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Old 2012-02-26, 11:47   Link #1241
Yume Hanabi
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I really love your analyses. They're always so insightful and well written, and really help me see the episodes in a new light. Reading them is like watching the anime all over again.
I think I wouldn't be enjoying this anime as much as I do now without the great discussions going on in this topic.
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Old 2012-02-26, 19:28   Link #1242
karice67
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@Kirarakim

My impression from the last few pages is that you are predisposed to interpret what Taichi says and does in a positive way, whilst a few of the other posters are predisposed to interpret them in a negative way, which is why I said the views are too simple. I'm sorry if I offended you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
*snip* (sorry, I'm taking the last part of what you wrote as a summary, because I don't really have time to respond to each point -karice)

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.
I never said that Chihaya was his only reason for playing karuta. As I noted, his love for karuta is growing.

However, your 'evidence' that Taichi plays karuta (predominantly?) for himself / out of love for the game is, I feel, ignoring something important that a few other viewers have picked up. Which is, that Taichi is actually struggling to maintain that 'ideal' goal of playing for himself.

This was incredibly clear in episode 18, and hyperborealis put it much more clearly and elaborately than I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
There's so much going on in this episode it simply defies expression. The anime heaps you, to use Melville's expression--overwhelms you with significance, more and more. This is just the most amazing show.

So, one of the key points in the anime, I think we all agree, is Taichi's statement to Harada-sensei, after Harada-sensei offers to promote Taichi to Class A: "Sensei, I'm not so much focused on making Class A / As I'm focused on becoming someone who doesn't run away." The awe on Harada-sensei's face, the statement's position as the climax of the conversation are the animators' way of highlighting the significance of the moment. I think if we can answer even the simplest questions about Taichi's words--such as "what does he mean?" and "why does he say this?"--we will go a long way toward understanding the episode and the anime as a whole.

Spoiler for Length:
Which is why I argued that he has to take more concrete steps in actually making that goal of playing for himself the 'entire truth' of his participation in karuta, and not just the 'partial reality' that is it is at present.

A different issue I have is with the interpretation that Taichi refrains from confessing to Chihaya because Arata's not there. The impression I get is that he's actually running away from it (as hyperborealis also noted) - he knows how dense Chihaya is, so it should be obvious that he'd have to tell her directly if he wants her to even consider the idea of a relationship. But he refrains, justifying it by saying that she's obviously not ready for it - thus, on the surface, Taichi appears to be someone who reads people very well and (re)acts accordingly. But it also comes across to me as an excuse hiding a fear of rejection.

Last edited by karice67; 2014-01-13 at 19:08.
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Old 2012-02-26, 19:55   Link #1243
Kazu-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karice67 View Post
Which is why I argued that he has to take more concrete steps in actually making that goal of playing for himself the 'entire truth' of his participation in karuta, and not just the 'partial reality' that is it is at present.
I argue there isn't such a thing as "entire truth". Even for Chihaya, karuta is not only a goal in and of itself, but also a way to reconnect with that friendship that she experienced during her childhood. Even Arata is playing with that in mind, and also in part to honor his grandfather. Both Chihaya and Arata love karuta a lot, but by no means karuta is an "entire truth" in their lives. It is a goal as much as it is a means to fulfill other things.

For Taichi, karuta is the way by which he challenges himself, to become the sort of person he wants to be (someone who doesn't run away). And I personally don't see anything wrong with this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karice67 View Post
A different issue I have is with the interpretation that Taiichi refrains from confessing to Chihaya because Arata's not there. The impression I get is that he's actually running away from it (as hyperborealis also noted) - he knows how dense Chihaya is, so it should be obvious that he'd have to tell her directly if he wants her to even consider the idea of a relationship. But he refrains, justifying it by saying that she's obviously not ready for it - thus, on the surface, Taiichi appears to be someone who reads people very well and (re)acts accordingly. But it also comes across to me as an excuse hiding a fear of rejection.
Taichi himself knows that he's running away, and that's why he says he wants to change. He knows he's running away from Chihaya right now, but he can't help it because he's still too afraid (afraid of losing).

Again, there's nothing wrong with this because he's aware of his shortcomings, of his cowardice, and is consciously trying to change. And he's changing, little by little. Of course, he won't be able to fully overcome his flaws until the very climax of the story.
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Old 2012-02-26, 21:15   Link #1244
karice67
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And this is why I shouldn't be posting, because I don't have time polish up what I want to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
I argue there isn't such a thing as "entire truth". Even for Chihaya, karuta is not only a goal in and of itself, but also a way to reconnect with that friendship that she experienced during her childhood. Even Arata is playing with that in mind, and also in part to honor his grandfather. Both Chihaya and Arata love karuta a lot, but by no means karuta is an "entire truth" in their lives. It is a goal as much as it is a means to fulfill other things.
I meant more an "entire truth" for himself. Chihaya and Arata make karuta about themselves, about what they can do in order to achieve their goals within in, whether those goals are wanting to become Queen/Meijin, or to share the love of karuta (esp. in Chihaya's case).

