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Old 2013-06-30, 01:09   Link #1481
BBOvenGuy
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What a magnificent finale. If ever a show needed another season, it's this one.

I'm just amazed by the amount of detail and nuance they've managed to put into these characters, especially considering the type of characters they are. I may find myself rewatching the episodes in the same way Chihaya was watching the Class A finale video, just so I can pick up more on how they do it.

Speaking of characters, has it occurred to anyone else that Tsukuba is the team member who's the most like Chihaya? Yes, he kept trying to shove his way into the lineup - wouldn't Chihaya have done the same thing in his situation? After all, she basically shoved the entire club into existence. Once Chihaya's class graduates, he's probably going to be the captain and/or president, and will have the club's legacy on his shoulders.

And in this episode I realized that Kana-chan reminds me of a girl I used to play College Bowl with... and had a thing for once. Ah, youth...
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Old 2013-06-30, 01:54   Link #1482
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huynhlan View Post
I on the other hand doubt otaku can relate to a guy like taichi, a guy that seem prety much perfect, good look, good family bakgrougd, popular with everyone especially girl, yeah alot of otaku can relate to that.
I doubt this is the kind of show that attracts a large "otaku" following. As Kirarakim noted, it's based on a highly-popular josei manga. Unfortunately we no longer see demographic breakouts for anime viewing, so it is hard to say exactly who is watching. One thing we do know is that DVD and BD sales for the first season were pretty poor, averaging about 2,500 copies per volume. However the boost to manga sales after season one began airing was enormous. Sales nearly quadrupled to just short of 200,000 copies after the telecasts began. In 2012, Chihayafuru ranked sixteenth in total manga sales. Patterns like these are usually associated with shows that appeal to non-traditional anime viewing audiences, in other words, not otaku.

Even the cast of characters posting in this thread should give you some hint that Chihayafuru is not a typical anime show that targets male adolescents.

As another example, Space Brothers is most assuredly not an "otaku" show with its adult cast and lack of sexual innuendo. However the manga ranked fourth in total sales in 2012 with over five million copies sold, while the anime releases have struggled to sell a thousand units. That pattern usually indicates an audience composed largely of adults and/or children.
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Old 2013-06-30, 03:45   Link #1483
Anh_Minh
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Taichi can at times be selfish, petty, and cowardly. But he is ashamed of those times and tries to suppress those parts of him, and in the end gives a lot of himself to his team. That's much more relatable, if less admirable, than some natural saint who always does the right thing without trying, at no emotional cost. Unless you are such a saint, I guess, but if you are, how about cutting a break to lesser mortals? Isn't that what saints do?

He's also, for all that he's otherwise been showered with blessings, described as "unlucky" by all who know him. His card is never read. His heart's desire always slips away. And that, too, is relatable by all who've had a less than perfect life.
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Old 2013-06-30, 11:48   Link #1484
hyperborealis
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The final title poem is #4. Here is Joshua Mostow's translation:

As I set out on
the beach of Tago, and look,
I see the snow constantly falling
on the high peak of Fuji,
white as mulberry cloth.

The reference to Fuji-san ties to the Fujisaki karuta club and the summer camp that Taichi and Chihaya arrive at at the close of the episode. As a dominant landmark, Fuji is visual center for any landscape (think of Hiroshige's 36 Views of Mount Fuji, for instance), and in the context of a journey, inevitably acts as a yardstick to measure one's progress along one's route. The poem speaks to the various journeys the characters are on, as they move forward with their lives: their goals are visible, but distant, what lies between as yet unknown. As fits the closing episode of the season, the title poem points to an open future that lies before our characters.

As such, I would say the title is a reminder to the audience that whatever romantic revelations the episode may offer, that part of the show also remains open.

The conversation between Chihaya and Taichi at the close was curious. Did you notice that when Chihaya says "It's hard when I can't think of anything else [besides karuta,]" she blushes? I suppose she is thinking of someone else instead, after all. Taichi must notice--he is looking right at her. So his anime-original response, "Forward. / We can only go forward," expresses a certain grim pathos, a determination to face the future whatever it may bring, with hope or without it.

It's curious his comment places him as the antithesis to Arata, who has catalyzed Chihaya's feelings by taking her backwards, to her past, and to that apartment where they played karuta as children. The symmetry is quite precise.

