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Old 2013-02-25, 00:24   Link #541
orion
Waiting for more taiyuki!
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I will let my guy friends know this
It would be an enlightening experience for you to know why they are actually doing it.

Shojo/josei still applies to females. In other words. not too many normal teen females idolize male friends. That's a kid thing. If it happens in a shojo title, it ends badly for the female. Josei prob wouldn't even touch it. This anime doesn't seem to be going that route.

And..dedicating yourself to your hobby solely, not something that females do normally. That would be an anime ending for the male otaku to feel good that their waifu didn't walk off into the horizon with a fictional character. Chihaya x Karuta prob not going to happen as a final ending. It's Japan after all and this is a josei title.
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Old 2013-02-25, 03:24   Link #542
thundrakkon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orion View Post
Guys don't normally talk to females unless there is some interest.
I beg to differ. Although difficult at times, guys and gals can be friends who can talk to one another. Yes, usually there is either one side or the other that likes him/her, but there is potential for true friendship. However, yes, for a majority of it, there is an interest instead of definitive friendship only desires.

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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
I don't know. More than liking or loving Arata, Chihaya idolizes him.
I'm not too sure about this argument. Yes, there maybe some idolization that Arata has brought that wonderful thing known as Karuta to Chihaya, but there is more than that now. There is definitely friendship. However, the question is if there is something more? Well, this episode showed that yes, there is something more. When the girls ask Chihaya who she really just wants to talk, see, and wondering what he is doing, Chihaya thinks about and ends up calling Arata shortly right after that. If that is not a huge, in your face, slap it across the wall hint, then I'm not sure what is anymore. You don't think about and wish to talk to your "god" out of the blue to ask how he is doing. You can idolize your god, but at that moment, that was not idolization. It was a desire to talk to him, actual real feelings of longing for someone.

"I wonder what he is doing. I want to see him."

You really can't get much more straightforward than that.
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Old 2013-02-25, 03:34   Link #543
Quadratic
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Well to be fair I am not saying Arata & Chihaya are not connected by Karuta & their friendship but in that scene I felt there was actually a brief distance in thought which is why I found it ironic to talk about the deep connection they have specifically after this episode.

I do think they have an important connection but I interpreted that scene very differently. Even Chihaya kind of briefly reacted to it and then had to say but I care about winning the individual competition too.
I don't really think we're in complete disagreement (yes, I did understand the individual play vs team play is hinted to be played out in the future), only that I don't really consider their conflicting views to increase the distance in the connection between the two of them.
I think it'd be better to just say that their connection is unique between the two of them, because I personally can't see Chihaya being able to strike up a karuta conversation with any of her team mates in the middle of the night without them feeling frustrated with her, regardless of their differing approaches.

Anyway, yet another unbearably long and slow week to pass by until the next episode...
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Old 2013-02-25, 04:09   Link #544
Guardian Enzo
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I will let my guy friends know this
Yeah, that certainly came as a news flash to me, too...
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Old 2013-02-25, 05:52   Link #545
Gohan78
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Originally Posted by thundrakkon View Post
"I wonder what he is doing. I want to see him."

You really can't get much more straightforward than that.
However this is not a proof that Chihaya likes Arata more than Taichi.
Chihaya wants to see Arata because he lives far away. Chihaya sees Taichi every day at school, so she doesn't need to call him.

And I think that Chihaya still idolizes Arata as the kind kid who taught her the beautiful game of Karuta. When she thinks about him, she always remembers the first game of Karuta they played.
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Old 2013-02-25, 10:47   Link #546
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by orion View Post
Shojo/josei still applies to females. In other words. not too many normal teen females idolize male friends. That's a kid thing. If it happens in a shojo title, it ends badly for the female. Josei prob wouldn't even touch it. This anime doesn't seem to be going that route.

And..dedicating yourself to your hobby solely, not something that females do normally. That would be an anime ending for the male otaku to feel good that their waifu didn't walk off into the horizon with a fictional character. Chihaya x Karuta prob not going to happen as a final ending. It's Japan after all and this is a josei title.