There is a sense that Taichi is trying to do something similar, make karuta about himself. But I think it is detrimental that his way of doing that so far seems - to me personally - to be laid out in terms of what other people can do. I feel that Taichi would be happier when he is finally comfortable in his own niche in karuta.

To try and make it a bit clearer, I believe that people should measure themselves against themselves, rather than against others. Alternatively, it's about not using others as a measuring stick, but rather as avenues to find out how to improve oneself - in the end, it's about what one can do, not about envying others for what they can do. To me personally, that's how Taichi is still coming across at this point in the story. Other viewers may see it differently, but I'm fine with that.



As for your second point - the issue I actually had was with the interpretation I've seen around that 'Taichi is not approaching Chihaya because Arata is not here'.

I quite agree that Taichi recognising and voicing this particular flaw of 'running away' is a good thing, and is the first step towards addressing it.

Last edited by karice67; 2014-01-13 at 19:09.
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Old 2012-02-27, 00:40   Link #1245
Kirarakim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karice67 View Post
My impression from the last few pages is that you are predisposed to interpret what Taiichi says and does in a positive way, whilst a few of the other posters are predisposed to interpret them in a negative way, which is why I said the views are too simple. I'm sorry if I offended you.
My views of Taichi are yes largely positive as I see him as a character who is flawed and makes mistakes but is genuinely a good kid.

Quote:
I never said that Chihaya was his only reason for playing karuta. As I noted, his love for karuta is growing.
Perhaps you didn't but my initial arguments in this thread were not necessarily directed at you. My only point was that Taichi does care about Karuta itself...not just Chihaya.

I wasn't saying that Chihaya wasn't a factor at all for Taichi.

Quote:
However, your 'evidence' that Taiichi plays karuta (predominantly?) for himself / out of love for the game is, I feel, ignoring something important that a few other viewers have picked up. Which is, that Taiichi is actually struggling to maintain that 'ideal' goal of playing for himself.
No but I do think Taichi predominately plays Karuta now to prove to himself he can win at something he isn't automatically good at.

In a sense fighting for Chihaya is the same idea. But I think he wants to prove himself at Karuta first before he fights for her, if that makes sense.

I don't however think Taichi is only playing Karuta because of Chihaya & that was my main point.

As for your point to Kazu about Taichi measuring himself against others being a flaw, well actually I agree. In my previous posts I did say Taichi feels conflicting emotions for Arata: admiration, friendship but also jealousy. Now while I said jealousy might be a human emotion & doesn't make him a jerk; I never said it wasn't a flaw.



Of course I admit I am biased in favor of Taichi (and it's partially because of all the unfair bashing I see him get on this thread...please note I am definitely not referring to your post, I felt it was a largely fair analysis of his character even if I don't entirely agree).
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Old 2012-02-27, 02:28   Link #1246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
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.
Not entirely true.
Taichi's lines were more direct towards getting satification from winning (in general) with effort:
Komano says he has no talent for karuta.
Taichi has 2 memory flashbacks:
1) His mum words “Focus on contests that you can win” (= only fight battles you can win).
2) “I could spend my entire youth on karuta without ever becoming better than Arata” (= his effort vs Arata's talent)
This is his realization that Komano is feeling the same frustrations as him and wants to run away from difficult things.

