Chihayafuru – 16
「おぐらやま」 (Ogura Yama)
“The Autumn Leaves of Mt. Ogura”
Boring recap ep is boring… But you know, I’ve seen a lot worse. To be honest – I LOL’d.
I’m not terribly thrilled to get a recap episode in a series adapting an ongoing manga that isn’t going to be able to finish the story as is – it seems like a waste to me. But while I question why Madhouse is doing this (money or scheduling crunch being the usual answer) I have to confess it was one of the more entertaining recap eps I’ve seen.
There was some funny stuff here, and I know at least some of it was manga omake material – I recognized the “New Years Money” chapter for sure, because it was one of my favorite omakes (yes, Taichi’s family is loaded). It was also a blast to see everyone’s adorable 12 year-old forms again. I thought the running gag with Taichi in the “Describe your friends with Japanese idioms” game was clever, especially given that “Jack of all trades, master of none” is his self-confessed worst fear about himself. And the bit with Nishida’s sister made me LOL for sure, especially when she revealed her shotacon tendencies and thus, preference for Tsutomu (and Chihaya in last place as the least shota-like team member).
Like the “Animated audio commentary” extras that came with Oreimo, Chihayafuru slyly slipped some revealing character stuff in there too. I love it when a series breaks the fourth wall and uses it as a vehicle to illuminate character – sure it’s a cheat, but so what? I especially loved the second “Idiom” sketch, in which Kana gave Taichi a break with “Easy on the eyes” and Taichi nailed Chihaya perfectly with “Fools rush in”. Confirmed: Tsutomu definitely likes Kana-chan (and I sense there’s some reciprocal feeling there, too) and likes her hard. Well, they all chose her, even Chihaya – but when the second round of “Girl Talk” came around and little-seen classmate Michiru-chan demanded a “serious answer”, even though I knew I was about to be trolled I couldn’t stop myself from leaning forward in my chair, just a little…