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Old 2013-01-15, 04:13   Link #181
Quadratic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
"Karuta"'s right there in the name of the club. The second years want to participate, even if they have different priorities, and those priorities aren't "raising the first years". And they train seriously. The first years just want to gawk at Taichi, and are noisy and unpleasant about it.
Funny how they had to be kicked and dragged into the club on their introductions.
And now they don't care an ounce for new members.
That's just as rude and unpleasant especially considering their "humble" beginnings.
Does it really matter they're joining because of Taichi?
What was Taichi's reason for helping to form the karuta club in the first place...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
She's not looking for love. She's looking for bragging rights.
*cries over a poem* -> ... "So I must live for love!"
"Mashima-senpai will never choose me. I won't accept it" (the context was about devotion/love).
Is Sumire giving crocodile tears to herself?
If it was just bragging rights, she could just quit and pick an easier "target" because Mashima implied she doesn't stand a chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fukarming View Post
I kinda deviate the discussion from comparing Sumire and Taichi to wondering why others bach Taichi. and yes, I completely agree that Taichi is the "tragic handsome boy"

It seems you really believe Taichi will be considered creepy if he is not good looking. Have you watch School Rumble? Do you consider Hanai Haruki creepy? He is average to good looking (not as good looking as Taichi, I will admit), good at sports and study (just like Taichi) and very creepy in my opinion. Compare to him Taichi is the ideal guy. As many others said, Taichi is harmless (Chihaya certainly don't mind him being around) while most females dislike having a creepy guy around (Yakumo dislike Hanai around)
Nah, what I was trying to get at was that people can tolerate more when the person is better looking/popular (and yes, I admit being a hypocrite from time to time, as well). Taichi borders the fine line of creepy/non-creepy, yet the writers/mangaka clearly knows how to keep him just within the non-creepy side to the point where people says he's a such a good person. I would say if he looked like, say, Tsutomu, people would be more critical of his actions.
Actually, Chihaya being completely oblivious also helps the situation in his favor.

Interesting you bring up School Rumble (that brings back memories...).
If I recall correctly, Hanai was purposely portrayed creepier around Yakumo (it was the multiple attempts to kiss her, and a few other things?).
But Harima? He's a lovable character, yet on paper, you'd call him a creep for stalking Temna multiple times (the other oblivious girl).

The end result of Taichi's actions ends up being "harmless", but there have been a few temptations to shaft Arata out (not talking just about the love perspective; from a friendship/teammate perspective which Arata yearns for), which don't pan out because of Chihaya or Arata rectify the situation.
The whole love triangle is poison (let's blame Chihaya instead ).
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Old 2013-01-15, 08:12   Link #182
hyperborealis
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The team is divided, with only Chihaya interested in including the newcomers in the club. Basically the others are content to be part of an elite, to be in the in-crowd. Good reasons or not, they are setting up a little class system.

Sumire stands on the down side of another class system---a first year, a girl of ordinary appearance, a member of the crowd, matched up against a bishonen Taichi, a star, a guy out of her league.


The theme of the episode is overcoming class differences, via Chihaya's inclusiveness based on a love for karuta, or Sumire's determination. Suetsugu is on the side of the outsider.
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Old 2013-01-15, 09:27   Link #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
a first year, a girl of ordinary appearance.
That's not what I got out of the episode or even how she sees herself. Not that there is anything wrong with that but I don't think Sumire is ordinary or sees herself that way.

I think it is fine to defend Sumire. I am sure we will see she is a good person but can you blame people for having a negative impression of her initially?

You also forgot that Sumire right off the bat decides she dislikes both Chihaya and Kana because of looks (calling them both enemies) but likes the Taichi because of his looks.

It's only been one episode though Sumire has a chance to change. I don't hate her just my initial impression was not favorable. That's fine though, I don't need or expect to love every character immediately, that's what character growth is for. And sometimes the characters I disliked initially end up becoming my favorites in the end because of the way they surprise me.
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Old 2013-01-15, 10:28   Link #184
Kanon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
Er, I consider him to be portrayed as one of those "tragic handsome bad boys".
As Yume Hanabi understood, if we replaced Taichi with an uglier guy, a lot more people would (probably) be up in arms over his actions (with respect to the whole love triangle issue, which is really the only place where Taichi's ugly side comes up).
His 'creepy' factor is dependent how good looking he is while being possessive.
Better looking -> knight in shining armor .
Uglier -> monster, kill it with fire !
Anyway, this isn't really about bashing Taichi (despite how humorous it is to do), it was about comparing Taichi and Sumire and how bad is she really doing on her introduction.
I don't think this is true. A recent example is Haru from Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. He is genuinely possessive, violent and creepy and he was disliked a lot for that. Being handsome didn't give him a free pass.

