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Old 2012-01-31, 22:05   Link #1001
Kirarakim
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So was Taichi breaking up with his girlfriend in the manga too? You have to wonder why the manga-ka even introduced the character in the 1st place.

So it looks like the rivals have officially switched to Chiyaya/The Queen & Taichi/Arata (but I like that Nishida is fighting for A too).

I like that Tsutomu & Kana got to show their strengths in this episode (Kana is still the character I can relate to the most. I love what she said about Karuta being a game that men & women can play together on equal terms).

And I didn't notice Kana's chest at all before the recap/Omake episode now I see she is um well developed there. It's like until someone points out something to me I am oblivious.


I am seriously getting depressed that the series is ending soon.
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Old 2012-01-31, 22:15   Link #1002
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
So was Taichi breaking up with his girlfriend in the manga too? You have to wonder why the manga-ka even introduced the character in the 1st place.
I don't know the real reason the girlfriend was introduced and then ignored and then dropped. But it feels to me as if she was an idea that the mangaka &/or editor had in mind at the beginning that eventually didn't fit in as the story evolved through the publications. We mustn't forget that most manga are serialized rather than published as a single whole work. As such, manga stories tend to evolve over time. It's not uncommon for ideas to be changed along the way.

While I can understand why the seemingly irrelevant girlfriend appeared in the manga, what I don't understand is why the animators kept her in the TV series. I assume they knew that she wasn't going to play a real role in the story from the beginning. So why include her at all? Slavery to the story, perhaps?? IMO, leaving her out would have been an improvement to the story that the anime could have made.
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Old 2012-01-31, 22:46   Link #1003
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Wow. I didn't notice it's how Taichi's evaluate himself. He considers himself as sneaky when he invites Chihaya to take the trip with him. Then, Arata has his own issue. No wonder Chihaya is not getting any boyfriend. The guys in the story are more reserved and sentimental than gals.
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Old 2012-02-01, 00:28   Link #1004
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I'm despairing of any real movement in terms of the main pairings here, and the series is still great even without romance, but how about Tsutomu and Kana already? They're absurdly compatible and obviously like each other.
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Old 2012-02-01, 00:49   Link #1005
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"Chihaya's in the library?! Do they keep manga in there?"

Lol~
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Old 2012-02-01, 02:02   Link #1006
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I'm despairing of any real movement in terms of the main pairings here, and the series is still great even without romance, but how about Tsutomu and Kana already? They're absurdly compatible and obviously like each other.
Nothing obvious about Kana having any romantic interest in him, though. Maybe if he was a bit more aggressive, we'd know, one way or the other.
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Old 2012-02-01, 03:33   Link #1007
Sol Falling
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Not to rag on Taichi, but I don't think the dispassionate/casual way he broke up with his girlfriend was very "boss" at all. The implication from the start has been that he's interested in Chihaya rather than her, and given the events of this latest episode it seems pretty clear that his life has been taken over by the karuta club (they spent the entire summer training, when that vacation period would clearly normally be essentially ideal couple time). It is completely natural to me to think that Taichi's girlfriend broke up with him out of neglect, so I do think in the end it would've been more classy to be more direct about it (and show some actual damn empathy over the fact that their relationship is ending! :P What if the girl actually had some real damn feelings for him? geez.).

I don't have trouble sympathizing with Taichi as a flawed character (he's clearly got his own problems and there's every reason for him to both be fascinated with, and preoccupied by Chihaya), but I don't think the way he handled his former relationship was very admirable at all.

Anyway, on the rest of episode 17: very interesting stuff, but unusually this episode did feel like it somehow ended without a resolution. Usually the episodes are a bit more tightly constructed in terms of the overarching storyline or thematic point it is developing.

Chihaya's match with Shinobu has made her over-emphasize on speed. Her fellow player at the karuta society did mention that she's gotten faster, so I wouldn't say that's a complete loss, but it's a good thing that's she's come back around to focusing on the meaning of the cards and learning from Kanade. Haha, actually, going back to the Kanade love-in we were having in this thread a little while ago, in this episode it actually looks like Kanade was the one guiding everyone back to the true spirit of karuta. Not only Chihaya, but Tsutomu regained his way in karuta thanks to Kanade too.

