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Old 2013-05-11, 11:41   Link #1021
Cloudenvy
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Does anyone know the name of the track that plays during Shinobu's little flashback? If it's even been released that is.

EDIT: Nevermind, I found it myself!
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Old 2013-05-11, 15:18   Link #1022
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Shinobu's, and Arata's, social isolation reminds me quite a lot of other game-playing chlldren like Hikaru, Akira, and Shion. They all had to give up normal social lives as children to dedicate themselves to their games because they focused on individual achievement. While Hikaru no Go shows a couple of team tournaments, they are hardly the focus of the show once Hikaru begins to pursue his career in earnest. All of these kids have few if any friends outside their game of choice. What sets Chihayafuru apart from these other shows is its emphasis on collective achievement and team play. While Chihaya has a personal agenda, she also finds playing on a team has its own rewards.
For another look at the solitude of board gamers, 3gatsu no Lion (about a shogi pro). That was heart wrenching. Though it's presented as more of a flaw of the main character (and his history) than a problem with the game itself.

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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Indeed.

I'd expect Chihaya would choose to watch Arata and Shinobu play. They're the top two players she desperately wants to emulate, so it's only natural for her to observe them and learn ways to improve her game.

I'd also expect to be very disappointed in her for choosing to do so. Personal ambitions aside, she is the club president. She does have a duty to her teammates and the least she could do is to be there to provide everyone moral support.
As SeijiSensei said, she's not. She's the Captain and Ace, which aren't official positions. They just acknowledge her as their best player. And, uh, indulge her ego (for the Captain position).

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That said, it is the individual tournament we're talking about. It's every man and woman for himself and herself. Taichi will just have to soldier on, whether or not he gets any love. The poor guy never catches a break.
Yeah. Soldier on... as usual.
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Old 2013-05-11, 17:58   Link #1023
Guardian Enzo
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So being Captain instead of President excuses her from supporting her teammates?

I think it's very likely she'd watch Arata-Shinobu too, but in a way, that would sort of invalidate all of the stuff we've seen this season about why team Karuta is so important.

I don't discount the possibility that we may get a curveball, and she may be in the hospital or too depressed to watch at all, or something.
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Old 2013-05-11, 18:20   Link #1024
Bern-san
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I think that even if Chihaya was conflicted, Taichi would just tell her to go and watch Arata-Shinobu. I don't think he'd make a great deal about it since he always wants the best for her.

Another enjoyable episode and Fujisaki continues to amuse me. The One Piece was totally unexpected.
I hope that Nikuman and Taichi win because they've suffered enough during the season, Chihaya too but considering she's injured and with the episodes remaining I kind of expect her to lose.

On the other hand I fear about Hokuo's fate Sudo only appears briefly but he steals the scene quickly
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Old 2013-05-11, 21:06   Link #1025
hyperborealis
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
It just seems strange that we will be spending more time on the team matches than the individual matches.

Will the individual matches be that quick? Then again I suppose they can just focus on the B and A-Class finals and that could help limit the time.

That would be a shame if we didn't get to see much of the other players though.

And even though this season has mostly been karuta games, I assume there would be a wrapping up episode at the end (although that could also be done in 1/2 an episode).
I wonder why you think this would be strange, Kirarakim? Team over individual has been the predominant theme, so, by tautology, there has been more time devoted to the team rather than the individual tournament. Not that this choice of themes prevents the anime from focusing on individusl matchups, ie Cihaya vs Megumu, anyway.

In fact, I wonder how the anime will connect the individual tournament to the team theme? Especially given the fact the A bracket is likely to feature the two non-team players, Arata & Shinobu, due to Chihaya's injury.