In fact, Taichi himself was highly criticized at first (the girlfriend scandal...) so I find your argument rather fallacious. We don't like Taichi because he's good looking. We like him because he's a well-written character who has evolved a lot throughout the first season. As a straight male, I couldn't care less about his looks anyway. I can confidently say I like him for who he is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Finally, the anime does a lot of work to show how Sumire's motives develop within the episode itself, mainly via her reaction to the title poem. She understands the poem as an inspiration to seize the day, to live now before youth and beauty fade. Then, after her conversation with Taichi on the train, she makes the poem a reason to reject his advice to sit passively and wait for some guy to choose her, insisting instead "I want to have a choice, too! / I... / don't want to write poems about regrets!" At this point Sumire's motives for chasing Taichi have everything to do with being the kind of person she wants to be, a woman who can choose and act for herself. We are supposed to respect her for the way she incorporates the various meanings of the poem into her life. And we are supposed to admire her for the strength and independence of character she manifests at this moment. At the episode's close Sumire's motives are anything but shallow.
Sumire has indeed already started to move in the right direction as you so eloquently put it, but for me and others, this isn't quite enough yet to make us forget about her earlier actions. Currently, I only see it as an indication that she has the potential to become a great character. This is a good beginning and I have no doubt I'll eventually come to like her but she still needs to prove herself through action rather than words. This may happen as soon as the next episode.
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Old 2013-01-15, 11:46   Link #185
hyperborealis
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I certainly get where you folks are coming from. I am mainly concerned that we arrive at some idea just why Suetsugu puts Sumire into the story, and not simply rest in this initial dislike. If you think of her that way, all sorts of interesting ideas come up, and her behavior finds a context where she can be seen sympathetically, even if you still dislike her.

The title poem is #9. Here is Mostow's translation:

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

The episode itself does a brilliant job explaining the poem, so instead of saying anything here myself I'll simply recommend Jane's blog One Thousand Summers, where she does a wonderful analysis of the poem and the poetry in the episode. Anyone looking for Kana-chan need look no farther.

http://onethousandsummers.blogspot.c...ode-1.html?m=1

Jane notes that the very first card we hear as the episode begins is #79--which just happens to be the title card of the final episode of the first season. So the two seasons join perfectly together...

There's one other significant card in the episode: the card Chihaya takes during the demo that lands at Sumire's feet. This is #40, which says (again Mostow)

Even though I hide it,
it shows all over my face,
such is my longing,
so that people ask me
"What are you thinking about?"

The card is a love poem, and the animation is clearly connecting that passion to Sumire. More than that. Remember the promo graphic posted recently by TheEroKing, the one with Taichi holding a card? He's got #41, another love poem about a person who is known to be in love. Mostow points out that #40 & #41 are connected, that both were written for the same competition, and that Sumire's poem won The cards anyway are drawing a direct connection between Taichi and Sumire on the matter of love.
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2013-01-16 at 14:55. Reason: Added link to TheEroKing's post
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Old 2013-01-15, 14:18   Link #186
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
Funny how they had to be kicked and dragged into the club on their introductions.
If you want me to admit Chihaya and Taichi were rude in dragging the others, I'll readily do so.
Quote:
And now they don't care an ounce for new members.
That's just as rude and unpleasant especially considering their "humble" beginnings.
It's neither, really. The new members decided on their own to come. The second years were quite willing to guide them, except maybe Nikkuman. The only time the second years were anything less than welcoming was when Kana put her foot down on Sumire - who had it coming. But they're the ones rejecting that guidance and mocking the second years for even trying to provide it.

Quote:
Does it really matter they're joining because of Taichi?
What was Taichi's reason for helping to form the karuta club in the first place...?
Strawman. I said it before - I don't care that they're there to fangirl on Taichi.

But if they're going to join the club, or even just attend the presentation, I expect them to:
1- not speak out of turn. Chihaya was clearly talking, and Sumire interrupted.
2- at least feign interest in Karuta. They don't have to try as hard as the second years, but they should at least be willing to learn the rules and play some games.

Can't you see how low my standards of good behavior are, and how they still fail to clear them?

Quote:
*cries over a poem* -> ... "So I must live for love!"
She just wants to achieve something with her looks while she still has them.

Quote:
"Mashima-senpai will never choose me. I won't accept it" (the context was about devotion/love).
Is Sumire giving crocodile tears to herself?
No, but as I said, it's about pride, not love of anyone but herself.

