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Old 2012-02-15, 06:19   Link #1081
Kirarakim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crontica View Post
It's obvious that there are many factors in why he's playing karuta, while Taichi may have come to love karuta, Arata and Chihaya have a straightforward concept of playing it to rip their opponents apart and attain glory even if it meant breaking some bones in the process Taichi is playing it to surpass Arata so that Chihaya will notice him.
But I don't agree with that. I am not saying this was/is part of his motivation but Taichi wants to win to prove to himself he can. He might not have the natural talent but he's smart & a hard worker. Hence the scene when he realized he could beat Chihaya in memory Karuta was a turning point for Taichi because he realized there were ways he could win with his own strength. And Taichi wants to win with all his heart not just be second best.

And I would argue that winning at Karuta is not just to get Chihaya but instead both goals are the same for Taichi, to not give up on something just because he isn't the clear winner from the start. That is what his arc is about.
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Old 2012-02-15, 06:32   Link #1082
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Another fantastic episode, with plenty of intense, emotional, as well as funny moments (Chihaya's reaction faces were gold ).

I like how Taichi was unwilling to let the issue of the match be determined purely by the luck of a draw and surprised everybody by going on the attack. Too bad it didn't pay off. I'm glad he quickly moved past his frustration and disappointment and decided there's no reason for him to hold any hard feelings against Nishida. He's growing up

Chihaya forcing herself to call Tsutomu and Nishida by their names was pretty funny. It sounded so wrong coming from her . I'm happy Nishida told her to stay as she was. You're the airhead, Chihaya, accept it!

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Originally Posted by KyriaL View Post
There are many ways to winning a match, by focusing on the utilization of tactics, however cheap it may seem, as long as they do not contradict the rules set, are still valid strategies in winning a match, as Desk...Komano-kun did.
Yep, it was a damn cheap tactic, but as long as it's allowed by the rules it's not considered cheating, so it'd be idiotic not to use it out of some stupid sense of pride. If anything, it just goes to show how much he wanted to win. He was willing to go to any length (except cheating of course) to claim victory.

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Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
* The moment Desktop-kun and Kana-chan shared afterwards was so sweet with all the blushing. Since Chihaya's romantic plot is dead in the water, hopefully we'll at least see the B-couple together by the end of the series.
I'd LOVE for it to happen, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I think it'll most likely happen by the end of the manga though, the story is shipping those two way too hard for them to remain simple friends forever.
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Old 2012-02-15, 09:39   Link #1083
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So there won't be a new OP & ED ?
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Old 2012-02-15, 09:39   Link #1084
Yume Hanabi
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Why are those matches always so intense? xD
This show is still as great as ever...

But man, only 6 eps left, while there seems to be so much left to do. I'm curious, is the manga finished and the anime a full adaptation of it? Or is there a chance for a second season in the future?
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Old 2012-02-15, 12:50   Link #1085
Guardian Enzo
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I hardly see how Taichi is only playing out of jealousy. That's not true at all, he obviously loves Karuta and wants to improve himself for him. He sees Arata as a rival yes & I am not saying he never gets jealous (because that woukd be false) but his motivations to win are pure.
This is my view as well. Whatever his motivations for starting to play, his current dedication to the game is legit. And he works harder at it than anyone else in the series, certainly Chihaya.
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Old 2012-02-15, 14:31   Link #1086
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I am on my way catching up after getting stalled earlier during the run of the show but after watching episode 10 and watching Taichi act like the very best club president possible, I must say he has become my favorite character in this show. He is certainly timid and cowardly but you can't help but root for the guy with how hard he tries and how sincere his efforts are, deep down inside.

