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Old 2013-03-30, 12:57   Link #821
ahelo
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Wow it's been Competitive Karuta for what, 6 episodes in a row? This is really exciting if I was marathoning it but the weekly wait is really excruciating. One of the things that I love about Chihyafuru is that they give developments to almost all the characters in the screen (main character or not) and these past episodes completely embodied that. I love it because the show realizes that it's not only Chihaya and the gang that has dreams and problems. In real life, everyone is dynamic and Chihayafuru understands that.
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Old 2013-03-30, 16:21   Link #822
thundrakkon
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I understand that the perspective we see is usually from Mizusawa's perspective. Hence, Tsukuba can comment on Kana being tired after playing so many matches and expecting her to lose. However, she is winning. Why? Well, we would need to also see it in First Akashi Girls's perspective. The girl she is playing against, Hayasaka, has been playing all day as well and should be just as exhausted. They are playing on even ground, so it is not surprising that Kana is ahead. Plus, Hayasaka is the only 2nd year player on the team (everyone else is 3rd year).
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Old 2013-03-30, 17:28   Link #823
Akka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaat View Post
Anyway I can't say I liked the episode, it was too unfocused trying to do multiple things at the same time. It also reminded me (dare I say it?) one of those shounen filler episodes, where instead of focussing on the fight (which you're expecting) they're focussing on every thing else.
Well, despite whatever category it's "officially" put on, this show IS a shônen, so it's not really unexpected ^^
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Old 2013-03-30, 18:03   Link #824
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Originally Posted by Akka View Post
Well, despite whatever category it's "officially" put on, this show IS a shônen, so it's not really unexpected ^^
So what exactly makes Chihayafuru shounen when all shounen means is a young male demographic?

Chihayafuru is aimed at adult women, so no it is definitely not shounen.
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Old 2013-03-30, 18:11   Link #825
Akka
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
So what exactly makes Chihayafuru shounen when all shounen means is a young male demographic?
Chihayafuru is aimed at adult women, so no it is definitely not shounen.
I don't really care about technicalities. The intended demographic may be claimed to be one thing, but I think that what's actually on-screen tells a much more relevant story.

It's a shôjo/josei design and graphics, and has a bit of "teary-girly" touch in its style, but every single code and trope of the typical shônen is here. It's a mix between josei and shônen style, with about 20 % of the former and 80 % of the latter.
I actually rather enjoy this mix, though.
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Old 2013-03-30, 18:17   Link #826
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by Akka View Post
I actually rather enjoy this mix, though.
I am happy you enjoy the series don't get me wrong but you are not understanding what the terms "shounen", and Josei" are. They are target demographics not genres.

I think you are confusing some of the things you see in the sports genre with "shounen" but you can see some of that same stuff in "seinen" sports series too, so I don't really think it is particuarly shounen per say.

On another note when I went to Omi Jingu I ran into some fans of the series as there was a Chihayafuru stamp rally/photo display at the shrine. Pretty much everyone was in the Josei demographic.

Of course I do think an actual audience can be outside its target demographic.
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Old 2013-03-30, 19:51   Link #827
Yume Hanabi
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Yeah, whatever the narrative style, Chihayafuru is published in a josei magazine, hence it is josei. It's as simple as that.
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Old 2013-03-30, 20:19   Link #828
GundamZZ
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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
Spoiler for Why that might be important:
I don't think it's important. If the committee wants to enforce the rule, they should send a bouncer to watch over the entrance. On the other hand, Arata can pass by the door with his karuta skill.

Images
karuta like skill
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

The "punishment" is the committee's way of saying: Arata, we believe it's your honest mistake. We want to let you go this time, but we want to protect the integrity of fairness. So, we will punish you without giving you VIP treatment. It's Arata's pride that will prevent him from cheer his friends....so to speak.
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Old 2013-04-03, 09:14   Link #829
Gohan78
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I think episode 12 was the weakest episode of Season II (which is still above average for this season of anime). First because of the snail-like pacing (only 6 cards read in the whole episode!) and second because they allotted a lot of screen time to uninteresting characters (the three stooges, the advisors).
It didn't help that I strongly dislike Megumu's character. It seems that Suetsugu-sensei just chose for her some random attributes that don't work well together. I have never seen a dojikko who is also an arrogant sadist. IMHO she doesn't feel like a real person.

