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Old 2012-02-16, 11:52   Link #1101
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Taichi is using luck of the draw to excuse his own failure to capitalize on the slight advantage he had due to his remarkable memory. As I said, not a shining moment for Taichi at all.
Let's not forget Taichi realized this and apologized to Nishida. In fact, that was ultimately the point of that scene. Taichi is an interesting character (the most out the whole cast actually) not because he's the most flawed (he is, of course) but because he's growing and maturing at every moment. It's that constant change in character what makes him so interesting.

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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
I didn’t much care for the male bonding Taichi and Yusei do at Chihaya’s expense. Yusei is entitled to feel as he likes about being called “Meatball-kun,” but the prospective boyfriend ought not to be bonding with the buddy over running down the prospective girlfriend. Just saying.
The "meatball" thingy was just an example. The point was to show that Nishida hadn't being oblivious to the fact that Taichi had put a lot of effort in making Mizusawa a good team. It's that appreciation what touchs Taichi.
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Old 2012-02-16, 12:15   Link #1102
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
The other instance Kana refers to in the van--the final card Chihaya takes against Sudou.
That comparison isn't fair either because the card Chihaya grabbed was in a more favourable position compared to the card Taichi had to grab against Nishida. ;p
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Old 2012-02-16, 19:18   Link #1103
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
So, let’s talk about Taichi’s least shining moment in the episode, the incident in the locker room when he puts down Yusei by saying “I guess you got lucky.” Yusei was lucky all right, but what is the connection between Taichi’s statement here and the question he asks Yusei immediately before, as to whether Yusei knew what cards were left at the end?

As the last six cards are read, Taichi actually has a slight advantage over Yusei. The card he is defending is a single syllable card, while Yusei is defending a double-syllable card beginning with “The.” If Taichi knows that all the other “The” cards have been read, then Yusei’s card becomes for him a single-syllable card, which he can take on the first syllable while Yusei is waiting for the second syllable to be read. So Taichi’s question in the locker room attempts to find out whether Yusei took his “The tail” card on a first or a second syllable basis. Yusei’s answer makes it clear to Taichi that Yusei didn’t know what cards were left, and therefore was taking the card on the second syllable. The animation of the final moments of the match makes this point clear as well: Yusei is fooled by Taichi’s intensity into thinking that there is still another “The” card out there, as he asks himself “Wait, there’s another one left?” Taichi on the other hand knows that all the "The" cards have been read: so for him, unlike Yusei, the "The tail" card is a single syllable.

What this means of course is that Taichi had a golden opportunity to take the card, and he simply wasn’t able to. This makes his put-down of Yusei all the worse: Taichi is using luck of the draw to excuse his own failure to capitalize on the slight advantage he had due to his remarkable memory. As I said, not a shining moment for Taichi at all.

So, why doesn’t Taichi manage to take the card? We’ve seen other players in similar situations do it. Shinobu took a card from under Chihaya’s hand in the nationals, but Shinobu is a special case, so that’s not a fair comparison. The other instance Kana refers to in the van--the final card Chihaya takes against Sudou. As Kana explains, this card epitomizes the special swiftness a player can achieve when they are playing relaxed. You will recall that is also how Sudou understands how Chihaya is able to take the card: he sees that at that moment she is not thinking about winning, as he himself is, but only about having fun. Conversely, as Retro-kun points out, none of the Mizusawa players are relaxed: all are completely tense, and probably none more so than Taichi. So I think you can make an argument that in the end Taichi’s own tension does him in.
I think you're understating the vast defensive advantage of that configuration. It's not for nothing that conventional wisdom says that the last card was "down to luck", and that most players would just accept that, defend their single card, and call it a day.

Which is what was frustrating to Taichi: from the POV of the last card, effort and talent had given him a slight advantage over Nishida, in that he knew what cards remained, but that wasn't enough to overcome the little bit of extra luck that Nishida got.

What he realized later was that his defeat wasn't pure luck, because it wasn't just about the last card, but also about those which were read before. He just lacked the skill to not let it come to that.

