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Old 2011-11-03, 13:39   Link #381
Kazu-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orion View Post
Well, Taichi has a girlfriend so she doesn't really "have" Taichi. He's just a "guy friend" and not a boyfriend. I bet Taichi didn't tell his gf about the train trip.
He was talking about having him as a partner to play Karuta, not as a boyfriend. Besides Chihaya doesn't even know what that word "boyfriend" means anyway.

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Originally Posted by orion View Post
I don't think Chihaya surpassed Arata.
This is true.
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Old 2011-11-03, 15:38   Link #382
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orion View Post
Well, Taichi has a girlfriend so she doesn't really "have" Taichi. He's just a "guy friend" and not a boyfriend. I bet Taichi didn't tell his gf about the train trip.

I don't think Chihaya surpassed Arata. He was clutching his certificate in one scene.
Yeah that's kind of what I meant. I'm not exactly well known to get into the whole romance and shipping thing after all.
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Old 2011-11-03, 19:53   Link #383
Kaoru Chujo
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Originally Posted by mellomarie View Post
...that said, i'm rooting so hard for taichi....
I understand that. He is the most human character, the one who embodies our good and bad human feelings and with whom we can identify, I think. But it will take me a loooong time to get over his verbally betraying his girlfriend immediately upon re-meeting Chihaya. I kind of loathe him, actually. I hated seeing him bully and drag Chihaya away from Arata's home, without even getting the cards. I dislike him, but I still relate to him, since I can feel where he is coming from, and why he is as he is. Does that make sense?

I'd love to see some romance, but it doesn't fit the story yet, and I don't find myself particularly shipping either of the guys. Arata repeating that line about Taichi being cowardly rubbed me the wrong way, too. Great to see some human beings, lol.
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Old 2011-11-03, 20:45   Link #384
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I agree that romance does not fit the story, but the story is chock full of romantic tension, if Taichi's repressed hand-holding maneuvers and Arata's roll on top of Chihaya is anything to go by. Plus everyone is so drop-dead gorgeous, what else is there to think of, but sex sex sex?

Very nice analysis of Taichi, by the bye. You almost persuade me to dislike him too, except as you note his bad behavior means he is simply all too human. I give him credit for self-reflection: he thinks about the way he and Chihaya interact, connecting that with being a couple, which is fairly astute. Arata is astute in the same way when he calls Taichi a coward. In my book he gets double points for speaking out so bluntly: Taichi doesn't deserve to get away with it. I don't know if Chihaya is as perceptive as the others: when she starts berating herself for being selfish, is that genuine self-consciousness or just her accommodating herself to Arata's resentment toward her uninvited presence?

I like it that the characters are so intelligently reflective: if the situations they find themselves in are inevitably time-worn, their thoughts about them and themselves are distinctive and refreshing.
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Old 2011-11-03, 20:57   Link #385
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I'm going with the cherry blossoms oh so subtle hint and root for Arata. Last time I saw a guy framed in cherry blossoms he was the guy the MC got in the end.

Taichi dragging Chihaya from Arata's place was also a demerit from my perspective. No manhandling allowed.
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Old 2011-11-03, 21:21   Link #386
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Originally Posted by Kaoru Chujo View Post
I hated seeing him bully and drag Chihaya away from Arata's home, without even getting the cards.
Actually, in that scene I was way more annoyed with Chihaya, taking posession of Arata's room like that and forcing karuta back in. She's like that - set on a goal and stubbornly refusing to pick up any averse signs. Taichi is way more socially aware, and in that situation he's between a rock and a hard place. He's dragging Chihaya away, but he's also berating Arata. Had he watched the scene unfold, it might have escalated into something ugly. He did flinch and wait until Arata kicked the cards. IMO, Taichi was making the (second/third-)best of a difficult situation.

Of the three, I'm pretty sure Taichi has the highest social competence. Pity that, being a coward and lacking confidence, he's not making the most of it. But I do think he rescued Chihaya's and Arata's friendship in that scene. I dare not imagine what would have come of this, had Taichi not been there.
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Old 2011-11-03, 22:05   Link #387
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
Actually, in that scene I was way more annoyed with Chihaya, taking posession of Arata's room like that and forcing karuta back in. She's like that - set on a goal and stubbornly refusing to pick up any averse signs. Taichi is way more socially aware, and in that situation he's between a rock and a hard place. He's dragging Chihaya away, but he's also berating Arata. Had he watched the scene unfold, it might have escalated into something ugly. He did flinch and wait until Arata kicked the cards. IMO, Taichi was making the (second/third-)best of a difficult situation.
This and 100 times this.