I'm not saying it couldn't, in time, become a legitimate love. But it isn't there yet. It's not anywhere near.

Quote:
If it was just bragging rights, she could just quit and pick an easier "target" because Mashima implied she doesn't stand a chance.
But she couldn't brag about it, then. Besides, quitting too easily wouldn't be consistent with, again, her pride.



Re: Taichi's creepiness or lack thereof. I think his major saving grace, there, is that he sees Chihaya as she is, with all her faults. He doesn't force her into some kind of delusion completely divorced from reality, but loves (or stalks...) her for who and what she is. And he does keep her happiness and wishes at heart.

Very different from, say, those otakus who go batshit when they learn voice actresses have boyfriends.

Last edited by Anh_Minh; 2013-01-15 at 16:46.
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Old 2013-01-15, 17:12   Link #187
Yume Hanabi
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
If you want me to admit Chihaya and Taichi were rude in dragging the others, I'll readily do so.
I think it was more about how the original members weren't really interested in karuta at first either. And some were disrespectful as well. So why hold the first years to a higher standard?
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Old 2013-01-15, 17:50   Link #188
Arya
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
I certainly get where you folks are coming from. I am mainly concerned that we arrive at some idea just why Suetsugu puts Sumire into the story, and not simply rest in this initial dislike. If you think of her that way, all sorts of interesting ideas come up, and her behavior finds a context where she can be seen sympathetically, even if you still dislike her.
Well if I had to guess I think that she could be that kind of character who will "speak the truth" here and there. In her way. What I saw, beyond her most evident attitude, is that she could be a straightforward person, quality that, depending on the situation, could be or could not be a good thing.
And particularly in the karuta club she could be an element of apparent disturbance. Thats' because I find that the club right now is a good oiled mechanism, competition-wise, but less relationship-wise. It's like the club reached an equilibrium that stops them growing further (in personal or interpersonal growing terms). With her attitude she could have a hard time being (truly) accepted inside the club, remaining for a while like an outsider. Position that would let her observe things from a different position.
For instance, the club members more or less know about Taichi self-sacrificing attitude, toward them or Chihaya, but nobody would remark that in a serious way. She could address the matter to him, or to them, in her, even annoying if it would be the case, way (and probably at the worst time ). Or she could see how Chihaya usually tend to be absorbed in herself when the time comes forgetting of her teammates. And ultimately, if she were to follow this path, would open Chihaya's eyes about Taichi or Arata (for better or for worse).
Just guessing. Because honestly somehow I don't see this kind of role very fitting for this show. Because I'm also expecting that she will be seen sympathetically sooner or later. And this kind of role wouldn't help her being so
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Old 2013-01-15, 21:48   Link #189
Guardian Enzo
Seishu's Ace
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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There's an interesting mythology - almost an urban legend - that seems to have sprung up, that Suetsugu is some kind of class warrior who's set Taichi up as the symbol of everything she despises. I see no evidence of it either in her words or in the manga, but I think it's rooted in a need to turn Chihayafuru into a shipping war.

Through this lens, Taichi can conveniently be identified as the villain in every situation. He's the rich brat who's trying to steal Chihayafuru from Arata. Despite the fact that he did nothing whatsoever to lead Sumire on (and tried to let her down easy before her hopeless crush became serious) and her interest in him is by definition purely superficial - as she knows nothing about him except what he looks like - he's the shallow materialist who cruelly rejects her because she's too ordinary.

In fact I think part of the problem is the need to try and classify everything in the series as if it were a classic shoujo romance, when in point of fact it's almost a perfect split of shoujo (in truth, probably more josei) and shounen elements. Chihaya could hardly be a more classic shounen protagonist in many ways. Since Chihaya fills that role, Taichi is the actual POV character most of the time - he's the one who's most often tested, and most often fails. Some may see this as the author beating him down to prove a social point, but I think it's because he's the one who has the most significant growth over the course of the series. As for the romance, while it may be the elephant in the room and certainly will be heard from in the end, it's not really the focus of the series and Chihayafuru suffers when you try and cram it into that box.
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Old 2013-01-16, 01:27   Link #190
Anh_Minh
I disagree with you all.
 
 
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Originally Posted by Yume Hanabi View Post
I think it was more about how the original members weren't really interested in karuta at first either. And some were disrespectful as well. So why hold the first years to a higher standard?
Because they chose to come to the club. That's the major difference. They didn't have to be dragged there.

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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
There's an interesting mythology - almost an urban legend - that seems to have sprung up, that Suetsugu is some kind of class warrior who's set Taichi up as the symbol of everything she despises. I see no evidence of it either in her words or in the manga, but I think it's rooted in a need to turn Chihayafuru into a shipping war.

