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Old 2012-02-24, 21:24   Link #1221
Undertaker
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Yes, this is definitly the key point for Taichi. Especially when you consider that Harada's offer is legitimate one and was not exception, an issue that was argued back about Shinobu's A-qualification at 4th grade.

For all purpose, Taichi's two 2nd place would have earned him that promotion if he belongs in other club. But because of the local club tradition he can't, not Harada is willing to promote him and he turned it down show his determination that he would no longer turn away from his weakness.

Keep in mind his upbringing. Back when he lost to Arata in the school tournament. His mom noted that he shouldn't be in a competition where he can't win. I think that really is his issue at the end that on the outside he is great at everything but in reality he was only doing things that he was confident about .
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Old 2012-02-24, 22:47   Link #1222
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Snip
A very admirably detailed analysis, and a rather sharp and profound look into Taichi's character.

Infact, he seems to be more of a main protagonist than even Chihaya, and let's face it, Chihaya's character is much less deeper than Taichi's.
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Old 2012-02-25, 04:28   Link #1223
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I disliked Taichi from the beginning, and I have to say that I still dislike him now (maybe slightly less, but still).
The thing that irks me is that nearly every action he takes feels like a calculated action towards being closer with Chihaya and keeping Chihaya happy, and nothing more.
Throw in Arata into the mix and Taichi's procrastinating on how to shaft Arata while staying on Chihaya's good side.
His goal of beating Arata is anything but admirable. It's so that Chihaya would look at him instead of her "god".

I think Desktomu said it best: "You have to do the things you don't want to do before you can do the things you truly want to do".
Don't want to do = Karuta, Want to do = Chihaya (be with her, that is :P)
Sorry, but the writing is poor if it's trying to show Taichi having a mindset beyond Chihaya.
I can't take his "I'm celebrating [Arata's back]" seriously when his action a few seconds ago showed otherwise.
The other thing is that Arata and Taichi's "friendship" never felt genuine, more so from Taichi, so again it didn't feel believable. They're strangers connected by Chihaya.
Taichi still comes off as the kind of guy who'd discard your friendship in a second if it meant spending more time with Chihaya (oh wait, that's exactly what happened with his "girlfriend").
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Old 2012-02-25, 04:56   Link #1224
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@Quadratic: Very bold statements, but I definitely understand your perspective. What you have stated is very true, from a very straightforward perspective. Taichi has improved, but for what purpose is up to interpretation. If you are sympathetic towards him, then you will give him the benefit of the doubt. However, I find your perspective very possible to who he truly is, and it also explains more of the underlying nature of why Taichi cannot be trusted.
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Old 2012-02-25, 07:10   Link #1225
Kirarakim
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Since we have gotten into Taichi's head several times, I think it is pretty clear Taichi loves Karuta. He might have started to play again for Chihaya but now he is playing & trying to improve for himself. As he said to Harada he wants to be someone who doesn't run away, I don't really see where the ulterior motive is in that statement.

Wanting to play on equal terms & beat Arata is also not vindictive. Arata is both Taichi's inspiration & rival but this is not a negative thing. Again their two teachers who are clearly friends also considered themselves rivals.

And again clearly Taichi cares about Arata because we also see this in the last episode when he knows Arata's appearance put pressure on him but he is crying because he is so happy to see him.

I am pretty sure the series is not focusing on Taichi so much to tell us, yes this guy is just a jerk compared to everyone else on the show. I mean you can think what you want but that isn't necessarily what the show is saying.
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Old 2012-02-25, 07:52   Link #1226
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
I disliked Taichi from the beginning, and I have to say that I still dislike him now (maybe slightly less, but still).
The thing that irks me is that nearly every action he takes feels like a calculated action towards being closer with Chihaya and keeping Chihaya happy, and nothing more.
Throw in Arata into the mix and Taichi's procrastinating on how to shaft Arata while staying on Chihaya's good side.
His goal of beating Arata is anything but admirable. It's so that Chihaya would look at him instead of her "god".