Re what match Chihaya will watch, remember that Taichi becoming Class A was the first of the goals Chihaya set for the Mizusawa team way back when. She's already made it clear which match she would consider more important. Besides, making that choice would be her way of telling Arata how wrong he was to prefer individual to team play. Chihaya will send a message to Arata...
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Old 2013-05-11, 21:27   Link #1026
CJ_Walker
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7 eps left is more than enough time to finish the team finals and the individual tournament.

that being said. . .the shipping is pretty pointless. It'd all up to the author's whims. not really based on any type of common sense or reality(i.e. most guys in taichi's position, looks, popularity, and achievements) who has pretty much the pick of any girl he wants would pine over chihaya, he'd easily be able to find a gf that would probably be supportive of his karuta playing. . .

of course then that'd be 80% of the story gone right there. so pretty much, the Author has to keep this "will they won't they, who will chihaya choose" for the whole series just to keep the team together, and taichi playing. The only reason why he has a love hate relationship with arata is because he was jealous over chihaya giving him a lot of attention. . .in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

Shit like this does not happen in real life, it's purely a spin off of the old "we were childhood friends so we are destined to be together" troupe, suited for the fujoshi wish fulfillment demographic i.e. self inserting themselves into chihaya's position, having two men of high status, and/or good looks etc fawning over them. it's kinda like sword art online for women, except for the fact that the card matches and the underdog sports thing is done pretty well. I just have to fast forward through the "fujoshi-service" when it pops up, as that shit got old about 20+ episodes ago.

Although, I think this show is a lot better than Hikaru no Go, as for the simple reason that the author plans to actually go all the way, as in continue the story all the way up to the meijin/queen level, instead of copping out (HnG) midway through
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Old 2013-05-11, 21:34   Link #1027
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
No, she's not. Taichi is. The club advisor specifically excluded Chihaya from consideration as club president back in the first season, and Taichi continues to be referred to as "Prez" in current episodes. Everyone, Chihaya included, is happy with this arrangement. Being President required Taichi to speak at the recruitment event, where he became the target of Sumire.
My mistake.

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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
So being Captain instead of President excuses her from supporting her teammates?

I think it's very likely she'd watch Arata-Shinobu too, but in a way, that would sort of invalidate all of the stuff we've seen this season about why team Karuta is so important.
My feelings exactly.

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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Re what match Chihaya will watch, remember that Taichi becoming Class A was the first of the goals Chihaya set for the Mizusawa team way back when. She's already made it clear which match she would consider more important. Besides, making that choice would be her way of telling Arata how wrong he was to prefer individual to team play. Chihaya will send a message to Arata...
I highly doubt so. Chihaya being Chihaya, her desire to improve as a karuta player will likely overwhelm whatever sense of duty she has at the key moment. It has happened before in the first season and it'll likely turn out the same way if such a toss-up occurs.

To be sure though, I agree with Bern-san. More likely than not, Taichi will simply tell Chihaya to choose as her heart dictates. By now, everyone in the team is well aware of her personality and they wouldn't really hold it against her.

But, at the same time, that is what would make me disappointed in her. It would make her selfishness that much more apparent, though I suppose all the top players in the world are "selfish" to some extent.
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Old 2013-05-11, 21:39   Link #1028
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
I wonder why you think this would be strange, Kirarakim? Team over individual has been the predominant theme, so, by tautology, there has been more time devoted to the team rather than the individual tournament. Not that this choice of themes prevents the anime from focusing on individusl matchups, ie Cihaya vs Megumu, anyway.
You think it is strange that I am worried that the anime won't get to scenes I want to see?

I like the team tournament just fine but I don't want the individual matches to feel rushed because we spent so much time on the team tournament. I think they should have been of equal importance.

I think both types of tournaments are important. And honestly though we had all the players in the team, besides a scene here & there we only got a limited focus on all the characters & their growth.

I hope there will be a third season but that is not guaranteed so sorry that I want to get the most out of this season as possible.


Edit: We don't know Chihaya's decision yet, so I don't think it is fair to judge her until we learn that decision & her reasoning.
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Old 2013-05-12, 02:33   Link #1029
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
If there is no professional karuta structure, that solves a puzzle in this show that has bothered me from the beginning, namely why are the two top players, Shinobu and Suo, so young? Akira's dad probably became Meijin in his forties or fifties given his age in the story and how long he had been at the top of his game. The top Shougi players in Shion no Ou are adults as well. The Meijin is in his twenties I believe, and Shion's foster father is at least forty and perhaps a decade older.