Through this lens, Taichi can conveniently be identified as the villain in every situation. He's the rich brat who's trying to steal Chihayafuru from Arata. Despite the fact that he did nothing whatsoever to lead Sumire on (and tried to let her down easy before her hopeless crush became serious) and her interest in him is by definition purely superficial - as she knows nothing about him except what he looks like - he's the shallow materialist who cruelly rejects her because she's too ordinary.

In fact I think part of the problem is the need to try and classify everything in the series as if it were a classic shoujo romance, when in point of fact it's almost a perfect split of shoujo (in truth, probably more josei) and shounen elements. Chihaya could hardly be a more classic shounen protagonist in many ways. Since Chihaya fills that role, Taichi is the actual POV character most of the time - he's the one who's most often tested, and most often fails. Some may see this as the author beating him down to prove a social point, but I think it's because he's the one who has the most significant growth over the course of the series. As for the romance, while it may be the elephant in the room and certainly will be heard from in the end, it's not really the focus of the series and Chihayafuru suffers when you try and cram it into that box.
For him to be the Great Capitalist Satan, shouldn't he be more threatening and successful? The only point he's proving here is that superficial indicators of "winning at life" (looks, money, grades...) do not guarantee happiness.
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Old 2013-01-16, 03:53   Link #191
Quadratic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
If you want me to admit Chihaya and Taichi were rude in dragging the others, I'll readily do so.

It's neither, really. The new members decided on their own to come. The second years were quite willing to guide them, except maybe Nikkuman. The only time the second years were anything less than welcoming was when Kana put her foot down on Sumire - who had it coming. But they're the ones rejecting that guidance and mocking the second years for even trying to provide it.
As fukarming says, they played the bait and switch game and their plan backfired, as expected.

Then we get to eg. Tsutomu: "The first years aren't important"
The other members "interests" were also stated clearly in that same scene so I won't bother quoting them.
Having members purely for purpose of numbers or being half-committed (or less), is just as dishonest and rude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Strawman. I said it before - I don't care that they're there to fangirl on Taichi.

But if they're going to join the club, or even just attend the presentation, I expect them to:
1- not speak out of turn. Chihaya was clearly talking, and Sumire interrupted.
2- at least feign interest in Karuta. They don't have to try as hard as the second years, but they should at least be willing to learn the rules and play some games.

Can't you see how low my standards of good behavior are, and how they still fail to clear them?
They only failed at 1, then. But trying to teach 20 students and no adult superviser? Kids + Mob mentality (+ bait and switch) = what we saw is what was to be expected.
So no, your standards are flawed in this case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
She just wants to achieve something with her looks while she still has them.

No, but as I said, it's about pride, not love of anyone but herself.

I'm not saying it couldn't, in time, become a legitimate love. But it isn't there yet. It's not anywhere near.

But she couldn't brag about it, then. Besides, quitting too easily wouldn't be consistent with, again, her pride.
Or it could be that she understood Taichi's view on love (the whole devotion thing), which is exactly what she wanted (she wanted to be pampered).
Her pride was hurt because not only did Taichi reject her, but he essentially implied girls have no say in the matter.
There was no thoughts of bragging rights by at that point.
I think your idea of love does not align with her view of love.
As I said before (or was trying to), she's looking for love, I'm not saying she had fallen in love Taichi at first sight, but the last scene still meant some to her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Re: Taichi's creepiness or lack thereof. I think his major saving grace, there, is that he sees Chihaya as she is, with all her faults. He doesn't force her into some kind of delusion completely divorced from reality, but loves (or stalks...) her for who and what she is. And he does keep her happiness and wishes at heart.

Very different from, say, those otakus who go batshit when they learn voice actresses have boyfriends.
Fair point that Taichi loves her despite her quirks.
But, she doesn't know his true face, and he knows that.
The fact that he's a coward and scared that she will hate him (his own words), he puts up a massive facade because of it.

"Sure, why don't you get a boyfriend. You need to experience it first hand."
"Oh, I already have his number." (I'm quoting off the top of my head, so forgive me if it's a little misquoted)
Well, you know the rest...
I guess that preemptive strike don't count?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
I don't think this is true. A recent example is Haru from Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. He is genuinely possessive, violent and creepy and he was disliked a lot for that. Being handsome didn't give him a free pass.