Taichi's (as well as Nishida's) complete loss at the B-class tournaments was surprising to me. I won't insist too much on my previous comments about focusing too hard on trying to win (cause that doesn't really seem like to purpose behind that scene), but I wonder if there might be some general explanation for their weaknesses and potential areas for growth too. lol, well I guess, according to Tsutomu's notebook, there actually is one. In that case, here's to hoping we'll also see how Taichi and Nishida can improve as well.
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Old 2012-02-01, 03:42   Link #1008
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Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
Although he himself think of it as despicable, I like his sneakiness.
Same here, but then again I would have the done the same thing (and I have done similar thing in the past)
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Originally Posted by LKK View Post
I assume they knew that she wasn't going to play a real role in the story from the beginning. So why include her at all?
Honestly it was worth it for the over 9000 "Where's Taichi's girlfriend?" comments in this thread and, I think it was Kazu-kun raging about it. Quality entertainment right there.
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Old 2012-02-01, 04:07   Link #1009
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
What if the girl actually had some real damn feelings for him? geez.)
If the author wanted you to think that girl has feelings for you to care about, she would have given her a name a least.

She was a non-character and the audience is not supposed to feel anything about the break up. As someone explained in a previous post, this is just an aborted idea that wasn't developed. That's all.
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Old 2012-02-01, 04:08   Link #1010
Yume Hanabi
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I think her role was to show that Taichi's completely into carta now. At the beginning, he wasn't interested; he was part of the soccer club, had a girlfriend... And now he's the most motivated member of the little club, and his breaking up so casually only serves to emphasize how much his priorities have changed. It's a nice little addition, imo.
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Old 2012-02-01, 04:28   Link #1011
Sol Falling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
If the author wanted you to think that girl has feelings for you to care about, she would have given her a name a least.

She was a non-character and the audience is not supposed to feel anything about the break up. As someone explained in a previous post, this is just an aborted idea that wasn't developed. That's all.
I do think that her character had a role in portraying Taichi and his character development, as others have mentioned. Even in as limited a role as she has had, I think she made a meaningful contribution to the story, and am not convinced that there was necessarily anything more planned for her.

Whether the author intended for me to care about the girl's feelings, or equivalently whether she had any genuine feelings for Taichi at all, are at the author's convenience (it could be that, after all, the girlfriend was just a shallow bitch who held onto Taichi only for status reasons; though, if that were true, I could only understand her role in the story as something truly "convenient"). However, whatever role the author intended her to play, she's undeniably had an impact on how I understand Taichi as a character, and I simply cannot praise him for how he dealt with their relationship.
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Old 2012-02-01, 04:28   Link #1012
Undertaker
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Please explain!

Well, I'll first state that four-character idioms first originate from China as evident by the all Kanji usage. One thing to be noted is that they can easily be mistaken as four-character combo-words. While some meaning are as characters states and can be treated as combo word, that is not the case for all of them.

With that being said, in the first set that was given, (I'm just going to pair up the idioms with characters they are describing to avoid confusion), Porky and Glass obviously weren't idioms and the same for Arata's.

Crunchyroll didn't translate Arata's four characters but it basically means "easy to get along and hard working" This is obviously from Arata's boss' POV.

Porky's is pretty much as stated, but its direct translation is Barbecue Pork Combo/Dinner with the two smaller character indicates large portion.

Glass-kun's "data miner" is more of "data gathering" than actual noun.

Now the other three are actual idiom with Chihaya's originated from China and Kana and Taichi's being Japanese original as far as I know.

Chihaya's "not a care in the world" is not exactly corret. A direct translation of those 4 words is "there is no seam on heavenly cloth". It originally means perfection. Now the interesting part here is that Japanese usage develops a secondary meaning as being a natural airhead or being carefree like a kid. What is even more interesting is that looking from it's primary meaning, the "perfection" here is interchangeable with "no weakness" or "no holes". Coming from Taichi, it also has a potential double meaning that Chihaya's defense against him is perfect in his mind.

