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Old 2012-02-07, 19:21   Link #1041
ars89
One-Eyed Dragon
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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So Chihaya lost her first match in A-class. At least she was able to learn from it. Like how she tried not not use her speed, but couldn't help it. Oh man not only is it Taichi versus Porky, but Kana versus Desktomu as well. Glad Chihaya is learning from them.
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Old 2012-02-07, 19:42   Link #1042
Kaioshin Sama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaat View Post
Desktop-kun just ask Kana-chan out already. I'm dying to know how the matches will play out especially Taichi vs Pork-kun the way they presented it it feels like it was an epic duel.

Also was Banjou Ginga (Gihren in MSG) the card reader in this episode? He sounded a lot like him.
I don't know, but now you've got me imaginging a card reader going through Gihren quotes. "Taaaake yoooour sorrrroooooooow and tuuuurn iiiiiiit into aaaaaaaangeeerrr"
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Old 2012-02-07, 19:53   Link #1043
Kirarakim
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The first half was good (although I found Sakura a bit annoying in a patronizing way)

But oh man the second half had me on the edge of my seat wondering who will win. I love all 4 characters, how can I root against any of them. I loved how these matches feel completely unpredictable. Can't wait for next week.
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Old 2012-02-07, 20:22   Link #1044
Qilin
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I think it's kind of cute how Tsukue-kun understands Kana's karuta so well.... Or maybe that's just me grasping at straws.

That aside, I have no idea how this will end up. We finally have a match without an all too predictable conclusion. In all honesty, I'm rooting for Taichi and Kana here, but however it turns out it will surely be interesting. At the very least, there will finally be two Class-A members in their team.
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Old 2012-02-07, 22:09   Link #1045
Kaioshin Sama
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Was it just me or was the middle aged woman that Chihaya had to play against just plain creepy and kind of out of place for this show? Also weird is that it sounded like she was being voiced by Mika Kanai who definitely doesn't fit the look of the character at all. That segment just ended up being a little strange for me, but whatever, it lead to some growth in Chihaya's game in the long run.

Fortunately the 2nd half segment features all the main cast duking it out with each other and they'll probably all be bettering their game in some fashion as well by the end of the next episode in playing against each other outside of a practice session. Somehow I expect them both to be close as can be and if I had to guess Taichi is going to pull ahead of Porky and Kana is probably going to win her match and overcome her size inferiority complex, though I'd kind of like to see Desktomu just barely eek out the win just because I think he really needs the confidence boost a little more than Kana does since he's probably the weakest player on the team as it stands and the one most in need of a big breakthrough.
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Old 2012-02-08, 00:00   Link #1046
syke123
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I hope we get to see Arata play before the inevitable showdown. Although, even though he said he was going to start playing again, this should've been trigger for more screentime. I'm wondering why they're keeping such an interesting character isolated, they should at the very least give us a glimpse of how he rises through the ladders.
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Old 2012-02-08, 01:12   Link #1047
Blaat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaioshin Sama View Post
I don't know, but now you've got me imaginging a card reader going through Gihren quotes. "Taaaake yoooour sorrrroooooooow and tuuuurn iiiiiiit into aaaaaaaangeeerrr"
lol! Now I want to see a Gundam karuta game:
"Noooooot even myyyyyy faaaather managed to hiiiiiiiit meeeee"
"Amurooooooo, IIIIII can seeeee tiiimeee"



Although I don't think Kana-chan would like this variation of Karuta.
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Old 2012-02-08, 01:26   Link #1048
Sol Falling
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Wow, ep. 18 was a great episode. Not only was the first half extremely enlightening about how Chihaya can move forward in improving her style of play, we also got to learn a bit more about Kana's playing style as well as develop the theme of "taking (learning) from others".

Sakura-san was a genuinely cute person. I actually liked her a lot, in not only how she showed Chihaya the weaknesses in her playing style but also demonstrated the determination and dedication that make a true karuta player in Class A. Particularly the ideas of not "playing against the cards", and not only adapting to your opponent, but learning from them were, I think, great turning points for this manga. It calls to mind, again, Shinobu's characterization, as someone who practices alone in her room and got to where she is without ever having joined a karuta society. While I don't think Shinobu lacks an awareness of her opponents' playing styles (or rather, she probably definitely doesn't, as someone who has been through the grinder of competitive karuta), I think that if Chihaya--as someone who was not only inspired to love karuta by another person, but now will furthermore be learning to improve herself by playing against and observing other persons--breaks into that shell and isolated world of Shinobu, it will be all the more significant.