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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
Pity that, being a coward and lacking confidence, he's not making the most of it.
He's going to get better.
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Old 2011-11-03, 22:35   Link #388
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
Actually, in that scene I was way more annoyed with Chihaya, taking posession of Arata's room like that and forcing karuta back in. She's like that - set on a goal and stubbornly refusing to pick up any averse signs. Taichi is way more socially aware, and in that situation he's between a rock and a hard place. He's dragging Chihaya away, but he's also berating Arata. Had he watched the scene unfold, it might have escalated into something ugly. He did flinch and wait until Arata kicked the cards. IMO, Taichi was making the (second/third-)best of a difficult situation.

Of the three, I'm pretty sure Taichi has the highest social competence. Pity that, being a coward and lacking confidence, he's not making the most of it. But I do think he rescued Chihaya's and Arata's friendship in that scene. I dare not imagine what would have come of this, had Taichi not been there.
This is where I am on that scene too, except for the being annoyed at Chihaya part. If Chihaya's passion was what ultimately moved Arata, Taichi was still needed there to make Arata realize he couldn't trample all over it. In the first place, that sensitivity might have come from a unique awareness that Chihaya's enthusiasms aren't directed at himself.

And in the end, I don't think Taichi hates Arata. In fact, even aside from the link to Chihaya I think what Taichi harbours might really be a genuine jealousy. After all, it must only be for Arata's own deep-seated confidence that he managed to call out Taichi for a "coward" even in the midst of his own self-loathing and failure. For a duplicitous coward who feels inferior even while he is "supposed" to be superior, there must be a degree of awe and terror that Taichi faces when confronted by someone whose strength is truly genuine.

lol, I'm rooting for Taichi too, as far as him growing some balls at least (on the romance front, Taichi's interest in Chihaya almost seems like a cheap escape path and an easy way out). Arata and Chihaya are just a bit too perfect that without Taichi things wouldn't be nearly as interesting (though, as far as "imperfections" go, I guess I'm still keenly (...) interested in the status of Chihaya and her sister. If character drama will continue to be a major focus, I really hope that relationship will get some spotlight too. ).
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Last edited by Sol Falling; 2011-11-03 at 23:43.
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Old 2011-11-03, 22:57   Link #389
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
(on the romance front, Taichi's interest in Chihaya almost seems like a cheap escape path and an easy way out).
All the opposite, I'd say. Even though he likes Chihaya, he clearly believes there's no way he could ever win her over. Yet, he still can not give up those feelings. Considering that, I'd say Taichi's feelings for Chihaya are the most genuine aspect to his character.

Taichi's character growth is about learning to face a challenge even if it seems he has no chance. This not only apply to Karuta, but also to his feelings for Chihaya.

I'd say a fully mature Taichi would be a Taichi who can challenge Arata and confess to Chihaya without a self-defeating attitude. Whether he win or lose is irrelevant; the point is not to give up, not to run away.
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Old 2011-11-03, 23:33   Link #390
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What I meant by that is that it feels like Taichi's love/fascination with Chihaya stems from his inability to take on a losing challenge in the first place. So Taichi admires Chihaya for her passion and willingness to meet her challenges, but being together with her would absolve his very need to develop his own passion and willingness to aim for uncertain victories--because she would be doing that for him. Certainly, if Chihaya answered Taichi's feelings as he is right now, I feel like his character development might stop right here. That's why, while yeah I'm rooting for Taichi to grow stronger--for the sake of being able to properly confess to Chihaya, even--I wouldn't say that I am actually rooting for their romance.
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Last edited by Sol Falling; 2011-11-03 at 23:44.
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Old 2011-11-03, 23:34   Link #391
hyperborealis
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Sol, you bring out how alike Chihaya and Arata are, in their emotional dedication to childhood memories, Chihaya for their karuta club, and Arata for his grandfather. Both are paying out their present lives for the sake of what they remember. Arata's self-exile from karuta and Chihaya's nostalgic perseverance in following karuta paradoxically represent the exact same retrospective gesture.

This kind of almost autistic dedication to an idea is reflected in the way both Chihaya and Arata play karuta. The truth is they are both geniuses, people on an extraordinary level.