Taichi is as explained, but Kana's "wax poetic" was dead wrong. The direct translation is "Poems/Songs and musical instruments." It is used to describe people well versed in literary field. I guess they can be wax poetic, but they really don't have to be and Kana doesn't strike me as one.


Then the second set, the interesting part here is that all of them are idiom, even Porky's.

Everyone with only Chihaya's were Chinese originated. Porky's and Kana's were the same as Chinese version while Taichi, Glasses, and Arata are slightly modified by subbing in another character that has similar meaning.

Arata's "heart and soul" is completely wrong. I guess Crunchyroll just takes the literal translation of "one thought, focused heart" and run with it. It is the same as the Chinese's "one heart, one thought". The phrase actually means "unwavering dedication" as in one focuses all his thoughts and heart on a single goal.

Glasses-kun's "smart cookie" is probably the closest thing Chruchyroll got right as far as using an English equivalent. The meaning of the idiom is just as it stated, a "brain that is both bright and clear"

Kana's "Brain and Beauty" is just a bit off. This is another idiom where the meaning is exactly as it appears. The direct meaning and translation would be "In possession of both looks and talent", note that it doesn't not have to be smart, just talent, so you can use it with a good looking musician or even athlete. Although, this idiom is mostly used to describe females and almost never uses on males.

Taichi's "easy on the eyes" is right, but the choose of word is a bit too urban considering four-character idioms are more or less high-class languages. The direction translation is that "(both) eyebrows and eyes are fair and beautiful". Basically used to describe a pretty face, though in this case, the idiom is use mostly used toward male, or basically bishonen.

Chihaya's "fools rush in" is not wrong, but again is only taken on the surface level. This idiom is Japanese original. The direct translation is "boar charge, forcefully push forward". The catch here is that "boar charge" in Japanese means closer to one being reckless rather than being a fool. So a better translation would be "recklessly charging forward"

Finally Porky, now Chihaya made mistake on this,

Chrunchyroll translated it as "Pork Dress as Lamb" but the word here is actually "raising pigs, dog meat". Taichi corrected her which CR translated as "Mutton Dressed as Lamb" when the real translation is "Lamb/Sheep's head, Dog meat"

This is an actual idiom where it means that something is not what it seems. The original Chinese record where this is from was referring to something as akin to a butcher shop hanging a lamb's head at storefront but in reality is selling dog meat.

Usually this idiom has a negative tune in it as dogs are not as valuable as lambs, so it usually used to describe things like scams, trickery, con artists or politicians&businessmen.

But in this case, Porky's outside appearance belies the fact that his is actually an very athletic individual and a skilled player and the idiom is used more akin to a similar English idiom (though in reverse meaning), "A wolf in sheep's clothing".
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Old 2012-02-01, 05:12   Link #1013
warita
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKK View Post
While I can understand why the seemingly irrelevant girlfriend appeared in the manga, what I don't understand is why the animators kept her in the TV series. I assume they knew that she wasn't going to play a real role in the story from the beginning. So why include her at all? Slavery to the story, perhaps?? IMO, leaving her out would have been an improvement to the story that the anime could have made.
I thought the whole point of this girlfriend was to show, that Taichi has unfullfilld crush on Chihaya, to which she is oblivious and Taichi doesnt feel enough courage to act upon it. Also, he thinks Chihaya is more interested in Arata and just like Taichi said in the past: "whats the point of pursuing something, if cant be number one in it".
So my guess is, that Taichi feels inferior to Arata and thinks, that given the choice, Chihaya would choose Arata and hence he doesnt even try.

But to come back to his girlfriend...... well, you could say that Taichi felt lonely and maybe even believed that starting a relationship with another girl would help him get over Chihaya..... but unfortunately it didnt work, so Taichi has become indifferent to her and figured that at some point the girlfriend will get tired of this halfhearted relationship and break up with him... which in the end happened too.
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Old 2012-02-01, 05:28   Link #1014
Kanon
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Here's a little piece of fanart I liked (there's a serious lack of Chihaya fanarts).