I think Desktomu said it best: "You have to do the things you don't want to do before you can do the things you truly want to do".
Don't want to do = Karuta, Want to do = Chihaya (be with her, that is :P)
I think you're doing him a disfavor by forgetting his mommy issues. (And who else can you say that about? )

Karuta isn't only, or maybe even mainly, a way to get Chihaya. It's a minor rebellion against his mother and her "if you can't win, don't play". It's something where he can lose, but keep trying until he wins.
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Old 2012-02-25, 08:06   Link #1227
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Sigh, so if for some inexplicable reason Chihaya couldn't play karuta anymore or Arata wasn't the superstar of board games do you really expect me to believe Taichi would continue to play karuta with a focused mindset? I bet my bottom dollar his karuta would start lagging behind as he doesn't have any aspiring goal other than playing together with his team.

Everytime Chihaya pays attention to Arata he has a pained expression, heck the only reason he was in a rush to get to A class was so he could stand on even footing with Arata, if Chihaya wasn't paying attention to him he could care less about who this Arata dude is, heck he didn't even give mention to the Queen and the reason is simple, she's not a threat because she's female.

If this series started with Chihaya, Queen, and Taichi chances are Taichi would be hovering around Class C, since there are no love rivals around he's certainly under no rush to get to Class A, mainly playing for Chihaya's sake he may get into the karuta groove later on, he will get jealous at the Queens skills just like he did with Arata back in the flashback, but ultimately would focus more on wooing Chihaya outside of the game field.

Ultimately this series is trying to make him out what he is not, a sympathetic humble bumpkin, while i find him trying to grow out of his spoilt rich kid snarker shell relatively amusing, i think they are trying too hard to make him look completely innocent in his POV's.
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Old 2012-02-25, 08:32   Link #1228
ID555
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I watch this show On and off, and used to be a Arata supporter, but his appearances are so scarce can he even be considered a love rival anymore?
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Old 2012-02-25, 08:38   Link #1229
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Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
The thing that irks me is that nearly every action he takes feels like a calculated action towards being closer with Chihaya and keeping Chihaya happy, and nothing more.
A calculated move so that when he finally confesses to Chihaya she has a slim chance of saying no because at that point he would have probably beat Arata by then, that kind of sneakish play has been irking me for awhile now.
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Old 2012-02-25, 09:11   Link #1230
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by Crontica View Post
Sigh, so if for some inexplicable reason Chihaya couldn't play karuta anymore or Arata wasn't the superstar of board games do you really expect me to believe Taichi would continue to play karuta with a focused mindset? I bet my bottom dollar his karuta would start lagging behind as he doesn't have any aspiring goal other than playing together with his team.
Except you don't actually know that. You are only making a guess and one I strongly disagree with. Because yes Taichi loves Chihaya, yes he sees Arata as a rival but he also loves Karuta.

Quote:
Everytime Chihaya pays attention to Arata he has a pained expression, heck the only reason he was in a rush to get to A class was so he could stand on even footing with Arata, if Chihaya wasn't paying attention to him he could care less about who this Arata dude is, heck he didn't even give
mention to the Queen and the reason is simple, she's not a threat because she's female.

If this series started with Chihaya, Queen, and Taichi chances are Taichi would be hovering around Class C, since there are no love rivals around he's certainly under no rush to get to Class A, mainly playing for Chihaya's sake he may get into the karuta groove later on, he will get jealous at the Queens skills just like he did with Arata back in the flashback, but ultimately would focus more on wooing Chihaya outside of the game field.
Chihaya didn't care about the queen either until, she actually played against her, which Taichi still has not done.

Yes Arata is Taichi's rival in love and Karuta. I am still unclear why having a rival is considered a horrible thing.

And no Taichi really has not done anything underhanded to keep Chihaya away from Arata.

Taichi is in no rush to get in class A because he wants to earn it fairly by continue to fight even if he doesn't win right away.