So I think you are exactly right that Taichi is jealous of Arata, but I think you are really describing his stance toward Arata and Chihaya alike.

Taichi is just an ordinary person, for all his stellar grades and the high expectations his mother places on him. He has no particular fascination for the past, and is perfectly willing to let life simply go on, leaving karuta and everything else behind. Thus he stands in contrast to his brilliant friends. His role is to be the foil that allows Chihaya and Arata to bridge back to the ordinary world. As Dawnstorm points out, in this episode he is the one who enables Chihaya and Arata the possibility of recovering their friendship. Without him, they would have followed their retrospective lights into a smash-up.

It is a wonderful thing to be brilliant, and also very terrible. It is painful to feel yourself inferior to your friends, but then to be brilliant at ordinary life carries with it all the rewards those same friends will never know.
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Old 2011-11-04, 03:08   Link #392
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
This is where I am on that scene too, except for the being annoyed at Chihaya part.
Dawnstorm watching ep5 of Chihayafuru.

On the train, Taichi and Chihaya talk about presents for Arata. Dawnstorm: No! Chihaya, you didn't get him...

In Arata's room, Chihaya opens her bag. Dawnstorm: Oh no, you're not giving him that? NOW?!?!? In that mood?

Chihaya: Let's all play Karuta. Storms into the neighbour room. Dawnstorm: ... ... ... (Icantwatch Icantwatch Icantwatch)

Quote:
If Chihaya's passion was what ultimately moved Arata, Taichi was still needed there to make Arata realize he couldn't trample all over it. In the first place, that sensitivity might have come from a unique awareness that Chihaya's enthusiasms aren't directed at himself.
I'm not quite sure whose sensitivity you're talking about here: Taichi's or Arata's?

Quote:
And in the end, I don't think Taichi hates Arata.
I don't think he ever did. Even in the kiddy-episodes, Arata was merely an obstacle. The glasses-pinching episode was brilliant: during their game, Taichi witnessed firsthand the effects his action had. Arata was growing into person before his very eyes, his latent guilt took on a concrete face, and he couldn't run away from the situation, because everyone was watching him. He check-mated himself emotinally, there. And that's because, deep down, he cared for Arata's feelings.

At home, he traded success for affection. That's what messed him up. I think Taichi's biggest fear is being hated: failure is the road to loneliness. This fear is not only the limitation of his social awareness, it's probably also its source. I think he's a harmony seeker; he can bully Arata, as long as he can convince himself that he's a nobody - and he can run away from the realisation that he's not a nobody, because nobody else hinders him. Except Chihaya. And then he's trapped in the game, and that's the finishing blow.

Quote:
In fact, even aside from the link to Chihaya I think what Taichi harbours might really be a genuine jealousy. After all, it must only be for Arata's own deep-seated confidence that he managed to call out Taichi for a "coward" even in the midst of his own self-loathing and failure. For a duplicitous coward who feels inferior even while he is "supposed" to be superior, there must be a degree of awe and terror that Taichi faces when confronted by someone whose strength is truly genuine.
Jealousy was definitely a major factor in the childhood episode, and I doubt it has gone away entirely. But I do think Taichi has moved on from that (except that meeting Chihaya triggers memories...). The first "coward", in childhood, was justified; the second coward maybe, too. But in that situation, I think it wasn't exactly a sign of strength. I'd have to re-watch for clues as my attention was elsewhere, so I don't remember how Taichi reacted. My reaction, this time round, was not to attribute strength to Arata: rather I thought, "Look who's talking." (I didn't know particulars, yet, but I was pretty sure that Grandfather's death life-blocked him, which expressed itself in a turn from Karuta. So, when Arata said "coward" this time round, I thought "projection", rather than "strength". Who's the real coward, this time, Arata?)

Quote:
lol, I'm rooting for Taichi too, as far as him growing some balls at least (on the romance front, Taichi's interest in Chihaya almost seems like a cheap escape path and an easy way out).
My first reaction to reading this was much like Kazu-kun's. Then your clarification:

Quote:
What I meant by that is that it feels like Taichi's love/fascination with Chihaya stems from his inability to take on a losing challenge in the first place. So Taichi admires Chihaya for her passion and willingness to meet her challenges, but being together with her would absolve his very need to develop his own passion and willingness to aim for uncertain victories--because she would be doing that for him. Certainly, if Chihaya answered Taichi's feelings as he is right now, I feel like his character development might stop right here. That's why, while yeah I'm rooting for Taichi to grow stronger--for the sake of being able to properly confess to Chihaya, even--I wouldn't say that I am actually rooting for their romance.
I agree with the gist of this, but I think I might have a slightly different take on character dynamics: For Taichi, being with Chihaya is socially taxing. He's forced into situations, he'd avoid himself. For example, he'd never have gone to see Arata, accepting that they never meet again. (I think they are friends, even if not of the closest sort.) Getting together with Chihaya would make his life more difficult. His job would be cleaning up after Taifoon Chihaya. You know, like giving thank-you sweets to kind strangers who get ignored by the main beneficient.