I do think in the final ending Chihaya will end up with someone but I think throwing it out that she won't end up with Taichi or Arata is not entirely impossible, even though I believe it will be one of them. After all what is wrong with defining Chihaya by her skills as a karuta player?

I think the fact that you think there is some type of rule for shoujo & Josei is a bit silly. Right off the top of my head I can think of a Josei series where the female lead didn't pick either of the two guys (Honey & Clover). So there are no rules like this.

Also while I do believe the love triangle is part of the series it is not the only part as hyperborealis points out and in fact it's not just Karuta & love either. Friendship is a very strong point of the story. So saying guys and girls can't be friends is definitely missing the point of Chihayafuru.

I am not sure who Chihaya will ultimately end up with and I think Suetsgu doesn't want to make it clear. I am not saying Arata & Chihaya do not love each other. I am only saying Taichi's feelings are 100% clear as he "states it", there is no other way to interpret it, that still doesn't tell us who will end up with who. There are different ways to interpret the story just like there are different ways to interpret the 100 poems.
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Old 2013-02-25, 12:13   Link #547
GoldenLand
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The situation with Chihaya, Taichi and Arata is interesting. At this point it's hard to say if two of them will end up together at the end of the series, given that it's so far away. But I think the series is definitely trying to give the impression that Chihaya has some level of subconscious romantic interest in Arata. Whether it's actually romance or friendship+idolisation, or a bit of both, there's a lot of space for development or for things to change between them. With Chihaya being so dense about romance, it's hard to know where she really stands on this issue, and it may well be that she doesn't love anyone romantically right now. (Although she often sounds suspiciously into Shinobu, but maybe that's my imagination. )

Chihaya doesn't really seem to understand Taichi very well, or - well, many people, for that matter. In that match where she held out her towel, she looked confused for a moment at his reaction, didn't she? And she's begun to be more aware and considerate of the people around her, like with the band and storage space. As long as she's going through character growth like that, and if Taichi ever manages to get the guts to talk to her, you never know, something might come of it over the long term. But that would have to be much later on in the series.

Like Gohan78 pointed out earlier, Arata is the one who's away and whom Chihaya would naturally miss. We don't even know how she would react if Taichi was away for a long time and Arata was around. Plus, Arata is like a god of karuta to her, given their history. Come to think of it...can Arata and Chihaya really work as a couple if they only interact with each other this little, and with Chihaya putting him on a pedestal? Arata would need more time with her before they could work together well.

I had been thinking that Taichi and Sumire could make a good couple, but once I saw someone on an earlier page say something to the contrary, I think they were right...Sumire is a more interesting character with more scope for personal growth when Taichi isn't around, although her interaction with Taichi is hardly boring. Sumire was someone who used to hang around with people she wasn't really interested in as friends and vice versa, but the karuta club people are so nice that she could get some great friendship development there. It would be a shame for her to get swept up in some romance before she's got herself some real friends and greater happiness. She's also showing tactical promise, what with being the only one to have scoped out the opposition at the team matches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orion View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by orion View Post
Guys don't normally talk to females unless there is some interest.
I will let my guy friends know this
It would be an enlightening experience for you to know why they are actually doing it.
That's rather harsh on half the species. Sorry to hear you've only met scummy guys, but really, there are plenty of guys out there who aren't so shallow that they can only ever bear to talk to women (and men, I suppose?) they're attracted to...
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Old 2013-02-25, 15:33   Link #548
Sol Falling
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There is no meaningful distinction between friendship and love. If Chihaya has got strong platonic feelings for Taichi or Arata (Arata being the stronger connection here, for whatever reasons), then that could easily become/serve as a foundation for a romantic connection.

In fact, because Chihaya is sexually immature, I wonder if it could even happen too easily. Given the level of longing/idolization Chihaya has displayed towards Arata thus far, I find it difficult to imagine (when they finally manage to get into regular contact with each other) that Chihaya would put up any sort of (initial) resistance if Arata ever pushed their relationship closer romantically. I almost feel like the strong emotional tension between them as is cannot continue as is, that it might require an outlet at some point. And sex would be pure instinct. At any stage, if they had an opportunity, I think it would be all too easy for Chihaya and Arata's present relationship to turn into a sexual/'romantic' one.