On Kana's machinations, I think they are meant to be amusing: Taichi's image of her with her eyes alight is funny. I don't have a problem with the other Mizusawa club members not coming: presumably Chihaya told the club about Sakurazawa-sensei's offer, and they decided--with convincing from Kana--not to come. You can argue Kana's efforts to construct Chihaya's choices are questionable, but really it's up to Chihaya to make her own options and decide her future for herself.

Kana's matchmaking works as a satire of sorts upon the Taichi shippers among Suetsugu's audience. She parodies all those readers who want to step into the story and to help Taichi out of his romantic problems.

Unfortunately, Kana's energy highlights by contrast Taichi's relative passivity. Instead of acting on his own, he's reduced to being a part of her scheme. Then, when Chihaya wonders why no one else came, he has to be silent and hide the truth, since he knows very well why no one came. To his credit (this is clearer in the manga), Taichi is apparently chagrined by his situation. So my objection to Kana's actions is mainly that they put Taichi in a bad light.

I found Chihaya and Arata's phone conversation to be remarkably moving and powerful. It's really about something more than romance: it's about childhood memories, the connections one makes as a child, and how these live into the present to give meaning to life, and to provide deep vital connections with other people. It really speaks to a Japanese cultural understanding of human nature, to something profound about how human beings are. I suppose it's impossible not to read the scene in romantic terms, but I don't think that's even its most important significance.

What a wonderful show! I very much appreciate the conversation here; I learned so much from everyone. Thank you all!
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Old 2013-06-30, 15:26   Link #1485
huynhlan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Taichi can at times be selfish, petty, and cowardly. But he is ashamed of those times and tries to suppress those parts of him, and in the end gives a lot of himself to his team. That's much more relatable, if less admirable, than some natural saint who always does the right thing without trying, at no emotional cost. Unless you are such a saint, I guess, but if you are, how about cutting a break to lesser mortals? Isn't that what saints do?

He's also, for all that he's otherwise been showered with blessings, described as "unlucky" by all who know him. His card is never read. His heart's desire always slips away. And that, too, is relatable by all who've had a less than perfect life.
dude I am no saint but the thing taichi did, alot of character in this show demostrated this too. Like for chihaya for instant, she kept her selfish desire in check in order to support taichi and stuff when she really wanted to she the match between arata and the queen, and also other than having bad luck at karuta, his life is pretty much perfect and it's hard to relate to that, people like him can be consider like guy like hayato from Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru, the most popular guy in school.
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Old 2013-06-30, 17:37   Link #1486
Kirarakim
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^ Okay you can't relate to Taichi but other people can. I find it pretty ridiculous that you are saying other are wrong that Taichi is not a character that is easy to relate to. That is up to each individual viewer.

Personally I relate to Kana the most because of her love of classic things and appreciating the context of those classic things.

But Taichi and Shinobu are also favorites of mine because I find them flawed and complex characters.

Still I feel every character in this series has something to offer and I find it very patronizing for someone to question why other people love a certain character.
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Old 2013-06-30, 21:17   Link #1487
Master_Yoma
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Anther great season the whole season was nothing but Karuta tournament witch was a lot of fun

9/10 It weird that no one pick this up yet maybe it just because it a game like mahjong that most people out side of asia wont get
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Old 2013-06-30, 22:44   Link #1488
thundrakkon
Fly Away into the Night
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
^ Okay you can't relate to Taichi but other people can. I find it pretty ridiculous that you are saying other are wrong that Taichi is not a character that is easy to relate to. That is up to each individual viewer.
The topic becomes dangerous when one references to how they can relate to a certain a character due to that character's attributes, since a negative analysis on a character flaw could end up as a negative comment on the person relating to him. Hence, this subject is hard to talk about without getting people's emotions involved.

I think another perspective to take is, "who would you follow as a leader on a project?" Do you want to follow a charismatic, yet flawed, ethically questionable, action with ulterior motives, and a do whatever it takes person, yet too scared to take action at times? Or do you follow a morally straight person, who always tries to do the right thing, even at a cost to himself? Depending on which type the individual audience likes, they will view the characters differently.

Taichi is flawed. Hence, his supporters want to "help" him and shape him as a better person. They want to change him, per se, much like in a relationship where the girl wants to change the guy for the better. This type of desire is very dominant in a lot of relationships, in which it does not work out too well oftentimes. Therefore, like in a lot of relationships, the girl will defend the guy when others put him in a negative light. However, on the flip side, Taichi is supposed to "perfect". He is rich, handsome, intelligent, and gets any girl he wants (not named Chihaya, but shown at the beginning of the series). In many regards, his perspective is the perspective a rich, popular guy's problems.

