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Old 2011-11-11, 16:02   Link #461
orion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PreSage View Post
Is the person being loved always indicated by a sakura halo? (Although I hope you're right. )
Well....
Kimi ni Todoke used bubbles.
Hakuoki had snow flakes falling so that it reminded the female protag of sakura pedals around the flowing hair of the male protag. *A "money shot" for that episode.*

So I now bet on the sakura pedals or bubbles as the indicator of the love interest for the title. Besides, that scene screamed "money shot". Not going to waste time and money on something like that unless it's important.
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Old 2011-11-11, 18:01   Link #462
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I don't think the story is going to be about Chihaya mothering everyone but about "the passion for Karuta" helping everyone including Chihaya.
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Old 2011-11-11, 18:06   Link #463
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Just watched episode 6. Chihaya is so cute. =)

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Old 2011-11-11, 22:36   Link #464
GundamZZ
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Originally Posted by orion View Post
Well....
So I now bet on the sakura pedals or bubbles as the indicator of the love interest for the title. Besides, that scene screamed "money shot". Not going to waste time and money on something like that unless it's important.
Comparing to Taichi, Chihaya has more interest about Kana. It's sad fact, but it's not the point.

Spoiler for size:
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Old 2011-11-12, 04:33   Link #465
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YES! Chihaya made it into the banner.
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Old 2011-11-12, 06:28   Link #466
orion
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Originally Posted by GundamZZ View Post
Comparing to Taichi, Chihaya has more interest about Kana. It's sad fact, but it's not the point.

Spoiler for size:
Ah but for shojo it's sakura pedals or bubbles, not that flower for love interest usually. If we were watching something similar to Maria-sama then you might have something there.
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Old 2011-11-13, 12:13   Link #467
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Chihayafuru is possibly the least original and is certainly the most predictable show of the season. However, that doesn't keep it from being the best show of the season as well. Again, this show demonstrates how superior, albeit very conventional, direction and good characterization can produce a superior product.
Yes. A show about karuta will almost necessarily have a retrospective and traditional perspective, emphasizing the old rather than the new. Karuta is the starting point whereby we are reminded of an array of Japanese cultural traditions. There is Chihaya in kimono, of course. But I suspect the show is saturated with such references, which I don't know enough to appreciate. When Arata's mom invites Chihaya to eat some yams with them, is that a nod to traditional country diet? When Arata remembers himself and his grandfather walking together in the forest, do the odd sticks he suddenly envisages them both holding speak to a tradition of folk mythology? I wish Kana was on this board to explain to us the things we're missing!

So I think a lack of originality is actually the very point of the show. It is an acutely traditional, deliberately conservative anime.

But, like you, I find that this lack of originality has aesthetic repercussions. I can understand the characters (or some of them) as vehicles to cultural traditions, or even as in part expressions of the same. So why do I feel that this show is so fresh and interesting? Unlike you, I really don't get what makes this show so good.

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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
Chihaya's dream is not merely to be good at karuta; it's a world in which she can play karuta with/against the people she has chosen.
There is an odd retrospective or nostalgic aspect to Chihaya's interest in karuta--not for karuta itself, as you point out, but for her experience in childhood, of becoming friends with Arata and Taichi and of playing karuta with them. By keeping on playing karuta, she tries to ensure that the three of them will stay together as friends. I'd have to look to give you quotes, but at various points Chihaya says things to this effect.

I don't think this makes sense on an individual level, or on an American individual level. People go on; no one expects to have the same friends in adulthood as in childhood. But this is still what Chihaya wants, and what the show offers, and so we have to make sense of it.

Perhaps Chihaya's desire to maintain her past into the present is best understood as a general cultural allegory. By holding onto cultural memories and traditions, the show is saying, we make it possible for all of us to stay together as Japanese today. Or, from an individual point of view: by cherishing my childhood memories and friends (especially those bound up with traditional cultural forms such as karuta), I find a place for myself in the modern world as a distinctively Japanese person. However we account for Chihaya's motives, this is what she is doing, and what the show I think is ultimately about.

Your discussion of Chihaya's competitiveness, the "tension between expectation and temperament," and the changing role of "winning" in the main characters' lives is typically brilliant of you, Dawnstorm.

Just a few very minor side comments. I expect Chihaya's family to become an object of satire. All their fussing about the sister, all the schoolmates' fascination with the sister's minor celebrityhood, is all going to be upstaged when Chihaya becomes a world-class karuta player. So I don't see the sister as a role model--to the contrary, she is an easy target in the show's critique of modernity.

When you say that "[c]ompetition is a pre-fabricated type of interaction," you indicate that games are cultural artifacts, loci of traditions. That is why this traditionalist show chooses a game as its focus.

