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Old 2012-02-28, 20:14   Link #1261
Undertaker
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Well, that what happen when:

Spoiler for just in case:
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Old 2012-02-29, 01:49   Link #1262
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Taichi picked the right words when he modified his text.
We have two guys saying Arata's not good enough to beat the current Master, and Arata's seen someone he admires crash and burn.
Bloody hell, I'm rooting for this underdog all the way!
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Old 2012-02-29, 05:17   Link #1263
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Its great to see Chihaya incorporating tactics into her game, Dr Harada was right in telling her to go for her usual game style in the middle of that match, as the sudden change in pace could potentially put the opponent off track as they are already used to her rhythm and style of play.

The words Taichi used is important for both himself and Arata, as instead of merely encouraging Arata, Taichi set goals for both of them to try to achieve. Having goals brings more out in the person rather than the 'Do my best' attitude some people have.
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Old 2012-02-29, 08:11   Link #1264
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Episode 21. Finally Chihaya has won a match not only with her skills, but also with experience! If you think about it, "Chihaya" and words like "strategy" , "patience", "thinking through", "wisdom" didn't connect at all until now, more like they were oxymorons. She's always had this very aggressive playing style, which was her strength but also her weakness.
But more importanly, aside from the advices she's getting, I feel she's maturing. She realized which kind of player Ririka was, and after a few minutes of disorientation (but that's Chihaya for you) she started played accordingly; furthermore, she even noticed how much the current Ririka was similar to the "old" herself. She sure gets all the most interesting opponents, but it would be way less stimulating if she didn't.

Extremely impressed by Taichi as well, I noticed in the matches that he had a gazillion notions in mind about which cards were already read and which weren't. But I didn't know he had reached 100%, and can even read all 100 poems just with his mind; that's fantastic, although even if he masters the mental side of Karuta, ignoring the physical aspect will bring no good. Nishida is spot on, it's also the basis of most sports activities if not all of them, you have to be strong both in the head and in the body.

About Arata, I need to say that he's been so much far away from the main story, that I find it difficult to openly sympathize with him now. It's not his fault; he sure was great in those flashback episodes in the beginning, and probably he was a more likable character than Taichi. But in these 5 months Taichi has received a monumental development, while Arata, aside from a few five minutes portions, close to none. This has changed many perspectives from my point of view, and if I formerly used to pick him over Taichi (for Chihaya, or when they played against), I have to admit that now it's definitely the other way around.
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Old 2012-02-29, 11:20   Link #1265
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Fantastic episode!

Chihaya's not been herself since the match against the Queen, I felt. She somehow seemed panicked, frantic when she played after that - like she felt she had to catch up with Shinobu's skill as fast as she could, but didn't have the time (kinda like thhat feeling you have when you have to hand out an essay for the next day and you're nowhere near done and it's already getting late). She was too focused on taking the cards she lost sight of her opponents, and other people's advice confused her (esp. Dr Harada's). She lost a lot, and was almost relegated to comic relief while the others found their strengths and developed. But here, she's finally gotten a grip on herself again, and is much calmer. This enables her to play "naturally" again, and better than she ever did. She's starting to put in practice everything she's learned. I'm really glad she's in the spotlight again, because she'd been kind of bland compared to the others until now, and I think it's changing.
Don't get me wrong, I love Taichi, Kana, Tsutomu and Nishida, but I think it was time they stepped back and let Chihaya shine a little. I've been waiting for such an episode for a while. Glad it's finally come!

Loved Ririka. She was really cute, and a good opponent to Chihaya, because the latter could identify with her.

Nice to see Taichi's development, too. Until now, he's been kind of negative, always feeling guilt at something or another. But here, he doesn't chide himself to feel bad, but to grow up and change himself. He's trying a much healthier approach now. And his mail to Arata was perfect. Instead of a generic "do your best" that looked like he typed it almost by obligation, he sent him something much more personal, and that might have been exactly what Arata needed in this moment. Like ThereminVox said, there's a special kind of chemistry between them. It also shows how Taichi is more honest now.

The bit about reading the poems from memory was impressive, and a beautiful contrast to the first time kid Taichi read the cards for Chihaya and Arata. He's come a long way.

A scene I loved was the one with Sudou. Not only was it very funny, but we also got to see Chihaya act more like her spunky kid self than she's done in a long time. I really thought "ah, the Chihaya I love is back". And Sudou's a very interesting character. Nishida proclaiming he'd defend Chihaya's hair was also pretty hilarious.