In reality, everyone in the cast has problems. However, Taichi is the character that has the most focus; hence, he is talked about more, one way or the other.

On the hand, if they focused on Arata as much as Taichi, then Arata will become the "relatable" character. Arata, on the other hand, is the opposite of Taichi. Arata is straight forward, is always trying to do what is right, and is poor. Arata has struggled most of his life on problems that a lot of people faced. He was bullied as a child. He lost the most important person in his life (grandfather). He could not afford a lot of the luxuries that others easily have. He has struggled, yet through it all, he still has his smile. If the mangaka wanted, she could have told Arata's stories through all those struggles, and it would have been just as relatable, if not more than Taichi.

The bottom line, it is very hard to talk about Taichi. He is flawed, so when someone talks about his flaws, we have the "protective girlfriend" there to defend him. However, at the same time, they want to give him a break because he is flawed.

Btw, Taichi is not the only one that is flawed. Every character is flawed in one way or another, and every character has internal struggles.
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Old 2013-06-30, 23:17   Link #1489
sikvod00
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^ Apparently the subject is hard for you to talk about since you feel the need to characterize Taichi fans as "protective girlfriends". And I can't help but laugh at your description of both characters. One is a "... a morally straight person, who always tries to do the right thing, even at a cost to himself" and the other is "a charismatic, yet flawed, ethically questionable, action with ulterior motives, and a do whatever it takes person, yet too scared to take action at times". Come on, man. Check your bias before accusing others of it.
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Old 2013-07-01, 00:20   Link #1490
thundrakkon
Fly Away into the Night
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^ I've never said I wasn't biased. It is quite obvious that I don't relate with Taichi. And it is very obvious who are biased for Taichi. The point was, there is no way to discuss Taichi without it offending someone. Describing his flaws as a positive is what Taichi supporters do. Describing his flaws as a negative is what non-Taichi fans do.

As for those character descriptions, they are what those characters are. Even Taichi supporters admit to Taichi's flaws. The biggest complaints I hear about Arata is that he is a Mary Sue or he is a boring character. Besides, due to differing opinions and perspective are we able to have a discussion.
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Old 2013-07-01, 00:38   Link #1491
sikvod00
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The issue isn't about having differing opinions or preferring one character over another. That's totally fine and can lead to a healthy discussion. It's the way you characterize certain people as being "protective girlfriends" that rubbed me the wrong way and prompted me to respond. And your description of Taichi is inaccurate. He's charismatic, flawed, and runs away from things... I can agree with that. But ethically questionable, actions with ulterior motives, and do whatever it takes? That's going too far and is misleading. Anyone who hasn't seen this series would think your description is of someone who just isn't a good person, which is not true. Sure, he has his ugly moments which makes the audience wince and dislike him. But he is aware of those problems and fights against it, sometimes losing. You seem to only view him positively when it comes to superficial attributes like good-looks and popularity. But there is way more to him than that, and it shouldn't be in dispute (that doesn't mean he automatically has to be your fav. char).

Last edited by sikvod00; 2013-07-01 at 00:51.
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Old 2013-07-01, 01:32   Link #1492
thundrakkon
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Yes, he has his positive points, such as overcoming some of his running away, especially when it comes to karuta. And yes, he has helped out the team. However, I definitely stand by my claim that he has actions with ulterior motives. A lot of action revolves around Chihaya. His ulterior motive has been Chihaya. A lot of his moves are questionable because of that. And yes, he does whatever it takes to win, entering a lot of grey zone at times. He is very strategic in that regards as well.

As for the protective girlfriend comment, it is what it looks like from my perspective. Taichi does wrong, yet his supporters will always try to explain it away. It is like the guy is untouchable. Say something unfavorable about the guy and feel the wrath of his supporters.

