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Old 2011-12-24, 12:52   Link #781
hyperborealis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
My basic argument is that Karuta is not idealized to a point where it cuts the narrative off from the real world, that it exists as more than thematically-driven theater of the mind that's unimaginable outside of the narrative itself. It's true that non-fans of the sport are not looked upon in the most positive of lights, but I don't think the anime goes out of its way to degrade them either. Again, it's just that they're largely inconsequential to what the anime is aiming for.
Yes. You could argue that the show itself actually criticizes karuta, or at least karuta-as-a-sport, in light of Kana's distress with Nishida for lacking interest in the poems themselves. To that extent the show recognizes that competitive karuta is not intrinsically traditional, as Sol Falling points out, but rather a vehicle for the tradition of the poetry.

But if competitive karuta is not traditional, it is at least in the process of becoming so. Official competitions date from the late 50's, so the sport has spanned several generations. The Japan Society for Karuta traces the game back to the Meiji era, ie the latter half of the 19th century. More, the show itself--in its depiction of Arata's relationship with his grandfather--understands karuta to be traditional. Arata is understood to be carrying on a tradition handed down by his grandfather. Chihayafuru's own involvement with the game amounts to a contribution to the process whereby something new becomes traditional.

But I'm glad Sol Falling and Dawnstorm have brought out the relative modernity of competitive karuta. As a matter of historical fact, competitive karuta is no doubt a relative recent phenomenon. But to say that is only to bring out, by contrast, the show's own attitude, its own perspective, which is clearly a traditional and conservative one. That is what we care about, or need to appreciate, as reflective viewers of the show.

I very much appreciated your analogies between karuta and other national sports, since they illustrate perfectly this idea that karuta connects with Japanese identity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
1. Romance seems to be the furthest thing from Chihaya's mind.

2. Arata's screen time over the past half-dozen episodes or more is almost non-existent.

While I might be welcoming of love triangle drama in this anime at some point, it currently works perfectly fine without it, imo.
There is no shipping war, of course. Taichi's half-expressed love and devotion, Chihaya's inability to see his feelings, her own verging on sexual maturity, and the absolute blank that is Arata*--one of the most beautiful things about the show is how it makes romance an undercurrent in the narrative. The emotions are there, but never manifest, only intimated. I can't say how impressive and moving the show is for its remarkable discretion, its reticence of feeling.

I was reading in Ivan Morris' book, The World of the Shining Prince, a contemporary description of Murasaki Shikibu, the author of The Tale of Genji, and she sounded exactly like Kana! I wonder if the show's romantic situation echoes a story out the novel?

As far as shipping goes, I merely note that both of Kana's extended explications of the poems involve frustrated and tragic love affairs. Otherwise, Dawnstorm's closing words in his last post work for me as well.

*Can't resist: he could even be gay for Taichi!

Last edited by hyperborealis; 2011-12-25 at 00:35.
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Old 2011-12-24, 15:49   Link #782
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Yes. You could argue that the show itself actually criticizes karuta, or at least karuta-as-a-sport, in light of Kana's distress with Nishida for lacking interest in the poems themselves.
I don't think the show presents Kana's distress as a sure sign that Karuta-as-sport is wrong. It just shows that different people seek different things.
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Old 2011-12-25, 10:10   Link #783
ars89
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Will there be an ep this week or is it taking a break?
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Old 2011-12-25, 12:37   Link #784
Katapan
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Originally Posted by ars89 View Post
Will there be an ep this week or is it taking a break?
Break. The series will be back on January 3rd.
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Old 2011-12-28, 18:19   Link #785
Undertaker
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Is there an manga discussion thread for this series?

Can't seem to find one and I'm reluctant to make one as my last thread was killed for being a duplicate because I didn't notice another thread existed under different name.
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Old 2012-01-03, 15:00   Link #786
sikvod00
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Ep. 13 initially appeared to be focused on another kurata match, but that was a red herring. Instead it turned its direction primarily to Arata's arrival and how he got his drive back. Glad to see him return, although I figured they'd reintroduce him at the halfway mark of the show. We get to see the Queen for the first time, and what a lovely brunette she is. At least I'm 99% certain that was her at the beginning since this show doesn't try to be subtle with much (not a bad thing). Was that a mole I saw on her? I will laugh my ass off if the queen has some sort of infatuation with Arata or falls for him. Also, it's a bit cheesy how Chihaya was able to feel her aura.
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Old 2012-01-03, 16:03   Link #787
Shiroth
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Spoiler for Episode 13:
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Old 2012-01-03, 17:02   Link #788
Dop
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Good to see this show back after the break, the episode went in a different direction to what I'd expected, but the highlight was the story about Arata and his grandfather. That was well told, I thought.
I liked Sensei's little "How to pray properly" lecture too.
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Old 2012-01-03, 17:03   Link #789
Johnny
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Good episode and the Queen falling for Arata would be hilarious...