Spoiler for S-Snowmaru!? (don't open at work):


Quote:
Originally Posted by ThereminVox View Post
This episode had some phenomenal reaction shots.

Spoiler for Worst. Barbershop Quartet. Ever.:
Chihaya looks all kinds of DERP here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaat View Post
Honestly it was worth it for the over 9000 "Where's Taichi's girlfriend?" comments in this thread and, I think it was Kazu-kun raging about it. Quality entertainment right there.
So true

Quote:
Originally Posted by warita View Post
I thought the whole point of this girlfriend was to show, that Taichi has unfullfilld crush on Chihaya, to which she is oblivious and Taichi doesnt feel enough courage to act upon it. Also, he thinks Chihaya is more interested in Arata and just like Taichi said in the past: "whats the point of pursuing something, if cant be number one in it".
So my guess is, that Taichi feels inferior to Arata and thinks, that given the choice, Chihaya would choose Arata and hence he doesnt even try.
I think both you and LKK are onto something. The author intended the girlfriend to become an important plot device later on, but eventually decided to drop it entirely after the series started focusing more and more on Karuta and less on romance. Even so, the fact Taichi took a girlfriend was relevant to his character so the kept her in the anime.
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Old 2012-02-01, 08:12   Link #1015
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It was hilarious when the teacher immediately thought the library contained manga just because Chihaya was in it.
But the episode alone showed quite some possible future plots, namely being the crush Taichi has on Chihaya, whose mind is only filled with karuta and doesn't have time for relationships whatsoever, and possibly Desktomu and Kana.

But its heartening that Chihaya finally decides there are other aspects to karuta, such as to understand the beauty of the poems, and uses it as a motivation to better improve herself. Impressive episode overall.
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Old 2012-02-01, 10:05   Link #1016
Haak
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Lol, they finally brought the "Taichi's girlfriend" loose thread back into the plot...

...and then set it on fire.

It's laughable but for all the wrong reasons...
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Old 2012-02-01, 11:33   Link #1017
Guardian Enzo
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Originally Posted by Haak View Post
Lol, they finally brought the "Taichi's girlfriend" loose thread back into the plot...

...and then set it on fire.

It's laughable but for all the wrong reasons...
Oh, I think the reasons are right enough.
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Old 2012-02-01, 13:06   Link #1018
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
If the author wanted you to think that girl has feelings for you to care about, she would have given her a name a least.

She was a non-character and the audience is not supposed to feel anything about the break up. As someone explained in a previous post, this is just an aborted idea that wasn't developed. That's all.
Doesn't matter. If you see a character kick a nameless puppy, you're still supposed to feel sorry for the puppy, and disgusted by the character. Granted that Taichi hasn't done anything so horrible, but it still doesn't look like he did right by his girlfriend.
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Old 2012-02-01, 13:20   Link #1019
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Undertaker, wow, wow, double-wow, and thank you. You are more than amazing. You've convinced me I need to learn Japanese to appreciate what I'm watching.

Please post more often.

--------

On Chihaya as reckless rather than foolish, I think this is an important distinction. She is consistently quite intelligent, and to think otherwise is to underestimate her. The animation makes this point at least twice in this episode, once when Taichi is surprised to see her thinking about something for longer than ten seconds, and then when Miyauchi-sensei thinks she must be reading manga in the library. But Chihaya is certainly reckless: just her wish to become queen was perfectly reckless, since she committed herself to a dream whose costs and means she knew nothing about. And then Chihaya is a person of passion, who acts in spite of reasons. Her recklessness shows her in an elevated light, as a force of nature, as a kami even. So, while Taichi may intend a slight, as implied by the Crunchyroll translation, his words have their own deeper meaning, that indicate Chiahaya's elevated character.

