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Old 2012-01-12, 22:10   Link #881
Undertaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I think you forget the bit where she went on to become the youngest Queen ever. Again, if becoming A-class is that easy, why didn't Arata do it? It's not like he was uninterested in facing stronger opponents and rising as high as he could. Are you trying to argue that Shinobu somehow used underhanded methods to get where she is? That's pretty farfetched.
.


I already stated it many times that my guess is that Arata wasn't an registered player thus he is ineligible for advancement.

Compare to the conflict that appears on the fee issue, the potential conflict is much bigger assuming that Shinobu didn't enter those national.

As Kanon pointed out elementary level doesn't have class requirement for enter just like the team competition and doesn't have gender requirement as well compare to Meijin/Queen qualifier.

In fact, just like any other competitive sport, entry requirement might differ depend on the said tournament. So there is nothing that says Shinobu can't enter. Heck Nishida entered as B-class, and the different between a B and A is just a tournament win or 2 runner-ups.

But let's go with your thinking that somehow Arata and Shinobu never meet.

That means that Shinobu have to win a tournament or placed 2nd place twice against older competition.

It also means that she could got her class A through special exemption from branch head of Karuta Association since we don't know any of her record other than she own the Queen title last year in 8th grade.

Either way, it also meant that it took her 4 years just to get the title, so it's not like she stream rolling everyone during middle school against the older competition as a class A.

But really, since elementary national is a qualifying tournament, why would she skip those tournament? Forget about grade 5 and 6, let's focus on grade 1-3. Why wouldn't she enter those tournament when they should be easy for her to win and provides the quickest way to advance?

Keep in mind she doesn't have to win those nationals, all she need is to be place in 2nd twice and she's a Class A.

And if the peer competition is too easy for her, then why the hell is she entering the High School National now, and base on student reaction she seem to enter the Middle School National as well, when she refused to enter peer competition back in elementary according to you.
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Old 2012-01-12, 23:30   Link #882
Sol Falling
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I think the A-class stuff is pretty meaningless. A-class is just the very baseline to be considered a pro; it's reaching 4th dan when the top is 10. We had a hall full of A-class players at just the highschool level.

National kid's tournament is big fish small pond stuff too.

I think there's only one thing we need to know about Shinobu, and that is that, as Queen, she is currently the strongest (female) karuta player in the world. She is at the pinnacle of the game. She's crawled to the top (or very close to it) of the heap against the players of any age and experience.

And yes, if she made A-class at age 10, that means it took her 4 to 5 years playing at that level to do it.

Arata might have been just as monstrous as her at the elementary level, but having taken a break for longer than a year, or having not even played yet in any top-level tournaments, I personally find it improbable to say he'd be a match for her even a year from now. He's (I presume) got the potential, sure, but definitely not the hard-won experience of four years in the grinder of competitive karuta at the highest level.

Think about it, really, without regard to Shinobu herself or her age: is Arata close to a level right now that he could take on the Meijin? How long do you think it would take him to truly get there? Because that's the actual level of play Shinobu represents right now: the best in the world, the Queen. (Although, despite being the youngest Queen in the history of karuta, it's true that we can't say for sure yet either whether Shinobu is one of those "eternal" masters who can maintain her legacy. I presume it would become true eventually, but there's no real basis for that yet. A couple in-universe years from now, though, I would love to see Chihaya and Shinobu developing a rivalry where they keep swapping the title back and forth continuously .) While Shinobu right now might not be quite an equal to, say, what Arata's grandpa at his peak would've looked like, you have to let the title of Queen count for at least that much.

(For the record: it seems that while the titles are separated by gender, all competitive karuta matches with the exception of the title matches themselves are played without any division by gender. Furthermore, a yearly exhibition match is indeed put on between the Queen and Meijin of karuta. Scarily enough, the one for this year took place just 5 days ago on January the 7th, lol. The top update on the national competitive karuta webpage which came on the 4th was an announcement with a link for the upcoming match's livestream.)
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Old 2012-01-12, 23:57   Link #883
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Oh, I agree with you there, I just don't agree with the way Anh_Minh was portraying it, that Arata and Queen wasn't in equal footing even at elementary level.