I really want to think about this point: "[w]hat it means to 'win' is entirely different." I had one of those "yes of course" moments as soon as I read that. I'll probably bring it in in later posts once I've worked it out in my head.

I appreciate your uncertainty apropos Arata: he is defined so much in terms of karuta, we hardly know what to think of him in the situation where he has put it aside. In a way, his decision is admirable: where family and game come into conflict, he chooses family over the game. Karuta is hardly the only thing, and never the main thing in this anime. That is why I say this is a show about traditional Japanese values: Arata's dedication to his grandfather's memory is exemplary of traditional social attitudes, of respect toward elders and family and so on. But who Arata is outside all this I have no idea. Like you, I find him an enigma.

When you say that Chihaya, Taichi, and Arata make their friendship "contingent upon karuta," you recognize how very peculiar that is? Should not a real friendship extend itself outwards, to include other aspects of each others' lives? One has to ask: would they even be friends at all without karuta? But let's put it differently: they are not friends due to karuta, but really due to the efforts each of them make to remain connected to each other. Taichi has to make the effort to stay with Chihaya, despite his relative disinterest in the game. Arata has to get over his despair and get on the bike and go chasing the train. And Chihaya has to get on the train to go to Arata's hometown, since she knows if she does not, her friendship with him will be over. Their feelings are genuine, even if the vocabulary in which they express it is restricted to karuta. I suppose we are supposed to understand that the world in miniature exists within karuta, so that if they push deep enough in, they will gather everything in essence everything that is also outside karuta. Karuta is an analogue, not a synecdoche, for life.

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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
When it comes to the karuta club, Chihaya is mostly recruiting and scavanging for things she has in common with others. The way she treats Kana is not so different from the way she treated her sister. I do think she's sincere. There's nothing false in her "sugois". They're, if anything, childlike in both their purity and naivety. She's learning things most of her peers have already learnt.
We do know from the first episode that Chihaya has hitherto been falling asleep in her classic literature class. So her new-found interest in the poems has to be related to the fact that they are mediated by Kana. How is Kana different from the books Chihaya has read except through her passion? It is that passion to which Chihaya--as befits her name--responds. The "purity and naivete" to which you refer is all a part of that same emotional connection. If the show is traditional, it is so in a romantic and not an antiquarian sense.

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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
I tend to think of characters as social vortices: you build your identity through the reactions of others; and you carry that identity into new contexts - this involves both habits and self-image. No Blood-C spoilers in this thread; but I think you might be able to see why I have problems pin-pointing the characters in that show (given my approach), and why Chihayafuru doesn't give me any problems on that account.
Yes, but "the reactions of others," the "habits and self-image" are all constructed within the context of an inherited tradition, ie karuta. And the individual development we witness is directed toward confirming traditional cultural values whose identity again is general and not particular. The characters of Chihayafuru find their individual lives receive significance according to their relation to this cultural history, just as Saya finds her life has its meaning in relation to the secret history underlying her world. The analogy is fairly exact, especially as Chihayafuru's characters' relationship to karuta tends to call into question their discrete identity. I remain surprised you don't have issues with the show's characterizations. I do, especially as I don't yet understand why I find the characters to be as individual and distinctive as they in fact are. I am missing something fundamental here, and it's really annoying me.

As usual, you overwhelm me Dawnstorm. Please forgive me if I pass over in silence all the other interesting things you wrote.

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
I do think that, in establishing a Karuta club, Chihaya's wish is the formation of a domestic space. But I don't think Chihaya's feelings themselves are particularly motherly. If I had to say, I'd guess that Chihaya right now is about hoping that passion and togetherness can be united.
Wonderful point, Sol.

I agree that Chihaya's feelings are not particularly motherly. They are however essentially social and integrative in character. You will remember that the anime begins with the young Chihaya's efforts to include Arata, in defiance of her classmates who have sent him to Coventry. Although such instincts are not intrinsically feminine, they tend to be assigned to female gender roles.

It is a real question whether passion is consistent with social impulses. Dawnstorm makes excellent points that Chihaya's impulsiveness makes her break social rules and fractures social cohesion. And if, by her passion, Chihaya creates a community of karuta players, will not that group find itself outside a general social community? Passion seems to me a highly equivocal motor for a social engine. The various sociological models I can think of usually talk in terms of subordinating passions to social goals--ie what it means to "civilize' or to "socialize' someone...

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Chihaya admires other people's passions. But more than that, I think she feels alone. That is why, I think that Chihaya is looking for a way to take part in other people's passions, without (as Arata said) usurping their dream from them in the very first place. This does sort of mean that Karuta thus far isn't a real part of Chihaya's identity. Actually, wait, that's the feeling I've been having about this show thus far all along, lol. If that's the case, though, now that I've realized it, I can only think that the path of discovering how Chihaya comes to genuinely love Karuta will be truly interesting.
We keep coming back to this issue. How do we reconcile genuine individuality with an identity based on tradition? So you ask, is karuta part of Chihaya's identity or not? Dawnstorm wonders, does karuta have multiple meanings based on individual temperaments?