Quote:
Ultimately this series is trying to make him out what he is not, a sympathetic humble bumpkin, while i find him trying to grow out of his spoilt rich kid snarker shell relatively amusing, i think they are trying too hard to make him look completely innocent in his POV's.
I am a little confused how a series can try to make a fictional character out to be something he's not. He's the author's creation.

It seems to me it's the opposite in your mind Taichi is something he's not.
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Old 2012-02-25, 09:27   Link #1231
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Crontica View Post
If this series started with Chihaya, Queen, and Taichi chances are Taichi would be hovering around Class C,
Unlikely. He'd either drop Karuta entirely, or he'd still be in B class, doing his best. He may rebel against running away, but he's still playing to win. And he did get there while "away" from Chihaya.

Quote:
Ultimately this series is trying to make him out what he is not, a sympathetic humble bumpkin, while i find him trying to grow out of his spoilt rich kid snarker shell relatively amusing, i think they are trying too hard to make him look completely innocent in his POV's.
In his own POV, he's anything but innocent. He always feel guilty about various things, whether he's right to or not.
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Old 2012-02-25, 10:29   Link #1232
Crontica
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Chihaya didn't care about the queen either until, she actually played against her, which Taichi still has not done.
Not much as care as being afraid to play against the Queen, once Chihaya found out her kill level was on par with Arata's then she was gung ho about playing against her for the rest of the series.

Quote:
Yes Arata is Taichi's rival in love and Karuta. I am still unclear why having a rival is considered a horrible thing.
Rival in love sure, mostly a rival in kurata to match the love rival part.

Rivalry is not a horrible thing when you don't take it overboard.

Quote:
And no Taichi really has not done anything underhanded to keep Chihaya away from Arata.
*coughbikecoughtraincoughtrainagaincough*

Quote:
Taichi is in no rush to get in class A because he wants to earn it fairly by continue to fight even if he doesn't win right away.
He is still the picture of depression whenever he fails to meet it.

Quote:
I am a little confused how a series can try to make a fictional character out to be something he's not. He's the author's creation.
I call it paying attention to the many times he has tried to win her over in the course of setting up the club.

Quote:
It seems to me it's the opposite in your mind Taichi is something he's not.
Yeah i must be totally tripping at the amount of times he has been fueled by spite for Arata alone.
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Old 2012-02-25, 10:42   Link #1233
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by Crontica View Post
Yeah i must be totally tripping at the amount of times he has been fueled by spite for Arata alone.
Yeah um clearly we must be watching completely different series. It seems to me your are falsely interpreting scenes to see Taichi worse than he really is.

Taichi is going to make mistakes, he's going to be jealous at times, and yes sometimes he is going to be disappointed when he loses and his friends succeeds; these are all very human emotions.

They might make him not perfect but they don't make him spiteful or a bad person. They do however make him a compelling character who is trying to rise above his flaws. However if you only want a character who never makes mistakes, then yeah I guess Taichi won't be a character who appeals to you.
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Old 2012-02-25, 11:22   Link #1234
Crontica
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Yeah um clearly we must be watching completely different series. It seems to me your are falsely interpreting scenes to see Taichi worse than he really is.

Taichi is going to make mistakes, he's going to be jealous at times, and yes sometimes he is going to be disappointed when he loses and his friends succeeds; these are all very human emotions.

They might make him not perfect but they don't make him spiteful or a bad person. They do however make him a compelling character who is trying to rise above his flaws. However if you only want a character who never makes mistakes, then yeah I guess Taichi won't be a character who appeals to you.
I have no qualms about a character trying to rise above his flaws, even the best of characters are going to have displeasing moments in the spring time of youth, what irks me as Quadratic has pointed out "nearly every action he takes feels like a calculated action towards being closer with Chihaya and keeping Chihaya happy, and nothing more.".