Yamamoto Yumi ("Yumin"), the Queen before Shinobu, is 24 according to this wiki. We don't learn much about her history except to know that she is not married. In particular nothing is said about whether her position atop the karuta ranks provided her with a source of income that she lost when Shinobu beat her. If she has a job, I don't see any mention of it via a Google search.

Given that Go and Shougi have managed to create professional systems, I can only assume that the lack of one for karuta reflects its (pre-Chihayafuru) obscurity.
If by professional karuta structure you mean tournaments with cash placement rewards, I'm not precisely certain what correlation with Queen/Meijin age here. However, on the topic of the youthfulness of karuta Queens/Meijins in general, while I don't know how well Chihayafuru's representation matches up with reality, I presume one factor which distinguishes karuta from other Japanese games such as go or shogi is the athleticism which is still required.


On teamwork vs individuality. I think a sort of false dichotomy is being raised as far as the question of whether Chihaya would watch a game involving Taichi vs. one involving Arata/Shinobu. In the first place I perceive Chihaya's conception of karuta as inclusive of everyone--therefore the tension lies between not just one's teammates and oneself, but also rivals, opponents, and even outsiders without an understanding of karuta at all. Being interested in a match involving Arata or Shinobu is not merely a matter of self-interest, but part of a wider concern/connection for/to the world of karuta overall.

It's true, a contrast/distinction has been made between the team and individual formats of karuta competition. And a strong statement has been made that the team tournament can be considered in no regard subordinate to the individual tournament. But I don't believe this commentary extends into any sort of prioritization as to the importance of people's roles, in relation to a karuta player.

Anyway, this episode highlighted a theme from Arata/Shinobu's perspective that it is only team competitive play which can expand the participation pool of karuta such that a competition of pure individual skills is meaningful. Being the strongest is meaningless without competition. However, allow me to raise the reciprocal point. It is only through the standard developed via the concept of individual contests of karuta ability that team competition itself becomes meaningful. I.e. participation is pointless without a goal to work towards. Team competitive play is equally dependent on individual karuta play.

When you get down to it my takeaway from the narrative is simply to give both team and individual competitions their due respect/take them seriously. The question of which matches Chihaya "should" watch under the hypothetical scenario of becoming a spectator comes down to the individual match factors, in terms of the potential they each have for advancing Chihaya's karuta as she understands it. If you want to question the sincerity of Chihaya's passion for team karuta, I think fucking up her arm giving her all in a team match before even getting to play in the individuals is proof enough. It's not a black and white question in the first place (is Team vs. Individual karuta more important than the other), so I don't figure there is any need to adhere to absolutes.


Final point, I'm curious how the story will treat Tsuku[e/ba]-kun's inglorious defeat 6 cards out before the rest of the team in light of the whole 'team support' rhetoric. Taichi's episode-ending declaration, "Mizusawa will get 3 wins", is awfully exclusionary towards the two members who have dropped out already. By placing the pressure/responsibility solely upon the three remaining members, Taichi has cut out both the disheartening failure of two of their teammates as well as the passion and determination they had exhibited leading up to it.
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Old 2013-05-12, 02:48   Link #1030
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Final point, I'm curious how the story will treat Tsuku[e/ba]-kun's inglorious defeat 6 cards out before the rest of the team in light of the whole 'team support' rhetoric. Taichi's episode-ending declaration, "Mizusawa will get 3 wins", is awfully exclusionary towards the two members who have dropped out already. By placing the pressure/responsibility solely upon the three remaining members, Taichi has cut out both the disheartening failure of two of their teammates as well as the passion and determination they had exhibited leading up to it.
What was he supposed to say? And it also absolves them. "You don't need to feel guilty. We'll still win. And even if we lose our matches, it won't be your fault for demoralizing us."