However from then on, from Chihaya's perspective, the question becomes what Arata's motives are. Is he truly interested in her because he returns her feelings of idolization, her love of his karuta (or his love of karuta)? Or else is he just interested in her romantically, with karuta being a convenient vehicle. Is there any real reason for Chihaya and Arata to actually be together romantically just because they both love karuta? Precisely because Chihaya's love for karuta is currently so closely tied to her feelings for Arata, this would be an issue. So even though in this case romantic potential exists (in the form of strong, currently platonic feelings), and it might very well or could very easily happen (from my perspective), there is no indication that that would necessarily be the right path.

Taichi, meanwhile, is just not even on Chihaya's radar as a major (i.e. singular) emotional entity, even though she obviously cares a lot about her friends of course, so he's still honestly got a long way to go. On the current path he is walking, I don't even know if winning Chihaya over the way he would like to (or at least, insofar as he displays jealousy towards Arata) is even possible. The only plausible progression I can imagine for Taichi with Chihaya really is if he would mature to the point that he realizes romance/sex doesn't really have to be something all-encompassing, so that he could play second fiddle against karuta in Chihaya's life but still have a relationship which is completely fine and natural and satisfying. Although the very idea of this progression basically goes against a lot of Taichi's character development, it would be an extremely natural solution to Taichi's feelings for Chihaya through which I believe he could even win Chihaya over as he is currently.

The basic idea is that love/romantic passion and dreams/life's passion don't really need to correlate with each other. And a stable relationship can be achieved if the parties involved just understand where they stand with each other.

On the other hand, there are scenarios where love/romantic passion and dreams can very comfortably intersect. And this is usually where one or (ideally) both individuals are already very mature/accomplished in terms of the dreams they are pursuing. Chihaya x Harada-sensei might comfortably fall into this category, if Harada-sensei were a pedo and not already married (lol). The stability of their experience/the things they have already accomplished allows the relationship's growth to be very complementary. In this sense, I think Chihaya x Shinobu could have a greater chance at long-term survival (once they properly acknowledge each other and become long-term rivals etc. or something, lol) than Chihaya x Arata.

lol, so basically what I am trying to say is that I will take my yuri-shipping where I can get it. And also that while het pairings can probably work out fine, honestly yuri is so much better. You get the powerful emotional tension/platonic attraction, you get the expression via sexuality (in combination with mutually physically attractive partners), but you don't get the doubt, baseness, and instinct/shallow self-interest of heterosexual relationships.

(Shinobu would be a pretty tough ship for Chihaya, currently. Just as Taichi is not really on Chihaya's radar (as a 'singular' existence), neither is Chihaya presently on Shinobu's. All the same, though, Chihaya is the main character, and really, I still can't get over the fact that all this time Chihaya's been calling such a distant person "Shinobu-chan" :P.)
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Old 2013-02-25, 16:15   Link #549
Kirarakim
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Sol Falling I think your analysis of Arata/Chihaya and Taichi/Chihaya is missing something fundamental.

Taichi is there with Chihaya, Arata is not. The loss of Arata is a big thing to Chihaya but that doesn't mean if she lost Taichi this would not be a big thing for her as well.

Unfortunately the fact that we are interpreting their relationships from very different perspectives makes it hard to say anything definite.