Basically the show still has yet to properly convince me that his foundation for playing kurata is not 80% comprised of Chihaya, the other characters have clearly stated their foundations those foundations evolving as time goes by, at best i can only assume he is playing for competitive aspect of it.
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Old 2012-02-25, 19:14   Link #1235
Quadratic
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I think you're doing him a disfavor by forgetting his mommy issues. (And who else can you say that about? )

Karuta isn't only, or maybe even mainly, a way to get Chihaya. It's a minor rebellion against his mother and her "if you can't win, don't play". It's something where he can lose, but keep trying until he wins.
His rebellion is more to do with the fact that his mum is an obstacle to being with Chihaya.

Anyway, his mommy issues is one of the better aspect of his character. It's a legitimate reason to sympathize with his character (hence I said I dislike him slightly less).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Since we have gotten into Taichi's head several times, I think it is pretty clear Taichi loves Karuta. He might have started to play again for Chihaya but now he is playing & trying to improve for himself. As he said to Harada he wants to be someone who doesn't run away, I don't really see where the ulterior motive is in that statement.
Yeah, we've gotten into Taichi's head. I don't believe he "loves" Karuta. He hates losing and enjoys winning.
He enjoys winning more when the situation is unfavorable on his side (Karuta, Chihaya).

Every time something related karuta is talked about with Taichi, it always has a double meaning - the other meaning being his love with Chihaya.
The second meaning where he declines accepting class A, is that he declines the temptation to take a shortcut (ie. underhanded tactics) on his progress with Chihaya.

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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Except you don't actually know that. You are only making a guess and one I strongly disagree with. Because yes Taichi loves Chihaya, yes he sees Arata as a rival but he also loves Karuta.
Karuta is Taichi's measuring stick on where he stands with Chihaya, nothing more. It's his only motivation to keep playing.
He sees beating Arata is the same as winning Chihaya.

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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Yes Arata is Taichi's rival in love and Karuta. I am still unclear why having a rival is considered a horrible thing.
Arata might be Taichi's rival, but Taichi is NOT Arata's rival (except maybe rival in love now, now that Arata knows Chihaya and Taichi aren't a couple).
Taichi's fighting a battle where the other participant (Arata) isn't aware he's in a battle. Taichi has a clear goal of beating Arata, Arata's goal is becoming Master.

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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
And no Taichi really has not done anything underhanded to keep Chihaya away from Arata.
Correct, but only because he couldn't (*I use past tense here, as he declines "the shortcut to class A") do it without being caught or having Chihaya hating him.
Perhaps his best opportunity (perhaps the only) was when Arata kicked the cards when Chihaya tried to play karuta unknownly in front of Arata's grandfather's shrine (or whatever it's called), and Taichi pulled Chihaya away. Too bad Arata wanted to amend the situation at the end of the very same episode.

Last edited by Quadratic; 2012-02-25 at 20:00.
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Old 2012-02-25, 21:38   Link #1236
karice67
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Interesting discussion going on here, with some incredibly positive interpretations of Taichi's character, and a few extremely negative ones.

Just my two cents, but I'd like to throw out the argument that both views are too simple.


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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Since we have gotten into Taichi's head several times, I think it is pretty clear Taichi loves Karuta. He might have started to play again for Chihaya but now he is playing & trying to improve for himself. As he said to Harada he wants to be someone who doesn't run away, I don't really see where the ulterior motive is in that statement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crontica View Post
Sigh, so if for some inexplicable reason Chihaya couldn't play karuta anymore or Arata wasn't the superstar of board games do you really expect me to believe Taichi would continue to play karuta with a focused mindset? I bet my bottom dollar his karuta would start lagging behind as he doesn't have any aspiring goal other than playing together with his team.

Everytime Chihaya pays attention to Arata he has a pained expression, heck the only reason he was in a rush to get to A class was so he could stand on even footing with Arata...
@Kirarakim
Taichi does love karuta - or perhaps, it's more appropriate to say that his love for karuta is growing. However, his reasons for participating in competitive karuta are not just because of that love for the game - I quite agree with Crontica and Quadratic's points that his desire to be close to Chihaya, to retain a link to her, is another, just-as-important reason.

This comes out, I would argue, in episode 18. Taichi has been telling himself - and thus, us - that he wants to get to A Class so that he'll be able to meet Arata in a match. But why does he want to do that?