Personally the way I look is:

kid Arata >> Kid Shinobu
kid Arata >>>>>>> kid Chihaya

Now:

current Shinobu >>> current Arata
current Shinobu >>>> current Chihaya
current Arata > current Chihaya

a year or two from now:

future Shinobu >= future Arata
futuret Shinobu >> future Chihaya
future Arata > future Chihaya


So far based on what we've being shown Arata is the only player (other than perhaps Chihaya) that would be capable of rising in level of title contention which makes that potential match interesting.


Personally I don't think Arata is currently capable of beating Shinobu and I agree that a year might not be enough make up the 1 1/2 years of inactivity along with 1 1/2 of limited participation.

But I do think it would be a decent/competitive match given a year or two.

Frankly both Nishida and Taichi are good examples, they both have 3 years of in activity yet with some intense training, they are right back being competitive in their peer competition and Nishida is currently just slightly weaker than Chihaya.

And with all that's been shown, even with the time off, Arata should still be the stronger player between him and Chihaya and that makes him a better opponent for Shinobu.

Granted Title contention is is much harder, but unless the manga suddenly decides to focus on college players, right now Arata still got the best shot of current gen to reach to Shinobu's level, which makes the potential match promising.


BTW, the current real life Meijin and Queen are both beasts, the queen's currently won 8 straight and the last 3 was against the same person and is only 22 and has not lost in any of her title match in best of three(16-0). Meijin is currently 14 straight and is only 33 and is 42-10 in his title matches (best of 5) and at one point has won 28 straight. Both are the youngest title holder in their respective gender.
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Old 2012-01-13, 02:35   Link #884
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Undertaker View Post
I already stated it many times that my guess is that Arata wasn't an registered player thus he is ineligible for advancement.
And I'm saying it's a feeble excuse. Considering how important Karuta was to him and his grandfather, they could easily have done something about it. My conclusion is that if he could have followed Shinobu's path, he would have. Or at least, that I'd like to hear the explanation of why he didn't, because "I didn't feel like it" and "I couldn't afford it" sound utterly unconvincing right now.
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Old 2012-01-13, 03:07   Link #885
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And for me it's MUCH MORE convincing than Shinobu not entering Elementry National when those tournaments count toward ranking, low level or not. She have to start at somewhere, and she doesn't even have to win to advance her rank.

We seen enough players in Chihaya's peer that have class qualification in elementary and they still enters Elementry Nationals as Nishida did.

There is absolutely no reason at all why Shinobu won't enter in elementary and then decide to enter in Middle and High School Nationals when the competition level she face in those tournament are still the same and perhaps weaker consider her playing tenure against her opponents' tenure.

As weak as Arata's reason might be, there is at least a concrete reason.

I have no problem picturing a mature kid decided himself that he'll wait to join a club until middle or high school and doesn't want to trouble his family over it.


But let's just stop here because if you can't even accept that possibility than this debate really is pointless.
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Old 2012-01-13, 08:13   Link #886
karice67
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Just a note on the tournaments, based on the info from the Japanese wikipedia because what is on the English one is rather sparse...

As most people already know, there are 5 classes from E (lowest) to A (highest), corresponding to different dan levels (or ~experience, for D and E class):
Quote:
A class; 4-dan or above
B class; 2, 3-Dan
C class; 1-Dan
D class intermediate
E class beginner
To rise in dan level, players have to participate in official tournaments, which are contested in the different classes (A-E):
for 1-dan (and thus a rise to C class), 3rd place in a D-class tournament
for 2-dan (& rise to B class), 3rd places in a C class tournament
for 3-dan, 3rd place in a B class tournament
for 4-dan (& rise to A class), 1st place or two 2nd-placings in a B-class tournament.
As others have noted, it is also possible to obtain 1-, 2- or 3-dan if a delegate at one's (officially associated) karuta group determines that the player is of the appropriate level. However, to reach A-class, players HAVE to obtain the results noted above.