I don't know what else to add, except that Kana's red dress is pretty and fits her well<3

EDIT: I knew I'd forgotten something! Chihaya passed all her exams! And the teacher yelling it from the window was so touching. That's another character that's changed a lot since the beginning. I really love her.

EDIT2: Oh, and Chihaya/Caruta is officially canon now =D
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Old 2012-03-01, 22:27   Link #1266
Reckoner
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I have a question.

Taichi said he wants to become the Eastern qualifier but how can he if he's stuck in class B? I'm just a bit confused about the way it's all set up.

Anyhow, another good Taichi tuesday as usual . Nice to see chihaya get some time to shine again as well.
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Old 2012-03-02, 01:47   Link #1267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I have a question.

Taichi said he wants to become the Eastern qualifier but how can he if he's stuck in class B? I'm just a bit confused about the way it's all set up.

Anyhow, another good Taichi tuesday as usual . Nice to see chihaya get some time to shine again as well.
He said he wants to win the Eastern Qualifier but he never stated when ^^

Let me repeat that in case its still confusing. What he wrote in his text is that he "wants" to win the Eastern Qualifier (but can't this particular year - he obviously omitted writing that because it'd be too melodramatic and he just isn't the type to whine like that) so Arata had better win the Western Qualifier. If you think about it, he is not only challenging Arata but also encouraging him to win the qualifier as his friend. Do something a friend wishes to but can't kind of deal. Taichi is just awesome alright. Of course he doesn't know that his message was even more effective because of when it arrived but the message in of itself was as good as it gets. Its especially impressive considering it was an edit from a rather cheesy / plain one. I wish I was as good at editing posts I make ;_;
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Old 2012-03-04, 12:23   Link #1268
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The title of the episode comes from the 15th of the Hyakunin Isshu. This poem also gave the title to the 13th episode, and so is the first poem repeated in the titles. Here's the U. Virgina translation:

It is for your sake
That I walk the fields in spring,
Gathering green herbs,
While my garment's hanging sleeves
Are speckled with falling snow.

You will remember that this is a poem about filial respect: the author, Emperor Koko, himself gathers the herbs as a sign of respect to give to his grandmother. In the earlier episode, the title alluded to Arata's respect for his own grandfather. In this episode, the title refers to Chihaya's feeling of respect for her own teachers. That starts with Komano-sensei, who helped her get through her exams, and so we have the fine scene where Chihaya pays her respects to him. But it continues onto the tatami, where Chihaya uses the lessons she learned from Sakura and Harada-sensei to win against Ririka. By repeating the episode title poem, the anime takes us back to the moment Shinobu soundly defeated Chihaya, and now brings us forward to show us how far she has developed from that point as a karuta player.

Very briefly, the cards Ririka and Chihaya take against each other are significant in technical terms. Ririka is initially successful in taking single-syllable cards, Chihaya's trademark. The first two card Chihaya takes against Ririka are #63 and #96, both of which have their identifying syllable (kimari-ji) on the third syllable, so that Chihaya takes them by successful timing. And when Chihaya sends a card to Ririka, she sends #73, which is a second-syllable card starting with "Ta," but has 5 other cards out there which also start with "Ta," demanding a strong awareness of the playing field and a memory for what cards have already been called. Just as Sakura did to her, Chihaya makes it hard for Ririka.

When Chihaya does go for speed, the cards she takes are significant in terms of her history of development as a karuta player. She first takes #37, which gave the title to the 15th episode, "As Though Pearls Have Been Strung Across The Open Plain." I think I said in a post on that episode that "pearls" referred not only to the cards she had taken against Shinobu, but also to the insights she had gained in becoming a world-class karuta player. That she takes the card here, at this moment, is a confirmation that she has indeed learned just these lessons. The next card she takes, #15, tells the same story: it is the title poem of the episode, and, as I mentioned above, speaks of respect for one's elders and teachers.

------

Only a few more minutes to spare. The main thing I took from this episode is the idea that Chihaya is herself a project, a combined result of the efforts of her friends, her teachers, and even her opponents. She is not an individual star or a self-made person, although she does of course dedicate herself completely to karuta and does work as hard as she possibly can to improve herself. In response, Chihaya returns all of the efforts of her friends, teachers, and opponents with a corresponding dedication to them, and with the feeling of a deep love for karuta itself. What Chihaya cares about, what truly moves her, is this sense of connection she has with others through karuta.