Contrast how Arata and Taichi react to their meeting. Arata expresses disappointment that he can't meet Taichi in a match "I thought you'd be competing in A Class". On the other hand, Taichi's reaction is an internal "Arata's coming" (that's the literal translation of the line 「新がくる」 - I'm not happy with the CR sub's "Arata's here", because I feel it misses a certain nuance). Later, he admits that he felt upset/unhappy that Arata was back.

Why is that? Why was this "I don't want that" feeling mixed in with the "hurray" feelings that Chihaya so easily expressed? Why is Taichi so intimidated by Arata? I don't think it's just because Arata is better at karuta, as there are so many people that are better than Taichi at karuta. The feeling I get is indeed that the greater part of Taichi's desire to become better at karuta is to impress Chihaya (cf. the start of episode 19, where he looks to see if Chihaya's watching. I seem to remember at least one other moment where he expresses a similar sentiment of wanting Chihaya to watch him, though I'm not sure where it is).

In other words, Taichi's reasons for playing karuta aren't because of a pure love for the game. Arata and Chihaya, on the other hand, seem to love the game in and for itself, and as a way from them to connect with each other, and with other people who love the game.

And that's one of the reasons I don't agree with the following:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crontica View Post
i think they are trying too hard to make (Taichi) look completely innocent in his POV's.
I don't think they've made Taichi look completely innocent in his POV's - but the lines of dialogue that represent his conflict are subtle enough that slight differences in translation / interpretation can make a big difference. Even if viewers pay attention to his facial expressions, and other techniques that the animators have used to suggest what's going through his head.



On the other hand, Taichi does have the most character development. As he said to Harada-sensei, he wants to become "someone who doesn't run away". In Taichi's case, that probably means not running away from something he doesn't feel he can win (i.e. what his mother taught him to do). Basically, I see Taichi's opponent as himself, in the form of the mental barrier that he creates for himself when he faces a difficult situation, the idea of 'I can't win this, so I might as well give up and try for something that's easier'. Accepting Harada-sensei's offer of promotion would have validated that kind of thinking, so it's uplifting to see that he recognises this. Hence, @Quadratic - I disagree with your argument that he just didn't want to take the short cut to trying to win Chihaya.

Still, I feel that the emphasis on 'not running away' frames it in a rather negative way. For Taichi to overcome this flaw of his, I would argue that he has to find a way to love karuta for itself, and to focus not on trying to beat Arata, or trying to impress Chihaya, but on playing for himself. Taichi's growing recognition that being club president is beneficial to his own character growth is an important part of this.

Last edited by karice67; 2014-01-13 at 19:07.
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Old 2012-02-25, 23:00   Link #1237
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by karice67 View Post
Just my two cents, but I'd like to throw out the argument that both views are too simple.
Well I don't think my view was simple at all. I was merely responding to some extreme bashing of Taichi's character.

However I do respect that you tried to give an unbiased view. I do disagree with a lot of your points or at least I don't agree with them fully.



Quote:
@Kirarakim
Taiichi does love karuta - or perhaps, it's more appropriate to say that his love for karuta is growing. However, his reasons for participating in competitive karuta are not just because of that love for the game - I quite agree with Crontica and Quadratic's points that his desire to be close to Chihaya, to retain a link to her, is another, just-as-important reason.
Oh I am not saying Chihaya is not a factor at all in what Taichi does. Yes Taichi wants to impress Chihaya. Yes Taichi wants Chihaya to notice him when he triumphs.

However I don't think Taichi is playing merely to impress Chihaya. To me the turning point for Taichi was in episode 7 when he played Karuta with Chihaya with the cards down (as Komano suggested).

In this episode Taichi realized he could beat a player that was stronger than him (Chihaya) with his own skills of memorization.

As Taichi says he has no talent for Karuta but he keeps playing even after he loses because when he actually does win it makes him happy. He's happy to win at something when he has to work at it and it isn't an automatic win.

