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Chihayafuru – 24 »« Chihayafuru – 22

Chihayafuru – 23

「しろきをみればよぞふけにける」 (Shiroki wo Mireba yo Zofuke ni Keru)
“The Night is Nearly Past”

Damn, this show is seriously going to be the end of me.

I’m fascinated by the unusual choices Chihayafuru is making as it hurtles towards the gut-wrenching conclusion of what’s likely to be its only anime season. I’ve already been faked out a couple of times about what the focus of the final arc will be, and there’s always the possibility that Madhouse will go for an anime-original ending altogether (though I rather hope not). It now seems likely that Karuta won’t be the star attraction, but relationships – at least that’s the sense I got from this episode. While we’ll surely see the Master/Queen title matches all of the main Karuta storylines were settled with Arata and even Harada-sensei losing, and though there’s some interest in Yumin’s quest to reclaim her throne and the series has shown a willingness to focus on side characters, I can’t believe that would be the centerpiece of the anime finale.

I’m really at the point now where I care almost too much about the main cast here, and my emotions twist and turn with every jolt in their lives. I count Harada-sensei among that core group – I’ve always loved the character (his greatness was evident as early as episode 3, where he gently made Chihaya realize how selfish she was being in wallowing in her own grief), but he just becomes more and more heroic as the show progresses. It’s no wonder he stole Chihaya’s heart, and now Kana-chan’s as well? Poor Tsutomu – and while Taichi was worrying about Arata, the real enemy was right under his nose with a wife and kids. He defended Chihaya’s honor – and hair – by stomping Sadist-kun, and soldiered his way into the semifinals on strength of will, even as his body was giving out (I feel your pain, Harada-sensei!). But he found time to scold Chihaya for not thanking Yumin after their match, and to console Hiroshi after he lost in the finals of the Master qualifier. It says something about the writing of this series that this scene, involving Harada and a minor character, was arguably the most emotional of the episode. There are no throwaway characters in a show like Chihayafuru – they’re all real people, even bit players like Hiroshi – who wanted so badly to make Harada’s dreams for the Shiranami Society come true, and Arata’s sempai Murao-san. And as for Harada, I thought he’d reached the peak after the incredible scene on the platform with Taichi, but he just keeps getting better and better as a character.

But of course this show always comes down to Chihaya and Taichi and Arata (and Kanade and Tsutomu, too) and there was plenty to gnaw on there as well. To hear Taichi come right out and admit – even if it was just to himself – “I’m hopelessly in love with Chihaya” is progress. And he certainly lives the part, even if Chihaya is too dense to see it. He stays behind with her as she sulks in a locker after her loss (note that already here Kana sees that Taichi wants to do this job alone). Even as he frets that only Arata can get to her, Chihaya reveals that Taichi has reached her with his words – and later he gives her his jacket to warm herself in the cool Kyoto night. When a boy scams her number at the train station, Taichi off-handedly tells her “go for it” – then promptly blocks his number and declares that the two of them will ride together from now on. Chihaya still hasn’t realized, but Kanade certainly has – she’s the most romantically inclined of the group by nature – and if nothing else, Taichi at least has an ally (“I understand!”) now in his uphill battle. Yet of course, she’s blind to the feelings Komano has for her. Kids!

I can rage at Chihaya and Taichi both, here, no question. Chihaya continues to reveal herself as the most immature of the group – shame on her for hiding in a locker after her loss. When her teammates lose, they get over it – and they support each other. She shouldn’t have needed Taichi to shame her (and bribe her with Arata’s contact info) into coming to support Harada-sensei – that should have been the first thing on her mind. But shame on Taichi, too, for keeping his feelings to himself for all this time. Dammit, Boy, just TELL HER ALREADY! Ano Natsu has spoiled me for directness in anime romance this season, I guess, but Taichi’s love for Chihaya is eating him alive and he knows better than anyone that her cluelessness isn’t an act, it’s just who she is – it’s as if he’s waiting for Arata to come and steal her away from him because he thinks that’s what he deserves. And it’s not – he deserves a chance to be happy, and he’s put in the hard work and been as loyal and devoted as anyone could ever be. If he’s striving to be a person who doesn’t run away, seems to be that this is the place where Taichi needs to start, as it’s the most important thing in his life.