And I don't think you can say his tension made him lose. If anything, his resolve turned a 50/50 situation into a 60/40.
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Old 2012-02-16, 19:48   Link #1104
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And to top it off, Nishida is overall the better player though his weakness is his mental endurance. Nishida was the mentally the more desperated one because he lost track of the cards and is getting by his superior skill and experience.

One thing I do think helped was that Nishida was also studying Taichi's expression, which would allow him to judge which card in time.
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Old 2012-02-17, 02:30   Link #1105
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Undertaker View Post
And to top it off, Nishida is overall the better player though his weakness is his mental endurance.
How do you figure that?

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Nishida was the mentally the more desperated one because he lost track of the cards and is getting by his superior skill and experience.
He mostly got by with the fact he only had to defend the one card. I guess Taichi's expression gave away that he had a chance of making a mistake with a dead card.
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Old 2012-02-17, 12:44   Link #1106
hyperborealis
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I think you're understating the vast defensive advantage of that configuration. It's not for nothing that conventional wisdom says that the last card was "down to luck", and that most players would just accept that, defend their single card, and call it a day.

Which is what was frustrating to Taichi: from the POV of the last card, effort and talent had given him a slight advantage over Nishida, in that he knew what cards remained, but that wasn't enough to overcome the little bit of extra luck that Nishida got.
Did Taichi lose due to luck--Nishida's card read first--or due to lack of capability--not able to take a first syllable card from someone taking it on the second? You are saying "both," which confuses matters.

If the writers had wanted the scene to be only about luck, they would not have introduced the single syllable vs. second syllable card issue at the end. That is there to show that Taichi does not lose the final card due to the luck of the draw.

The fact that Taichi knows that "The tail" is a single syllable card while Yusei does not is a clear advantage. Taichi's memorization strategy relies on securing just this edge, so presumably it is a significant, even decisive one. I wonder if I could ask anyone who has played karuta on this forum to comment on this?

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
What he realized later was that his defeat wasn't pure luck, because it wasn't just about the last card, but also about those which were read before. He just lacked the skill to not let it come to that.

And I don't think you can say his tension made him lose. If anything, his resolve turned a 50/50 situation into a 60/40.
No. Kana's later comment about how she played without worrying about winning is a direct comment on Taichi's mode of play. The anime is saying exactly the opposite of what you are saying here. The way to get to 60/40, as you put it, or to 120%, as Kana puts it, is not through Taichi's intensity of resolve, but through not worrying, not feeling tension, and playing relaxed.

Chihaya understands this. That is why she embraces Taichi at the end: she sees that she and Taichi are alike, and are carrying a burden of pressure that prevents them getting to Kana's higher level. And she figures out a way to get to that higher level, through team play, rather than Taichi's "let's everyone pursue their individual goals" strategy.

See, Taichi is just like Chihaya in this regard: just as she relies too much on speed, he relies too much on himself. He leads the team, but he doesn't seem to learn from it. We have scenes of the other players learning from each other, but never Taichi. So the fact that he falls asleep just when Kana inspires Chihaya to this insight I think is no accident. The scene neatly allegorizes Taichi's situation: off by himself asleep, though surrounded by teammates who care for him, unable to hear the lesson that the way to the higher level he seeks is through the team, and not by his own efforts.

I think Taichi is stuck. That put-down on Yusei was an uncomfortable reminder of those earlier incidents which earned him the term "coward." It will be interesting to see what it will take to make him wake up.
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Old 2012-02-17, 13:18   Link #1107
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Did Taichi lose due to luck--Nishida's card read first--or due to lack of capability--not able to take a first syllable card from someone taking it on the second? You are saying "both," which confuses matters.

If the writers had wanted the scene to be only about luck, they would not have introduced the single syllable vs. second syllable card issue at the end. That is there to show that Taichi does not lose the final card due to the luck of the draw.

The fact that Taichi knows that "The tail" is a single syllable card while Yusei does not is a clear advantage. Taichi's memorization strategy relies on securing just this edge, so presumably it is a significant, even decisive one. I wonder if I could ask anyone who has played karuta on this forum to comment on this?
Taichi did not lose the match to luck and he himself admitted this in the end. If Taichi was a better player it would not have came down to that last card. In the end Taichi and Nishida were pretty evenly matched but the point of the game is to win so being evenly matched is not enough.