However, it might be unfair to claim that he tries the hardest. I have noticed that the show gives the largest amount of pov focus to Taichi. In the 10 episodes I have watched, we were inside his brain far far more than any other character, Chihaya included. As a result, we kind of have a bias towards his passion. We certainly know for sure that his passion for Karuta is genuine - as is his love for Chihaya. But that he loves Chihaya only helps bolster his love for Karuta and the other way around. It's definitely unfair to claim that he is playing only out of jealousy. But I don't think its exactly fair to the rest of the cast to claim that he is the one trying his hardest. I see them all as trying their very best, with utmost sincerety. At the very least, Desktomu was (thus far at least). If the show gave their inner thoughts more time, I am pretty sure we'd see them trying just as hard as Taichi. Okay, maybe not just as much because Taichi is the type to excel by hard work but they'd definitely be trying hard enough that it really wouldn't matter who was trying the hardest. Such comparisons would be lowly and rhetorical at best.
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Old 2012-02-15, 20:10   Link #1087
ThereminVox
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Nishida took a huge leap forward in coolness this week. Taichi's been able to find the right words at the right time to focus the team, save for a slip or two with Chihaya, but this time it was Nishida who knew just what Taichi needed to hear after such a gutting loss.

I could have cheered for Desktomu when he made up his mind to not be beaten by his own tendency to give up when he's losing. His all-or-nothing gamble was pretty awesome, and funny too. Good for Kanna taking home the Class D crown. They've both come a long way.

Meanwhile, Chihaya is her usual awesome self. It was nice that they let her step back and play comic relief while the rest of the club got to shine, but I'm ready to see her start to apply what she's learned so that she can become a force at the top of the A rankings.
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Old 2012-02-15, 23:43   Link #1088
Undertaker
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
This is my view as well. Whatever his motivations for starting to play, his current dedication to the game is legit. And he works harder at it than anyone else in the series, certainly Chihaya.
I agree with that, the reason he started in elementary and again in high school might be because of Chihaya but right now his dedication to the game is real. Part of that might still be Chihaya, but there is a greater part where it is now enjoying the game.

BTW, this is the first time I remember where the anime skipped an minor, but important detail in a scene from manga. Granted it's only 2 pages but it offers a hint on Arata's current (or previous) ability.

There is still a chance the scene might be saved as pre-OP scene next episode but if anyone interested I can post it over in the manga thread.
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Old 2012-02-16, 00:16   Link #1089
Guardian Enzo
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If you post it I'll read it...
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Old 2012-02-16, 00:21   Link #1090
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Since, I;m the last poster in the thread, I'll just edit that post so you'll need to do a search for the thread.
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Old 2012-02-16, 02:41   Link #1091
hyperborealis
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Like others, I found the scene where Chihaya cradles a sleeping Taichi to be extraordinarily moving. We get a clear sense that Chihaya understands Taichi on a deep level, that she knows what he is feeling and consequently feels sympathy for him. More than that, she even identifies herself with him: she thinks how she and Taichi are alike, how "Taichi and I are always under pressure." To think of Chihaya as an “airhead” is simply to miss her genuine perceptiveness and the depth of the connection she makes with Taichi here.

We can debate the romantic implications of the scene. Certainly the moment opens up the possibility of a real relationship, based on the substance of shared experiences and feelings. In this, Chihaya’s embrace is completely different from earlier scenes where Taichi longs helplessly for Chihaya. It hardly reflects well on Taichi that he gets the closest he ever has with Chihaya when he is asleep, but then the anime is making a point, mainly about the futility of all his one-sided frustrated longing.

In any case, the scene is important to the narrative for reasons entirely unrelated to romance. Chihaya is led to think about pressure and then to embrace Taichi in sympathy as a result of Kana’s explanation of why she was able to play so well in her match: “that was because I was playing against Desktomu-kun. / I wasn’t so much worried / about winning as I was focused / on playing my own style of karuta, / so I didn’t feel any pressure.”

Kana’s explanation of her success should be familiar to us: she repeats the show’s standard critique of playing in order to win. The problem with playing to win, Kana suggests, is that is subjects you to pressure, which inhibits your play. The solution is to play with your team, so that with their support you can stop worrying about winning and instead focus on playing your own style of karuta, and so be able to play at Kana’s 120%.

Chihaya seems to take just this lesson from Kana’s words. In thinking about pressure, and as she embraces Taichi, she simultaneously declares her desire to play again as a team: “I want to play a team match. / I want to play as a team again.” The sequence suggests that she takes herself and Taichi as negative examples of Kana’s thesis, players who worry about winning, feel pressure, and lose. She then turns to the idea of playing as a team as a means to resolve the problem of playing to win and to playing under pressure.