In fact, Taichi himself was highly criticized at first (the girlfriend scandal...) so I find your argument rather fallacious. We don't like Taichi because he's good looking. We like him because he's a well-written character who has evolved a lot throughout the first season. As a straight male, I couldn't care less about his looks anyway. I can confidently say I like him for who he is.
Ok, I went too far with the whole not creepy if handsome thing.
As for the Haru comment, let's just say that if Taichi and Arata were on a staircase and Taichi slowly motions with his hand towards Arata, then Chihaya interrupts "Hiya, whatcha all doing?!", I would not be thinking "well, that was out of character for Taichi!".
Anyway, I agree he is a well-written character, but to me, while he has redeeming qualities, but he hasn't redeemed a lot (any?) on his darker side that actually needs redeeming (yet).



While I don't really want to drag back an old argument, this is my stance on Taichi getting Chihaya:
I do not care about the shipping war per se. For more emphasis: I do not care about Taichi getting Chihaya instead of Arata.
To me, Arata has honest goals of being Meijin, making good friends (or is it going back to his old friends?), playing with a team of friends (as stated in the flashback episodes).
Funnily enough, Chihaya is following Arata's goals, having essentially achieved half of that (what a dream stealer!).
I believe that for Taichi: kuruta = Chihaya.
Being Meijin => getting Chihaya.

The thing that would irk me the most would be Arata losing these goals due to a guy who essentially did it for a girl (and, no, I don't care if that's supposed to be romantic).
This would be essentially like kicking a guy who's already down.

The "winning" route for me would be Arata getting achieving those 3 goals, Taichi separate the idea of kuruta = Chihaya, thus Taichi humbly losing the Meijin title (assuming he has a chance) and accepting this loss (and he can get the girl, for all I care).
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Old 2013-01-16, 04:48   Link #192
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
I believe that for Taichi: kuruta = Chihaya.
I don't think that's the case. Taichi knows that he will never overcome his fear of losing (ingrained into him due to his family) unless he challenges himself and faces that fear head on. Karuta is one such challenge. He's not playing to get Chihaya; he's playing to become a man who can face a seemingly impossible challenge without running away. Heck, he himself states this more than once.

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Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
Being Meijin => getting Chihaya.
No, being Meijin isn't important to him except as a challenge to further test himself. And he hasn't expressed any interest in the title yet.
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Last edited by Kazu-kun; 2013-01-16 at 05:51.
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Old 2013-01-16, 05:38   Link #193
Guardian Enzo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Because they chose to come to the club. That's the major difference. They didn't have to be dragged there.



For him to be the Great Capitalist Satan, shouldn't he be more threatening and successful? The only point he's proving here is that superficial indicators of "winning at life" (looks, money, grades...) do not guarantee happiness.
Hey, I'm not defending the myth - I think it holds no water myself.
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Old 2013-01-16, 10:28   Link #194
hyperborealis
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Originally Posted by Arya View Post
Well if I had to guess I think that she could be that kind of character who will "speak the truth" here and there. In her way. What I saw, beyond her most evident attitude, is that she could be a straightforward person, quality that, depending on the situation, could be or could not be a good thing.
And particularly in the karuta club she could be an element of apparent disturbance. Thats' because I find that the club right now is a good oiled mechanism, competition-wise, but less relationship-wise. It's like the club reached an equilibrium that stops them growing further (in personal or interpersonal growing terms). With her attitude she could have a hard time being (truly) accepted inside the club, remaining for a while like an outsider. Position that would let her observe things from a different position.
For instance, the club members more or less know about Taichi self-sacrificing attitude, toward them or Chihaya, but nobody would remark that in a serious way. She could address the matter to him, or to them, in her, even annoying if it would be the case, way (and probably at the worst time ). Or she could see how Chihaya usually tend to be absorbed in herself when the time comes forgetting of her teammates. And ultimately, if she were to follow this path, would open Chihaya's eyes about Taichi or Arata (for better or for worse).
Just guessing. Because honestly somehow I don't see this kind of role very fitting for this show. Because I'm also expecting that she will be seen sympathetically sooner or later. And this kind of role wouldn't help her being so
This is really thoughtful and perceptive. Each of the secondary characters seems to have particular functions tied to their character traits: Tsutomu, to bring in the statistics, as befits his studious side; Kana, to bring in the meaning of the poetry, or to insist on proper etiquette, as befits her traditionalist side; and Nishida, to bring in the tatami-rat perspective of karuta as a sport, as befits his life-long background in competitive karuta. So Sumire would have a function too, one tied to her character, and since her character is, as you say, to be outspoken, then her role could follow just as you describe. Given her obsession with romance, she would definitely be in a position to bring up things about Taichi and Chihaya Taichi keeps to himself and Chihaya never thinks about. We've already seen her do that in this episode, where she prompted Taichi to explain his philosophy of dating.