Ah, well – I suspect we won’t be getting satisfaction on these fronts in the anime, but that won’t stop me from caring deeply about what happens. Arata’s arc actually seems to have the most life left in it in anime terms – he’s confronting the regret over his own act of running away, and getting an unwanted taste of adult concerns in watching Murao drift away from Karuta. He has no one at his level to practice with (seems to be that coming to Tokyo could fix that)and is reduced to terrifying small boys for sport, and seems the most isolated of all the main cast. That theme was the highlight of the Christmas party scenes that provided a lovely coda to the episode, with the Mizusawa club members realizing that they’ve grown as people and gained the respect of the school, but also that they’ve come to love each other as family. Even as Taichi is at his party surrounded by girls he has no interest in, Kanade lectures on hot pot, Nishida bowls and Chihaya and Tsutomu realize that the rest of their schoolmates exist too, their thoughts turn to each other. Arata doesn’t seem to have that with anyone, and that’s a sad thought.

March 13, 2012 at 10:26 pm
  • March 13, 2012 at 10:34 pmpagan poor

    I’ll just say that Harada-sensei is a man’s man. Love this show.. just too bad it’ll end soon.

  • March 13, 2012 at 10:51 pmKou

    The way it looks to me is that for Chihaya, her one and only passion, as she understands it, is karuta and everything else is second place to it. Its been made perfectly clear that both Arata and Taichi adore her to bits but Chihaya, for the time being at least, doesn’t seem to see them as a love interest but more as a some they look up to and a reliable best friend.

    This show is definitely one of my favourite shows. Never fails to take me to a happy place when I watch it. It makes me laugh, it makes my cry and occasionally it makes me want to strangle the main characters.

    At the start of the season I was like “Who’d want to watch a show about some random card game?” But the thing is, its because the game is so obscure, the mechanics of the game doesn’t interfere with the absolutely magical story telling.

  • March 13, 2012 at 11:19 pmMikako

    Wow, I always thought, that Chihaya’s the type who just doesn’t get romance, but looking at her blushing and thinking of poetry when speaking to Arata I started to think there’s hope yet. But not for Taichi. Taichi is doomed.

  • March 13, 2012 at 11:25 pmMikako

    Oh, forgot.

    Komano isn’t Kana-chan’s only suitor, there’s Nishida too :)

    • March 14, 2012 at 9:31 amGuardian Enzo

      Nishida has no chance with Kana – he doesn’t have a poet’s soul. I suspect Komano might.

      • March 14, 2012 at 2:47 pmJoojoobees

        He at least is shrewd enough to fake it at the right times.

  • March 13, 2012 at 11:58 pmAlec

    Just hoping the manga will get a lot of quick scanlations after the anime is finished.

  • March 14, 2012 at 12:08 aminfo600

    Funny, I find Komano’s line near the end about the 5 of them being family more endearing this week. It’s clearly one of the best point for this episode.

    the low-points though… there’s Chihaya, shocked to the point of forgeting her manners; and Taichi, going all awkward in trying to comfort her…all those personal mental dramas…

    the only redeeming counter-point for that was to see Haruda-sensei going for the Curb-Stomp Battle on the Sadist-Sudo…

  • March 14, 2012 at 12:30 amunderMebius

    What? I can’t hear you over the sound of Chihaya x Arata in this episode. Poor Taichi, but you never had the chance. Wataya Wednesday ftw!

    • March 14, 2012 at 1:50 amnagi

      I don’t really want to trample on the Taichi x Chihaya shippers’ feelings, but the last few minutes of this episode really screams PROGRESS AT LAST! for Arata x Chihaya. I just can’t help but squeal like an idiot while slamming the nearest pillow.

  • March 14, 2012 at 1:00 amdarkkodiak

    I gotta admit, I shed some man tears from the Horoshi-Haruda scene. I mean, as an athlete myself, I fully understood the feelings Horoshi had at that moment and I for one am not eloquent enough in the English language to convey what those feelings are, so all I can do is say those are some strong ass emotions there.
    As for Arata, despite my shounen taste in OP characters, I like how his Karuta play is portrayed reasonably. He hasn’t play in a long time so it stands that he won’t be this uber OP Karuta player that he once was feared as. Instead he realized that and wants to be the best that he once aspired to be. I hope that he does get a training partner per say because I will stand by that he will be the dominate Kurata player to date.