However yes the last card was down to mostly luck. Of course it's not impossible for Taichi to have taken it but obviously with only 2 cards left (both on each side) whosever card is read has the clear advantage because you just have to put your hand down as soon as you hear the card is read.


I also think saying Taichi only cares about his individual effort and not the team effort is unfair to Taichi. The fact of the matter is I don't see Nishida constantly trying to learn from others and he is also in it to win his matches (and cares very much) yet he still wins.

Also you ignore the fact that Taichi does try to think about how Chihaya plays and is so quick at grabbing those one syllable cards (something that is obviously not a Taichi strength).

That's not to say I don't think Taichi has some internal struggles to get over but I don't think it is group VS individual as I don't see how one needs to be more important than the other. Of course that doesn't mean I think Taichi can't learn from his teammates but I don't think this is a problem specifc to Taichi.
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Old 2012-02-17, 14:41   Link #1108
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Did Taichi lose due to luck--Nishida's card read first--or due to lack of capability--not able to take a first syllable card from someone taking it on the second?
You're forgetting two points:
- Nishida didn't need to hear any syllable to defend his card. It only mattered to make him decide to actually take it.
- Nishida may not have been sure, but he still treated his card as a one-syllable one. In fact, if Taichi hadn't attacked, he might have made a mistake on the first, dead, "The" card.

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You are saying "both," which confuses matters.
The lack of capability was in letting the game go to that point, with one card each. The last card was definitely luck. Nishida's card was read before Taichi's, and that was that. The most I'll say for Nishida is that he didn't let Taichi pressure him into making a mistake when a dead "The" card was read.

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If the writers had wanted the scene to be only about luck, they would not have introduced the single syllable vs. second syllable card issue at the end. That is there to show that Taichi does not lose the final card due to the luck of the draw.
Why? For starters, I don't think the number of syllables matters. Defend your card, and unless you're against a freak like Shinobu, whoever has his card read first wins. For another, despite what I just said, a perfectly symmetric situation makes it look more about luck, since that is what will break the symmetry and decide victory.

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The fact that Taichi knows that "The tail" is a single syllable card while Yusei does not is a clear advantage.
Not enough of one to overcome the fact that Nishida just has to put his hand in front of his card before he even hears anything.

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Taichi's memorization strategy relies on securing just this edge, so presumably it is a significant, even decisive one. I wonder if I could ask anyone who has played karuta on this forum to comment on this?
And you think Nishida doesn't have his own tactics to gain an advantage? Besides, I haven't played Karuta either, but Taichi's memorization seems to be great for the middle of the game - when there are still plenty of cards, but some of them have "lost" syllables. When the opponent just focuses on protecting the one card, it's almost completely irrelevant. They did a good job of showing that it wasn't meaningless, but they also showed it wasn't really enough unless the other guy made a mistake.


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No. Kana's later comment about how she played without worrying about winning is a direct comment on Taichi's mode of play. The anime is saying exactly the opposite of what you are saying here. The way to get to 60/40, as you put it, or to 120%, as Kana puts it, is not through Taichi's intensity of resolve, but through not worrying, not feeling tension, and playing relaxed.
What the anime says is that there are all kinds of players, with all kinds of attitudes. Sure, Taichi lost. But Nishida won. And not through lack of intensity - for most of the game, he was just as intense as Taichi. In the end, it came down to luck. Or do you think Taichi would have lost if his card had been read, when Nishida had all but given up on taking it?

Or is it going to be some Yu-Gi-Oh like "will of the cards"?

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Chihaya understands this. That is why she embraces Taichi at the end: she sees that she and Taichi are alike, and are carrying a burden of pressure that prevents them getting to Kana's higher level.
Except either of them could easily beat Kana. Besides, I don't think she embraces him because they're alike. I think she's trying to do something nice for him because he's proven a good friend, a good president, and, yes, someone she feels sorry for. Not because they're both pressured, but because she's just starting to learn what pressure is. Nishida said it - she's an airhead. People's expectations mean nothing to her, except on rare occasions when her nose is put in it. But through her match with Sakura, she learned, or was reminded, of how paralysing it can be to lose your cool. And through her accidental eavesdropping, she was reminded that Taichi feels pressure all the time, and bears it with such grace she forgets about it.