If you watch a lot of the early episodes (including the very episode you're referring to), Taichi says doesn't care much for karuta (he says multiple times he doesn't care for achieving Master, or something along those lines, and he's not a good enough opponent to help Chihaya).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
The very idea that Taichi doesn't enjoy Karuta and only plays because of Chihaya is ridiculous.
Sure, he enjoys a game of karuta, but he's not in love with the game (yet?) (see Arata, Chihaya, Nishida - they love the game). I dare say Komano and Kana aren't in love with karuta either - they enjoy the game, too.
I'm didn't say only (or did I?), but Chihaya is his primary reason/goal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
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
I should rephrase my argument. I don't believe he admired Arata as a karuta player because Taichi wasn't (still doesn't, maybe?) considering himself as a karuta player.
For someone as analytical as him, he had made no comparison in karuta techniques between himself and Arata, compared to Chihaya, who immediately noticed Arata level of skill (the water scene, comparison to the Queen).
I'm not saying he doesn't admire Arata, just not as a karuta player (or at least did not in the earlier episodes). Just saying "Arata's better than me" isn't much of an admiration, just a feeling of inferiority.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
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.
Yeah, most of the good friendship scenes between Taichi and Arata happened off camera. We'll just take a single line (“Arata's back”) and be convinced that they really were good friends (seriously, no sarcasm here).
Like I said before, it's obviously implied they were good friends, but it didn't connect with me (as a viewer) since I saw nothing but bickering between the two. I'm sure plenty of people connected easily here, but not me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Now that is ridiculous and it kind of proves no matter what Taichi does or says you will see the worst in him.
Sorry, but you're wrong on two things here.
1) I don't think everything Taichi says or does is bad, but it's easier to point out Taichi's flaws because it's shown more often (heck, he's hijacked the leading role in this show). Plus, most examples showing his good traits weren't that great in the first place.
When people say Taichi's getting a lot of character development, that's because these negative aspects are exactly what he's trying to overcome throughout this show (trying, he hasn't yet). I dislike him because of these these flaws, but he is trying to redeem himself.
2) It isn't ridiculous. Taichi was smug/arrogant as a kid. Look at his expression as he says that line. He's happy, but look at his eyebrow (it's pointing down). That expression, plus how his line is spoken, is a show of arrogance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
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).
Yeah, she was. Which is why Arata got pissed off and fought back. They were fighting each other as karuta players, Taichi wasn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Taichi was genuinely pleased when Arata praised him, it obviously meant something to Taichi in that scene or he wouldn't have blushed.
Yeah, it meant something, but I interpreted it differently.
First off, Taichi wasn't fishing for a compliment or approval from Arata (like I said, he was competing against Arata).
He was embarassed and surprised, not “pleased”. Two things happened when Arata complimented Taichi. First was the compliment, which I believe he wasn't expecting, and second was Arata calling Taichi by first name (remember, calling someone by their first name is a big deal in Japan).

Quote:
Originally Posted by karice67 View Post
However, your 'evidence' that Taiichi plays karuta (predominantly?) for himself / out of love for the game is, I feel, ignoring something important that a few other viewers have picked up. Which is, that Taiichi is actually struggling to maintain that 'ideal' goal of playing for himself.
The issue with I have with Taichi is that karuta is Chihaya to him. His goal in karuta is Chihaya. Once he separates Chihaya out from karuta, I might have more respect for him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Again, there's nothing wrong with this because he's aware of his shortcomings, of his cowardice, and is consciously trying to change. And he's changing, little by little. Of course, he won't be able to fully overcome his flaws until the very climax of the story.
Yep, I'm viewing his actions negatively because they are his flaws, and give reasons for my dislike of him. Saying he's these aren't his flaws or that he's not trying to overcome them is incorrect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I don't however think Taichi is only playing Karuta because of Chihaya & that was my main point.
Yeah, we're not dealing in absolutes here, but I'd say he hasn't primarily been playing for himself (well, maybe now he's considering it).
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Old 2012-02-27, 10:44   Link #1247
sikvod00
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At some point you guys/gals are going to have to agree to disagree, because this issue with Taichi is just going back and forth.
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Old 2012-02-27, 11:11   Link #1248
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by sikvod00 View Post
At some point you guys/gals are going to have to agree to disagree, because this issue with Taichi is just going back and forth.
I think you are right, at least until the next episode.

But please note this discussion is going back & forth because we feel passionate about our opinions. I strongly disagree with Quadriatric but I am happy he voiced his opinion because if we all agreed all the time it would be pretty boring.

And I suppose Taichi is the type of character that brings out negative or positive feelings in the viewer, and I think that is better than indifference.

Edit: Quadriatic, thank you for saying you are not talking in absolutes, I think that was my main issue with the crux of your argument, so I guess I'll just agree to disagree.
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Old 2012-02-28, 14:07   Link #1249
Blaat
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It's Taichi Tuesday! With the highlight being:
Spoiler:
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Old 2012-02-28, 14:26   Link #1250
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Hahaha. Chihaya never fails to make hilarious facial expressions every episode.
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Old 2012-02-28, 15:03   Link #1251
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Tn my opinion the BEST PICTURE from Chihaya in the whole serie so far when she was holding Tsutomu hand and her face is a little blushed !! What a great expression.

Taichi is terrific remembering the 100 poems and random calls them without iteration, if he get Chihaya speed/ears and Queens timing he would be invincible.

Ririka-chan, she kinda remind me of little Chihaya, i think if Chihaya was also playing at early age and trained like Arata, Chihaya too would be a "A class" player in 6th grade. Poor Ririka her opponent was just too strong this time.
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Old 2012-02-28, 16:25   Link #1252
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by hai_san View Post
Taichi is terrific remembering the 100 poems and random calls them without iteration, if he get Chihaya speed/ears and Queens timing he would be invincible.
That'll never happen. What would be the point?