NB: it is not possible to drop from A-class once you have reached it, but there are other requirements if you want to rise further in dan-level, which, in a manner of speaking, goes further than merely obtaining the Meijin or Queen position. Obtaining either position just once, for example, only gets a player to 7-dan.

According to the English wikipedia, there are about 50 official tournaments each year that count towards dan ranking. I would expect that the major cities have a few each year, with smaller prefectures having just one (or even none: i.e. players from those prefectures would have to travel to another prefecture to compete).

That's for tournaments that are contested in the different classes.

=====

There are also tournaments, however, that are contested by age group. The school level tournaments (elementary, junior high, senior high, university) feature amongst these. Their results have no impact whatsoever on class rankings. In elementary, players compete in their year levels. From junior high (I think - otherwise it'll be senior high), the individual tournament is split into the various classes. However, it still does not count towards the dan/class rankings <=this was just wrong. mea culpa.

=====

Finally, if it helps...

Character background for Chihayafuru (no spoilers, unless you count home city a spoiler...)

Shinobu: first year high school, Kyoto
Arata: first year high school, Fukui (prefecture, city)

and a map, so you might get an idea of where Fukui prefecture is in relation to the major cities of Japan...



My personal opinion about this debate: it's best to wait and watch the show and then continue with the manga if you have to.
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Last edited by karice67; 2012-05-05 at 23:17.
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Old 2012-01-13, 08:47   Link #887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
And I'm saying it's a feeble excuse. Considering how important Karuta was to him and his grandfather, they could easily have done something about it. My conclusion is that if he could have followed Shinobu's path, he would have. Or at least, that I'd like to hear the explanation of why he didn't, because "I didn't feel like it" and "I couldn't afford it" sound utterly unconvincing right now.
Undertaker's explanation makes sense to me. I don't know how much the registration fee is, but it's not that far-fetched to think he couldn't afford it given how poor his family is (that was even the first thing that was established about him). He was forced to get a job to help his parents make ends meet, for Christ's sake.
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Old 2012-01-13, 16:12   Link #888
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
Undertaker's explanation makes sense to me. I don't know how much the registration fee is, but it's not that far-fetched to think he couldn't afford it given how poor his family is (that was even the first thing that was established about him). He was forced to get a job to help his parents make ends meet, for Christ's sake.
I don't know either, but I just can't imagine it being much. If you told me they couldn't afford to send him on overnight trips and raise that as a reason he didn't advance, I could maybe accept it. Except they could apparently afford to send him on those tournaments he won, so why couldn't they send him on local tournaments that'd allow him to rise?

Also, who said anything about him being forced to have a job and why? We know he has a job, but it could simply be for spending money, or to keep busy and away from karuta after his grandfather's death. Or did they say he dropped out of school?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertaker View Post
And for me it's MUCH MORE convincing than Shinobu not entering Elementry National when those tournaments count toward ranking, low level or not. She have to start at somewhere, and she doesn't even have to win to advance her rank.
Except they apparently don't, and there are plenty of other tournaments which do.

Quote:
We seen enough players in Chihaya's peer that have class qualification in elementary and they still enters Elementry Nationals as Nishida did.
Which doesn't mean that every class qualified elementary schooler entered them.

Quote:
There is absolutely no reason at all why Shinobu won't enter in elementary and then decide to enter in Middle and High School Nationals when the competition level she face in those tournament are still the same and perhaps weaker consider her playing tenure against her opponents' tenure.

As weak as Arata's reason might be, there is at least a concrete reason.
Well, if you accept silly reasons, maybe Shinobu's parents are worrywarts and didn't want to expose her to big tournaments until she was in middle school.

Quote:
I have no problem picturing a mature kid decided himself that he'll wait to join a club until middle or high school and doesn't want to trouble his family over it.
Except he obviously didn't. He did enter a Karuta society when he was in Tokyo, and he did "trouble" his parents enough to enter tournaments (which includes trips to Kyoto).