On another note I haven't really seen Taichi want or try to place himself above karuta in Chihaya's life. The problem isn't Chihaya's love & dedication for Karuta, the issue is what Taichi perceives Chihaya's feelings are for Arata.
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Old 2013-02-25, 16:28   Link #550
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Taichi, meanwhile, is just not even on Chihaya's radar as a major (i.e. singular) emotional entity, even though she obviously cares a lot about her friends of course, so he's still honestly got a long way to go. On the current path he is walking, I don't even know if winning Chihaya over the way he would like to (or at least, insofar as he displays jealousy towards Arata) is even possible. The only plausible progression I can imagine for Taichi with Chihaya really is if he would mature to the point that he realizes romance/sex doesn't really have to be something all-encompassing, so that he could play second fiddle against karuta in Chihaya's life but still have a relationship which is completely fine and natural and satisfying. Although the very idea of this progression basically goes against a lot of Taichi's character development, it would be an extremely natural solution to Taichi's feelings for Chihaya through which I believe he could even win Chihaya over as he is currently.
To be fair, I think all Taichi needs to appear on Chihaya's radar is to become more badass in karuta. Chihaya's like that. You put an awesome player in front of her and she wets herself (platonically, but still...). Taichi's not bad, but he's not even close to be good enough to get that kind of reaction out of her right now.

But he will be, and once she really starts to see Taichi, the whole dynamic of their relationship will change dramatically.
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Old 2013-02-25, 16:31   Link #551
orion
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That's rather harsh on half the species. Sorry to hear you've only met scummy guys, but really, there are plenty of guys out there who aren't so shallow that they can only ever bear to talk to women (and men, I suppose?) they're attracted to...
I haven't met scummy guys. You just have to realize that after a certain age guys are talking you you as friends usually because they are attracted to you and a few want to have sex with you. Reality is not being harsh.
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Old 2013-02-25, 16:32   Link #552
hyperborealis
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Wow, Sol, talk about Úpater la bourgeoisie! You go, guy. Don't hold back

I really do think you are making a good point in insisting on the equivalence of friendship and love. In light of the politeness and verbal reticence that characterizes Japanese culture, expressions of friendship can be forms of romantic discourse, so that couples can form and communicate all without ever having used what we might consider romantic language.

Practically, this means that entirely prosaic reasons suffice to construct a relationship. Traditionally, this is how marriages have always worked, where they are based on some practical necessity rather than romantic feeling. The idea of marriage as a romance is very much the late historical exception.

So when you ask "Is there any real reason for Chihaya and Arata to actually be together romantically just because they both love karuta?" I think you are missing your own point. The shared passion, commitment, and intensity, along with the shared social circle, activities, and organizational participation, that they share as exceptional karuta players is more than enough to justify a lifetime commitment to each other.

Of course, if this is true it does mean it is impossible to distinguish friendship from romance. Which proves my point: this is our exact experience while watching Chihayafuru. Looking at Chihaya and Arata, we cannot tell the difference between friendship and love.

Kirarakim, this also means your argument that Chihaya's phone call to Arata can be interpreted as friendship rather than romance does no work. Just considered as friendship the call is intelligible as romance.

It turns out the problem we are having figuring out where Chihaya, Arata, and Taichi stand is not a matter of somehow plumbing the hidden depths of Chihaya's heart, but is instead the effect of a social ambiguity between the Japanese cultural concepts of love and friendship.

Brilliant post as usual Sol. +a billion.
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Old 2013-02-25, 18:00   Link #553
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Kirarakim, this also means your argument that Chihaya's phone call to Arata can be interpreted as friendship rather than romance does no work. Just considered as friendship the call is intelligible as romance.
Ah but I think it can work, at least if you keep in mind what I am saying.

Please note I am not saying that Chihaya & Arata are not in love with each other (and I understand why someone would interpret it that way). All I am saying is what is being perceived as romantic love for Arata can really be just a deep & beautiful friendship. My main point is I think that scene is meant to be ambiguous not a confirmation that Chihaya & Arata are in love (although whether they are in love or not I do think there is love since I think there is love among friends too).

I am also not denying that friendship can blossom into love but that can be true for Taichi/Chihaya and Arata/Chihaya.


Again I remember a scene where Kana says a poem sounded like it was about love but it was really about friendship (and I wish I could remember the episode).