I really liked your point about how the club has reached an equilibrium that has stopped the members from growing--this is exactly what Chihaya is obsessing over in the episode, when she worries that everyone "cares about different things." As in the first season, where the five club members had to learn to come together as a team, the episode is setting up divisions that will have to be overcome for the team to go forward to the next level of karuta achievement. Sumire might be, as you suggest, the necessary catalyst to bring the team forward. Really really nice point.

One of the things that happened in the first season is that all of the characters were drawn into the club and into the world of karuta. In so doing, to some degree they left the ordinary prosaic world behind. Of course, this is the world of the anime viewer and manga reader--so I wonder if one of Sumire's functions might not be to bring back into the rarefied world of karuta the point of view of the modern, ordinary person who knows little about, and cares little about, the game.

But you make a good point--how far and how long can Sumire remain an outsider? The tendency of the show is to draw everyone into karuta, into the love of karuta, and I agree with you that she also will be assimilated But she will likely always be an outsider to the Taichi and Chihaya relationship, even while she gets drawn into the karuta world, so I think she can still retain the function you have in mind even as she becomes more invested in the game.

Arya, I really appreciated your post. It helps us see how the minor characters work within the story, and gives us a systematic way of thinking about Sumire, and how she fits in with the other characters and the overall narrative. Posrep+++

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

Guardian Enzo, you made an interesting point on RC in the comments that Sumire's function might be to "relieve tension" re the interplay between Taichi and Chihaya. Perhaps you might elaborate that?

There's no way I can respond to the straw man of your invention about Suetsugu setting "Taichi up as the symbol of everything she despises." No one thinks that--you made that up.

I'd love to have a conversation about class in Chihayafuru with you--but you have to say something tangible first. Preferably you could focus on a particular episode and bring out the evidence for your views? That would help...
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2013-01-16 at 12:22.
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Old 2013-01-16, 11:19   Link #195
Yume Hanabi
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Those long thoughtful analyses are what made the first season twice as enjoyable as it could have been for me, and I was looking forward to see them back as much as I was waiting for the new season.

hyperborealis, Arya, and everyone else who participates in them -- I have unfortunately little to contribute to the discussions, but I want to say a bit thank you for the time and thoughts you're putting into analyzing this show. It's amazing.
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Old 2013-01-16, 19:29   Link #196
Guardian Enzo
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Read through the comments on my 25 S1 posts at RC and you'll see I didn't "make it up" - it's a myth that's alive and well, and gets plenty of play here too.
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Old 2013-01-16, 19:56   Link #197
Arya
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
This is really thoughtful and perceptive. Each of the secondary characters seems to have particular functions tied to their character traits: Tsutomu, to bring in the statistics, as befits his studious side; Kana, to bring in the meaning of the poetry, or to insist on proper etiquette, as befits her traditionalist side; and Nishida, to bring in the tatami-rat perspective of karuta as a sport, as befits his life-long background in competitive karuta. So Sumire would have a function too, one tied to her character, and since her character is, as you say, to be outspoken, then her role could follow just as you describe. Given her obsession with romance, she would definitely be in a position to bring up things about Taichi and Chihaya Taichi keeps to himself and Chihaya never thinks about. We've already seen her do that in this episode, where she prompted Taichi to explain his philosophy of dating.
You depicted each character perfectly, pointing out how each of them basically added a layer, that was missing to the club; layer that helped the club growing. But at the same time helped them in their personal growth. Or, in their personal restart. I haven't commented on the #9 poem you posted before, because I hadn't clear what I wanted to say, but thanks to your post now I focused a bit better on it. What I wanted to say was that the poem fits better the entire show instead of this particular episode. Because each "main" character was "gazing at the falling rains" before joining the club, each in his own way, Kana gazing at the archery, Tsutomu at his classmates, Nishida at tennis (more or less) and so on. Karuta give them the chance to start over, or just start (in case of Taichi or Chihaya). That's something that I can't concede to Sumire yet. I mean, probably it's befitting as a more strict analogy, but not factually, yet.
On a side note I'm wondering if Taichi is gazing at the falling rains or not, speaking strictly of the romance. But I know that it's a bit paradoxical given that if you take out his love for Chihaya he wouldn't be who is now.
And even your last remark is really interesting -- how easily Taichi spoke about something personal to Sumire -- because I don't think to remember any character, but probably Chihaya, confiding himself on whatever matter to someone else. That's clearly on of the causes of how they ended up having such different views as you said below.
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I really liked your point about how the club has reached an equilibrium that has stopped the members from growing--this is exactly what Chihaya is obsessing over in the episode, when she worries that everyone "cares about different things." As in the first season, where the five club members had to learn to come together as a team, the episode is setting up divisions that will have to be overcome for the team to go forward to the next level of karuta achievement. Sumire might be, as you suggest, the necessary catalyst to bring the team forward. Really really nice point.