Being with Chihaya thrusts Taichi into the sort of situation he fears the most.

At the moment, though, I'm not rooting for any romance. They'll figure out what to do in good time. I just feel bad for Taichi's girlfriend. She looked like a nice one, but they really don't have much of a future. You know, she is the ceap way out. Being with her is so soothing...

Quote:
Arata and Chihaya are just a bit too perfect that without Taichi things wouldn't be nearly as interesting (though, as far as "imperfections" go, I guess I'm still keenly (...) interested in the status of Chihaya and her sister. If character drama will continue to be a major focus, I really hope that relationship will get some spotlight too. ).
I actually thought the show's strength was that they pitted each others weaknesses against each other, complementing each other nicely. Both Taichi and Chihaya are team players, but Chihaya sucks at reading social cues and ignores everyone not in the in-group, while Taichi tends to avoid conflict preferring to run away. Arata is not a team player, but he's got both Chihaya's determination, and Taichi's social eye (although he outdoes neither on these).

None of them is perfect. So I do agree with this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis
Taichi is just an ordinary person, for all his stellar grades and the high expectations his mother places on him. He has no particular fascination for the past, and is perfectly willing to let life simply go on, leaving karuta and everything else behind. Thus he stands in contrast to his brilliant friends. His role is to be the foil that allows Chihaya and Arata to bridge back to the ordinary world. As Dawnstorm points out, in this episode he is the one who enables Chihaya and Arata the possibility of recovering their friendship. Without him, they would have followed their retrospective lights into a smash-up.
Both Arata and Chihaya obsess with karuata as a sort of ersatz-life, and thus Taichi can give them a much-needed reality check from time to time. But that's only one example of what they do for each other. Examples include: Arata not bearing a grudge for Taichi's glasses episode; Arata telling Chihaya that she needs a dream of her own, as having a dream for others is not fair (and Chihaya getting the first part of that, but not the second); Chihaya having faith in Taichi's kindness; Taichi stepping in when Chihaya unintentionally offends someone...

It's one of the most intricate friendship scenarios I've seen in anime. They don't have much time, but they use it to the max. (It helps that even minor characters - so far - feel "complete": Arata's mom is a stellar example; I shouldn't have such a good picture of her, from the screen time I got.)

***

Finally a minor thing I'm wondering about: In the letter, there were cue cards. One of those read something like "If Arata has a mobile phone, get the number. Important." Huh? Didn't she call him an episode before? Has she tried to call him so often that Arata cancelled the number? Is that an oversight? Am I missing something?
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Old 2011-11-04, 03:35   Link #393
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Lol shipping wars in Chihayafuru?

Like I mentioned before, I am supporting the Chihaya x Karuta ending :3.
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Old 2011-11-04, 08:14   Link #394
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Originally Posted by sikvod00 View Post
Finally a minor thing I'm wondering about: In the letter, there were cue cards. One of those read something like "If Arata has a mobile phone, get the number. Important." Huh? Didn't she call him an episode before? Has she tried to call him so often that Arata cancelled the number? Is that an oversight? Am I missing something?
He might have a mobile, but Chihaya wouldn't know his number (or mobile email address). First time she'd ever called him at home seems to have been at the end of the previous episode - she noted that it was a deeper voice she didn't recognise. They'd exchanged New Years cards - although it appears that whilst Chihaya sent another one this year, Arata didn't.

p.s. the line that reads "Sorry, but don't call me again" would be better translated as "Sorry, but don't contact me again"...or perhaps "don't call or write to me again".
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Old 2011-11-04, 08:25   Link #395
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
Finally a minor thing I'm wondering about: In the letter, there were cue cards. One of those read something like "If Arata has a mobile phone, get the number. Important." Huh? Didn't she call him an episode before? Has she tried to call him so often that Arata cancelled the number? Is that an oversight? Am I missing something?
She called the house phone. Remember the old rotary dial phone he answered? She's hoping Arata has a personal mobile phone.

