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Old 2011-10-05, 01:30   Link #41
4Tran
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Chihayafuru 1

Chihayafuru was my pre-season pick as the standout show, and I think that the first episode did a good job in supporting that view. It had a solid combination of good characterization and direction that entices the audience and forms a firm foundation that the rest of the show is going to rest on. I wish that more shows would understand this concept.

I'm unfamiliar with the manga, so I wasn't sure if Chihayafuru was going to be more of a sports anime or if it was going to be more of a relationship show. Given the ending of the episode, I think that it's pretty clear that it's goin to be the former. The loving way the Kurata play was animated brings Hikaru no Go to mind where we see how much passion and intensity is infused into the game. This intensity is likely to be the focal point of the show even though the relationships are going to play a large role.

On a side note, I want to commend Terasaki Yuka's job at voicing the young Arata. Normally, I don't like that accent, but she made it sound pretty good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HandofFate View Post
getting kind of hikaru no go vibes from it, where it takes a game and attempts to dramatize it up a bit.
There's an interesting contrast between Chihayafuru, Shion on Ou and Hikaru no Go. They feature games which are respectively not played outside of Japan, very uncommon outside of Japan, and Japan being the third-strongest at the game. Arata even made note of how the Japanese Kurata champion is also the world Kurata champion.
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Old 2011-10-05, 02:05   Link #42
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For those interested in rules of the game, I wrote a blog post about it.
CR sub review and some TL notes too.

http://wp.me/p1t60Z-ki
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Old 2011-10-05, 02:16   Link #43
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I definitely get the sense that the relationships will be at least as important as the Karuta with this series. Certainly, romance will be a much bigger factor - not that it would be hard - than it was with HnG.
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Old 2011-10-05, 02:20   Link #44
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Really great opening episode. Second best of the season behind Fate/Zero.

Good to know that Nana's director didn't fail me. It seems like Madhouse is back in action as well. Ad din some appealing visuals and character designs and the fact that this is a Josei manga adaption and I'm loving it already .
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Old 2011-10-05, 04:08   Link #45
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What the hell? That was actually really good. Decent visuals (not a biggest fan of those character designs), excellent and timely of music, good directing, and a story that manages to be charming and not insulting. The main draw thus far is the lead who's energetic, honest, and all around likable with a firey passion kinda thing but not so obnoxiously over the top she's shoved in our faces-- she seriously reminds me of Ohana from Hana Saku Iroha, which is a good thing.

9/10
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Old 2011-10-05, 04:24   Link #46
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Currently the best first episode. I enjoyed it. I really liked Hikaru no Go so this one won't deceive me.

One thing , GTFO Taichi & cie.
Arata was pretty amazing yeah.
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Old 2011-10-05, 05:31   Link #47
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I keep my eye on this one. It is something different and features an interesting game.
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Old 2011-10-05, 09:31   Link #48
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Very good opening episode. Good mix of slice of life, romance, drama, comedy and "game" elements. Heard the manga is a award winner of a source material too (Won the Kodansha Award for Shojo in 2011). Very likable female lead character too - strong, energetic, outgoing and motivated.

9/10 and very much looking forward to future eps.
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Old 2011-10-05, 09:53   Link #49
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Didn't know much about this anime other than the fact it was anticipated by some...seems nice enough I guess.

The accurate, eyelash-heavy art style is to my liking. Chihaya is an interesting character from what I've seen, the type that sticks to her own reasoning instead of mimicking what the environment preaches. I liked how she stood up for the unadapted transfer student; two oddballs pursuing their dream, albeit a rather silly one, is a notion I'm rather fond of and support, possibly because I can relate to that.

So uh, yeah, I'll keep watching this for sure. And the ED sounded nice, though I have yet to hear it a few more times before I can be sure of it.
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Old 2011-10-05, 09:56   Link #50
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Excellent first episode. For overall entertainment value, it's probably my favorite first episode of the season thus far. I've seen more intellectually intense first episodes this season, and more heartwarming first episodes this season, but this is the Fall 2011 anime premiere episode that ties it altogether in such a wonderful total package.

Lovely artwork and nice animation. Very likable female lead. Yes, I do see the Ohana comparisons, although I think Chihaya has the potential to be the more well-rounded of the two. Chihaya feels like a real person to me, like she could be a character arising out of any entertainment medium, not just anime or manga.

This first episode also did a great job of both conveying what this anime would be about, while also actually showcasing a fair bit of that in the opening episode. Given what some first episodes this season have been like, I honestly find this pretty refreshing.