So the moment where Chihaya embraces Taichi turns out to be a crucial moment in Chihaya’s understanding of what she needs to do in order to advance towards becoming queen. And the path she sets out on is, I should point out, diametrically opposite to the plan Taichi sets out after the nationals, when he proposes “we should all focus on our individual g[oals,]” and which he realizes by guiltily “sneaking” off on his own to win tournaments without his team. As usual, at least as regards karuta, Chihaya is right, and Taichi is wrong...

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

A ray of hope for Team Taichi: when Taichi is going over the upcoming tournament schedule, he mentions “the Saitama tournament in late September, / and the Kawaguchi tournament in early October.” Taichi has just lost Saitama to Yusei. But Kawaguchi is right around the corner. There’s still hope!
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Old 2012-02-16, 03:10   Link #1092
Kazu-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
And the path she sets out on is, I should point out, diametrically opposite to the plan Taichi sets out after the nationals, when he proposes “we should all focus on our individual g[oals,]” and which he realizes by guiltily “sneaking” off on his own to win tournaments without his team. As usual, at least as regards karuta, Chihaya is right, and Taichi is wrong...
How was she right? She realized she (and Taichi) were negative examples of what Kana was saying, right? It means she was as "wrong" as him....

EDIT: and let's not forget about Nishida. He also "sneaked" off on his own before, and he also seemed very adamant about wining in this match.... and he won.

All in all, I don't think this was a critique of playing in order to win. Everyone plays to win. What matters is not to fall to pressure IMO. Taichi is so desperate when he plays, not so much because he wants to win per se. Rather, he is still afraid of that one wall that he believes he will never surpass. Yeah, that's our friend back there in Fukui...

To sum up, Taichi's problem is not about wanting to win; it's about being afraid of losing.
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Last edited by Kazu-kun; 2012-02-16 at 03:44.
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Old 2012-02-16, 04:25   Link #1093
sergel02
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I'm a bit confused on the ending tho. What tournament is Arata entering? is it B-class to compete with Taichi?
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Old 2012-02-16, 04:42   Link #1094
Kazu-kun
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I'm a bit confused on the ending tho. What tournament is Arata entering? is it B-class to compete with Taichi?
He's A-class, so he can't enter a B-class tournament. I suppose he decided to enter the Meijin qualifier.
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Old 2012-02-16, 05:38   Link #1095
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Yeah, he was referring to the Western Japan Qualifier for the Mejin title. The way the Meijin and Queen titles work is similar to other culture-based competition like Go of Shogi.

The East and West will have Qualifying Tournaments for Representative right. Once that is decided, the West representatives and East representatives will play each other with the winners earning challenge right against Meijin (best of 7) and Queen (best of 5)
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Old 2012-02-16, 06:57   Link #1096
Forsaken_Infinity
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Does anyone here actually play Karuta?

edit:
Kay I am all done catching up and I don't know what to say. This show does a very good job at making you feel the intensity. And at making you root for all the characters at the same time.