Plus, I have my doubts on whether he could have become as strong as he did without regularly playing against lots of other kids instead of just his grandfather.

Quote:
But let's just stop here because if you can't even accept that possibility than this debate really is pointless.
I'm open to the possibility there's some reason - other than talent - Arata didn't have Shinobu's meteoric rise even before his grandfather fell ill. I just don't think "lack of money" is very convincing.
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Old 2012-01-13, 16:44   Link #889
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post

Except they apparently don't, and there are plenty of other tournaments which do.
Talked with karice67 on PM about it, her source was the same as mine and depend on interpretation those national tournaments could still count.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Which doesn't mean that every class qualified elementary schooler entered them.
Agree, but that also doesn't mean she didn't enter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Well, if you accept silly reasons, maybe Shinobu's parents are worrywarts and didn't want to expose her to big tournaments until she was in middle school.
Then that would mean the only other reason Shinobu is an A-class was through recommendation route and her playing strength relative to Arata is null in this case.

Besides, if you're are welling to use those reason to explain her not entering Elementry National than same can be said that Arata's grandpa is protecting him from A-rank competition until he was in middle school, it's just too bad that he had stroke and later paralysis.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Except he obviously didn't. He did enter a Karuta society when he was in Tokyo, and he did "trouble" his parents enough to enter tournaments (which includes trips to Kyoto).

Plus, I have my doubts on whether he could have become as strong as he did without regularly playing against lots of other kids instead of just his grandfather.
His grandpa is the Lifetime Meijin, as old as he is, I think he's capable of teaching a kid. Harada sensei even mentioned to Chihaya that it is easy to see his grandpa' style in Arata's play.

As for the tournament, it was his grandpa that drove him to all the nationals, not his parents. If anything, it's one thing to ask for a ride it's another to ask for money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I'm open to the possibility there's some reason - other than talent - Arata didn't have Shinobu's meteoric rise even before his grandfather fell ill. I just don't think "lack of money" is very convincing.
The issue I have is that we has nothing as facts on Shinobu's "rise" except that she became the Queen last year and that it took her over 4 years in A rank to get there. All happen after Arata decreased his activities, if I might add.

How she A ranks is unknown, so you can't that elementary Arata is weaker than Shinobu when Arata has an actual record that has been show to us thus far.


Again, no one is saying that Arata is on par with Shinobu right now, but based on what was shown, the implication would be that he is pretty damn close if not surpass Shinobu at least when they are back in elementary level. And base on projection, current Arata might still be the best competition Shinobu could have within her peers.

But let's just wait and see, since this debate doesn't seem to go anywhere.
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Old 2012-01-13, 17:02   Link #890
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Undertaker View Post
His grandpa is the Lifetime Meijin, as old as he is, I think he's capable of teaching a kid. Harada sensei even mentioned to Chihaya that it is easy to see his grandpa' style in Arata's play.
Sure, that's not a issue of the grandfather's competence. He's obviously the one who taught Arata how to play, and he obviously did it very well. It's an issue of giving Arata a lot of different opponents, and opponents near his level. Especially since his grandfather's principles apparently include "don't hold back, not even against a kid".


Quote:
As for the tournament, it was his grandpa that drove him to all the nationals, not his parents. If anything, it's one thing to ask for a ride it's another to ask for money.
They're family, and the grandfather's highly supportive of Arata's karuta. I don't think he'd let a trivial sum of money get between Arata and the game.
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Old 2012-01-13, 18:17   Link #891
Undertaker
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post

They're family, and the grandfather's highly supportive of Arata's karuta. I don't think he'd let a trivial sum of money get between Arata and the game.
I would agree with that, Never said it was a good theory, just a better one, IMO.

The only reason I used that theory was because it is more believable than any excuses I can think of for Shinobu somehow not entering National Tournament in elementary.