    • March 14, 2012 at 11:44 ambird

      Girly tears were shed for them also, don’t worry. ;~;
      It’s amazing that of all the scenes in this series, this was the part that got me teared up the most. It was something that really struck a chord in me–like all that work and expectation that never is realized, but there hope is there. For next time, next year, and trying harder.
      Ugh, Harada-sensei. ;~; Stop stealing all the girl’s hearts (and mine as well)!

  • March 14, 2012 at 1:39 amBentoBoxd

    I have to ROFL at the thought of you believing Taichi deserves Chihaya more than Arata. The faults his character has, have been apparent since the beginning of the series and that is never going to change as evidenced by the manga. He was a jealous BOY in the beginning of the series and he is still one at Volume 15. If anyone has developed drastically A the beginning of the manga, its Arata.

    And to be perfectly honest neither of them deserve her at all.

    • March 14, 2012 at 2:35 amEliteF22

      Or is it Chihaya doesn’t deserve either of them… >.>

    • March 14, 2012 at 2:51 amHARRY TUTTLE

      You need to start learning how to read/watch stuff… or maybe you’re just too blinded by your Arata bias? Maybe that’s it, lots of people seem to be.

      • March 14, 2012 at 3:27 pmDecember’s Landing

        Your ChihayaxTaichi team also has its share of rude Taichi biases. EVERY TEAM HAS RUDE BIASES. GET OVER IT.

    • March 14, 2012 at 3:34 pmDecember’s Landing

      I’m an avid ChihayaxArata fan too, but I think you might have overdone it. I think Taichi has indeed developed into an amiable character, much different from when he was a child. It takes quite a while for someone to learn how Not to be cocky but rather humble possessing good leadership skills. Arata on the other hand never really needed to develop in terms of personality (because he was already awesome) but rather he needed to change his perspective on Karuta after his grandfather died. Both characters changed somehow, and both of them are… but I’m just the kind of person who’s hopelessly in love with Arata.

    • March 16, 2012 at 8:13 amKethy-chan

      while I do LOVE Chihaya, what makes either of these two brilliant young men NOT deserve a girl who has Tunnel vision to EVERYTHING (school, other friends, people’s feelings, manners, etc) except KARUTA ??? and even there, when she loses, it’s always about her (hiding in the closet, really?)

      I’m a Taichi fan, but I really think that Arata is great and it’s really Chihaya who doesn’t deserve to be loved by them, especially given how little REAL thought she gives either!

  • March 14, 2012 at 1:47 amnagi

    It says something about the writing of this series that this scene, involving Harada and a minor character, was arguably the most emotional of the episode.

    Really, this show is something. Believe it or not, that scene almost moved me to tears – and to think he’s just a minor character! Truly, truly amazing, the writers of Chihayafuru are.

  • March 14, 2012 at 1:58 amstarblacks


    also ARGH still cheering for you Taichi! Despite the last 5 min T_T

  • March 14, 2012 at 2:01 amSlushiZ

    Dr. Haruda gets all the ladies :D I can’t believe Chihaya rung Arata then left us with that ambiguous poem…I honestly don’t know who’s ahead at all between the much character developed hot best friend and the several times love flagged faraway childhood (loner) friend. GE I feel exactly the same about Ano natsu spoiling me for directness in anime romance. All I’m hoping for out of the ending at this point is that someone (probs Kana-chan)opens Chinhaya’s brain to the concept of love and she makes a conscious shift towards one of them (HANG IN THERE TAICHI) before we have to say goodbye to this wonderful amazing brilliant show.

  • March 14, 2012 at 2:05 amKusabi

    Yuki Suetsugu-sensei, why do you even try to plagiarize someone else’s work if you can create wonderful story like this? Have more confidence in yourself.

    • March 14, 2012 at 2:10 amKusabi

      Well, after reading and watching Bakuman, I kind of understand though.

  • March 14, 2012 at 3:11 amSirMuffin

    To be Taichi is to suffer… With no end in sight…


  • March 14, 2012 at 4:10 amewok40k

    There are no throwaway characters in a show like Chihayafuru – they’re all real people, even bit players like Hiroshi
    QFT! probably best cast of characters in whole season, no mean feat considering such excellent shows like Rinne no L and Ano Natsu…

  • March 14, 2012 at 7:45 amKagura

    like I said before…Im still rooting for Taichi. Honestly, I just cant see Chihaya x Arata happen here. Cause all this time, you see, Taichi understand Chihaya more than herself. Yes, Arata inspires her in Karuta, but when she breaks down, Taichi is always there to comfort her in his own way, despite knowing that he wont beat Arata. He is always watching over her, loving her dearly. this is my humble opinion, no offence ^^