As for the tournament, I am betting on a Mizusawa vs Fujisaki final. We already had two matches between Mizusawa and Hokuo and showing a third rematch won't be that interesting. I also feel that Hokuo's players already had their moment to shine in the prefectural finals, while we know nothing of Fujisaki. I think it's the most logical final.
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Old 2013-04-03, 09:18   Link #830
Kirarakim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gohan78 View Post
I
As for the tournament, I am betting on a Mizusawa vs Fujisaki final. We already had two matches between Mizusawa and Hokuo and showing a third rematch won't be that interesting. I also feel that Hokuo's players already had their moment to shine in the prefectural finals, while we know nothing of Fujisaki. I think it's the most logical final.
I agree with this for one thing that are building up Fujisaki so it would be disappointing if we don't get to see Mizusawa actually play against them. Unless they are going to highlight Houko vs Fujisaki but that seems doubtful to me.

Also even if Mizusawa doesn't play against Houko again in the team match it's possible we will still see some games with them in the individual matches.
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Old 2013-04-03, 10:52   Link #831
hyperborealis
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The episode seemed perfectly well paced for what it is trying to do. At this point the focus is on karuta, and on Chihaya in particular, as she goes up against perhaps her toughest opponent since playing Shinobu the year before. It makes sense then that the anime devote time to developing Megumu--by so doing, the anime makes the match much more significant, and makes Chihaya's reactions more significant as well.

But there is a deeper reason the anime goes to the coach and the fan club as a way to build up Megumu's character. The people around Megumu are the ones responsible for raising her level of play. She is a group project, whereby the team and coach are all focused on making her queen. So it makes sense that the anime dwells on these peripheral people: Megumu herself is but a vehicle for their ambitions. They are Chihaya's opponent.

What about Megumu herself? My best guess is that she rather likes all the attention she is getting. Thus she invites the guys in the fan club to take pictures of her, even though the noise of their cameras had been distracting, and even though she seems to despise them (back in episode 8, she talks about how she's like to throw them into the incinerator!). And she seems to brighten when the girls on her team congratulate her in the flashback for making it to the Queen challenger match. But she doesn't seem to be personally motivated to become Queen. Rather, she seems to be going along with the team's plans for her.

The members of the fan club are amusing, especially when they do their three-voice chorus, but also a bit disturbing. They provide an ironic commentary on the team and coach, to bring out the general fallacy of living one's life on behalf of another person.

Megumu could go all the way to becoming Queen--after all, Shinobu is Queen, even though the anime opposes her disdain for team play. Like Shinobu, Megumu is another example of a mistaken idea about the nature of teamwork.
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2013-04-03 at 11:11.
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Old 2013-04-03, 11:51   Link #832
LKK
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Quickie question. What karuta level is Retro-kun? A or B?
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Old 2013-04-03, 11:54   Link #833
Anh_Minh
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B, like Taichi.
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Old 2013-04-03, 14:51   Link #834
LKK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
B, like Taichi.
Then I expect a Retro-kun vs Taichi for the B class individual final round. I'm counting on you, Chihayafuru. Don't let me down!
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Last edited by LKK; 2013-04-03 at 14:52. Reason: grammar
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Old 2013-04-04, 10:44   Link #835
hyperborealis
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The title poem for this week's episode is #98. Here's a translation I found on the net:

. And on this evening
as the wind rustles the oaks
. beside the small stream,
the misogi cleansings are
the only sign of summer.

The misogi cleansings refer to the Shinto water purification ritual. The translator notes that it is tied to the calendar: "misogi purification ceremonies are...performed ...on the last day of the sixth month, which in the traditional calendar was the last day of summer." So the waka speaks to the season and the time of day in which the karuta tournament is taking place.

The poem comes up in the episode as the first card which Chihaya is able to take from Megumu. As the anime shows us, Kana reminds Chihaya of the poem associated with the card, and the memory of what Kana had told her about the poem relaxes Chihaya, calms her, releases her from the stress of being behind. Thus restored, Chihaya then smokes Megumu by taking #18 from her back right row.

A poster on another site points out that the rain's stopping restores to Chihaya the advantage of her superlative hearing. This is true, but I think the moment goes beyond this, to suggest that a certain calmness of mind and relaxation of body is a prerequisite for the highest level of play.

Finally, to appreciate what Chihaya does in taking #98 & #18, we need to understand the story the anime is telling us, in terms of strategy and game play, by detailing the cards that Megumu takes and that she passes to Chihaya. Three of the cards Megumu takes (#78, #26, & #62) are in Chihaya's territory. The first two cards Megumu passes, #59 & #40, are, as Chihaya and Sudo note, first-syllable cards. And the one card Megumu takes on her side, #57, is a "Me" card, which Megumu has an affinity for, since--as Tsutomu notes--it shares the same initial syllable as Megumu's name.