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Originally Posted by Bern-san View Post
I think that even if Chihaya was conflicted, Taichi would just tell her to go and watch Arata-Shinobu. I don't think he'd make a great deal about it since he always wants the best for her.
He'd make his famous "NTR-face". Sure, he wants what's best for her. It doesn't mean it doesn't cost him every time she turns away from him to go to Arata.

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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
So being Captain instead of President excuses her from supporting her teammates?
Of course not. Even if she was none of those things she'd still have to support her team.
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Old 2013-05-12, 03:40   Link #1031
Guardian Enzo
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The logical gymnastics people will go through to cast every Taichi word or action in a negative light really should be an Olympic event.
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Old 2013-05-12, 04:21   Link #1032
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
What was he supposed to say? And it also absolves them. "You don't need to feel guilty. We'll still win. And even if we lose our matches, it won't be your fault for demoralizing us."
Something less specific like a plain "Mizusawa will prevail" would've worked just fine.

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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
The logical gymnastics people will go through to cast every Taichi word or action in a negative light really should be an Olympic event.
These are just my idle thoughts, dude. I wasn't even really commenting on Taichi in particular, moreso the wording which happened to be chosen for the narrative. You can turn off that paranoia.
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Old 2013-05-12, 06:40   Link #1033
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
The logical gymnastics people will go through to cast every Taichi word or action in a negative light really should be an Olympic event.
I was going to make a post but I think your comment is so precise it saves me the trouble.
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Old 2013-05-12, 06:56   Link #1034
GoldenLand
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Something less specific like a plain "Mizusawa will prevail" would've worked just fine.
I think that wouldn't make any difference, because everyone there would know that for Mizusawa to prevail, they'd need, well, 3 wins. It means "We'll prevail (even after two of the team have lost their matches, meaning that the three remaining need to win or else we're sunk)".

Saying "Mizuzawa will get 3 wins!" comes over as a more positive phrasing IMO, and would probably be more encouraging to the remaining team-players and those who had already lost.
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Old 2013-05-12, 07:34   Link #1035
SeijiSensei
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
If by professional karuta structure you mean tournaments with cash placement rewards, I'm not precisely certain what correlation with Queen/Meijin age here.
If there were a professional karuta organization, I expect you'd see older people at the top of the game because they could support themselves by playing, and experience should play some role. If karuta is only a hobby, it's likely that many players will drop out as they age as other life demands like work and family take center stage. Sakura-san from last season with her husband and daughters seems like the exception, not the rule.

The physical demands of karuta certainly give younger players an advantage, but then we have people like Harada-sensei who is at least in his forties. (Sakura is probably in her thirties, given the ages of her children.) I don't recall that we ever learned why Harada does not also compete in the championship matches, though he seems to be making a living teaching karuta. Perhaps it's simply aging reflexes.
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Old 2013-05-12, 08:02   Link #1036
FredFriendly
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
The logical gymnastics people will go through to cast every Taichi word or action in a negative light really should be an Olympic event.
The logical gymnastics people will go through to cast every one of Taichi's negative reactions to Arata in a positive light really should be an Olympic event.

(Oh, how stupid both of those statements sound!)

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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I don't recall that we ever learned why Harada does not also compete in the championship matches, though he seems to be making a living teaching karuta.
"Those who can, do; those who can't, teach." Along with becoming a professional card reader, this is a likely eventuality for those who have a burning passion for karuta (such as Harada-sensei, Chihaya, Shinobu, and Arata, but not Taichi), but who can no longer compete at the highest levels because of the effects of advancing age, or even injury*. Continue to enjoy the thrill of the game, while at the same time encouraging the next generation and passing on your own knowledge of the game.