Quote:
And she figures out a way to get to that higher level, through team play, rather than Taichi's "let's everyone pursue their individual goals" strategy.
It's not about getting to a higher level. At least, not mainly. It's about having fun. And, yes, through that, become stronger. It doesn't make Taichi was wrong. Heck, they say they've progressed as a team, but they wouldn't have done that without progressing as individuals.

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See, Taichi is just like Chihaya in this regard: just as she relies too much on speed, he relies too much on himself. He leads the team, but he doesn't seem to learn from it. We have scenes of the other players learning from each other, but never Taichi. So the fact that he falls asleep just when Kana inspires Chihaya to this insight I think is no accident. The scene neatly allegorizes Taichi's situation: off by himself asleep, though surrounded by teammates who care for him, unable to hear the lesson that the way to the higher level he seeks is through the team, and not by his own efforts.
He did, indeed, miss the "lesson", if you can call it that. More importantly, I think, he missed the "reward". The club he leads achieved a lot in a short time. Everyone's in high spirit. As president, he can be proud of that. Plus, Chihaya's feeling affectionate, if not quite in the way he'd want. And that, I think, is Taichi in a nutshell. Tries hard, achieves a lot, but not what he really wants, and doesn't get the praise he craves.

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I think Taichi is stuck. That put-down on Yusei was an uncomfortable reminder of those earlier incidents which earned him the term "coward." It will be interesting to see what it will take to make him wake up.
There is definitely still darkness in him. But I'll note he quickly apologized, and that Nishida wasn't angry - he knows where Taichi comes from. Instead, Nishida was grateful, because he knows that, for all his flaws, Taichi's a good guy. Who just needed a reminder of it.
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Old 2012-02-17, 15:09   Link #1109
hyperborealis
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
The fact of the matter is I don't see Nishida constantly trying to learn from others and he is also in it to win his matches (and cares very much) yet he still wins.
It's there for Yusei, if you look. What are his last words in the episode? He says to Chihaya, "You've helped me learn a valuable lesson."

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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Also you ignore the fact that Taichi does try to think about how Chihaya plays and is so quick at grabbing those one syllable cards (something that is obviously not a Taichi strength).
You mean Kana. She takes the Chihayaburu card, and thinks, "I've gotten better at the cards my friends are good at." I don't recall Taichi doing this.
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Old 2012-02-17, 15:18   Link #1110
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You mean Kana. She takes the Chihayaburu card, and thinks, "I've gotten better at the cards my friends are good at." I don't recall Taichi doing this.
No I mean Taichi, during his game he thinks about how Chihaya plays. I don't recall if it was this last game but I remember him doing this in a past game.

Pretty much it seems to me your theory is only Taichi fails to understand team work and that is ridiculous. If anything Taichi has great strength in supporting the team and obviously Nishida came out to have that heart to heart with Taichi because he realizes his value to them all. Just because Taichi lost, he still has the other team member's respect.
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Old 2012-02-17, 16:18   Link #1111
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However yes the last card was down to mostly luck. Of course it's not impossible for Taichi to have taken it but obviously with only 2 cards left (both on each side) whosever card is read has the clear advantage because you just have to put your hand down as soon as you hear the card is read.
Not only that but Nishida only has to block the card (which he did) and then touch it when he hears it's his card. I honestly think hyperborealis is overrating Taichi's one-syllable advantage because Taichi not only has to cross the longest distance possible in a karuta field he also has to bypass a block within single syllable. I think you have to be really special if you want to pull that one off.
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Old 2012-02-17, 16:55   Link #1112
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No I mean Taichi, during his game he thinks about how Chihaya plays. I don't recall if it was this last game but I remember him doing this in a past game.

Pretty much it seems to me your theory is only Taichi fails to understand team work and that is ridiculous. If anything Taichi has great strength in supporting the team and obviously Nishida came out to have that heart to heart with Taichi because he realizes his value to them all. Just because Taichi lost, he still has the other team member's respect.
Oh, I think Taichi understands team work. And he supports the team, especially with his leadership. All of that is true, and I'm not discounting any of it.