If I have time, I'd like to come back to this issue. I think the emphasis on romance, and on Taichi, that some posters have pursued, is misguided, just since such a perspective tends to emphasize individualist and personal values which are secondary or even contrary to the social values Chihaya personifies.
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Last edited by hyperborealis; 2012-03-04 at 15:17.
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Old 2012-03-04, 16:00   Link #1269
warita
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pellissier View Post
But I didn't know he had reached 100%, and can even read all 100 poems just with his mind; that's fantastic, although even if he masters the mental side of Karuta, ignoring the physical aspect will bring no good.
I must say that part confused me in the episode. I thought they all memorised all 100 poems.

I am not sure how long the poems are, but I dont think it is that difficult, especially if you play with them on a daily basis. So rather than impressed, I was confused. I expcet them to know all the poems by heart and I thought that is also the idea of the whole game.
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Old 2012-03-04, 16:10   Link #1270
Sol Falling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
The title of the episode comes from the 15th of the Hyakunin Isshu. This poem also gave the title to the 13th episode, and so is the first poem repeated in the titles. Here's the U. Virgina translation:

It is for your sake
That I walk the fields in spring,
Gathering green herbs,
While my garment's hanging sleeves
Are speckled with falling snow.

You will remember that this is a poem about filial respect: the author, Emperor Koko, himself gathers the herbs as a sign of respect to give to his grandmother. In the earlier episode, the title alluded to Arata's respect for his own grandfather. In this episode, the title refers to Chihaya's feeling of respect for her own teachers. That starts with Komano-sensei, who helped her get through her exams, and so we have the fine scene where Chihaya pays her respects to him. But it continues onto the tatami, where Chihaya uses the lessons she learned from Sakura and Harada-sensei to win against Ririka. By repeating the episode title poem, the anime takes us back to the moment Shinobu soundly defeated Chihaya, and now brings us forward to show us how far she has developed from that point as a karuta player.

Very briefly, the cards Ririka and Chihaya take against each other are significant in technical terms. Ririka is initially successful in taking single-syllable cards, Chihaya's trademark. The first two card Chihaya takes against Ririka are #63 and #96, both of which have their identifying syllable (kimari-ji) on the third syllable, so that Chihaya takes them by successful timing. And when Chihaya sends a card to Ririka, she sends #73, which is a second-syllable card starting with "Ta," but has 5 other cards out there which also start with "Ta," demanding a strong awareness of the playing field and a memory for what cards have already been called. Just as Sakura did to her, Chihaya makes it hard for Ririka.

When Chihaya does go for speed, the cards she takes are significant in terms of her history of development as a karuta player. She first takes #37, which gave the title to the 15th episode, "As Though Pearls Have Been Strung Across The Open Plain." I think I said in a post on that episode that "pearls" referred not only to the cards she had taken against Shinobu, but also to the insights she had gained in becoming a world-class karuta player. That she takes the card here, at this moment, is a confirmation that she has indeed learned just these lessons. The next card she takes, #15, tells the same story: it is the title poem of the episode, and, as I mentioned above, speaks of respect for one's elders and teachers.

------

Only a few more minutes to spare. The main thing I took from this episode is the idea that Chihaya is herself a project, a combined result of the efforts of her friends, her teachers, and even her opponents. She is not an individual star or a self-made person, although she does of course dedicate herself completely to karuta and does work as hard as she possibly can to improve herself. In return, Chihaya returns all of that efforts from her friends, teachers, and opponents with dedication to them, and with the feeling of a deep love for karuta itself. What Chihaya cares about, what truly moves her, is this sense of connection she has with others through karuta.

If I have time, I'd like to come back to this issue. I think the emphasis on romance, and on Taichi, that some posters have pursued, is misguided, just since such a perspective tends to emphasize individualist and personal values which are secondary or even contrary to the social values Chihaya personifies.
So that's how they will deal with the waka limit--by choosing different lines for the titles from previous poems. I have to admit that question was sitting in the back of my head so it was interesting to have it answered.

Heheh, I can see how the 15th of the Hyakunin Isshu points toward filial honour given its background but I struggle to some degree to interpret the individual lines of the poem. Is the Emperor's respect for his elders self-defacing, in that he himself stepped out into the fields to gather herbs, and returned, his sleeves sprinkled with falling snow? Or do the Emperor's words reflect that the falling snow was a gift to himself granted by his filial piety?