Taichi is a good character and adds to the story. I just don't like him as a person. Although, that brings up another point. Is Taichi really a protagonist, or is he an antagonist? Or is he supposed to be some anti-hero? He definitely is the darkest character in the series.
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Old 2013-07-01, 01:48   Link #1493
articuzwolf
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I don't see why "love as a main reason/motive" is the bad thing to have

It's not like you have to pure motive "to receive enlightenment" like monk to justify every single thing that you do (including playing Karuta)

even Chihaya admitted that she kept playing Karuta so she can receive Arata's passion one day
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Old 2013-07-01, 01:55   Link #1494
karice67
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^
...it makes a little more sense if you think about it as "respond to that passion".

The word used, "受けて立てる" (uketetateru), literally means "to accept somebody's challenge".
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Old 2013-07-01, 02:47   Link #1495
DragoonKain3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thundrakkon View Post
I think another perspective to take is, "who would you follow as a leader on a project?" Do you want to follow a charismatic, yet flawed, ethically questionable, action with ulterior motives, and a do whatever it takes person, yet too scared to take action at times? Or do you follow a morally straight person, who always tries to do the right thing, even at a cost to himself? Depending on which type the individual audience likes, they will view the characters differently.
Give me a frigging break man. I'm someone who has recently jumped the ArataXShinobu ship from the TaichiXChihaya ship mainly because Arata > Taichi and Shinobu > Chihaya, but that summary of Taichi is so far from the truth that I don't even know if we are watching the same show.

Simply put, Taichi is relatable to a lot of people BECAUSE of his flaws. There is no character in this show who is more 'human' than Taichi. People can relate to him because humans *gasp* feel romantic jealousy as a near universal trait, and people both have fought against and succumbed to it, doing less than honorable actions due to their feelings. But just because someone did an action with ulterior motives due to their feelings suddenly makes them 'ethically questionable'? Hell no. Taichi does his best to take the high road DESPITE his feelings... if he really was 'ethically questionable' as you claim he is, he would've just said that he and Chihaya were dating and he wouldn't have given the phone number.

Contrast this to Arata, whose conflict isn't so much as combating his inner demons as it is getting over his past. Just the fact that he lost someone dear to him in his early teens is NOT what a lot of people experience that early, and just going by that his relatability to the average person would not be as much as Taichi's.

(And Arata always tries to do the right thing? PFFT, just going by one example: By his own admission, the main reason why he helped that high school team is not because he felt sorry for them for not being able to play due to not enough players, nor did he do it out of the goodness out of his own heart. Instead it was because he felt envious of Chihaya and Taichi, and so he wanted to feel what it was like playing karuta as a team. How's that for 'ulterior motives'? >_>)

But to be honest? Who cares about relatability anyway. IMO it's all about which character is interesting and intriguing, and that's why I like Arata better because Taichi is the closest to being 'human' that he's almost boring.

Arata on the other hand catches my attention because of his direction. Unlike Chihaya and Taichi, he already has his future planned out. He wants to become Meijin, he wants to live on the spirit of his grandpa, and he wants to go to Tokyo (presumably because he wants to get together with Chihaya XD). I'm intrigued whether it will go as smoothly as it can be, and am even more interested in what he does if he can't accomplish it.... because you know what they say about the best laid plans and all. XD


Quote:
The bottom line, it is very hard to talk about Taichi. He is flawed, so when someone talks about his flaws, we have the "protective girlfriend" there to defend him. However, at the same time, they want to give him a break because he is flawed.
That's frigging low blow man. Dismissing those who 'defends' Taichi as the 'protective girlfriend'? Weaker ad hominem attacks have been the cause of big flame wars my friend, so tread lightly.

No, don't attack the person, attack their arguement. You don't like feeling the 'wrath of the Taichi' supporters? Then point out the flaws in their reasoning rather than taking their defense of Taichi personally.
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Old 2013-07-01, 03:52   Link #1496
Blaat
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Personally I wouldn't call anyone who defends their favourite character as 'protective girlfriends'. The same thing happens with Chihaya and Arata fans.
For example the last time we talked about Chihaya's flaw (this was back in January), someone called her a lousy friend and some people defended her actions; nothing wrong with that.
And the last time we talked about Arata's flaw, hang on, I think DragoonKain's post is the first time that ever happened actually.

Now that I think about it why do we always talk about Taichi's flaws and rarely about Chihaya's and never about Arata's?
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Old 2013-07-01, 04:17   Link #1497
Guardian Enzo
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Originally Posted by Blaat View Post

Now that I think about it why do we always talk about Taichi's flaws and rarely about Chihaya's and never about Arata's?
Well, I love Chihaya but I've said many times in the past, if she were a guy she would take enormous fan abuse because she embodies every shounen male lead characteristic to a fault.