Nishida is annoying me a bit. Not everybody has to play exactly like he does. He did it to Kana too...

Though I guess he's right that Taichi has to focus on other areas of the game, just like Chihaya had to learn to use more than just her speed and hearing.
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Old 2012-02-28, 16:26   Link #1253
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Every time Arata and Taichi interact, even indirectly, it's electrifying. I'll never forget the brief scene between the two of them alone for the first time in years at Arata's house. The two characters have even better chemistry with each other than Chihaya has with either one, and they're hardly ever even in the same room.

The team's reaction to Nishida suddenly joining the spectators was pretty fantastic too.
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Old 2012-02-28, 16:34   Link #1254
Sol Falling
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Another amazing episode this week. Chihaya was just great.

I wonder how the hair thing is going to turn out...

Hmm, I wonder if anyone more familiar with professional karuta could clarify how these qualifiers work exactly? You've got the Eastern and Western subdivisions, but it's not just the Eastern finalist versus the Western finalist, is it? How high into the tournament do they get before the two divisions join together?

Also, we understand of course that the Queen/Meijin challenger matches are divided by gender. Even so, would I be right in assuming this qualifier tournament still follows the standard tournament structure? As in, males and females continue competing against each other all the way through to the finals--the rights to challenge accordingly going to the highest ranked player of the appropriate gender?
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Old 2012-02-28, 17:45   Link #1255
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It's similar to the way Shogi and Go works.

You have four Prelim Tournaments. Based on the club you registered under you are either in the East or West and then divided into men and women.

Spoiler for Shinobu clarification just in case::


The winner of those 4 tournaments meet each other in a winner-takes-all match (man vs.man, woman vs. woman) to receive the once-a-year right to challenge the Meijin and Queen title match.

Meijin match is best-of-7, while Queen match is best-of-5.
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Old 2012-02-28, 18:02   Link #1256
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First the Queen herself, then an old lady (ok, not that old), and now a little girl.. Chihaya always gets interesting opponents. I felt pretty bad for Ririka when she started losing, and was happy and impressed she didn't let that defeat and the other players' slander get to her too much. She handled this defeat very well for her age. She even made friends with Chihaya, which isn't too surprising since they've got the same mental age (I'm just joking ... everybody knows Ririka is more mature than her of course ).

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Another amazing episode this week. Chihaya was just great.

I wonder how the hair thing is going to turn out...
To be honest, part of me wants Chihaya to lose because it'd be hilarious if she shaved her head
I really want to see Taichi and Arata's reaction to a bald Chihaya too. I seriously doubt it will happen though.

PS: I love how Daddy Bear never leaves Chihaya's mind. He's clearly her one true love.
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Old 2012-02-28, 18:04   Link #1257
Sol Falling
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Thanks for the clarification. Ah, indeed the matches in this episode were divided by gender (Chihaya vs. Ririko, Sudou vs. Nishida), for some reason I seemed to be thinking both genders were still playing each other.

edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
To be honest, part of me wants Chihaya to lose because it'd be hilarious if she shaved her head
I really want to see Taichi and Arata's reaction to a bald Chihaya too. I seriously doubt it will happen though.
...okay, indeed I have to admit that that'd be hilarious. Still though, my gut feeling is making me inclined to think it'd be a terrible waste of her hair. It's one thing to change your image, but long hair like that takes years to grow out...to have it tossed away frivolously would be a true travesty.
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Last edited by Sol Falling; 2012-02-28 at 18:15.
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Old 2012-02-28, 18:54   Link #1258
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Like how Chihaya thanked Komano after the teacher told her she didn't fail anything. Lol Sudo messed up Chihaya's focus. Ririka is like how Chihaya used to be. Glad Chihaya made it through. How many more rounds are there? Taichi's message was nice to Arata.
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Old 2012-02-28, 19:29   Link #1259
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Chihaya thanking Komano was definitely very sweet. Because I remember in his introductory episode he would help people with their studies but here he was just being used. But here he was helping a friend who was definitely thankful to him.


I also enjoyed how Chihaya cheered up Ririka. I also like how the series contrasted Chihaya playing someone older in Sakura and someone younger in Ririka. Goes to show that there are many different types of matches in Karuta. I like that you are paired up by skill not age.


And I so want to ship Arata & Taichi.


edit: Just found out Ririka was voiced by Chopper's seiyuu (ala One Piece) no wonder she sounded so cute.
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Old 2012-02-28, 20:12   Link #1260
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I'm glad Chihaya won to the brat. The opposite would have been unforgivable.

And lol Arata has a PINK mobile phone, pretty random.
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