  • March 14, 2012 at 7:46 amricz

    This scene

    It’s good to see that kind of relationship cause it’s hard to see that kind of relatinship nowaday

  • March 14, 2012 at 7:58 amFaint Smile

    Season 2 is a must!.. T_T

  • March 14, 2012 at 8:20 amhyperborealis

    Guardian Enzo. How could you miss Chihaya’s phone call to Arata? It’s the climax of the episode. The episode title refers directly to this moment. You paraphrase the episode to a fault, yet leave this out?

    Chihaya relates Tsutomu’s words about “family” directly to Arata, so your closing lament about Arata’s solitary status is exactly contrary to the narrative’s actual point.

    You consistently have the most intelligent and sympathetic commentary upon Chihayafuru that I know of. But your shipping preference is a blind spot for you, and is something you need to get beyond.

    • March 14, 2012 at 9:04 amKenji

      Well, he’s not the only blogger to do this, many of the bloggers who are following Chihayafuru are shipping Taichi Tuesdays. I personally thought the last part of the episode was also the highlight. Not one of them summarized the whole episode right but it’s okay because it is the opinion of the writer. I am not on any ships but I really do like to read how much all the characters have matured or developed.

    • March 14, 2012 at 9:38 amGuardian Enzo

      Of course you’re contradicting yourself there – you’re implying that Chihaya takes Tsutomu’s words and thinks of Arata as family, but also that it’s some sort of romantic leap forward. I personally see Arata as still lonely and isolated – that’s why he’s so desperate to keep Murao in the sport. It’s nice to have Chihaya thinking of him, but she’s still a long way away from him physically.

      I think there are all kind of blind spots out there. From what I can see, Chihaya sees Arata as the God of Karuta – I see no evidence that she’s made any leap to romantic feelings for either guy yet (in fact Harada is the only one she’s expressed such feelings for). If you want to see something badly enough, you’ll see it everywhere you look – it’s like “Finding Bigfoot”.

  • March 14, 2012 at 9:11 amvane

    Well… And after much indecision on my part, I choose, I shipTaichi and Chihaya now ♥, even though he didn’t be with her in the end I think he is certainly the most deserving… though I’m honestly beginning to think that Chihaya doesn’t deserve him.

  • March 14, 2012 at 11:18 amGuardian Enzo

    The funny thing is (Chihayafuru manga spoilers – sort of): Show Spoiler ▼

    The point is, it’s not realistic to point to anything happening this early in the story as definitive, and it’s funny to see accusations of bias when the only way you could take anything that’s happened so far as definitive is to view it with a biased eye. The phone call is a perfect example – I think it could very easily be seen as a classic “friendzone” of Arata. Tsutomu makes a comment about friends, she thinks of Arata and calls him. Arata fans will see it as the living embodiment of the Princess Kagura story. I don’t think the mangaka intends anything to be taken as definitively at this point.

    As for Taichi, the same is true – one could take heart in the fact that he finally admitted his feelings openly, and that Kanade for the first time expressed his romantic relationship with Chihaya in terms of the Hundred Poets. And just as Taichi said he he didn’t think his words could reach her, she opened the locker door and he literally fell into her lap. Personally, I don’t see much real progress there, apart from a more realistic perspective from Taichi himself, which is healthy.

    So in the end, what I see is a lot of people interpreting events to suit the ending they want to see. The difference is that Arata is a much smaller actual presence in the story, so his arc is naturally much more open to interpretation than Taichi’s.

    • March 14, 2012 at 7:07 pmTofuDrift1986

      Yea, except almost every summary you’ve done on this show has a blatant bias towards one pairing and you stealth troll the other. Hell not even you’re spoiler is free from bias. (Manga spoilers ~GE) Show Spoiler ▼

      So basically turn down the bias and atleast TRY to write an objective one.

      • March 14, 2012 at 9:44 pmGuardian Enzo

        At least have the courtesy to use spoiler tags if you’re going to include manga spoilers in your comments.

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 14, 2012 at 12:02 pmpineapple

    This show definitely deserves a second season!

  • March 14, 2012 at 1:58 pmIntricateRadiance

    Damn, this show is seriously going to be the end of me.