My main argument is not in support of 1 pairing over another just that the end game is still very much unclear. Again I feel Suetsugu writes the romance in this story very much like she writers a Karuta match where we never know who the victor is going to be, that and the fact that all 3 of the characters involved are extremely sympathetic is what makes me a fan.
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Old 2013-02-25, 18:56   Link #554
Arya
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If I had to say, talking about the "love triangle", to me this episode pointed out how Chihaya's main point is to restore the "status quo". Looking back at Sumire's question and Chihaya's reaction, the first person she thought was Shinobu and only then Arata. And the last image Chihaya saw in her mind was the tree of them as children back then. So I think that what's she really wishes for is Arata's return to restore that trio. That would explain even her disinterest in Taichi. Taichi is already there so there's no need to worry about him, one piece of her wish is already in the right place. It a sort of behavior similar to her mother, that cared more for the elder sister because more worrisome. And so she is, she is more "worried" about Arata because he is out of her sight. Taichi is doing quite fine and is following perfectly the path she had in her Karuta-mind. (More or less. He is still a B-class, in fact she stated how her priority was him progressing to A-class and everyone got surprised ).

I don't know why she want it. A guess could be that it is like a way to deny the fact that they are growing as much as their impulses. Sosubconsciously she is denying that, trying to stay attached to a childhood's memory. She wants to go back at that stage of life, because it was easier, without any complicated feelings to deal with. A subdue way to tell us that she is not ready for it, for that kind of feelings. That would even explain why she seems so dense. She is dense, but on a deeper level she is simply avoiding to see what everyone else apparently can see (Taichi's feelings for example).
What I think is that basically Chihaya has no real feelings for anyone at the moment.

On the other hand I cant' deny that hints were thrown to imply some sort of interest of Chihaya toward Arata. But as already said they are so mixed up with her idolization, but even idealization, of Arata that is hard to say anything. I think that the idealization of him is another thing that is in the way. We saw Arata so few times that is hard to say anything about him, but I remember a phrase of him that felt out of character (the character I think he is), when he said something about how was useless to keep in touch with his friends in Tokyo, because no way that they would have forgotten about him. Or something like that. If I remember correctly. And even this time he answered in a different way that Chihaya would have expected. So despite the fact that she see him as a god of karuta or not, detail that in any case has its importance in the way Chihaya see people (like following a sort of Karuta skill ranking) so even in how she perceives Arata, we don't know if the true Arata is the Arata that exists in her mind or not.

Adding to it, and that's the last thing, every single time Chihaya and Arata interact, those moments are showed by Taichi POV (or even by his POV), POV that adds a layer that lead us to read them as romantic when it could even not be the case. I'm not saying that they are not, but that Taichi's view is biased and consequently ours.
So, in the end I think it's really impossible to say anything about Chihaya feelings so far, because they do are at an elemental stage. She needs to restore the trio first.
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Old 2013-02-25, 19:15   Link #555
HandofFate
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I throw my dice in that the romantic drama and any hints of it is just a tease, and that it will all just come down to the game/passion for the game only.

At most, we get a timejump on the last chapter to see if anything springs up.
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Old 2013-02-26, 15:23   Link #556
hyperborealis
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The title for this week's episode, ""They all exchange hellos and goodbyes at the famous gates of Afusaka," comes from poem #10. Here is the University of Virginia translation:

Truly, this is where
Travelers who go or come
Over parting ways--
Friends or strangers--all must meet:
The gate of "Meeting Hill."

Mostow:

This it is! That
going, too, and coming, too,
continually separating,
those known and those unknown,
meet at the barrier of Ōsaka.

The key to understanding why the animators chose the poem for their title is to pin down the location of the "famous gates of Afusaka," or as Mostow puts it, "the barrier of Ōsaka." It is not the modern city of Osaka, which, in Heian times, was called Naniwa. Rather, "the barrier of Ōsaka" refers to a place along the road close to the eastern entrance into the old capital of Kyoto. As the Japan Navigator site explains, "The Ausaka Barrier ("Meeting Slope", also pronounced "Osaka" but not connected with the city of that name) forms the border between Yamashiro and the old capital Heiankyo (now Kyoto) and the province of Omi (now Shiga Prefecture) where the road to eastern Japan starts." This Omi is the same Omi as we know in Omi Jingu, Omi Shrine, the Shrine at Omi.