Quote:
This comes out, I would argue, in episode 18. Taiichi has been telling himself - and thus, us - that he wants to get to A Class so that he'll be able to meet Arata in a match. But why does he want to do that?
I am not saying that Chihaya doesn't factor into Taichi's feelings for Arata but no Taichi doesn't only want to play Arata because of Chihaya.

Of course Taichi wants to impress Chihaya by being able to compete against Arata. But I think there is an enough evidence in the series that Taichi also wants to play against Arata because he sees him as an inspiration and admires him as a Karuta player.

Quote:
Contrast how Arata and Taiichi react to their meeting. Arata expresses disappointment that he can't meet Taiichi in a match "I thought you'd be competing in A Class". On the other hand, Taiichi's reaction is an internal "Arata's coming" (that's the literal translation of the line 「新がくる」 - I'm not happy with the CR sub's "Arata's here", because I feel it misses a certain nuance). Later, he admits that he felt upset/unhappy that Arata was back.
Yes sure he said that but 1) I'll note that Taichi was frustrated at Arata's arrival initially before Chihaya was even around or even when he knew she was going to come to the match (he thought she was studying).

2) While Taichi did say that line he also said while part of me didn't want to see Arata here but deep down I'm celebrating that he's back.

Hence yes Taichi has conflicting emotions about Arata. He's jealous of him but he also admires him and considers him a friend.

And I don't think Taichi only wants to beat Arata because of Chihaya. Yes partially but I think Taichi also wants to be on Arata's level because Arata is a karuta player he deeply admires.

Even as they were children in their team match Taichi at first doesn't understand why Chihaya is trying so hard because Arata will just win for them but at one point Taichi actually grabs the right card. It's not Chihaya's approval Taichi goes for but Arata's

"look Arata I actually pulled the right card" and when Arata praises him Taichi has huge blush on his face.


So it's not wrong to say that Chihaya is a reason for Taichi, it is wrong to say she is his only reason and that he doesn't care about Karuta beyond her. It is also wrong to say that all of Taichi's feelings for Arata are also about Chihaya. Evidence in the series itself tells a different story.
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Old 2012-02-26, 00:46   Link #1238
Quadratic
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
However I don't think Taichi is playing merely to impress Chihaya. To me the turning point for Taichi was in episode 7 when he played Karuta with Chihaya with the cards down (as Komano suggested).

In this episode Taichi realized he could beat a player that was stronger than him (Chihaya) with his own skills of memorization.

As Taichi says he has no talent for Karuta but he keeps playing even after he loses because when he actually does win it makes him happy. He's happy to win at something when he has to work at it and it isn't an automatic win.
He realises he hates losing, and decides he's not giving up. *Cue scene of Chihaya looking at Arata*
His loss was Chihaya (he gave up on her and had a girlfriend). His decision to not give up was him realising he still wants to fight for Chihaya's affection. He realises getting Chihaya's affection will bring him happiness. It wasn't about karuta.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Of course Taichi wants to impress Chihaya by being able to compete against Arata. But I think there is an enough evidence in the series that Taichi also wants to play against Arata because he sees him as an inspiration and admires him as a Karuta player.
I disagree about Taichi admiring Arata as a karuta player. Chihaya admires Arata as a karuta player. She was analyzing his match. He was not. He even said himself he regrets not watching Arata's match. I can't remember a single scene where he'd analyzed Arata's skill or style of play at all (someone feel free to point one out for me).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
2) While Taichi did say that line he also said while part of me didn't want to see Arata here but deep down I'm celebrating that he's back.

Hence yes Taichi has conflicting emotions about Arata. He's jealous of him but he also admires him and considers him a friend.
I think the problem is that we didn't see much (if any) of their friendship. This is why it doesn't feel believable (even if the intent was that they were actually real friends).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Even as they were children in their team match Taichi at first doesn't understand why Chihaya is trying so hard because Arata will just win for them but at one point Taichi actually grabs the right card. It's not Chihaya's approval Taichi goes for but Arata's

"look Arata I actually pulled the right card" and when Arata praises him Taichi has huge blush on his face.
The biggest problem with that scene? Taichi came off sounding like "Hey Arata, I beat you to this card". He was competing against Arata, but shocked when he saw Arata had blocked the opposition's card. This is because while Taichi was fighting against Arata, Arata was watching his back.


