love” look makes it hard for me to lie to myself. Even poor Taichi knows that Chihaya is in love with Arata and has made Chihaya out to be something unattainable or something he doesn’t really understand. I honestly wonder if Taichi has decided to resigned himself to the fact that Chihaya was never meant to be his. He seems to want to learn more about Chihaya, but at the same time, the air of self-depreciation is making it hard for me to picture him fighting for Chihaya if Arata were ever to return.
The highlight of the episode (apart from Arata’s appearance) was the team dynamics.
I love how the episode had manage to explain the reasons behind the characters’ eventual win or loss in a simple and quick manner without over dramatizing things too much. Instead of dragging things out, the show had gone straight to the point.
We are shown that instead of the 2 new members being some sort of miracle Karuta genius, they are merely hardworking players who are taking baby steps, and I can appreciate hardwork. Then we have Nishida. Sure, the guy did do a flying porky flip in the air when he had went for his card (the show does have to retain some of it’s signature theatrical behaviours), but most of the explanation behind his win was simply the fact that he had unknowingly given up and it wasn’t due to the lack of skill that had him at the losing end of things. Instead of playing up his internal struggle like how many other Tourament-style series would, we had gotten a very simple and believable explanation for his character development.
Awww, how can you not love that face? =D
As for Taichi, his part had showed us a new aspect of Karuta and how the different characters tackle the game in different ways. I feel that all these simple “extra” methods help boost the depth of the game more than any crazy over-the-top move ever could. I liked how Taichi’s game had in the end depended on his intelligence and ability to memorize things. But what I didn’t really like was the way Taichi had kept putting himself down during the whole process. Apart from that, everything else everything else that was done for his character development was nicely executed.
I wonder how much longer the writers plan on playing out the Chihaya card. Even if the card is the root of everything, I am worried if it wouldn’t simply feel cliche by the end of the series.
Naturally, I can’t leave out Chihaya.
I hadn’t actually considered the fact that the reader could be used as another way to “boost” the complexity of the game. Although I doubt it is realistic for someone to pick up on a person’s speech habits, the fact that it is not impossible is good enough to make it a valid reason. Chihaya’s astute hearing had been brought up multiple times previously, and I liked how they manage to link the two abilities together. Of course, Chihaya’s godly presence when it came to the Chihaya Card was hilarious, but other than that, the episode was rather heartwarming to watch.
Overall, it was another good week for Chihaya and hopefully we will be able to see Arata’s journey to the Nationals soon.
(Is he suppose to be going to the Nationals? How is that meant to happen? This tournament is meant to be a school thing right? I can’t imagine Arata playing Karuta in any team apart from one consisting of Chihaya and Taichi. Perhaps I had misunderstood something along the way regarding how Chihaya plans on meeting Arata. =/ Well, as long as Arata doesn’t suddenly decide to pack his bag and leave for Tokyo, I am fine with trusting that the writers would take us on a fun journey with this series.)
Episode Rating: 8/10