@Undertaker, no there isn't a thread in the manga section...
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Old 2012-01-03, 17:10   Link #790
ars89
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Like how they focused on Arata before he saw them. Like how Chihaya could feel the queen's aura. Think her prayer was answered by her seeing Arata. Too bad the team didn't get to advance. Nice for Komano to pick up a win. Is Chihaya the only one in the individual tournament or did Taichi and Porky make it as well?
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Old 2012-01-03, 17:34   Link #791
Kanon
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Arata!!! I'm so glad he's finally returned. The flashback helped in understanding the reason he was so distraught over his grandfather's death. We already knew the gist of what had happened, but seeing it was another thing entirely. I'm glad they took the time to develop Arata's relationship with his grandpa on screen, as it is a very important part of his character.

Is there any chance that Arata can still join the individual tournament? His message to Chihaya certainly imply that. Even if registrations are already closed, he might still be able to join in thanks to his excellent relationship with the organizers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sikvod00 View Post
EWe get to see the Queen for the first time, and what a lovely brunette she is. At least I'm 99% certain that was her at the beginning since this show doesn't try to be subtle with much (not a bad thing). Was that a mole I saw on her? I will laugh my ass off if the queen has some sort of infatuation with Arata or falls for him. Also, it's a bit cheesy how Chihaya was able to feel her aura.
Shouldn't the Queen be older than that? That girl is just a highschooler. In any case, she is definitely going to be Chihaya's main rival in this tournament given the way she was introduced (walking by the hero/heroine in slow-mo + Chihaya's karuta sense tingling = future major antagonist. They could have been a bit more subtle ). She's only appeared for a few seconds and I'm in love with her already. Can't wait to find out what kind of personality she has and who is voicing her.
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Old 2012-01-03, 18:20   Link #792
Katapan
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Very strong return for the series after the break. I was just wondering how the pacing might possibly handle a major and possibly long tournament right in the middle of the series, then the very first minute already gave a pretty good idea of the answer, which didn't thrill me at first (I'm definitely not a huge fan of the 'sick episode' trope)... but since it was actually executed excellently and led to Arata's return, I warmed up to it easily. I have to praise the music placement this week, and above all, Hosoya Yoshimasa's performance, especially during the emotional scenes.

I was also hoping for another Sudou appearance before the series ended and it happened so quickly. My ドM side is highly pleased.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
Shouldn't the Queen be older than that? That girl is just a highschooler. In any case, she is definitely going to be Chihaya's main rival in this tournament given the way she was introduced (walking by the hero/heroine in slow-mo + Chihaya's karuta sense tingling = future major antagonist. They could have been a bit more subtle ). She's only appeared for a few seconds and I'm in love with her already. Can't wait to find out what kind of personality she has and who is voicing her.
Well, her seiyuu is Nakamichi Mihoko. Looking at that list of roles, I suppose... we just can't say anything until we hear her. :P
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Old 2012-01-03, 18:45   Link #793
Kazu-kun
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Wow, they burned 3 manga chapters in just one episode?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
Is there any chance that Arata can still join the individual tournament?
No, of course not. And he probably wouldn't do that good anyway, since he hasn't trained in years.

On a general note, I liked this episode, but it wasn't a favorite. Maybe it's because Arata is pretty much unknown to us, and just one episode of back-story doesn't change much. I don't feel much for him actually.

Also, I'm kind of worried about the pacing. I mean, there's no way to make the rest of the tournament span the whole second half of the series, but on the other hand there's no way to get to the next tournament (the following year) either. So I just can't see a good end point without the anime going a different direction than the manga...
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Old 2012-01-03, 22:57   Link #794
GundamZZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katapan View Post

Well, her seiyuu is Nakamichi Mihoko. Looking at that list of roles, I suppose... we just can't say anything until we hear her. :P
Well, we can talk about her trait already. Her voice cast is from Kyoto, so she is more likely to use Kyoto dialect. It is contrary to Edokko Chihaya.

It's interesting to display Chihya's "warrior quake"(武者震い).
Quote:
Originally Posted by definition
quiver [tremble] with excitement in anticipation of 「a battle [an adventure]
At least, I think it's what happened. Then, she turns ill. What a bummer.