One of the things that happened in the first season is that all of the characters were drawn into the club and into the world of karuta. In so doing, to some degree they left the ordinary prosaic world behind. Of course, this is the world of the anime viewer and manga reader--so I wonder if one of Sumire's functions might not be to bring back into the rarefied world of karuta the point of view of the modern, ordinary person who knows little about, and cares little about, the game.
I agree, if in the first season we saw the world of Karuta now could be very interesting seeing the same world facing the modern, and real, world.

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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
But you make a good point--how far and how long can Sumire remain an outsider? The tendency of the show is to draw everyone into karuta, into the love of karuta, and I agree with you that she also will be assimilated But she will likely always be an outsider to the Taichi and Chihaya relationship, even while she gets drawn into the karuta world, so I think she can still retain the function you have in mind even as she becomes more invested in the game.
That would be a nice compromise for her character, and fits perfectly the idea I had in mind. Because even if I'm trying to keep the shipping thing away, I can't deny that the Taichi / Chihaya relationship appeals me

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Arya, I really appreciated your post. It helps us see how the minor characters work within the story, and gives us a systematic way of thinking about Sumire, and how she fits in with the other characters and the overall narrative. Posrep+++
And I appreciated yours. It opens up a lot of interesting cues that sadly I had to narrow down as far I was writing, due to lack of time (in organizing my thoughts mostly ).
Anyways I'm also interested in the class thing, because so far I didn't get it as something relevant if not as something flatten out (or inverted?) by the Karuta game.
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Old 2013-01-17, 01:19   Link #198
Quadratic
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I don't think that's the case. Taichi knows that he will never overcome his fear of losing (ingrained into him due to his family) unless he challenges himself and faces that fear head on. Karuta is one such challenge. He's not playing to get Chihaya; he's playing to become a man who can face a seemingly impossible challenge without running away. Heck, he himself states this more than once.

No, being Meijin isn't important to him except as a challenge to further test himself. And he hasn't expressed any interest in the title yet.
I only half agree (ie. that he is facing his fear head on).

Taichi's position in karuta is directly related to where he stands in his relationship with Chihaya.
The fact that Arata and Chihaya are in class A, whereas Taichi's in class B, is the idea that Arata and Chihaya are (seemly) closer together, despite him physically being closer (Let's not forget Taichi getting ticked off/sad whenever Arata and Chihaya actually come in contact).
Him not progressing his karuta skill is the same as him letting Chihaya slip by (again).
This is his tragedy.

Taichi has stated many times he wanted Chihaya to look at him.
As a kid, Taichi was (supposedly?) superior to Chihaya in every way but doesn't seemed to care.
Yet, Arata enters the picture and is superior in only one aspect and Chihaya's been fixed on him ever since.
The important thing is that Chihaya and Arata have the same interests (karuta), thus Chihaya is fixed on Arata because he is superior to her in the same hobby (ie. karuta).

In order for her to look at him, he needs to catch up to her skill level in the hobby that she enjoys, and in order to "win" her, he needs to beat his competition, Arata who is aiming for Meijin.
And yes, he has made some cursory interest in Meijin (once in the childhood flashback, and the last ep of season 1).

In this episode, Chihaya shocked Taichi by saying her the most important goal is to get Taichi to class A.
This is the acknowledgement/inspiration Taichi needed as proof that class A = another step closer to getting Chihaya, because this is his hint that she will look at him.
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Old 2013-01-17, 11:48   Link #199
hyperborealis
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I haven't commented on the #9 poem [...] What I wanted to say was that the poem fits better the entire show instead of this particular episode. Because each "main" character was "gazing at the falling rains" before joining the club, each in his own way, Kana gazing at the archery, Tsutomu at his classmates, Nishida at tennis (more or less) and so on. Karuta give them the chance to start over, or just start (in case of Taichi or Chihaya). That's something that I can't concede to Sumire yet. I mean, probably it's befitting as a more strict analogy, but not factually, yet.
Beautiful, and brilliant. The sad feeling of the poem really does connect to the various characters at their opening moments, too--Tsutomu's loneliness, Kana's frustration at not being able to wear hakama, for instance. It is a really beautiful sympathy that you can see, through the poem, a way to connect all the characters together, back to the same beginning place, before karuta, and to find Sumire there as well, even if you don't think she has yet actually started, or started over. This is very very fine.