The poem is set in the same location--or as close to it, as any of the 100 poems can refer--that Chihaya and her friends find themselves at the close of the episode, as they prepare for the high school National karuta competitions. And the poem's topical description of travelers meeting each other on the road precisely describes--or anticipates, really--the reunions that will shortly take place between Chihaya and Arata and Shinobu on the tatami. The title poem is a perfect choice to accentuate the meetings of friends and rivals that will take place as everyone converges at Omi Jingu for the karuta competitions.

For those interested, I urge you to follow the link to the Japan Navigator site, as the writer there discusses in more detail not only the semi-mythical author of the poem, Semimaru, but also the traditional Buddhist understanding of the waka, which recognizes in the momentary intersections of friends and strangers on the road a symbol of the general transitory nature of life.

I would add only one further point. We ordinarily take friends and strangers, those known and those unknown, as different people. But we don't have to: they can be the same people, as we discover unknown things about people we thought we knew. That is much more a theme of this episode, as we discover Chihaya's mother's apparent neglect of Chihaya belies a basic trust in Chihaya herself and in karuta, or that Chitose--who disdains Chihaya and karuta--in fact relies on Chihaya's dedication as an inspiration to pursue her own dream. Chihaya discovers that Arata is more of a stranger than she knew, when she learns he has no interest in team competition. And perhaps, in response to Sumire's blunt questioning, Chihaya becomes something of a stranger to the naive person she herself has been until now.
----------------

Spoiler for Manga observations.:
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Old 2013-03-01, 16:19   Link #557
Blaat
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And here I was hoping Chiba International School started playing Karuta because they read Chihayafuru and decided to move to Japan to play the game professionally. Ah well maybe we'll see such a team next year.
I like the fact that the team consisted of second generation immigrants, they revealed the twist right after I got annoyed by their horrible Engrish.

Anyway I really liked Desktomu sacrificing himself for the team to scout the opponent (and Sumire joined in) risky but hopefully it will pay off.

As for ending I was disappointed we didn't get another Taichi's NTR face ending, but with Arata there I don't that will have to wait long to see it again. I guess we'll find out what happened between Shinobu and Arata next week.

Overall a solid episode, the episode flew by as always. I do have a complaint though I think this episode (and show) needs more Megu-tan.
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Old 2013-03-01, 16:26   Link #558
LKK
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Did Tsukuba win his match too? I couldn't tell.
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Old 2013-03-01, 16:49   Link #559
Reckoner
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I did not like this episode. As usual, Japan portrays foreigners in a laughable, embarrassing manner. Episode felt like a grind.
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Old 2013-03-01, 17:00   Link #560
Kanon
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Age: 27
Another sweet episode, although I'm not sure I like the way the foreigners -who weren't foreigners at all since they were born and raised in Japan, yet were still treated as such- were depicted. I have to admit the team's initial reaction made me laugh however, especially Chihaya's.

Desk giving up his place to Tsukuba was not unexpected. He's better at gathering information and elaborating strategies than he is at playing, so it makes sense for him to make the best use of his abilities by scouting the opponents. He's grown a lot. In the past, I don't think he would have been able to accept a first year had already caught up to him so readily. Glad Sumire joined in as well, though I don't know if the info she's going to bring back will be any useful

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaat View Post
As for ending I was disappointed we didn't get another Taichi's NTR face ending, but with Arata there I don't that will have to wait long to see it again. I guess we'll find out what happened between Shinobu and Arata next week.
I totally expected the episode to end on Taichi seeing Arata and making his usual NTR'd face, then all of a sudden freaking Shinobu out of nowhere! That was actually kind creepy. What is she doing here? I thought she had no interest in team matches. I can't wait for the next episode. We're finally going to find out what kind of relationship those two have. I still say they're just childhood rivals, with Arata being the stronger one since he won all the championships in elementary school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKK View Post
Did Tsukuba win his match too? I couldn't tell.
We weren't shown. I assume he did.
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