Taking the latter interpretation, the "snow" falling upon the speaker's sleeves are a metaphor for Chihaya's victories (whether the overall victories, as in her tests and her match against Ririka, or in the individual karuta cards which Chihaya took after her new growth).

Thanks for your analysis of the technical/historical aspects of the cards which Chihaya took within the game. These callbacks to earlier points of significance help confirm our sense of Chihaya's progress.

I do think that a vital part of Chihaya's character is in the way she connects to others. Once again, just as with Sakura, my reaction to the way Chihaya formed a connection with Ririka and acted out more than once in genuine friendship/empathy to her was that that was as significant as Chihaya's victory itself. Chihaya learns from other players, but also sees herself in them, wanting to encourage them even in their loss--just as she herself felt encouraged playing against Sakura despite her loss. In fact, it is this willingness to both teach and learn from others, thereby communicating her passion for karuta and connecting with others, which in itself makes karuta worthwhile to play.

I go back to an early comment Dawnstorm made about the apparent contradiction in Arata and Chihaya's excitement over the fact that "the best in Japan = the best in the world". On the one hand, this limitation cannot be helped, in that karuta is by all means expressly Japanese. However, the idea of being glad over an intentionally limited ambition does seem self-convenient and petty. What meaning is there in being the "best" at karuta, if there is no one else who even plays? That is why, if karuta can only be played in Japan, the answer should of course be that it would be best if everyone in Japan loved playing karuta and if the game in the competitive aspect was appreciated ubiquitously. Thus one's accomplishments in the world of karuta would achieve meaning. In this way, Chihaya's contagious and genuine passion for karuta, transcending the purely individual aspect of competitive karuta, is what makes her the star of the show.

edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by warita View Post
I must say that part confused me in the episode. I thought they all memorised all 100 poems.

I am not sure how long the poems are, but I dont think it is that difficult, especially if you play with them on a daily basis. So rather than impressed, I was confused. I expcet them to know all the poems by heart and I thought that is also the idea of the whole game.
Yes, on this part, I believe what was actually impressive about what Taichi did was that he kept track of which cards he had read and had not read purely by memory. It was not just that Taichi recited all 100 poems of the Hyakunin Isshu by memory; he did it in a completely random order, without any notes or tools to keep track, without even once making a mistake and repeating a card he had read previously.
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Old 2012-03-04, 16:16   Link #1271
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Originally Posted by warita View Post
I thought they all memorised all 100 poems. I am not sure how long the poems are, but I dont think it is that difficult, especially if you play with them on a daily basis.
What they memorised are all the cards, not the poems. To memorise every card you only need to remember the first few syllables of the poems. There's really no need for the rest. Taichi memorized everything due to lack of confidence.

Of course, Taichi's true strenght is his ability to keep track of every poem that have been read, and the analitical skills to actually pars this info during a game, which is almost impossible for any other player.
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Old 2012-03-04, 17:04   Link #1272
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I must say that part confused me in the episode. I thought they all memorised all 100 poems.
Certainly not. You've forgotten a scene in an earlier episode where Nishida stunned Kana by admitting that he has never even read most of the poems beyond its identifying syllable. Based on the strategies discussed, every card can be uniquely identified by the time of the third or maybe the fourth syllable. Why bother memorizing the rest of the poem when you can identify the card you want to retrieve by the time of the third or fourth syllable? Taichi's memorization of the entirety of the card set is probably unusual in and of itself.

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Old 2012-03-04, 17:08   Link #1273
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Why bother memorizing the rest of the poem when you can identify the card you want to retrieve by the time of the third or fourth syllable?
Because in the flashbacks from the primary school, they talked a lot about memorizing the poems. Thats why I figured. Also, I would kind of expect them to know the poems, since they are all playing the game.

Quote:
Yes, on this part, I believe what was actually impressive about what Taichi did was that he kept track of which cards he had read and had not read purely by memory. It was not just that Taichi recited all 100 poems of the Hyakunin Isshu by memory; he did it in a completely random order, without any notes or tools to keep track, without even once making a mistake and repeating a card he had read previously.
I think the impressive part was supposed to be something more along these lines.
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Old 2012-03-04, 17:16   Link #1274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warita View Post
Because in the flashbacks from the primary school, they talked a lot about memorizing the poems. Thats why I figured. Also, I would kind of expect them to know the poems, since they are all playing the game.
As Kazu-kun said,they're talking about memorizing the cards , the cards don't have the whole poems on them.