But she is a very solitary figure, isn't she? Certainly at home, where she is ignored by her parents. And at school, too, where her passion for karuta makes her an outsider. The beuaty-in-vain in the club-in-vain...We don't really see this in the anime, since the focus is on Chihaya when she is involved with people. But I think you are right: this solitary experience is what is left out in the show's jump from elementary to high school.

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
What we have seen of Chihaya thus far is someone who is really rather extraordinarily in love with others. Her sister; Arata; Kanade. In various ways, Taichi and Harada-sensei too. But, I agree that so far all of Chihaya's passions strike me as in some manner admirative (and so, to an extent, imitative) as opposed to things she's genuinely internalized.
This is a really perceptive insight into Chihaya's character. It seems to me that if she is defined by passion, any passion she will have will by definition be external. Passion requires an object to give itself specific shape. So there may not be a distinction between the admirative and the internalized.

However, the things Chihaya loves are themselves transformed by the intensity of that passion. Karuta becomes special to us viewers, as a reflection of Chihaya's passion. Likewise, Kana. As regards to Taichi, some of the characterization problems posters on this board are having lie in the fact that he is at a remove from this passion, buoyed up by Chihaya's, as Dawnstorm points out, but with none of his own.

So there is a dialectic between Chihaya's passion and its objects. What burns into incandescence thereby proves its own value. And likewise what does not. In the end, the show defines its own values by this difference. I don't think there is a deeper explanation as to why karuta is the focus of her attention. Karuta works to allow the show to celebrate traditional Japanese cultural values. As another poster pointed out much earlier, go would have worked just as well.

*******

OK, that's it. No more edits!

Last edited by hyperborealis; 2011-11-13 at 19:23. Reason: drowning in ideas
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Old 2011-11-13, 13:07   Link #468
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
We do know from the first episode that Chihaya has hitherto been falling asleep in her classic literature class. So her new-found interest in the poems has to be related to the fact that they are mediated by Kana. How is Kana different from the books Chihaya has read except through her passion? It is that passion to which Chihaya--as befits her name--responds. The "purity and naivete" to which you refer is all a part of that same emotional connection. If the show is traditional, it is so in a romantic and not an antiquarian sense.
I think Kana's passion might have something to do with it but always simple what Kana says that when you understand the context of the poems they become more fascinating.

A lot of teachers in my opinion do not do a good job of explaining the meaning behind something or the context of the time period and hence lose their students interest.

Kana was most likely a better teacher than Chihaya's real teacher.
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Old 2011-11-14, 01:14   Link #469
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Well I actually didn't understand how Chihaya not realize the deeper meaning of the poems earlier....she's been playing for so long after all...
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Old 2011-11-14, 01:57   Link #470
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I think Kana's passion might have something to do with it but always simple what Kana says that when you understand the context of the poems they become more fascinating.

A lot of teachers in my opinion do not do a good job of explaining the meaning behind something or the context of the time period and hence lose their students interest.

Kana was most likely a better teacher than Chihaya's real teacher.

It's not entirely teachers' fault. They are paid to teach you what you are suppose to know. Understanding the context of poem, you are not getting any benefit. You are not gaining money making skill. With the limited time, it's better to put your focus in other field. It's like playing chess without need to learn the history and function. The learning of context is for hobbyists. Instead of Pro, hobbyists are people with the motivation to learn the context. It doesn't necessary improve their skills, but they gain the reward in satisfaction.
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Old 2011-11-14, 02:08   Link #471
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Yes. A show about karuta will almost necessarily have a retrospective and traditional perspective, emphasizing the old rather than the new. Karuta is the starting point whereby we are reminded of an array of Japanese cultural traditions. There is Chihaya in kimono, of course.
You're reading a bit too much into the cultural elements. Kimonos are common outfits for karuta players in the serious competitions (just as they are common in Go matches), and that's why they're in the OP. Most of Chihayafuru is only interested in the portion Japanese traditionalism that exists in the Hundred Poems. It's perhaps easier to think of the original manga as a way to promote karuta as a serious sport, hence the focus on exploring any element that might heighten its value to a reader.

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So I think a lack of originality is actually the very point of the show. It is an acutely traditional, deliberately conservative anime.
I think that a lot of it comes from simply coping so many ideas from Hikaru no Go (and I mean that in a good way). The usage of familiar elements also helps to make the characters and their situations more familiar despite the subject matter. And I think that it's working too. I've seen a lot of people commenting that karuta is a deadly dull sport/game, but in the same breath, they talk about how good the show is.

