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Old 2012-03-07, 15:11   Link #1321
hyperborealis
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Yumin is also another instance of an "older" woman we have seen already in the anime. She is presented as someone on the edge of being superseded by the upcoming younger generation. So the turning point in the match for Yumin is the moment when she refuses to go along with the usual story, where older women exist to set the stage for the young, who win glory and victory on the strength of their youth. Yumin's win underlines the author's basic sympathy for older women. In this respect, Suetsugu-sama is very much writing against the conventions of a large portion of manga and anime written today.

It would be interesting to go back and reevaluate the main characters in terms of this contrary point of view. One could think Chihaya and Taichi's good looks and Chihaya's exceptional reflexes rather tell against them, as signs of the privilege of youth. Conversely, Taichi's words about putting in effort on the tatami and about making himself into someone who does not run away reflect the values of experience and endurance that define the lives of those have grown through and beyond youth. Arata's care for his grandfather fulfills women's wishes that sons should equally fulfill the responsibility of caring for the elderly usually shouldered by the daughters. A lot that transpires in the anime makes new sense I think if you look at the show from the perspective of this sympathy for older women.
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2012-03-15 at 13:18.
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Old 2012-03-07, 15:30   Link #1322
Guardian Enzo
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Taichi and Arata are both what might be called "old souls" - especially Taichi. He's responsible, neurotic and relfective. Chihaya by contrast is the virtual embodiment of youth both inside the ring and out - self-centered, innocent, not very self-aware, athletic and impetuous.

While both Yumin and Sakura are older women (and both defeated Chihaya) I think they're at very different places in their Karuta journey. Sakura is clearly well past her prime, a "ceremonial" player playing for the love of the game and what might have been. Yumin is only one year removed from being Queen, and at a crossroads - will Karuta continue to be an important part of her adult life, or will she go the way of Sakura? She's still young and athletic enough (and free of responsibilities enough, presumably) to rededicate herself to being elite, if she so chooses.
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Old 2012-03-07, 15:40   Link #1323
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I think that was be a fascinating twist ending, but I doubt it's going to happen.
Party pooper.
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Old 2012-03-07, 15:47   Link #1324
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Well, it's just a guess, party aint pooped because of me.

Last edited by Guardian Enzo; 2012-03-07 at 16:16.
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Old 2012-03-07, 16:31   Link #1325
hyperborealis
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
While both Yumin and Sakura are older women (and both defeated Chihaya) I think they're at very different places in their Karuta journey.
Yes. The sheer variety of women characters in this anime is striking, and itself I think a sign of the author's sympathies.
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Old 2012-03-07, 16:59   Link #1326
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Such behavior is not allowed - it is only not prohibited. It's a loophole and taking advantage of it is frowned upon. Just like the US government will go after those who use tax loopholes because even though they are "allowed," doing so pisses off the government and it will eventually come after those who exploit the loopholes.

If karuta is a sport, then there is sportsmanship to consider. Sportsmanship is a set of unspoken rules and decorum. Yeah, so you should be belittled if you play the game without sportsmanship, because sports is more than just winning and losing (even at the competitive level).
That's only if the assumption that Yumi purposely argued over cards she knew she didn't touch first, and therefore stole points from Chihaya (then again, it's her fault for given them up - but that's a whole other matter) is correct. I don't believe it is. It's almost impossible to tell for the first card, but it's clear that she did touch the second one before Chihaya. In my opinion, she only contested cards she was certain she touched first (she could be wrong of course, but if that's the case, her opponent needs to tell her), letting it go every time because "oh noes, if I argue, people will frown upon me" would have been idiotic on her part.

Of course, everything would be easily solved if they added referees. What happens when players can't agree on who should get a card anyway?
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Old 2012-03-07, 17:57   Link #1327
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That's only if the assumption that Yumi purposely argued over cards she knew she didn't touch first, and therefore stole points from Chihaya (then again, it's her fault for given them up - but that's a whole other matter) is correct. I don't believe it is. It's almost impossible to tell for the first card, but it's clear that she did touch the second one before Chihaya. In my opinion, she only contested cards she was certain she touched first (she could be wrong of course, but if that's the case, her opponent needs to tell her), letting it go every time because "oh noes, if I argue, people will frown upon me" would have been idiotic on her part.

Of course, everything would be easily solved if they added referees. What happens when players can't agree on who should get a card anyway?
She's said to contest every close call. So, unless you believe everyone of those is hers (unlike, say, half, which would be more natural), she damn well contests cards not only when she isn't sure, but when she damn well knows she wasn't first. That's what her first argument looked like to me: a bluff, and when she saw Chihaya was susceptible, she drove the blade all the way in and twisted.