The retranslation of Arata as dedicated to a single purpose is crucial. It brings out an important point of similarity between himself and Chihaya, and equally a contrast with Taichi. Taichi is double-minded: his goal is Chihaya and karuta, or Chihaya through karuta. Thus we get his self-reproaches in this episode, where he berates himself for being underhanded and devious. Whatever the truth of that, the real issue for him is that his focus is divided. You wonder if he would be able to keep up his dedication to karuta if he did ever get to go out with Chihaya. But all of his self-consciousness puts him in fundamental opposition to Arata and Chihaya, who have a single-minded dedication to excelling in karuta. Taichi is a more complex character, and a more human one; Arata and Chihaya pursue and reflect a perfection that is alluring, but finally strange, alien, and remote. The "heavenly cloth" is beautiful and desirable, but not, perhaps, well-suited for ordinary people.

-------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Anyway, on the rest of episode 17: very interesting stuff, but unusually this episode did feel like it somehow ended without a resolution. Usually the episodes are a bit more tightly constructed in terms of the overarching storyline or thematic point it is developing.
I felt this a little too. I appreciate when the athletic or technical aspects of karuta are paired with cultural themes and values, but in this episode the development seemed directed mostly on the former side, and that is less interesting. Harada-sensei's cryptic advice to Chihaya does seem to tell her not to seek a solution that is purely technical or athletic, but so far she hasn't figured out what such a solution would concretely mean. Thus we end up with your sense the episode had no resolution.

Learning from Kana and Tsutomu is certainly a good step. I loved Tsutomu's Bill James approach to karuta. The episode used this to prove to Chihaya she has weaknesses in her game--I don't know that we can expect her to use the analysis strategically (ie putting single-syllable cards in her weakest area, etc.). We see her pursuing Kana's advice to learn the cards more intimately at the library, and following Kana's critique of her unforced errors might allow her to reduce her mistakes. But neither of these approaches seem to be enough by themselves to get her to a higher level.

Odd that she doesn't conceive of learning from Taichi or Nishida. Perhaps that's next episode? Or maybe those guys are off in their own duel to level up to A-level first, and have made themselves irrelevant? There's definitely stuff she could learn from Taichi about memorization and decision-trees, and from Nishida perhaps about strategy and card placement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Taichi's (as well as Nishida's) complete loss at the B-class tournaments was surprising to me. I won't insist too much on my previous comments about focusing too hard on trying to win (cause that doesn't really seem like to purpose behind that scene), but I wonder if there might be some general explanation for their weaknesses and potential areas for growth too. lol, well I guess, according to Tsutomu's notebook, there actually is one. In that case, here's to hoping we'll also see how Taichi and Nishida can improve as well.
I'm uneasy about the direction the team is taking. After all the emphasis on teamwork from previous episodes, now at Taichi's direction they are all pursuing their own individual goals. After all the stuff about playing karuta for fun, now we have Taichi desperately wanting to win, for the ulterior purpose of keeping up with Arata. I wonder if they haven't all gone off track somehow.
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Old 2012-02-01, 14:08   Link #1020
Undertaker
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Undertaker, wow, wow, double-wow, and thank you. You are more than amazing. You've convinced me I need to learn Japanese to appreciate what I'm watching.

Please post more often.
You thought way too highly of me, my Japanese is still iffy, barely good enough for me to play galge and reading raw manga. It's just that in this case, my Chinese background helps me out greatly in understanding Japanese Kanji meanings usage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
The "heavenly cloth" is beautiful and desirable, but not, perhaps, well-suited for ordinary people.
This, this really amazes me. I never really put it that way, but is a very interesting thought and perhaps even an reflection that devoted Karuta players (or any other skill professions) seems to be inside of their tightly knitted circle that is hard to enter unless you are willing put in the same level of dedication.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
I'm uneasy about the direction the team is taking. After all the emphasis on teamwork from previous episodes, now at Taichi's direction they are all pursuing their own individual goals. After all the stuff about playing karuta for fun, now we have Taichi desperately wanting to win, for the ulterior purpose of keeping up with Arata. I wonder if they haven't all gone off track somehow.

I actually think it's natural. The problem here is that unlike other team sport, Karuta is an individual sport, at least in professional level. The only time they can compete together is during the summer. Even then, team competition is basically a mix-match best-of-5. In this case, instead of talking over about team strategy, which basically comes down to match-ups and match-flow, the more important part is individual strength which is exactly what they are doing right now.
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