Spoiler for Off topic:
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Last edited by GundamZZ; 2012-01-04 at 01:17.
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Old 2012-01-03, 23:02   Link #795
Master_Yoma
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The Arata flashback and the only screen time he got in a long time
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Old 2012-01-03, 23:09   Link #796
GundamZZ
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
On a general note, I liked this episode, but it wasn't a favorite. Maybe it's because Arata is pretty much unknown to us, and just one episode of back-story doesn't change much. I don't feel much for him actually.
Since you know manga and anime story, you would feel much for him actually. The anime is quite faithful to the original story. In the story of earlier episode, we saw Ararta and Taichi had the first match. Taichi cheated the game, and Arata was about to lose. Ararta suddenly remembered the words form his grandfather. His grandfather told him, "if you make friends in Tokyo, don't forget to play karuta with them". Arata's tear began to fell out, but Chihya stopped him by bumping him out of the match(literally). It was easy to interpret what had happended. Arata sees the game as friendship and bond, but he had to play his foe at the school. It's quite emotional.
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流麗のヒステリア Hysteria of flowing beautifully
三つ腕のリヒティ Lichty of three arms
重剣のクロエ Chloe of giant sword
天啓のシスティーナ Sistina of Apocalypse
愛憎のロクサーヌ Roxanne of distinguished love and hate
万有のルテーシア Lutécia of everything
塵喰いのカサンドラ Cassandra of eating dust
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Old 2012-01-04, 03:20   Link #797
Quadratic
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Good ep, but what the fuck? Manga spoilers not even spoiler tagged in this thread? Thanks.
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Old 2012-01-04, 07:57   Link #798
KyriaL
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Glad to see Arata back in the spotlight after such a long time being the side character.
The flashbacks were shown at appropriate times, and were not too draggy nor boring. Its easy to see the grandfather's passion for Karuta even not in perfect health.
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Old 2012-01-04, 09:40   Link #799
Kanon
Kana Hanazawa ♥
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katapan View Post
Well, her seiyuu is Nakamichi Mihoko. Looking at that list of roles, I suppose... we just can't say anything until we hear her. :P
Ah. I was expecting somebody a little bit more famous for some reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
No, of course not. And he probably wouldn't do that good anyway, since he hasn't trained in years.
So that means he's not planning to see Chihaya again for another year? Damn. Taichi at the very least should be pleased by that

It's true that Arata is lacking in training, but I think he could have given a lot of players a run for their money nevertheless. His reflexes have undoubtedly dulled, but he has plenty of experience to make up for that. He managed to make A class about a year ago with minamal training too (by the way, that guy who pointed out -and was happy- he couldn't practice anymore because of his grandpa was a huge asshole).


On a completely unrelated note, Kana's mom cracked me up quite a bit. She's a total cougar.
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Last edited by Kanon; 2012-01-04 at 15:03.
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Old 2012-01-04, 11:25   Link #800
hyperborealis
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Why does the episode take its title from the 15th of the hyakunin isshu?

Here's a translation, from the University of Virgina online library:

It is for your sake
That I walk the fields in spring,
Gathering green herbs,
While my garment's hanging sleeves
Are speckled with falling snow.

Another translation explains that the author of the waka, Emperor Kwoko, wrote it in honor of his grandmother.

Accordingly, the episode title alludes to Arata, to the time he had left his grandfather to compete in the karuta tournament. The season matches: the tournament is in February, so like the emperor, he has gone out in spring. The wakana the emperor seeks is, in Arata's case, karuta cards, victory in the competition, and broadly the honor he intends to bring back to his grandfather. The respect for a grandparent is the key parallel between the waka and the narrative: like the author of the poem, Arata has gone out from his house in honor of his grandparent.

The parallel holds to the second half of the poem. The snow on the garment alludes to the cost of the emperor's efforts: discomfort, the coldness of snow itself. Arata has also paid, in his grief after his grandfather's death, in his sense of guilt.

In following Chihaya to Omi Jingu, Arata has repeated his earlier gesture, as his grandfather's colleague makes clear. By returning to play, Arata honors his grandfather by bringing his style of play back to life. In some sense, he brings his grandfather back to life, or perhaps better said, he keeps the memory of his grandfather alive.

The waka is a spring poem. It is about bringing life, the wakana, out of death, the winter world of snow on sleeves. This is what Arata is doing for his Ojiisan.

It is also what he is doing for Chihaya. Her faint is a kind of death. Even when she wakes, to see Arata looking down on her, the moment she has been longing for for years, she does so to another death inside, in her guilt at having failed her team. This extraordinary moment is the absolute rebuff to Nishida's false notions earlier that she had only wanted a karuta club in order to get to meet Arata at Omi Jingu. But Arata's promise to her, that they will meet again across the tatami, restores her to herself. "He heard us. / Our feelings... / reached Arata." The "he" may be Arata, but it may also be the kami of the shrine, so that in her happiness Chihaya understands that her own prayers have been heard, and answered. The restoration is total: even Arata himself has now come back to life, to the life of karuta.

There is so much more going on in this episode. I don't know enough about Shinto to write about the the club's prayer to the kami intelligently. The depiction of the grandfather's dementia and Arata's pain simply goes beyond words. This show is rapidly reaching the point that I must pay it the respect of silence.
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A Blossoming Flower in the Snowy Winter

Last edited by hyperborealis; 2012-01-04 at 22:53. Reason: 28 days on the calendar = February
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