If you put all this together, you can see that Megumu is playing an aggressive style of karuta that is identical to Chihaya's own. Like Chihaya, she passes single-syllable cards she thinks she can take to the opponent's side, to gain the psychological advantage of taking cards from the opponent's home side. Like Chihaya, she is able to take cards for which she has an affinity due to her name. Like Chihaya, she wins cards on pure speed. So, when Chihaya looks at Megumu with surprise and respect, thinking that she might become queen, Chihaya is looking at herself, or, more precisely, looking at Megumu usurp her own idea of herself.

So, in taking #18, Chihaya takes back her own game from Megumu. #18 is a single-syllable card. It is located at the back right side of Megumu's formation, where Megumu has the advantage of proximity to her playing hand. It doesn't matter. Chihaya hears the wind, and takes the card. No wonder all the players look up at her in amazement. She has just crushed Megumu.

If readers understand the technical karuta story Suetsugu is telling, I don't they will complain about the pacing and the detail of the episode. There is a wonderful drama playing out, but you have to understand karuta in detail to appreciate it.

As others have noted, the whole sequence is very beautiful. I love how Chihaya and Kana share a common vocabulary in the poetry, where a simple phrase is enough to bring back to Chihaya everything Kana had said. More, I love how the experience described in the poem informs Chihaya's own experience in the present, and inspires her to a higher level of karuta. Poetry and life, past and present, high school kids and Heian nobility, all connect to each other in a beautiful interplay. The sequence is a marvelous affirmation of the power of literature to infuse life with meaning and purpose.

The episode is a brilliant tour-de-force.
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2013-04-04 at 12:22.
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Old 2013-04-05, 16:07   Link #836
Blaat
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Not only did I miss out on an hour during the Easter weekend from now on I have to wait an extra hour to watch the latest episode of Chihayafuru. Summer time is so cruel.

Still a fantastic episode it was actually focused on the match itself which makes it so much better (compared to last week).

Although the only complain I have are the three stooges, can't they just delete their existence or something.
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Originally Posted by Akka View Post
Well, despite whatever category it's "officially" put on, this show IS a shônen, so it's not really unexpected ^^
This manga uses tropes from various genres, including sport shounen which is part of the series' charm.
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Old 2013-04-05, 16:26   Link #837
Bern-san
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I'm surprised to say this to an episode of Chihayafuru but I became bored watching this week's one despite that the content itself was entertaining.
I think the problem I have is that this time I don't like the rivals, especially the camera freaks who annoy me a lot and I'm not fond of Megumu so I just want the match to end already. Although it's good to see a very even match, I feel this has been dragged for too long and I would like to watch more things this episode made me consider reading the manga
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Old 2013-04-05, 16:42   Link #838
Kanon
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This episode went by in a flash. It was so tense.

I'm enjoying Megumu's character. I was surprised to find out she managed to get this strong despite having no interest in becoming the Queen. It turns out she is motivated by her teammates, who are in turn motivated by her. That's a nice dynamic they have. Seems like she's not the innocent ditz I thought she was. Sudou himself suspects she has sadistic tendencies, and I'm sure he knows what he's talking about.

I loved when Chihaya saw her past self in Megumu and realized she improved thanks to Harada-sensei.

The card contesting was amusing. Chihaya's absolutely terrible at this. She hasn't gotten any better since her match with Yumin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaat View Post
Not only did I miss out on an hour during the Easter weekend from now on I have to wait an extra hour to watch the latest episode of Chihayafuru. Summer time is so cruel.
My feelings exactly. Waiting an extra hour was painful.
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Old 2013-04-05, 16:57   Link #839
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I need to catch up on the show. I think I'm only on episode 8. Is there only 1 more episode left?
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Old 2013-04-05, 17:12   Link #840
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^ It's 25 episodes, so we're more than halfway through.

I loved the way both teams have been supporting their respective aces, emotionally and with strategy\training. Although it's a team tournament, it's still critical to have your ace on their best game against such a formidable team. The scene where Chihaya was embracing the card while remembering how everyone helped her achieve that moment was so sweet.

So which has more approval from the audience: Tsutomu X Kana or Tsutomu X Sumire? This episode came close to making me pick the later. Come on, Kana. Notice how handsome and reliable Deskun is!
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