I am saying something else, and something very specific. Taichi doesn't understand--yet--that playing as a team is a way to improve individually.

After the nationals, he tells everyone to focus on their individual goals. In effect, he is telling the team to split up by ranking level, and to focus on individual matches, in order to achieve higher individual level rankings. And this strategy is successful, if ironically, not for Taichi himself.

But I think the strategy has a limit, which Kana explains: it places individuals in a situation of pressure, which limits how well they can play.

The solution to this limit, as Chihaya realizes in the van, is to play again as a team. Chihaya understands this, and Taichi does not, at least not yet.

------

One more thing. I would point out that Taichi's reaction to his match is very different from the other three members of his team playing in the finals. Kana is overcome with a happy sadness: happy that she has won, sad that Tsutomu has lost. Tsutomu has a moment of disappointed disbelief, but after the ritual bow and thanks, he sincerely congratulates Kana, and appreciates her concern for him. The match brings them together, draws them closer to each other.

The other match could not be more different. We get a single reaction shot of Yusei, and he appears to be concerned for Taichi, and expresses no apparent happiness at his victory. Chihaya, Kana, and Tsutomu all have frozen faces, apparently feeling Taichi's loss but unwilling to express more in respect for Yusei's win. Taichi, however, is overwhelmed with disappointment, prostrate on the tatami. Then we get a jump cut to the locker room. Yusei is on edge, afraid to say anything, and even stutters in response when Taichi says he's heading for the lobby. Then we get Taichi's question to Yusei about whether he knew what cards were out there, followed by Taichi's put-down.

Later, in the lobby, Taichi will berate himself for being a jerk to Yusei. I give him credit that he is more concerned about his own bad behavior than even about losing. And he apologizes immediately to Yusei. But it is still Yusei, and not Taichi, who makes the move to break the ice between them, and to do the male bonding thing. Yusei takes the first step--Taichi only responds.

We can excuse as we like Taichi's reaction to the match. It is very very disappointing to come in second, especially under such circumstances. That doesn't change the fact that his immediate response is self-centered, and shows no sensitivity to Yusei. The scene illustrates how Taichi's desperate desire to win is hurtful not only to Yusei and team feeling, but also to Taichi's own character. It puts him in a place where he starts to behave badly, where he is thinking more about himself than he is about the team. Not good.

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Not only that but Nishida only has to block the card (which he did) and then touch it when he hears it's his card. I honestly think hyperborealis is overrating Taichi's one-syllable advantage because Taichi not only has to cross the longest distance possible in a karuta field he also has to bypass a block within single syllable. I think you have to be really special if you want to pull that one off.
You could be right. I'd very much appreciate it if someone who plays karuta would comment.
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Old 2012-02-17, 16:58   Link #1113
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Not only that but Nishida only has to block the card (which he did) and then touch it when he hears it's his card. I honestly think hyperborealis is overrating Taichi's one-syllable advantage because Taichi not only has to cross the longest distance possible in a karuta field he also has to bypass a block within single syllable. I think you have to be really special if you want to pull that one off.
"Straight. Direct. Fast." Basically the relaxed, "free", soundless movements which Kanade was talking about, and which Chihaya enters into so naturally that she doesn't even notice when she's playing on that level? I do think that that kind of relaxed, flowing play is the pinnacle of karuta as depicted in this manga/anime, and the various hints laid out so far towards it talk about not being under pressure or preoccupied with victory. Actually, I think it's very similar to the state of "void" or "emptiness" which is the goal of meditation, or the intuitive flow I've read about in martial arts mangas (Vagabond lol).

I dunno if that "freedom of movement" would really be enough to take a card in a "luck of the draw" situation but it's certainly an antithesis to the determination or intensity Nishida or Taichi were focusing on at the end of the battle. It's an interesting point if, as hyperborealis says, the mangaka's intention is to portray Taichi as "missing" or "passing by" the key to karuta in the form of a pure state of play--a relaxed, empty, thoughtless/formless engagement with the game itself--rather than an intense, focused determination or preoccupation with winning, which is at the root of Taichi's very character.