I want to thank everyone for their civilized and balanced discussion of the trio's personalities and interactions. After the first few weeks intensive hateful comments, it's a joy to read posts that discuss both the characters' good and bad points in less heated terms.

Edit: Beaten to the mobile phone answer. LOL
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Old 2011-11-04, 09:37   Link #396
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Originally Posted by DemiSoda View Post
Lol shipping wars in Chihayafuru?

Like I mentioned before, I am supporting the Chihaya x Karuta ending :3.
I'm with you. I was cheated out of my Ohana x Kisuisso ending, but this time, for sure...
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Old 2011-11-04, 13:33   Link #397
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@Karice, LKK: Thank you for your reply. It was bothering me a bit. It feels good to know what I've been missing. ^_^
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Old 2011-11-04, 16:55   Link #398
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This show is turning out to be my sleeper hit of this season. Never would've thought it would turn out to be such a well-done character-driven series. There is so much tension in the relationship(s). The "give-aways" for the romantic triangle are blatant, but also very slight. Great story-telling right there.

+1 also for the fact that its about continuing an old cultural tradition You don't see that too often nowadays.
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Old 2011-11-04, 21:56   Link #399
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Question

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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I admit when I watched the episode I felt that Chihaya favored Arata and didn't even realize her feelings yet. But I like your explanation too and it makes things more interesting for me too if it's not so clear yet if Chihaya will choose Arata or Taichi in the end.

I am not sure if I am rooting for Arata or Taichi yet but I do really like Taichi and I want him to have a fighting chance.
same, i don't want it to be too obvious. i both think they are worthy contenders they all need some maturing first tho, including chihaya as she's very one-track minded.


Quote:
Oh I am sure she will. I mean I know the series is about Karuta and I am sure that will be a big part of the show but I think romance will be too.

I mean I would love if this series was just about friendship (we actually don't have enough of those) but I knew what I was getting into as soon as I started this series and that is a love triangle. So far it's been executed really well with making me like all the characters (that is important to me).

I just hope the fandom behaves and there are no shipping wars.
i want it to be friendship focused too, i definitely think they all have a great bond. chihaya is definitely their glue. i definitely want more development between taichi and arata as well, because they definitely care about each other but (especially for taichi) they view each other as romantic rivals.

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Originally Posted by Kaoru Chujo View Post
I understand that. He is the most human character, the one who embodies our good and bad human feelings and with whom we can identify, I think. But it will take me a loooong time to get over his verbally betraying his girlfriend immediately upon re-meeting Chihaya.
he was very dismissive of her, i agree. but i think taichi's has always had those feelings for chihaya, so it's not so much betrayal as it is denial of the truth. i don't think he is intentionally trying to sabotage his relationship with his girlfriend or even hurt her. i don't even think he's biding his time until he gets with chihaya, as he was surprised to see her again.


Quote:
I kind of loathe him, actually. I hated seeing him bully and drag Chihaya away from Arata's home, without even getting the cards. I dislike him, but I still relate to him, since I can feel where he is coming from, and why he is as he is. Does that make sense?
it makes total sense. however, like other posters said, i think taichi was conflicted in that scene as well and hurt by arata's words, but he shows it in an abrasive manner unlike chihaya. i also think he understood arata better and knew that chihaya was making things worse. he probably also felt stupid for showing up only to be rejected and felt bad for chihaya as well. i didn't think of it as of bullying so much as being caught up in a moment.

chihaya was too--she's so single-minded that she's just pushing karuta in arata's face despite him--on more than one occasion-refusing her.

they all need development which makes the ride more enjoyable. but i understand where you are coming from.

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I'd love to see some romance, but it doesn't fit the story yet, and I don't find myself particularly shipping either of the guys. Arata repeating that line about Taichi being cowardly rubbed me the wrong way, too. Great to see some human beings, lol.
haha i agree, arata can be a preceptive ass as well but i think he's the most balanced character so far but also the least interesting.
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Old 2011-11-04, 23:15   Link #400
Byakou
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Join Date: Jul 2008
The reason for Arata stopping karuta was really predictable, that's immediately what I had thought it would be. Would have been nice if it had been a more original reason.


I wonder if this will turn out to be a proper love triangle. Taichi loves Chihaya, Chihaya loves Arata, Arata loves... Taichi? Loool.
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