  • March 14, 2012 at 3:47 pmdustshadow

    Of course it sad for Arata being isolated in far-off Fukui.

    But the real tragic hero is Taichi. This episode once again stressed that he could have everything. He could be the most popular guy, the smartest one and have gorgeous girls around him wherever he goes. Instead he puts all his time and energy in some obscure club. Not because that’s the only challenge he can’t master, but because he’s madly in love with a girl whom he has to work for every day. And to top it off, Taichi can’t make a move on her because he’s bound by a (de facto) childhood promise to Arata.

    My guess is the anime will end with Arata returning to Tokyo.

    • March 14, 2012 at 3:59 pmGuardian Enzo

      There’s a view among many that Taichi doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Karuta, and I don’t buy it for a second. He may have agreed to form the club in the first place because he loves her, but he’s come to love the game, too. And being President of the club has led to many positive changes in his life – he’s learned how to be a leader. He’s built a relationship with a mentor in Dr. Harada, vital as his father seems like a cipher in his life. He’s made many close friends. There’s much more to Karuta than Chihaya for Taichi.

      It’s sad for Taichi that he can’t fully appreciate everything he has going for him. It’s sad for Arata that he’s far away from the only people who really understand him. It’s not a contest, and there’ll be heartbreak for both of them before it’s all said and done.

      • March 15, 2012 at 1:34 amdustShadow

        My mistake, I meant to say: Not ONLY because that’s the only challenge he can’t master, but…

        I’m pro-Taichi all the way, but I still think Arata will return. That way they can fight their battles in Karuta, in life and in love on even terms.

  • March 14, 2012 at 7:08 pmFaint Smile

    IMO, regarding Chihaya locking herself in the locker, i guess we can forgive her immaturity coz we all know that she really loves karuta and since she was a child, her dream was to be the queen.. Taichi’s character is the big deal!.. A very likeable character coz many people can relate to him..

  • March 14, 2012 at 8:00 pmNom de Plume

    Of course you’re contradicting yourself there – you’re implying that Chihaya takes Tsutomu’s words and thinks of Arata as family.

    If we take a literal interpretion of Chihaya and Tsutomu’s lines, Arata is definitely not the person Chihaya thinks of as family – it’s actually Taichi. After Chihaya says, “I would be having more fun if the other club members were here,” Tsutomu replies, “I read in a book once that when you find yourself wishing that a person was also here, that person is like family to you.” And pray tell, who are the current club members? Chihaya, Taichi, Nishida, Tsutomu, and Kana. Not Arata. So then, who here was “family-zoned”?

    romantic leap forward

    Now that we can conclude that Chihaya didn’t “family-zone” Arata, we can now consider the idea of a romantic leap forward. The leap itself didn’t really happen because of Tsutomu’s words, although that might have been the trigger for her to give Arata a call. The actual leap happened when she remembered what Kana-chan said about Orihime and Hikoboshi, and started talking to Arata. This is very indicative of a romantic leap because Chihaya compared herself and Arata to Orihime and Hikoboshi. If you’re not familiar with these two deities, they are two lovers from Japanese legend (see Tanabata who are separated by the Milky Way for all but one day each year. Basically, Chihaya compared herself and Arata to two lovers – and this can be interpreted that she’s in love with him, just not yet realizing it, which is a common occurrence in any romance.

    I personally see Arata as still lonely and isolated – that’s why he’s so desperate to keep Murao in the sport.

    Arata is indeed lonely in the sense that he has no one to play with in their karuta society, and he is indeed isolated in the sense that he is in Fukui while Chihaya and Taichi are in Tokyo – however, he is not desperate to keep Murao in the sport because of those two reasons. Rather, Arata’s desperation stems not from loneliness or isolation, but from his desire to have someone to play with so that he can train and improve, as supported by his regret at not playing for 1.5 years. Now that he’s returned to the game and only made it to the fourth round, he really wants to get stronger, but there’s no one left in their group whom he could practice with, even going as far as playing a game against some kid and making him cry. His desperation to keep Murao is so that Arata can actually play against real competition.

    It’s nice to have Chihaya thinking of him, but she’s still a long way away from him physically.

    Like we’ve seen in the legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi, sometimes distance doesn’t really matter when people are in love. Taichi may be always beside Chihaya physically, and he may have some sort of special connection with her, but Arata’s is the one who is mentally closer to Chihaya because he’s always in her thoughts. When we’re talking about romance, mental intimacy > physical intimacy, so even if Chihaya doesn’t really see Arata in a romantic light just yet, the mere fact that he’s almost all that she can think about is already enough for us to safely assume that Arata is the one who’s currently ahead in the race for the maiden’s heart.