* It occurs to me that the injury Chihaya has suffered in this episode may plague her for the rest of her karuta playing career. Not only will it most likely incapacitate her from playing in the pending individual tournaments, it may also inhibit her expectations to become Queen. Like many sports injuries, it may never "heal" completely.
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Old 2013-05-12, 10:35   Link #1037
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
If there were a professional karuta organization, I expect you'd see older people at the top of the game because they could support themselves by playing, and experience should play some role. If karuta is only a hobby, it's likely that many players will drop out as they age as other life demands like work and family take center stage. Sakura-san from last season with her husband and daughters seems like the exception, not the rule.

The physical demands of karuta certainly give younger players an advantage, but then we have people like Harada-sensei who is at least in his forties. (Sakura is probably in her thirties, given the ages of her children.) I don't recall that we ever learned why Harada does not also compete in the championship matches, though he seems to be making a living teaching karuta. Perhaps it's simply aging reflexes.
What makes you think he doesn't participate in tournaments? Obviously he isn't in high school tournaments, but didn't he save Chihaya's hair last season by playing against Sudo?

As for how he makes a living... isn't he an actual (medical) doctor?
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Old 2013-05-12, 10:38   Link #1038
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
What makes you think he doesn't participate in tournaments? Obviously he isn't in high school tournaments, but didn't he save Chihaya's hair last season by playing against Sudo?

As for how he makes a living... isn't he an actual (medical) doctor?
Yep, Harada does compete in the non-High School tournaments & he is a medical doctor.

Obviously he is really into Karuta but it is not his career at all.
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Old 2013-05-12, 10:42   Link #1039
Guardian Enzo
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Not only does he compete, but he made the semi-finals of the Meijin qualifier. He's still very, very good - but the series made a point of showing how the physical toll (knees, back) really wore him down in the end.
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Old 2013-05-12, 12:46   Link #1040
hyperborealis
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The title for this week's episode, "My Fear is that You Will Forget" (Crunchyroll translation of "Wasureji no"), comes from #54, which Joshua Mostow translates:

Because that future, until which,
you say, you will "never forget,"
is hard to rely on,
oh, if only today could be
the last day of my life!

The poem records a woman's despairing lament at the fickleness of her husband's love. In the anime, the title underlines the twin theme of memory and forgetting in this episode.

Shinobu has forgotten her connection to the community of karuta, but the sight of the teams before her playing their hearts out inspires her to remember of how she was isolated from others as a child, and to realize there is a whole group of girls who wish to meet her on the tatami. Memory revitalizes Shinobu; as the animation shows us, not subtly, her heart begins to beat within her.

(Curious that the voice Shinobu remembers advising she only play with older kids is a male's. Curious too that Shinobu construes friendship in karuta as competition: the awareness of the other girls brings her not happiness, or release of some kind, but instead a rather wolfish grin!)

The even more interesting scene where memory and forgetting are important is Taichi's conflicted recollection of Arata. Ever since he has gotten to Omi Jingu, Taichi has been struggling with thoughts of Arata. He has tried to banish these thoughts, in the interest of focusing his mind on the match before himself. But in this episode, he arrives at a crucial self-awareness, that he wants to remember and to forget Arata at the same time. He wants to forget him, presumably since Arata is his romantic rival, but he also wants to remember him, since Arata is his friend, and since he feels, as he tells himself, encouraged by the memory of Arata. Taichi seems to fault himself for this conflict of feelings: his conclusion seems to be to tell himself that he "is no good." If Taichi has an inferiority complex, it seems to stem from his inability to reconcile his feelings towards Arata.

In this context, the choice of the card Taichi sends to Emoru at the close of the episode is very signficant. The animation focuses in close-up on the card, to make sure we don't miss it. It's #76, one of the two "Wata no hara," cards, Arata's signature cards. This is the same as if Taichi were sending the Chihayaburu card, where we would understand Taichi would be staking his play on his relationship with Chihaya. I take his choice here to signify that intead of repressing his memory of Arata, Taichi is choosing instead to embrace it. I have no idea how, but I expect the memory of Arata to play a decisive role in determining the outcome of the match. We will have to wait a week to find out
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