The three main characters of Chihaya, Arata, and Taichi were all given pretty good introductions, establishing upfront some of the strengths and weaknesses of each.


Even though it was only a small part of this opening episode, I also really liked how it briefly explored the topic of bullying. I've seen a couple anime shows explore it before, and the bullying in this one felt the most real of the three, imo.

Now, with this in mind, I think I know why Taichi started to nastily bully Arata in this episode. I'm certainly not defending it, but I think Taichi was afraid that Chihaya would end up getting bullied by association if she grew too close to Arata, so he wanted to forcibly separate the two. So I think his act arose out of a desire to protect Chihaya, but the act itself was of course very wrong and mean-spirited.

I also liked how the bully victim here was a transfer student, as transfer students are almost always gushed over by their new classmates in anime. Sad to say, but I think that what we saw in this first episode is probably at least as common in real life as such gushing is, if not more common. It's not always easy for a new person to fit into an established social dynamic, such as what you have in most classrooms. And if that new person doesn't fit in within a week or two, ostracization often does occur.


My only real concern about this anime going forward is the game itself. If the anime gets very technical and strategic with it, I could see that losing me a bit, as it's not a game I'm familiar with at all. But then, I enjoyed Saki a lot in spite of a low familiarity with mahjong, so hopefully much the same will happen here.


All-in-all, a great first episode. I as well will give it 9/10.
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Old 2011-10-05, 09:57   Link #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
On a side note, I want to commend Terasaki Yuka's job at voicing the young Arata. Normally, I don't like that accent, but she made it sound pretty good.
I thought it sounded wonderful. The last scene especially, coupled with the excellent music, was just thrilling. I had faith in the staff for this adaptation but my expectations may have been surpassed - 24 more episodes like this and I will cry tears of joy. I'm so glad I haven't read much of the manga in anticipation of the anime.

Now I do have to wonder if Hosoya Yoshimasa can pull Arata off that well... but I'm fairly optimistic in that regard.
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Old 2011-10-05, 10:14   Link #52
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I never thought a card game like that could be made to look so epic but they somehow managed it. That was a really good first episode.
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Old 2011-10-05, 10:30   Link #53
calorie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
My only real concern about this anime going forward is the game itself. If the anime gets very technical and strategic with it, I could see that losing me a bit, as it's not a game I'm familiar with at all. But then, I enjoyed Saki a lot in spite of a low familiarity with mahjong, so hopefully much the same will happen here.
Same here, I found myself already enjoying the slice of life part of the anime without knowing the premise, and was only occasionally intrigued by what this 'karuta' they had kept mentioning is. Having seen the explanation, I concluded it should probably be more interesting than some sports like baseball, soccer etc. but I also hope the game itself will be there to serve the drama/life part of the show rather than become the focus.
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Old 2011-10-05, 10:48   Link #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calorie View Post
Same here, I found myself already enjoying the slice of life part of the anime without knowing the premise, and was only occasionally intrigued by what this 'karuta' they had kept mentioning is. Having seen the explanation, I concluded it should probably be more interesting than some sports like baseball, soccer etc. but I also hope the game itself will be there to serve the drama/life part of the show rather than become the focus.
Either that, or make the game-playing so flashy and over-the-top that I don't care about the rules anymore, and I begin to like it for more or less the same reason I like pro wrestling.

But yeah, the slice of life material is definitely top notch in this show, and I hope that will be focused on a lot through out the anime.
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Old 2011-10-05, 10:58   Link #55
calorie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Either that, or make the game-playing so flashy and over-the-top that I don't care about the rules anymore, and I begin to like it for more or less the same reason I like pro wrestling.
Well, yes, I concur - the way Arata played implies the ship has already sailed in that direction. The feeling you describe reminds to me of Code Geass, where at one point I've realized I don't care about who has the upper hand and the mecha battles themselves but am still having fun because it's so over the top.