On a different note, someone wanted Handa-sensei's shocked face...
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Old 2012-02-26, 07:27   Link #1239
Kirarakim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
He realises he hates losing, and decides he's not giving up. *Cue scene of Chihaya looking at Arata*
His loss was Chihaya (he gave up on her and had a girlfriend). His decision to not give up was him realising he still wants to fight for Chihaya's affection. He realises getting Chihaya's affection will bring him happiness. It wasn't about karuta.
But Taichi's line to Komano about not being the best at Karuta but playing even though he loses because it feels good to win was about Karuta.

The very idea that Taichi doesn't enjoy Karuta and only plays because of Chihaya is ridiculous.

Taichi is trying to win Chihaya (even though he doesn't think he can) but he also is trying to win at Karuta even though he thinks he can't. They might be connected in a sense that yes Taichi feels if he was a better Karuta player Chihaya will notice him.

But at the same time winning at Karuta is also just something that Taichi wants to do for himself as well to prove he can win at something he isn't automatically good at.

Quote:
I disagree about Taichi admiring Arata as a karuta player. Chihaya admires Arata as a karuta player. She was analyzing his match. He was not. He even said himself he regrets not watching Arata's match. I can't remember a single scene where he'd analyzed Arata's skill or style of play at all (someone feel free to point one out for me).
Actually there have been plenty of times I recall Taichi has been in awe of Arata's playing.

The major difference between Chihaya is at first, Taichi would never consider trying to beat Arata because he was better at him and that's that. That has only changed recently

And secondly as I have said many times yes Taichi is jealous of Arata & feels conflicting emotions that obviously Chihaya does not have. That doesn't mean he doesn't admire him and also see him as a friend.


Quote:
I think the problem is that we didn't see much (if any) of their friendship. This is why it doesn't feel believable (even if the intent was that they were actually real friends).
They all hung out together as kids and formed their Karuta club, the 3 of them were good friends. They might have originally been connected by Chihaya but they all cared about each other.

Quote:
The biggest problem with that scene? Taichi came off sounding like "Hey Arata, I beat you to this card". He was competing against Arata, but shocked when he saw Arata had blocked the opposition's card. This is because while Taichi was fighting against Arata, Arata was watching his back.
Now that is ridiculous and it kind of proves no matter what Taichi does or says you will see the worst in him.

Heck Chihaya was trying to grab cards too in that scene and was frustrated she couldn't (so in a sense she was also trying to beat Arata).

Taichi was genuinely pleased when Arata praised him, it obviously meant something to Taichi in that scene or he wouldn't have blushed.
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Old 2012-02-26, 09:53   Link #1240
hyperborealis
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The episode title, "The Cresting Waves Almost Look Like Clouds in the Sky," comes from the 76th waka. The U. Virginia translation is as follows:

Over the wide sea
As I sail and look around,
It appears to me
That the white waves, far away,
Are the ever shining sky.

The confusion of one thing for another is a familiar aspect of this week's episode. Taichi misunderstands Chihaya's interest in Arata as romantic rather than platonic. Thinking about the Murasaki waka, Chihaya sees it to be at once about love and about friendship, and relates that ambiguity to her feelings toward Arata. Arata does not know if Chihaya and Taichi are a couple, or friends. And of course the viewers share this confusion in consequence. So the meaning of the title is straightforward: it refers to the confusion of love and friendship existing among the main characters.

Since the poem refers to the resemblance of waves and clouds, I note the animation gives us two significant cloudscapes in the episode, once when Chihaya dashes off to the tournament, so that Taichi should not be alone whether he wins or loses, and once as she returns with Kana on the train, when she is thinking of the Murasaki poem and Arata. Both moments are points where the ambiguity of Chihaya's feelings toward her friends is deliberately emphasized. The fact there are two such moments, one for each prospective boyfriend, perfectly cements the ambiguity. So the clouds are a gloss, from the title poem, on the fact we cannot tell Chihaya's feelings of love and friendship apart, any more than the poet can tell the waves from the clouds.