I also love how Kanade basically embodies the values and strengths of traditionalism. She is lovely in a kimono, indeed. The way that this episode portrayed how she has blossomed as part of the karuta club is really something breathtaking.

Really good stuff. Quite an amazing episode.
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Old 2012-02-08, 02:03   Link #1049
Guardian Enzo
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Why did Sakura get to keep the card that she and Chihaya touched at the same time?
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Old 2012-02-08, 02:06   Link #1050
teelatsuki
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if you look closely it was in her territory.
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Old 2012-02-08, 02:18   Link #1051
Guardian Enzo
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Ah, thanks.

I love that Kana x Tsutomu match - it was like having the Puppy Bowl all over again 48 hours later.
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Old 2012-02-08, 03:06   Link #1052
Dawnstorm
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I tend to think of Sakura-san as a three-tailed fox. Wily, and good at psychological warfare. Her "lucky" seems a calculated irritant. Her dress and demeanor a persona (sort of a poker face). Undermine confidence with well-timed and fleeting truth-bits. Further undermining confidence by age reference (if you're winning, it's because you're younger; if you're losing, you'd have lost even worse - turn attention away from the experience-advantage). I can see her bouncing home to her burrow with the cubs in tow.
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Old 2012-02-08, 04:35   Link #1053
Dop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaioshin Sama View Post
Was it just me or was the middle aged woman that Chihaya had to play against just plain creepy and kind of out of place for this show?
I have to admit the phrase that popped into my head here was "mutton dressed as lamb", in that Sakura-san's mode of dress and her mannerisms were clearly inappropriate for her age (or indeed for anyone with an age much into double figures).
However there was definitely some cunning gamesmanship going on there, and Chihaya was clearly rattled by it. "Lucky!"
Stephen Potter would be proud, for as he wrote:-
For women, it is now accepted that knowledge of Clothesmanship is all-important: and a good deal of useful putting-off can be achieved by a clever use of better clothes.

Although the fact that Sakura's daughters were in matching outfits did take it a bit too far...!
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Old 2012-02-08, 07:29   Link #1054
KyriaL
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Comes to show that there are many styles to Karuta, each having its own strengths and weaknesses. A better player will be able to excel in his/her personal preferences in Karuta style, but also able to integrate the strengths of other styles into their own game, just what I personally think.

Seems Desktomu's style is more of a scholarly tactician, somewhat similar to Sakura in that he studies much about the game and tries to apply tactics in matches to get an edge, unlike Chihaya who relies much on speed and her hearing.
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Old 2012-02-08, 07:35   Link #1055
Kanon
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That old lady was so cute it was disturbing
I agree she's a lot more devious than she looks. I enjoyed her playing style, which was completely different from Chihaya. Sakura focuses on her opponent in order to take advantage of his/her weaknesses whereas Chihaya only focuses on the cards. This ended in another defeat for Chihaya, but it was more educational for her than a victory might have been, so in the end, it was probably for the best. I love following her growth as a Karuta player.

My favorite part of the episode was Kanade and Tsutomu's match. Kana-chan's got a very original playing style which I assume gives her an edge against most players, but it's useless against an opponent like Tsutomu who knows her so well. He even managed to take advantage of it. Very smart play on his part.

Kanade is breathtakingly graceful when she wears a hakama. I like how it increases her abilities too.

It's really interesting that the members of the club have such drastically different playing styles. I'm curious to learn more about Nishida's, which we don't know all that much about yet.
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Old 2012-02-08, 23:02   Link #1056
Master_Yoma
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Kanade is just so cute in that Hakama and that lady matched her daughters in the same thing witch was creepy
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Old 2012-02-10, 19:20   Link #1057
kyouray
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New interview : Atsuko Ishizuka and episode 2 (Part 1 & Part 2).
Thanks again @crazynabe for his translation.
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Old 2012-02-10, 20:30   Link #1058
Guardian Enzo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyouray View Post
New interview : Atsuko Ishizuka and episode 2 (Part 1 & Part 2).
Thanks again @crazynabe for his translation.
Thanks for this. This was by far the most interesting part for me:


Quote:
Spoiler for Long Excerpt:
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Old 2012-02-11, 12:05   Link #1059
kitten320
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Tight spot for Chihaya, I also would have hard time rooting for anyone.
Funny how all her attention is on newbies but then again newbies are always those who try their best and experiment the most. Pros usually have a distinct style that they follow.
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Old 2012-02-12, 12:39   Link #1060
hyperborealis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
It calls to mind, again, Shinobu's characterization, as someone who practices alone in her room and got to where she is without ever having joined a karuta society. While I don't think Shinobu lacks an awareness of her opponents' playing styles (or rather, she probably definitely doesn't, as someone who has been through the grinder of competitive karuta), I think that if Chihaya--as someone who was not only inspired to love karuta by another person, but now will furthermore be learning to improve herself by playing against and observing other persons--breaks into that shell and isolated world of Shinobu, it will be all the more significant.
Good point. I had thought perhaps Shinobu's isolation comes with her extraordinary ability, but note that the anime is making of point of having Chihaya learn from two class D players she plays with every day, so Shinobu is definitely missing a trick. But as you point out, this sets up a way for Chihaya and Shinobu to complement each other, and so to connect with each other. I am looking forward to it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
I tend to think of Sakura-san as a three-tailed fox. Wily, and good at psychological warfare. Her "lucky" seems a calculated irritant. Her dress and demeanor a persona (sort of a poker face). Undermine confidence with well-timed and fleeting truth-bits. Further undermining confidence by age reference (if you're winning, it's because you're younger; if you're losing, you'd have lost even worse - turn attention away from the experience-advantage). I can see her bouncing home to her burrow with the cubs in tow.
Yes. Very much so.

The anime adds to her characterization by giving her passion--think of the moment when she becomes thrilled after Chihaya moves back from the edge of the playing area ("Youth is a wonderful thing!"), or later, when she tells Chihaya that she loves karuta, and still dreams of becoming queen. At these moments she is wholly sympathetic. If she is a fox, the anime admires her for it, and makes the point of creating her, if briefly, as a whole person, with a back story, a family, and even possibly a future moment in the series, at the upcoming qualifier tournament.

One of the things I like about the series is the range of female characters portrayed, from Chitose, Taichi's mom, Miyauchi-sensei, and in this episode Kana's mom and Sakura. With the possible exception of Taichi's mother, the show portrays older and professional women with a great deal of sympathy. It doesn't mind showing Kana's mom to be the latest member of Team Taichi, for example .

Sakura brings out how far Chihaya has to go. If Chihaya is to become queen, she has to be better than not only Shinobu, but better than every other single female karuta player in the world. She's not hardly there yet, although, given that she's dedicated to learning, the path forward is certainly there.

The other thing that Sakura brings out is a possible future for Chihaya, one in which she never wins, but always lives within the dream of winning, loving and playing karuta while she has a family, and lives her life otherwise. That after all is the fate of every karuta player, except the very small handful that do win. Sakura is there to show us that this would be an acceptable and fulfilling future, even for Chihaya.

--------------

Nice to see Retro-kun's dedication, even if he has comical delusions of grandeur. I note the margin of defeat was 5 cards less than at the regionals, so that suggests some improvement on Retro-kun's part--or relative lack thereof on Taichi's.

--------------

Odd dynamic early on in the episode, where Chihaya is stressing about the upcoming tournament. Taichi notices, and responds by giving the whole team a quick pep talk. Then everybody leaves, except Kana, who goes up to Chihaya to see if she's all right. Good for Taichi for noticing, and I think good for Taichi for making the team his responsibility, rather than Chihaya specifically (and his own personal interest in her). All the same, it's not Taichi who goes up to Chihaya, but Kana. Hmm... It makes sense: we wouldn't expect high school kids to act otherwise.

---------------

The episode title comes from the 35th waka. The U. Viriginia translation:

The depths of the hearts
Of humankind cannot be known.
But in my birthplace
The plum blossoms smell the same
As in the years gone by.

The headnote to the poem explains that the poet wrote it upon meeting an old friend after many years' interval. The question in his mind is whether he still knows that person. If he cannot be certain, he still has the token of the plum blossoms, which have not changed.

The poem contrasts the certainty of the plum blossoms against the indefiniteness of the friend's heart. The anime, however, takes the plum blossoms to be an indicator for the otherwise unknowable human depths. That is, a karuta player cannot know what is going on in the heart of his or her opponent. Instead, he looks for the signs of that heart--Kana's literary way of associating cards, Sakura's tactics as explained by Tsutomu's statistical analysis--to know just who he is confronting. As Tsutomu tells himself, the Kana he knows is still there: he has only to understand her through the way she plays. And that is Sakura's challenge to Chihaya--not to play against the cards, but to understand the cards as an avenue into the person she is playing. As the title of Mostow's book on the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu suggests, the poems are "Pictures of the Heart:" likewise, karuta is itself a language of the heart, a means to understanding the character of one's opponent. The key to Chihaya becoming queen is for her to learn this language, to become fluent in it, in her play.

I like it that the anime is giving us its own unconventional interpretations of the poetry.
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2012-02-12 at 18:14.
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