One thing that makes me believe this won't be boring is that one of the main characters, Taichi, has already admitted that he has grown out of it (or something, correct me if I'm wrong), and the fact that it's openly stated (by Arata) that the game isn't all that popular. Thus this'll probably be more about rediscovering what's fun about the game, reminiscing the childhood days, bringing back some of those memories that might fill the gap in the characters' lives etc.
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Old 2011-10-05, 12:14   Link #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haak View Post
I never thought a card game like that could be made to look so epic but they somehow managed it. That was a really good first episode.
That phrase has been uttered about another anime thousands of times, with the phrase "ancient board game" substituted in...
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Old 2011-10-05, 12:16   Link #57
4Tran
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Now, with this in mind, I think I know why Taichi started to nastily bully Arata in this episode. I'm certainly not defending it, but I think Taichi was afraid that Chihaya would end up getting bullied by association if she grew too close to Arata, so he wanted to forcibly separate the two. So I think his act arose out of a desire to protect Chihaya, but the act itself was of course very wrong and mean-spirited.
It's pretty clear that he was just jealous of Chihaya's attention to Arata. They were just kids, and I expect kids to behave like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katapan View Post
I thought it sounded wonderful. The last scene especially, coupled with the excellent music, was just thrilling. I had faith in the staff for this adaptation but my expectations may have been surpassed - 24 more episodes like this and I will cry tears of joy. I'm so glad I haven't read much of the manga in anticipation of the anime.
The production values of Chihayafuru are among the most impressive of this season. I hope that Madhouse can keep them up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Either that, or make the game-playing so flashy and over-the-top that I don't care about the rules anymore, and I begin to like it for more or less the same reason I like pro wrestling.

But yeah, the slice of life material is definitely top notch in this show, and I hope that will be focused on a lot through out the anime.
The creators should be able to make the game interesting even if you have no experience with it. The opening episode already had Arata flinging cards into the wall and Chihaya sprawling to get her one card.

I'm not sure what you mean by "slice of life material" with the only slice of life scene being the one where Chihaya was lying down with her headphones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calorie View Post
One thing that makes me believe this won't be boring is that one of the main characters, Taichi, has already admitted that he has grown out of it (or something, correct me if I'm wrong), and the fact that it's openly stated (by Arata) that the game isn't all that popular. Thus this'll probably be more about rediscovering what's fun about the game, reminiscing the childhood days, bringing back some of those memories that might fill the gap in the characters' lives etc.
Given the passion that Arata displayed in playing the game, and Chihaya's fascination of that passion, the show is probably going to be about Karuta as a serious sport. The romance adds an interesting facet to the show, but it should just be a facet, not the main focus. Sports anime can be very cool, and well made ones are going to be even better than standard relationship shows, so it shouldn't be a drawback at all.

Arata stated that Karuta wasn't as popular in Tokyo as it was in Fukui. It's decently popular throughout Japan with organized tournaments and ritual outfits and everything. Heck, there's even a Haruhi Karuta deck.

Arata already let us know that his dream was to become the Karuta Meijin (a title that Hikaru no Go fans should be familiar with!), so that sets the context for the show. I'd be surprised if it doesn't become Chihaya's dream as well. For Taichi, the setup is fairly straightforward: he's moved away from Karuta because he's drifted away from Chihaya. The show is going to be about him trying to win her back, so he's going to go back to compete in the sport.
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Old 2011-10-05, 13:24   Link #58
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Now, with this in mind, I think I know why Taichi started to nastily bully Arata in this episode. I'm certainly not defending it, but I think Taichi was afraid that Chihaya would end up getting bullied by association if she grew too close to Arata, so he wanted to forcibly separate the two. So I think his act arose out of a desire to protect Chihaya, but the act itself was of course very wrong and mean-spirited.
While I suppose it is commendable to try to see the good in others, I'm pretty sure he bullied Arata because Arata finished/turned in his completed poem homework before him, thus stealing his thunder. He, and everyone else in the class, thought he (Taichi) who would be the golden student in that moment.

It's jealousy. Pure and simple.
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Old 2011-10-05, 13:56   Link #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
It's pretty clear that he was just jealous of Chihaya's attention to Arata. They were just kids, and I expect kids to behave like that....
I personally think there may have been other things involved, but for me it seemed the strongest factor still was simple jealousy - both for attention of Chihaya and being one-upped grades wise. But generally agree about how that is how kids behave a lot of the time.

Otoh after re-watching the ep last night I must admit I felt kinda sorry for Taichi ... Chihaya is pretty tactless (something she herself admits via the "I say whatever comes into my head" statement) and also really absorbed atm in Karuta - for example when she found out Taichi had a girlfriend her main complaint voiced was that Taichi could not keep all his attention on Karata. Seemed to me Taichi was hurt by that as he had feelings for Chihaya but Chihaya was unaware of them ... perhaps a pattern all the way back to when they were students....
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Old 2011-10-05, 13:59   Link #60
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I think folks are being too hard on Taichi. I certainly saw it as simple jealousy - partly over the "Golden Boy" status but mostly because he didn't like another boy getting close to Chihaya. These kids were what, 11 or 12? He was immature and he acted cruelly, but that doesn't make him a bad person. He's just a person who did a bad thing.
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