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Agreed,I don't think her opponent pulled this off often,just a couple times was enough to get to Chihaya and she didn't do it anymore because she didn't need to.
I would think that she can't do it everytime.In football if you keep arguing calls with the ref you're going to end up with a flag thrown your way,if you keep arguing calls in basketball you'll end up with a technical,if you keep arguing balls and strikes in baseball you could get ejected,if you keep arguing calls in soccer you'll get a yellow card...
The thing is, karuta's essentially a self-arbitrated sport. It's impossible for the officials to actually watch all the games. They'd need high speed cameras over every game, and to replay contested points - but they don't do that. They trust the players instead. Which means that without sportsmanship, you've got nothing.

I'm no karuta player, but I don't think I'd mind getting trounced by Shinobu. She's just plain better than everyone else. Fine. But I don't think I'd want to even play in the same room as Yumin. She's not just annoying - the thought that she's getting by on dishonesty is just shameful.

Quote:
So there's got to be a limit,and I'm sure Yumin knows it,notice she contested the call on what seemed to her like a crutial card,I'm inclined to believe that she wouldn't have done it if that was not the case.

If Chihaya had just showed some resistance she might have stopped doing it,notably because she'd think she missed her crutial chance and her moral would be back down.
Probably, yes. I think Sudou would have destroyed her if she'd tried it on him - it's not like she doesn't have buttons to push. But Chihaya didn't merely let her get a card - she let her take her confidence, too. That was the fatal blow.
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Old 2012-03-07, 20:17   Link #1328
Byakou
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First card


With the pinky, like she said.

Second card



It's unclear whose hand it is until next frame where we see that Chihaya's hand is the one that was late.


So it seems despite being annoying, the old lady was honest on both accounts. I'm glad that at least Chihaya lost fair and square, it would have sucked to lose to a cheater.
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Old 2012-03-07, 20:35   Link #1329
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Can we stop calling Yumin an old lady. Didn't she just graduate college? Maybe she is old compared to the high school kids but she isn't that old.

Gosh this thread is making me feel old and I am older than Yumin.


But thanks very much for the screen caps Byakou, those were very helpful in clearing up that Yumin did not cheat. She knew it was her card and she fought for it.
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Old 2012-03-07, 22:27   Link #1330
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So she regained her passion and managed to come back. I like how this show is progressing, honestly this probably could've happened realistically speaking.

Ayase choked in the middle of the match and lost despite the lead she had, that happens in pretty much anything competitive.

Now the problem is, she doesn't love karuta, but loves competitive karuta. The notable difference is that they both lead you down two entirely separate roads. One being the road of her former victor, Sakura, or the road everyone else tries to follow, becoming queen/master.

But her speed and sharp reflex's prove otherwise, she has the talent but doesn't have the mental build. Unfortunately not a lot of people have the mental build, and those that do don't necessarily need talent. This is what I think Harada tried to teach her by telling her to stop relying on her speed, and focus on overcoming the barrier that made her lose important matches. Combine the two and your good, remove the mental strength and no matter how much talent you have you'll always lose.

I see Arata as the complete opposite of Chihaya, he's mentally prepared but doesn't rely on talent. And by that I mean, the mental block that clouds Chihaya as she plays, doesn't happen to Arata since he doesn't care about the outcome. He obviously wants to win but he doesn't put as much pressure to what happens if he doesn't, as Chihaya tries so hard not to lose that it has the opposite effect. And at the moment I could definitely see Arata holding more than just his weight against Hisashi.

The show feels like their trying to view a modern karuta players perspective and the mental struggles that occur through their daily matches. And I find it's really well thought out, I'd prefer such an outcome rather than an unrealistic scenario where Chihaya becomes queen, and the mains succeed against overwhelming odds.
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Old 2012-03-07, 22:58   Link #1331
Master_Yoma
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Yumin really knows how to play for every card and she teach Chihaya how to play for every card
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Old 2012-03-08, 01:16   Link #1332
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Thanks byakou for the screencap. A dead horse can finally RIP.

Real evidence > logical speculation > personal belief
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Old 2012-03-08, 04:10   Link #1333
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Of course, everything would be easily solved if they added referees. What happens when players can't agree on who should get a card anyway?
If they can't reach an agreement, the card goes to whoever's territory it belonged to.
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Old 2012-03-08, 09:40   Link #1334
hyperborealis
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Thinking on Guardian Enzo's comment about Yumin and Sakura being at different points of a career in karuta, I noticed that the female characters in Chihayafuru comprise a trajectory of age, starting with Chihaya as a child, and then going on to Chihaya as a teen, to Shinobu, to Yumin, and finally to Sakura.

No one wins forever--not even Shinobu. So human life is imperfectly characterized by victories in karuta. Loss, rather, is the true universal. Experiencing, facing, and dealing with loss is the place where human victories are found. That is why the anime is closing on such an ambivalent note, with defeats of the principal characters on the tatami. Suetsugu-sama pursues the deeper, more difficult victories, the quiet greatness of Taichi's words to Harada-sensei. In the end everyone loses, everything is taken away--yet for all this people still refuse to run away. Defeated, they become noble; by tragedy, they become great.