    From what I can see, Chihaya sees Arata as the God of Karuta – I see no evidence that she’s made any leap to romantic feelings for either guy yet (in fact Harada is the only one she’s expressed such feelings for).

    While it is true that Chihaya hasn’t chosen anyone yet, what makes you so sure that she only sees Araya as the God of Karuta? She could very well be in love with him and just not realize it yet, as we can infer from her comparison to the epitome of long-distance lovers.
    For many people, I included, we really think that Chihaya comparing herself and Arata to Orihime and Hikoboshi is a big thing. She may not know it just yet, but it’s really a big thing, an abundantly obvious romance flag, if you will. Orihime and Hikoboshi are separated lovers. And perhaps the icing on the cake is that Chihaya did say that phones are amazing and that it’s their bridge – just like the bridge that the lovers use to meet each other once a year. Why would someone compare herself and a friend who lives faraway to separated lovers if there wasn’t a modicum of her true feelings somewhere in there? Unless she’s just a huge tease…but I highly doubt that this is the case here.

    I think there are all kind of blind spots out there. […] If you want to see something badly enough, you’ll see it everywhere you look – it’s like “Finding Bigfoot”

    You have a lot of blind spots too…and the same criticism you leveled onto hyperborealis can be brought to bear against you. Just as he might see things because he wants badly for it to be true, the opposite also applies to you…you either misinterpret things, or just plain miss seeing things (like the phone call) because you badly don’t want it to be true. Personally, I didn’t want to include this last paragraph because I think anything even coming close to ad hominem attacks should be left out for us to focus on the cold, hard evidence, but I would hope that in the future, you’ll be able to better recognize and own up to your own biases instead of only disparaging others’ biases while denying any of your own. You’re clearly a very competent writer, but oftentimes I feel the quality of your writing (and especially your comments) is overshadowed by the contempt you show towards your readers, and I ask that you take the high road and not look down on others so much.

    • March 14, 2012 at 9:41 pmGuardian Enzo

      The only difference I see is that fans of the series who prefer Taichi are open to all possibilities, while the ones who prefer Arata seem grievously offended at the mere suggestion that Chihaya could possibly end up with anyone else.

      Your cold hard facts are basically your own twist on events, to suit the outcome you’d like to see. As the author hasn’t made it clear what’s going to happen, I see no need to tweak events so they fit with a certain outcome. Anything is possible.

      • March 15, 2012 at 3:42 amnagi

        the ones who prefer Arata seem grievously offended at the mere suggestion that Chihaya could possibly end up with anyone else.

        That’s just sad, coming from you. A hasty generalization, that is.

      • March 15, 2012 at 6:07 amliz

        Guardian enzo I unforunately have to agree with Nom de Plume he/she is not attacking you but he/she is pointing out your biases. I respect your writing but often I feel you are very caught up with things you want to happen as oppose to analysising it obejectively. Now in your defense I understand anime, manga, etc can be very subjective but I think you should find a balance in your writing to be subjective and obejective. I’m sad that your only response to Nom de Plume was that “people who support taichi tend to be more open-minded” thats not a fair statement at all and you are only expressing your own opinion on the matter of “being open minded” when it comes to the shipping issue and completely disregarding Nom de Plume opinion on the matter just because Nom supports Arata. Nom de Plume gave a excellent opinion how to interpret that phone especially when you look at the context of the characters mentioned in karuta universe with chihaya and arata. Do I agree or disagree not saying. But this is one aspect you need to improve on enzo I mean that with all do respect.