I don't ultimately think that teamwork by itself can be the key to reaching that pinnacle, even if it might be a good starting step to it. By playing against or together with team-mates, you can relax and just focus on bringing out your style of play. Letting your team-mates share the pressure of "victory" with you, you can instead fully engage yourself in the game of karuta itself. However, in the end it is still important to be able to reach that state even in individual play, and ultimately your ability to play at the highest level of karuta shouldn't depend on being familiar with your opponents or your teammates being beside you. For Chihaya, if she is to take on the Queen eventually, she needs to learn from others; but she must also become able to wield that strength by herself. So I do think it might be a little too polarizing to do things like putting teamwork and individualism at two ends of a debate and nominating Chihaya and Taichi as their representatives. Or, at least, saying that one side is definitively more correct than the other.
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Old 2012-02-17, 18:17   Link #1114
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How do you figure that?
Well, based that on the fact that Taichi admitted early in the series that he wasn't good enough to be Chihaya's practice partner. Also various times were Nishida is himself mentioned he is the better player of the two. Granted the gap might have being closed to the point that it's a toss up. Either way I still think Nishida is the overall better player.
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Old 2012-02-17, 18:18   Link #1115
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"Polarizing". Indeed. You've put your finger on it. That's what bothers me most about Hyperborealis' posts. It doesn't have to be all one or the other. One doesn't have to be wrong for the other to be right.
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Old 2012-02-17, 18:21   Link #1116
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I agree with that as well. I mean, tennis is a good analogy. A great pair player isn't necessarily a good singles player and vice versa.

Back to Karuta right now, Shinobu is obviously able to reach to her current status without playing in a team tournament or having teammates.
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Old 2012-02-17, 18:37   Link #1117
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Ah, but as Sol Falling has already pointed out, Shinobu's solo play is a perfect set-up for Chihaya to supersede her based on a team-based or improvement-via-learning-from-everyone approach.

Sol: Thesis: team-play. Antithesis: individual play. Synthesis: superior individual play through team practice, specifically the effortless style of play you describe so well. In narrative terms, Taichi finally levels up, and Chihaya beats Shinobu. Hegelian narrative development!

I don't know if the characters work out to polar opposites, but I do think the anime is making its preference known for a team approach, and individuals understanding themselves even as individuals within a team context. This would be characteristically Japanese, no? I do think that the mangaka uses Taichi as a foil for this way of thinking. Also, I don't think you can write a manga or even read it without having a point of view, or making such preferences. To write, and to read, is to make choices. It's inescapable. As Anh Minh's last post instances--thanks, by the way.
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2012-02-17 at 23:31.
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Old 2012-02-17, 20:08   Link #1118
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis
One more thing. I would point out that Taichi's reaction to his match is very different from the other three members of his team playing in the finals. Kana is overcome with a happy sadness: happy that she has won, sad that Tsutomu has lost. Tsutomu has a moment of disappointed disbelief, but after the ritual bow and thanks, he sincerely congratulates Kana, and appreciates her concern for him. The match brings them together, draws them closer to each other.

The other match could not be more different. We get a single reaction shot of Yusei, and he appears to be concerned for Taichi, and expresses no apparent happiness at his victory. Chihaya, Kana, and Tsutomu all have frozen faces, apparently feeling Taichi's loss but unwilling to express more in respect for Yusei's win. Taichi, however, is overwhelmed with disappointment, prostrate on the tatami. Then we get a jump cut to the locker room.
True but not only is Taichi's reaction to his match different the results of the match are
fundamentally different as well.

Yes Kana was the ultimate winner of her match with Tsutomu but in the end with their match both Kana and Tsutomu were winners. They both advance to the next level and we can see how far they have both improved in their matches. In this match 2nd place might not mean as much as first but it does mean something.

With Taichi and Nishida's match only the winner will advance, 2nd place is just 2nd place. Also I would argue that Taichi and Nishida were already at the top level of B so them playing in the finals is not the same as Kana and Tsutomu's growth in the episode.

In fact Taichi made the finals in the previous tournament and also lost. With the discussion about who is the stronger player I do think both Nishida and Taichi were pretty equal, each with their own individual strengths, but only one can move forward and this time it was Nishida's turn.