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But, like you, I find that this lack of originality has aesthetic repercussions. I can understand the characters (or some of them) as vehicles to cultural traditions, or even as in part expressions of the same. So why do I feel that this show is so fresh and interesting? Unlike you, I really don't get what makes this show so good.
I'm guessing the freshness comes mainly from a lack of experience with sports anime. The interesting part is probably because originality isn't as important as it may seem. While we all say that shows would be better if they were more original, most stories have already been told, so superior execution is what really stands out.

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Well I actually didn't understand how Chihaya not realize the deeper meaning of the poems earlier....she's been playing for so long after all...
Most poker players probably don't know the historical meanings of playing cards. Chihaya knew some of the surface meanings, but she was never interested in delving into the nitty gritty details about the poems.
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Old 2011-11-14, 02:11   Link #472
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Most poker players probably don't know the historical meanings of playing cards. Chihaya knew some of the surface meanings, but she was never interested in delving into the nitty gritty details about the poems.
True....it's just that playing what is essentially a poetry game on cards solely through just memory and reflexes must get dull after a while if you don't fully appreciate what it is you play...
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Old 2011-11-14, 03:57   Link #473
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True....it's just that playing what is essentially a poetry game on cards solely through just memory and reflexes must get dull after a while if you don't fully appreciate what it is you play...
I don't see how knowing you're slapping love poems around would make it any less dull...
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Old 2011-11-14, 04:50   Link #474
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I don't find it particularly unusual for Chihaya to not know much about the poems themselves even after playing for 3 years. In fact, me and several of my friends played Magic: The Gathering for several years, flinging Urza's towers and Phyrexians around, commenting on the odd flavor text here and there, without really learning about the lore. Admittedly though, it was always the game over the setting. Nowadays though, having long quit Magic, it's only the lore that I'm interested in.
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Old 2011-11-14, 13:48   Link #475
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True....it's just that playing what is essentially a poetry game on cards solely through just memory and reflexes must get dull after a while if you don't fully appreciate what it is you play...
Chihaya doesn't see karuta in a dull way at all. It's an interesting parallel: Chihaya is all about the gameplay in karuta and ignored the hundred poems for the most part while Kanade is drawn to the poems but had little interest in karuta. Their progress in looking at the game from the other's point of view also represents how the audience starts to look at the game in different ways.
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Old 2011-11-14, 14:32   Link #476
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I'm really enjoying this show, but somehow I just can't get behind the way Chihaya looks : She's way too good looking based on her character. Why does she have to look like a model ? I doubt a tomboy constantly obsessed with karuta would find time to take such good care of her looks.
Don't get me wrong - she looks amazing, but that's so out of character in my opinion. Should have kept short hair akin to her child design which was much more fitting I think.
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Old 2011-11-14, 14:34   Link #477
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True....it's just that playing what is essentially a poetry game on cards solely through just memory and reflexes must get dull after a while if you don't fully appreciate what it is you play...
It reminds me of video games with multiplayer. Some people play it for the story, but others just run into multiplayer to compete and know nothing about the plot.

The nature of competition is just that compelling.
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Old 2011-11-15, 00:01   Link #478
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Originally Posted by Rei.K View Post
I'm really enjoying this show, but somehow I just can't get behind the way Chihaya looks : She's way too good looking based on her character. Why does she have to look like a model ? I doubt a tomboy constantly obsessed with karuta would find time to take such good care of her looks.
Don't get me wrong - she looks amazing, but that's so out of character in my opinion. Should have kept short hair akin to her child design which was much more fitting I think.
I think you mean: To look beautiful, every girl has to be highly maintained. Don't know if it's true.

According to a Japanese women's magazine, there are two types of beauty. The first type do everything right. The second type is called mudabijin, or wasteful beautiful. The second type lacks the maintenance. This statement may be the promotion for manicure. However, it makes a point: Every woman can look beautiful if she spends time to make over.


To her fellow students, and Taichi, she is known as mudabijin. They recognizes her as a nature born beauty, but she's turning them off.




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newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Rec/rec.arts.anime.misc/2011-1/msg00059.html
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Old 2011-11-15, 01:12   Link #479
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In episode 6, why does Chihaya wear a tie one day and a ribbon the next? Any particular meaning behind the action?
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Old 2011-11-15, 01:29   Link #480
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In episode 6, why does Chihaya wear a tie one day and a ribbon the next? Any particular meaning behind the action?
In universe, probably nothing: Chihaya wears whatever she feels like wearing. Out of universe, it's to contrast Kanade the traditionalist with Chihaya the single-minded karuta freak. Visual cues to reinforce the dialogue and so on.
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