This is a game of reflexes there's no need to know the end of the poem,just remember the begining so you can identify it.
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Old 2012-03-04, 17:18   Link #1275
warita
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Originally Posted by totoum View Post
As Kazu-kun said,they're talking about memorizing the cards , the cards don't have the whole poems on them.

This is a game of reflexes there's no need to know the end of the poem,just remember the begining so you can identify it.
I realized that much on my own. I still expect them to know the poems, if they are serious about the game.

Also in the flashbacks they positively said memorizing the poems, not the cards.
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Old 2012-03-04, 18:25   Link #1276
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well, memorizing the poem is part of the standard education in East Asia. It's part of literature class. You can remember the poem in elementary for the test and then easily forget them the next day.

As for it's relation to Karuta, the goal is to identify the card, it really depend on people. Obviously Nishida's way works for him and no one questions Chihaya's drive but even after 4 years she still have problem with poem themselves.

Knowing the poem inside out is a way, but not the only way.
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Old 2012-03-04, 18:45   Link #1277
hyperborealis
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At this level no one is reading the cards. Instead the players have a visual memory of what the last two lines of the given poem which are written out on the cards look like, correlated with a verbal memory of the initial syllables of the waka, which are read out by the reader.

Making things harder is the fact that half the cards face away from you, so you have to recognize the card upside down as well as right side up.

The maximum number of syllables needed to identify a poem is 6.

Strictly speaking, you would not need to know the words of the first half of the poem beyond the kimari-ji (the first unique syllable). So maybe this is what Yusei means when he tells Kana "I don't remember the entire poem" in episode 12. Still, given that the whole poem is eventually read, a player will become familiar with the poetry simply by repetition. Given Yusei's degree of participation, I can't imagine he has not got all the poems in some sense memorized. So when he says he doesn't remember the whole poem, I think he must mean something to the effect that he can't recite the poem at will the way she can. Really what he means is that he doesn't care about the poetry--all that matters to him is the visual and verbal forms, since that's all that's necessary to play karuta.

I imagine knowing the whole poem would probably help in making the association between the visual form of the card and the verbal expression of the reader. But as Undertakes notes, it's not the only way to play.

Beyond karuta, memorizing the poems is an important cultural affirmation. I read somewhere that most adults in Japan past the age of 40 have the entire Hyakunin Isshu memorized, due to the central place the poems have historically had in the culture and the educational system. As Sudou puts it--"people who don't know Hundred Poets are bugs!"
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Old 2012-03-04, 21:08   Link #1278
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I think we have come to the realization that all the players on Team Chihaya have a special skill for the game:

Chihaya has amazing speed and hearing skills
Komano has amazing analytical skills
Kana understands the poems inside out
Taichi has the memorization skills
Nishida is perhaps the best at "knowing" how the game itself is played based on his years of experience

But individually all these skills are not enough to be the best because you will come across players with their own individual skills.


I think Harada said it best in this previous episode, he wants to give Chihaya every weapon he can give her.

Of course I think a player should use their individual skills but their growth as a Karuta player shouldn't stop there, they need to learn and develop new skills along the way, not just depend on one skill that they have (this is also what Nishida essentially tells Taichi. His skill is great but it's not the only thing that will help him win).
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Old 2012-03-04, 23:14   Link #1279
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I think Harada said it best in this previous episode, he wants to give Chihaya every weapon he can give her.
I think Harada is unable to do it. When Chihaya encounters certain players(such as queen), Harada can only tell her to do her best. Chihaya has to improve her strength by learning from other people's strength.

Spoiler for Chihaya's future outlook:
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Old 2012-03-04, 23:29   Link #1280
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I think Harada is unable to do it. When Chihaya encounters certain players(such as queen), Harada can only tell her to do her best. Chihaya has to improve her strength by learning from other people's strength.
I think you're misunderstanding what Harada meant.

For someone like Chihaya, just telling her what to do wouldn't work, so instead Harada took away her advantage (her speed), to force her to pick up other techniques on her own. Chihaya began to look for other strategies and ways to play because she was unable to use her speed.


Long story short: Harada is a damn good teacher.
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