      • March 16, 2012 at 8:08 amKethy-chan

        The post by Nom de Plume was great, although forcing a direction on a romantic path that is unclear/inconclusive in both the anime and the manga; while it was very well written, it was an interpretation of signs based on preference for Arata. and there’s nothing wrong with that! it’s to each their opinion, right?
        So why is it an issue when Enzo responds, Liz? isn’t Enzo allowed to be biased? it’s clear to me that it’s Taichi all the way for Enzo, and it’s been clear on EVERY post so far (Taichi Tuesday, anyone!?!), so why the surprise at the defensive attitude “against” ArataXChihaya fans??? is that really looking down on readers and not just supporting one’s own team fervently?

        either way, I’m a Taichi fan, but again, Nom de Plume’s analysis seemed eerily (and sadly) on point, especially based on this episode… will my handsome, clever (and so desperately in love!!) Taichi be lost in the Friend|Family Zone?!?! NOOOOOOOO!!! *in tears at the prospect*

      • March 16, 2012 at 2:30 pmliz

        I understand that enzo is on taichi side I’m ok with it Besides I can understand that it is difficult to be objective when it comes to something you love but I was not ok with the way he responded to Nom de Plume post to say
        ” the only difference I see is that fans of the series who prefer Taichi are open to all possibilities, while the ones who prefer Arata seem grievously offended at the mere suggestion that Chihaya could possibly end up with anyone else”
        its as if he is implying that only people who support taichi are opened minded to other possibilities while people who support arata are not which is just generalizing and being very rude especially when all Nom de Plume did was give a respectful analysis on that scene and give enzo a little criticism. I admit the analysis was very much on the point considering everything that happened in scene 0_0 All I’m saying is that there needs to be respect on other people opinion on the matter. I would say the same thing as well if people were dissing other people opinion on *signs* with taichi.

    • March 19, 2012 at 12:14 amfungku

      Now that he’s returned to the game and only made it to the fourth round, he really wants to get stronger, but there’s no one left in their group whom he could practice with, even going as far as playing a game against some kid and making him cry. His desperation to keep Murao is so that Arata can actually play against real competition.

      I don’t think his motives were so selfish. I think he wants to warn Murao that if he stops playing he will regret it.

      • March 19, 2012 at 8:44 amhyperborealis

        Yes. It is true that Arata does need Murao-san to keep playing in order to help him become stronger: that’s what the one-sided match against the little boy, the team mate’s comment to the coach that there’s no one left to play Arata, and the coach’s regret that Murao-san did not show up again are there to tell us.

        But remember Arata has a personal relationship with Murao-san, extending back to when Arata was a little boy. More than that, when Murao-san turns him down, Arata remembers Chihaya and Taichi on the train, shouting through the window at him. So Arata is explicitly and self-consciously trying to do for Murao-san what Chihaya and Taichi did for Arata: to remind him of the connections he has with his friends through karuta. Arata wants to bring Murao-san back into the karuta world of friendships and shared memories.

        Murao-san himself doesn’t get that yet: he thinks Arata has just come back for the essentially selfish reason of regaining a practice partner. But even Murao-san recognizes that there is something different about Arata–he mentions that hitherto Arata wouldn’t stick his nose in other people’s business, or words to that effect. This difference in Arata is the difference made by Arata’s friends–and is the real point of this whole sequence.

        The moment is also more evidence of the connection that Arata retains with Chihaya and Taichi. Where there is friendship, a shared passion for karuta, and not to mention cell-phone technology, distance does not matter.

  • March 14, 2012 at 9:17 pmronbb

    I love Chihayafuru. There are just many moments that can so totally strike a chord with me. I love the Taichi x Harada sensei moment at the train station, and the Hiroshi x Haruda sequence this week is simply brilliant – from a care-free rant of the heat, to the eye contact between the two, to the tears of frustration…I can’t stop but re-watch it again… There are only two episodes left… With much anticipation yet unknown how the series is gonna end, one thing I know for sure is that I am gonna miss Taichi Tuesdays for a while…a long while.

  • March 14, 2012 at 9:25 pmAnonymous

    People arguing over Arata vs. Taichi are foolish.

    Chihaya will end up with Kana. Chihaya picked her as first choice, remember? :P

  • March 15, 2012 at 12:44 amK

    What? Is this the last episode already??! I hope I am wrong.

    • March 15, 2012 at 3:07 amKusabi

      Yes, you’re wrong sir. Read Wiki for total episodes of this show.

  • March 15, 2012 at 6:19 amMikako

    Harada-sensei GAR, Sudo sexxi, Arata pretty & classy, Taichi only pretty. And it was priceless when Kana started swooning over sensei.

  • March 16, 2012 at 12:52 amVii

    No one understands all the feelings I have for this show. I can’t believe it’s ending…

  • March 17, 2012 at 9:56 pmKaede

    Am I the only one hoping that Madhouse will surprise us with a “SECOND SEASON CONFIRMED” at the end of the final episode? My fingers are still crossed.