As to Arata, I think it's because Suetsugu writes Arata as if she's in love with him herself (which is one reason I've always felt that Arata and Chihaya would end up together). And as someone who's in love with someone does, she has a highly idealized perspective - he's seen as a God (quite literally by Chihaya) as much as a human. Of course Arata isn't perfect, but because Suetsugu as the writer is the one who decides what face of him we see, we hardly ever see anything but the perfection.
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Old 2013-07-01, 05:36   Link #1498
Kirarakim
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Chihaya does get bashed a lot actually. Maybe not on here but it happens on tumblr.

Chihaya is not my favorite character but I do love her so I defend her too. I just highly dislike character bashing in general.
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Old 2013-07-01, 06:28   Link #1499
Quadratic
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Talk about a huge miscommunication going on in this thread...
Does Taichi get into some relatable situations? Yes, he does.
The only issues I can find relatable are the same issues all the characters face: the feeling of inferiority, fighting back after being kicked downed.
Is his situation as a whole relatable? Not for me. I'd also like to say unlikely for most people, unless it turns out a high percentage of people here is/was the highest achieving student, most popular with the opposite sex, yet still unable to catch the majority of attention of their oblivious childhood crush...
Maybe others find NTR relatable...?

To be honest, my opinion on liking and disliking a character in this show tend to be based on how much I sympathise with the character as a whole.

As a side note, the most believable character out of the given main and supporting cast (well, as far as fiction goes) is probably Desktomu, and maybe Nishida. Desktomu could never get the highest grade at school and after taking up karuta his grades dropped further. Realistic consequences, right there.

Anyway, I don't mind people defending Taichi, though it's hard to argue against points when people don't give specific examples of when a positive development occurs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DragoonKain3 View Post
Simply put, Taichi is relatable to a lot of people BECAUSE of his flaws. There is no character in this show who is more 'human' than Taichi. People can relate to him because humans *gasp* feel romantic jealousy as a near universal trait, and people both have fought against and succumbed to it, doing less than honorable actions due to their feelings. But just because someone did an action with ulterior motives due to their feelings suddenly makes them 'ethically questionable'? Hell no. Taichi does his best to take the high road DESPITE his feelings... if he really was 'ethically questionable' as you claim he is, he would've just said that he and Chihaya were dating and he wouldn't have given the phone number.
Arata is too ingrained into Chihaya's feelings, which is why he can no longer roadblock him without fearing consequences if Chihaya finds out what he's done (hence his cowardice stops him from further blocking). Strangers on the other hand, no problems (eg. guy who got her phone number, people taking her photos - season 1 stuff, though).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DragoonKain3 View Post
By his own admission, the main reason why he helped that high school team is not because he felt sorry for them for not being able to play due to not enough players, nor did he do it out of the goodness out of his own heart. Instead it was because he felt envious of Chihaya and Taichi, and so he wanted to feel what it was like playing karuta as a team.
I'm forgetful, but curious. What episode/scene was this?
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Old 2013-07-01, 07:31   Link #1500
Kirarakim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
Anyway, I don't mind people defending Taichi, though it's hard to argue against points when people don't give specific examples of when a positive development occurs.
Taichi gets bashed on this thread a lot almost to a ridiculous degree. It is pretty patronizing when people dismiss people's claims that they can relate to a character or say they only like a character for superficial reasons like their looks. Or that women just want to change a "bad boy" sorry I find that line of thought extremely wrong and rude to me as a woman. Although lets not even forget that a lot of Taichi fans on here are guys (although I think that is besides the point and I don't think my defense of Taichi is any less valid because I am a woman).

Please note I am not saying you were doing this, you weren't but that is certainly the attitude among some people in this thread.

I don't think everyone has to relate to Taichi or even like him as a character but there is no reason to bash the character or question the people who do like the character. And don't get me wrong I know Taichi gets a lot of defense and love here too.

As for other characters being easy to relate to, well developed characters, and so forth yes I completely agree with that. And I completely agree with your opinion of Tsutomu. He's a fantastic character and I think his character growth throughout the series has been amazing.

Bottom line is I think everyone can have valid reasons for relating to and loving all the characters in this cast. We all have our favorites but my favorite characters do not discount anyone else from the cast.

Okay sorry for that rant
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