But that's stop this topic here, considering we seem to be at a point of agree to disagree and I'm fine with that.
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Old 2012-01-13, 22:48   Link #892
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Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
I don't know how much the registration fee is, but it's not that far-fetched to think he couldn't afford it given how poor his family is (that was even the first thing that was established about him). He was forced to get a job to help his parents make ends meet, for Christ's sake.
Regardless of the players' level, the national association annual membership fee is 5000 Yen(close to 50 USD). The membership fee for level 6 or above is 10000 Yen(close to 100 USD). The travel fee would be more costly.

I think if they started playing during childhood, they would meet one another already. Some players would become too skillful and become bored. So, they withdraw from their peers. As long they stay qualified, some exceptionally talented players rather practice alone. Once a while, they would visit some "inferior" tournament. I think they are looking for special someone.
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Old 2012-01-14, 03:29   Link #893
karice67
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Originally Posted by Undertaker View Post
Talked with karice67 on PM about it, her source was the same as mine and depend on interpretation those national tournaments could still count.
Well, but I don't consider it as 'counting' if someone has to write an additional recommendation (推薦). To me, the tournaments that count are ones that count automatically.


Though apologies anyway, my previous post was slightly erroneous. That was about rising by measurement of ability.


Besides ability as proved in the tournaments (or a representative at one's karuta group), there are two other ways for someone to reach A class.

Spoiler for Japanese:


Spoiler for English:




Whether Shinobu reached A-class by tournament or by recommendation may be revealed later, and I'm not going to speculate.

For Arata, we know that he won the Fukui tournament, perhaps in his 2nd or 3rd year of junior high school. (edit) And personally, I also think he's the kind of person who'd have abjectly turned down advancement by recommendation.


Anh_Minh, one thing I think you are forgetting is that Arata, being from Fukui, wouldn't have access to as many tournaments that 'count' as someone from a major city might - the Fukui tournament takes place just once a year. It would have been terribly inconvenient for Arata's family to take him to any other major tournaments.

Shinobu, on the other hand, is from Kyoto.

What I basically want to say is...being the youngest person ever to obtain A-class doesn't necessarily mean that person will beat another person who hasn't achieved that ranking.
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Old 2012-01-14, 05:03   Link #894
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Old 2012-01-14, 06:30   Link #895
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Most forums take me 5 minutes to read.

This one take me 5 hours.
Which is a damn good thing, trust me!!! I decided to sign up here after leaving a dying forum and I cant seem to get enough of the high level discussions.
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Old 2012-01-14, 07:18   Link #896
Undertaker
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Anh_Minh, one thing I think you are forgetting is that Arata, being from Fukui, wouldn't have access to as many tournaments that 'count' as someone from a major city might - the Fukui tournament takes place just once a year. It would have been terribly inconvenient for Arata's family to take him to any other major tournaments.

Shinobu, on the other hand, is from Kyoto.

What I basically want to say is...being the youngest person ever to obtain A-class doesn't necessarily mean that person will beat another person who hasn't achieved that ranking.
And that is what I'm trying to get.
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Old 2012-01-14, 12:56   Link #897
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Loved Episode 14.

It provided two key things that I think the show needed at precisely this moment:

1. A new, good, and very strong antagonist. The Queen serves this role very well.
Shinobu is certainly an extraordinarily strong player. I am looking forward to getting a deeper understanding of the sources of her strength: the show has consistently connected skill with other personal and social qualities. I expect the contest between the two girls will not just be an athletic one, but one extending out to these broader issues.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Loved Episode 14. 2. Chihaya not folding under pressure, and keeping her wits/faculties about her. Chihaya is losing, but it's due to the sheer strength of her opponent, and not due to Chihaya succumbing to psychological stress or sickness. Plus, it does help that Chihaya at least won a short match, partly off-camera.
Yes. I think this is the center of the match, how Chihaya gets herself back into the game after Shinobu takes the first fifteen cards. There is the accident with the lights, and then Chihaya sees Taichi and Miyauchi-sensei there, offering silent support. At this she regroups, by returning to her first memories of playing with Arata, and so recognizing that the current match reprises the earlier one: "but this is how I learned to play karuta!" While she has the support of others, the help of Harada-sensei in her mind, and even the example of Sudo--I like it that she tries to learn even from him--it is finally to herself, to her own memories of her first match with Arata and to how she dealt with defeat then, that she turns to find a way to fight Shinobu. Chihaya responds to Shinobu with the same determination that she took that first card from Arata. Chihaya does it herself, and no one else.