Unfortunately however, the eternal airhead Chihaya is currently the weakest character in the main cast for me. I absolutely adored her younger self that was so full of confidence and brutally frank to a fault but her current version seems more a plot device than anything else. That constant iteration of "Arata bla bla" >_> Arata is nothing more than a blog for her and Taichi never mattered as a romantic interest. Not that I am complaining because I generally dislike it when josei/shoujo shows give too much focus to romance, especially when they make the MC hover between her choices for an eternity. So it's cool that Chihaya cares more about Karuta than either of the leads. But the problem with that is that her passion for Karuta doesn't feel genuine anymore. I can't exactly pinpoint what's wrong but her passion for Karuta feels the weakest out of all the main cast.
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Old 2012-02-16, 11:00   Link #1097
Proto
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It's not her fault that she has been getting knocked early on in all her recent matches.
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Old 2012-02-16, 11:19   Link #1098
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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
It's not her fault that she has been getting knocked early on in all her recent matches.
Don't think that should be that much of an issue. Taichi had little to no scenes on tourney mats early on and we could still feel his dedication to the game. Desktomu is an even better example. Guy has had barely any luck getting screentime with him on the mat (he reached a Class D final that was given less prominence than a Class A match in terms of screentime.) and yet we can see how much effort he put in. All I see Chihaya doing is shaking her head, pouting, making (awesome) reaction faces and the like. She feels like a running gag or a plot device more than a dedicated Karuta player. It wouldn't be that bad if the rest of the characters weren't as prominent as they are. But with the rest of the cast shining so brilliantly, Chihaya seems like an utter joke.
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Old 2012-02-16, 11:31   Link #1099
totoum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forsaken_Infinity View Post
All I see Chihaya doing is shaking her head, pouting, making (awesome) reaction faces and the like. She feels like a running gag or a plot device more than a dedicated Karuta player. It wouldn't be that bad if the rest of the characters weren't as prominent as they are. But with the rest of the cast shining so brilliantly, Chihaya seems like an utter joke.
Chihaya is the one with the most natural reflexes,she ridded on that talent for quite a few episodes but lately she's really come to realize that her natural talent alone isn't going to be enough to beat A class players.
She's starting to really study the game more than she has ever before.
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Old 2012-02-16, 11:34   Link #1100
hyperborealis
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So, let’s talk about Taichi’s least shining moment in the episode, the incident in the locker room when he puts down Yusei by saying “I guess you got lucky.” Yusei was lucky all right, but what is the connection between Taichi’s statement here and the question he asks Yusei immediately before, as to whether Yusei knew what cards were left at the end?

As the last six cards are read, Taichi actually has a slight advantage over Yusei. The card he is defending is a single syllable card, while Yusei is defending a double-syllable card beginning with “The.” If Taichi knows that all the other “The” cards have been read, then Yusei’s card becomes for him a single-syllable card, which he can take on the first syllable while Yusei is waiting for the second syllable to be read. So Taichi’s question in the locker room attempts to find out whether Yusei took his “The tail” card on a first or a second syllable basis. Yusei’s answer makes it clear to Taichi that Yusei didn’t know what cards were left, and therefore was taking the card on the second syllable. The animation of the final moments of the match makes this point clear as well: Yusei is fooled by Taichi’s intensity into thinking that there is still another “The” card out there, as he asks himself “Wait, there’s another one left?” Taichi on the other hand knows that all the "The" cards have been read: so for him, unlike Yusei, the "The tail" card is a single syllable.

What this means of course is that Taichi had a golden opportunity to take the card, and he simply wasn’t able to. This makes his put-down of Yusei all the worse: Taichi is using luck of the draw to excuse his own failure to capitalize on the slight advantage he had due to his remarkable memory. As I said, not a shining moment for Taichi at all.

So, why doesn’t Taichi manage to take the card? We’ve seen other players in similar situations do it. Shinobu took a card from under Chihaya’s hand in the nationals, but Shinobu is a special case, so that’s not a fair comparison. The other instance Kana refers to in the van--the final card Chihaya takes against Sudou. As Kana explains, this card epitomizes the special swiftness a player can achieve when they are playing relaxed. You will recall that is also how Sudou understands how Chihaya is able to take the card: he sees that at that moment she is not thinking about winning, as he himself is, but only about having fun. Conversely, as Retro-kun points out, none of the Mizusawa players are relaxed: all are completely tense, and probably none more so than Taichi. So I think you can make an argument that in the end Taichi’s own tension does him in.

----------

I very much appreciated how Tsutomu took his defeat. The scene with Kana was very beautiful, and made the match into a deeper bond between them. I have to say Taichi could take some lessons in being a man from Tsutomu here.

----------

I didn’t much care for the male bonding Taichi and Yusei do at Chihaya’s expense. Yusei is entitled to feel as he likes about being called “Meatball-kun,” but the prospective boyfriend ought not to be bonding with the buddy over running down the prospective girlfriend. Just saying.
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2012-02-16 at 11:48.
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