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Yusei is on edge, afraid to say anything, and even stutters in response when Taichi says he's heading for the lobby. Then we get Taichi's question to Yusei about whether he knew what cards were out there, followed by Taichi's put-down.

Later, in the lobby, Taichi will berate himself for being a jerk to Yusei. I give him credit that he is more concerned about his own bad behavior than even about losing. And he apologizes immediately to Yusei. But it is still Yusei, and not Taichi, who makes the move to break the ice between them, and to do the male bonding thing. Yusei takes the first step--Taichi only responds.
Again I think you are being unfair to Taichi. Certainly what Taichi said to Nishida was cruel and unfair. Nishida won fair and square and played an equal match with Taichi right to the end.

But Nishida understood that Taichi said that because he was hurt. For a moment Taichi was being a "sore loser" but it was Taichi himself who admitted he was wrong. And I don't think Taichi is alone in having negative moments like this, the important thing is he realized he was wrong.

But still Taichi was hurting and Nishida understood how Taichi felt because he was in the situation himself, 2nd place does hurt. So no I disagree with you that it looks bad on Taichi that he wasn't the one to come out to Nishida, instead in my eyes it just gives points to Nishida for being the good winner.

Quote:
We can excuse as we like Taichi's reaction to the match. It is very very disappointing to come in second, especially under such circumstances. That doesn't change the fact that his immediate response is self-centered, and shows no sensitivity to Yusei. The scene illustrates how Taichi's desperate desire to win is hurtful not only to Yusei and team feeling, but also to Taichi's own character. It puts him in a place where he starts to behave badly, where he is thinking more about himself than he is about the team. Not good.
I think you are totally over analyzing the situation here and making Taichi come off worse than he really is. I don't really think Nishida was that hurt by Taichi's reaction, but instead I think he understood where Taichi was coming from because he had been in that situation before and hence he knew what to say to make Taichi feel better.

Taichi's reaction to losing was human. Yes it was a negative reaction but I think we all feel things like that sometimes.



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I do think that the mangaka uses Taichi as a foil for this way of thinking.
Of course Taichi has a lot of room for growth but I don't think he is the only character. And I really don't think the story comes down to Taichi's method VS everyone else's method.

Also I just really don't see how Taichi's ultimately problem is team work VS individuality. That's not to say I don't think he can learn things from his team members.

Yes I do think Taichi is stuck in B because there is something he still needs to learn and who knows maybe being in a lower class will ultimately improve Taichi. Of course conventional wisdom says you get strong playing stronger players but Taichi might need something else first.
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Old 2012-02-17, 23:27   Link #1119
hyperborealis
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Yes Kana was the ultimate winner of her match with Tsutomu but in the end with their match both Kana and Tsutomu were winners. They both advance to the next level and we can see how far they have both improved in their matches. In this match 2nd place might not mean as much as first but it does mean something.
Tsutomu only finds this out later, when Oe-san points it out in the van. It doesn't factor into his behavior after the match.

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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Taichi's reaction to losing was human. Yes it was a negative reaction but I think we all feel things like that sometimes.
Oh, certainly. But I was trying to point out that there's a palpable difference in the episode between the other team members' reaction to the matches, and Taichi's. The standard here is not the general human one, how we all feel in situations like this, but the Mizusawa karuta club's. Taichi does not act with the same grace Tsutomu displays, or with the sensitivity that Kana and Yusei show. To the contrary, he acts badly, with that put-down to Yusei. This contrast seems to me anyway fairly marked, something the writers put in for a reason.

I worked up an explanation for this, which I guess you didn't like. That's fine. The main thing is, do you see this pattern? And if you do, how do you make sense of it?

I'm actually more interested in what you make of this than my own theories. I feel about this the same way Chihaya does about learning from Sakura: you can surprise me with something I don't know--I can't.
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2012-02-18 at 00:29.
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Old 2012-02-18, 06:12   Link #1120
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis;
I worked up an explanation for this, which I guess you didn't like. That's fine. The main thing is, do you see this pattern? And if you do, how do you make sense of it?
.
No it's not that I disliked your post. I find your posts interesting to read in general. I just disagreed but well that is what discussion is all about.

And perhaps it's not so much I disagreed on the group vs individual stance but more the Taichi VS everyone else stance.
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