Briefly, one other interpretation of the poem is to point to the confusion of the sailor, as someone who cannot tell where he or she is, or where he or she is going. Mostow relates a fascinating political interpretation, where the sailor is the emperor, who, from afar, appears serene as the clouds, but who, up close, is in fact beset by complexities and confusion. Both readings speak especially to Taichi, a kind of emperor for the team, who masks his insecurities, and who--in failing to make Class A--has lost his way forward. But they also speak to Chihaya, who has no idea of her future, and no idea of her deeper feelings, if any, for either Taichi or Arata.

-----

One place where the anime out-and-out demands to be interpreted in terms of the poetry occurs when Chihaya turns from Taichi at the hotel lobby and enters onto the tournament floor. Taichi tells Chihaya Arata is playing, and the animation jump cuts to #66 flying on the floor, the subtitles telling us its gist: "for there is no one else out there." Then, as Chihaya enters the vestibule, we hear the reader intone, from #97, "As I wait for someone who will never come." When Chihaya first sees Arata, the reader continues, "My body burns like seaweed..." Finally, Arata closes the sequence by taking the 57th card, "Long last we meet," which is none other than the Murasaki waka Chihaya brings up with Kana on the train back.

The cards speak for themselves without need for amplification. I find it hard not to understand them other than in a romantic sense, except that the narrative itself gives no substance to that interpretation, and suggests instead that we take these poems as a fulfillment of Chihaya's childhood dream of restoring her friendship with Arata.

Take the cards as you will. Let me just point out a couple things easily overlooked. The 97th was written by Teika, who was the editor of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, the collection from which the poems on the karuta cards were taken. Here is Mostow's translation:

For the man who doesn't come
I wait at the Bay of Matsuo--
in the evening calm
where they boil seaweed for salt,
I, too, burn with longing!

I find it significant that the poem the editor chose of his own for inclusion in his collection has to do with love, and particularly a woman's unrequited longing. Perhaps the poem serves to identify the organizing principle of the Hyakunin Isshu as a whole, and therefore of the Chihayafuru anime itself.

The other thing to note about this poem is that it is the first one thrown up at the close of the episode in the transition from Arata's sleeping face and Chihaya at the desk studying with Komano-sensei (I also must use the proper form of address!). What does that mean? Who knows? But it is suggestive...

----

Finally, let me briefly address the Murasaki waka. The fact that the poem is about a childhood friend comes not from the poem, but from its headnote in Murasaki's collection of poetry. Mostow usefully provides it, and I'll quote it here, so that other readers can know what Chihaya is thinking about:

I met someone I had known long ago as a child, but the moment was brief and I hardly recognized them. It was the Tenth of the Tenth Month. They left hurriedly as if racing the moon.

Given the context, it is not obvious that the poem is about love, so it is quite striking that Chihaya immediately interprets it that way. Kana's surprise and repetition of Chihaya's words make just this point. Still, other posters here have debated the romantic implications of the scene, and I agree that it retains the show's hallmark ambiguity about romance and friendship.

The scene closes with Chihaya--how beautiful she is!--thinking about the poem, and whatever she is thinking about, her face framed by the clouds of the evening sky. Then, all of a sudden, lest we think her thoughts are too romantic, or even romantic at all, she lets her arm fly in a practice swing! It is exactly as if Taichi had been there, to clap his hands as he did on the train in the earlier episode, to dispel his own frustrated feelings for Chihaya. And to dispel her feelings whatever they are for Arata, as it turns out...

---------

It occurs to me that the lover of Teika's poem, the woman waiting for the man who will not come, is in fact a figure for the reader, who is still waiting for a definite resolution to the love quandary. Oh no!
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2012-02-27 at 11:19.
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