Of course, there is the question whether Sumire ever will get started, given that her motive in joining the club is front-and-center Taichi. We have had the same arguments about Taichi, since his motives in starting and participating in the club have centered around Chihaya. Ultimately, I don't think the difference matters. To dedicate yourself to a sport, or to a beloved, at least as Taichi does--these require the same sort of attention, patience, and work, so that we can recognize that Taichi is well started too, even if his ultimate goals are not karuta. So I don't think there is a paradox for Taichi that you speak of: it is the seeking, not the achieving, that finally matters, and seeking in love is just as substantial as in seeking excellence in karuta--at least in the cultivation of character and fundamental Japanese values, which is really what I think Suetsugu finally cares about. Actually becoming Meijin, or going out with Chihaya, or going out with Taichi (in Sumire's case), is just icing.

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Anyways I'm also interested in the class thing, because so far I didn't get it as something relevant if not as something flatten out (or inverted?) by the Karuta game.
I think Suetsugu is certainly aware of social class divisions--she has Nishida remark on that when he is amazed by Taichi's family's wealth, or when he disses Taichi as a rich boy for using family money to fly to a karuta tournament. But as you suggest, she turns to karuta as a kind of corrective or an alternative to class privilege. So Taichi's efforts in excelling in karuta are a rebellion against his family, an effort to succeed on his own initiative, and an attempt to become a part of a community where he can leave class issues behind. So you can easily understand Taichi to represent Suetsugu's critical perspective on class issues.

Sorry, but I've run out of time for now. If you like, we can pick this up later. Thanks for the illuminating feedback.
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Old 2013-01-17, 17:21   Link #200
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Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
As fukarming says, they played the bait and switch game and their plan backfired, as expected.
It'd have been bait and switch if Taichi and Chihaya were actors hired to represent the club. They're not, and they're just as beautiful from up close than from the stage. (Though yeah, what kind of people they'd attract was predictable.)

Quote:
Then we get to eg. Tsutomu: "The first years aren't important"
He at least didn't say it to their faces. And in the context of the club's short term goals, he was right.

Quote:
The other members "interests" were also stated clearly in that same scene so I won't bother quoting them.
Yes. But none of them were advocating completely giving up on them. They just thought Chihaya was a bad choice of teacher for the club, for herself, and for the first years themselves.

Quote:
Having members purely for purpose of numbers or being half-committed (or less), is just as dishonest
Which is why I don't mind the dishonesty, since it's on both side.

Quote:
and rude.
It's not. It's give and take. Numbers against proximity to a hot guy. And opportunities to get closer.

That doesn't give the first years the right to laugh at the second years' efforts to get better at the sport.

Quote:
They only failed at 1, then. But trying to teach 20 students and no adult superviser? Kids + Mob mentality (+ bait and switch) = what we saw is what was to be expected.
So no, your standards are flawed in this case.
Sumire failed at both. Rather spectacularly. And the others followed her rather enthusiastically on point 2.


Quote:
Or it could be that she understood Taichi's view on love (the whole devotion thing), which is exactly what she wanted (she wanted to be pampered).
Her pride was hurt because not only did Taichi reject her, but he essentially implied girls have no say in the matter.
There was no thoughts of bragging rights by at that point.
I think your idea of love does not align with her view of love.
As I said before (or was trying to), she's looking for love, I'm not saying she had fallen in love Taichi at first sight, but the last scene still meant some to her.
To her, love is a conquest. It's about using her "slightly better than average looks", and the rest of wiles, to get a trophy boyfriend. So, yes, I have some trouble calling that "looking for love" with a straight face.

Quote:
Fair point that Taichi loves her despite her quirks.
But, she doesn't know his true face, and he knows that.
The fact that he's a coward and scared that she will hate him (his own words), he puts up a massive facade because of it.
She doesn't know his feelings. But she pretty much knows the rest of him.

Quote:
"Sure, why don't you get a boyfriend. You need to experience it first hand."
"Oh, I already have his number." (I'm quoting off the top of my head, so forgive me if it's a little misquoted)
Well, you know the rest...
I guess that preemptive strike don't count?


Ok, I went too far with the whole not creepy if handsome thing.
As for the Haru comment, let's just say that if Taichi and Arata were on a staircase and Taichi slowly motions with his hand towards Arata, then Chihaya interrupts "Hiya, whatcha all doing?!", I would not be thinking "well, that was out of character for Taichi!".
I would. He's not crazy, he's not violent, and he's not direct. Haru's all impulses and very little thought about consequences. While Taichi does have impulses, every instance of his acting on them (good or bad) is considered noteworthy.
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