Now that I know a little more about karuta, I have to say that the most amazing "take" ever was that first card from Arata. Chihaya has never played competitive karuta before, and she takes a card from the back row at the right hand of the top player at her grade level in Japan. That scene is completely awesome.

So I disagree with the assessment that future Chihaya can't defeat Shinobu. On raw talent she may have everyone beat. I think she can win against Shinobu, and will. (Not in this match, though!) Did you notice in Chihaya's brief envisaging of the future Queen title match, her opponent has brown hair, not black? Plus Chihaya sees herself sitting in Shinobu's position, relative to their current match? Chihaya doesn't even imagine Shinobu as her future opponent! Scary!
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Old 2012-01-14, 13:22   Link #898
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Well I'm kind of surprised it didn't happen sooner, but we've essentially entered the realm of flat out super powers with the Queens introduction. I guess there's no other way to portray the pinnacle of the game than this, but it still feels pretty unlikely. A player moving so fast a camera can't even pick it up? Really?

Well I've always felt that this show's greatest weakness is in how it portrays the actual game of Karuta, and that it's greatest strength is how it portrays it's characters and motivations and how ultimately they all have the same goal and are good reasonable impassioned people, but the Queen doesn't seem to have any of that sort of drive anymore having already reached the top, though I did sense maybe a little bit of regret that she basically has to play alone at the top now and that she strongly desires a rival. In any case she seems like a bizarre amalgamation of all the top Karuta players in the show so far. She has Arata's skill taken to Saki style super power level, Chihaya's personality is hidden in their somewhere judging by their similar reaction to each others shirts, Taichi's calm demeanor is on display when she plays, but we've yet to confirm what here actual deal is as a character and if I'm right in my earlier assumption. For this reason I kind of have to consider her the weakest character to date...at least in her initial introduction.

I'm kind of hoping to see them go more into this character in the coming episodes if she's still around and prove me wrong by giving her the kind of story arc we've come to expect out of this shows characters, but for now this episode just didn't seem to have the same sort of realistic and human feel to it that prior episodes have.
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Old 2012-01-14, 13:27   Link #899
Kazu-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Did you notice in Chihaya's brief envisaging of the future Queen title match, her opponent has brown hair, not black? Plus Chihaya sees herself sitting in Shinobu's position, relative to their current match? Chihaya doesn't even imagine Shinobu as her future opponent! Scary!
Well, even though Chihaya's goal has always being becoming queen, she didn't even know Shinobu was the current queen until now (how's that for being clueless) so it's to be expected that the representation of the queen match in Chihaya's mind has a generic figure as queen (in the manga this "queen" doesn't even have a face).

I don't think this means she doesn't recognize Shinobu as her future opponent. Besides, she still doesn't know the full extent of Shinobu's strength, so her perspective on things is bond to change once she realize this.
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Old 2012-01-14, 19:01   Link #900
hyperborealis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Well, even though Chihaya's goal has always being becoming queen, she didn't even know Shinobu was the current queen until now (how's that for being clueless) so it's to be expected that the representation of the queen match in Chihaya's mind has a generic figure as queen (in the manga this "queen" doesn't even have a face).

I don't think this means she doesn't recognize Shinobu as her future opponent. Besides, she still doesn't know the full extent of Shinobu's strength, so her perspective on things is bond to change once she realize this.
You're almost certainly right. Even knowing about Shinobu, Chihaya would imagine a generic opponent, to express her desire to be queen regardless of her opponent. Her dream is to become queen, and not to beat Shinobu.

All the same, the animation of the scene is curious, since the imagined scene is overlaid upon and displaces the actual one. The effect is to make the absence of Shinobu striking, as if it were significant somehow. But all in all I agree that that is probably a red herring.
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