At its heart Chihayafuru carries a wisdom too deep for tears.
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2012-03-15 at 13:17.
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Old 2012-03-08, 15:52   Link #1335
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As the say, you can learn about a person about his/her true self in adversity. She should be a better player if she can keep her self together and come out of it well enough to move on. There is one thing Chihaya has done consistently is that all her opponent come alive when they play against her. She is special, but we already know that!
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Old 2012-03-08, 23:56   Link #1336
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Originally Posted by LKK View Post
Party pooper.
That guy's character sketch, released by the anime magazine, convinced me the show will end with the whim. At first, I didn't believe it. It's too soon. Without rushing it, the pace actually reach this point. blah blah balh

Seriously, I feel sorry for the former queen. She has low self esteem. She knows she's too average, and she's the one who gets ignored. She somehow does well in karuta. She continues to play karuta because she knows someone will care about her. Her teacher will care about her, as long as she continue to play karuta. Although he has the bad personality, he is a good teacher. So, she works hard. The public view is that she becomes a office lady, so she loses the precious time for practice. She knows it's not the case. Besides, students are busy with their work, too. She is overwhelmed by Shinobu and loses the confidence.

Chihaya has the high respect for the former queen, although she's dethroned. Chihaya notices her victory is the result of the hard work. However, Chihaya still can't believe it. The victory at her grasp is overturned later.

It raises an interesting question. Chihaya witness her success to win the title, but Chihaya misses the lossing title match. Because Chihaya didn't recognize Shinobu, it meant she did not watch the national TV from previous year. How can a kaurta mania as Chihaya will miss the most important event of the year? I also notice this manga has covered emotions for many players, for winning and losing. It's more than sports anime.
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Old 2012-03-12, 14:35   Link #1337
hyperborealis
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The episode takes its title from the 9th waka of the Hyakunin Isshu. Mostow translates the poem as follows:

The color of the flowers
has faded indeed
in vain
have I passed through the world
while gazing at the falling rains.

The Crunchyroll translation "Just as My Beauty has Faded" presumably alludes to Yumin's age, since the episode portrays her to a degree as someone whose interest in karuta has faded since her loss to Shinobu.

But the poem might refer better to Chihaya, and to the situation she finds herself in with her loss. All her effort at karuta has been focused on becoming queen, and now that dream has been suddenly and unexpectedly derailed. So it may be she who finds that "in vain / have I passed through the world." More, Chihaya's stunned and sightless stare echoes the senseless "gazing at the falling rains" of the final line. The despair the poem articulates is the challenge that Chihaya's defeat leaves her at the close of the episode. In a sense, the episode ends on a cliffhanger: how will Chihaya respond to her loss? How will her friends react? All of that is left for the next episode.

------

I confess Chihaya's defeat has left me with a certain listlessness, so I will forgo more analysis of the cards this week. The significance of Yumin's win for the overall story arc escapes me. The narrative begins to take on the depressing character of real life, where life is just "one damned thing after another."
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Old 2012-03-13, 10:10   Link #1338
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Well, that was an interesting episode in that we got to see it from the PoV of someone who hasn't been in the main cast at all.

But I loved Yumin so it was all cool. She is actually my idol among the women in this show now. I could care less about deified talented players or youthful dreamers or people full of confidence and with a plan of action all the time. I sympathize much more with tenacious workers who aren't exactly brimming with confidence all the time but manage to hang on nonetheless. They are just that much more real, real as in seeing the flaws with the world and themselves but coping with it nonetheless. They will have to battle all their life with the possibility of eventually giving in to despair, of becoming nothing but a whiner, but so long as they don't do it, they are awesome.

I severely disagree with those posters who think contesting every close call is dishonest. Contesting every close call is what separates the passionate and the sincere from the weak-willed and the insincere. Sportsmanship includes being serious about the sports and that means contesting what you believe should have been yours. There are many things wrong with claiming that Yumin is cheating just because she contests all close calls, the first of them being the assumption that she contests even when she knows for sure that the card wasn't hers.

I say it is the duty of every player who respects the sports to contest a call if they are either sure that they deserved the point or if they are unsure as to who should get it. The only time it'd be dishonest, cheating and disruptive would be if you contested something you know for sure that you didn't win. And that is a thing nobody can do with as much confidence and with as much detail as Yumin did with her calls.

Besides, Chihaya wasn't anywhere near as confident as Yumin that she touched the cards first and yet she tried to take them. Why isn't she being harped on for being dishonest instead? It's kind of redundant to try and defend her point here when she couldn't manage to make a case for it herself, don't you think?
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Old 2012-03-13, 13:49   Link #1339
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In the latest episode Komano has a rival for Kana's affection (well besides Nishida)
Spoiler:


Lame jokes aside I'm curious if they skipped material from the manga because
Spoiler:
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Old 2012-03-13, 15:21   Link #1340
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That ending ... reminded me of what a softie I am
D'aww!

I'm a little let down that there wasn't a match shown in detail, but was still a nice episode. You can really see how close everyone is now.

Taichi keeping an eye on the depressed Chihaya and what followed was simply lovely. Why, why do they all have to be so adorable?

I'll be so sad once the anime ends
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