Thread: Licensed + Crunchyroll Chihayafuru Season 2
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Old 2013-01-23, 09:40   Link #280
Lost at Sea
Join Date: Mar 2010
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
^ I agree. Although I know anything love-related is very subjective, I think that looking for "reasons" is a futile attempt to rationalize something that isn't meant to be rationalized in the first place.
Hmm? Why is it ok for Taichi to have a whole set of personal reasons for playing karuta, but none for loving Chihaya? Wouldn't it be more likely she's mixed up in the same reasons? Anyway, in real life, we talk about reasons for attraction all the time: "he's hot!" "she's smart!" "he's popular!" "she's got a great job!" None of that comes into love?

But rather than argue about love in general, let's focus on the anime instead. Take the scene in episode 23, around the 6:00 mark, where Chihaya pulls Taichi out of the locker, to take him back to watch the nationals, where Taichi famously thinks to himself: "Yeah, I'm hopeless / hopelessly in love." Why does he say this? What about the moment prompts him to this realization?

Looking at that scene, I can see why fukarming says "He probably likes Chihaya since she is so straight forward and single minded, which is completely different from himself. I guess opposite attract." Chihaya shows here a passionate intensity that is quite beautiful, an unselfconscious and instinctual dedication that is very different from Taichi's own analytical not to mention frequently conflicted way of thinking.

On the other hand, I am really taken by ujiuji's point that Sumire loves a Taichi she barely knows. I think this is true of Taichi as well: he has been friends with Chihaya for many years, but he doesn't really get her. In these first two episodes of the new season, we don't see him entering at all into her point of view about the club, neither in her goals for the club, nor in her concerns about bringing the new members into the club. As much as everyone, he is surprised by her explanation about the responsibility she feels for collapsing at the nationals.

If Taichi resembles Sumire in this instance--and I think that is why Sumire is in the anime, to be a foil that helps us understand Taichi better--then Taichi's love for Chihaya is the expression of his own character and personality. Like Sumire, who loves for the sake of love, Taichi loves for the sake of dedication, for the constancy in purpose despite disappointment and lack of reciprocation. Taichi's love is the expression of his own beautiful soul. Chihaya herself is incidental to his pure, unrequited devotion.

The proof of this point is that many viewers and posters on this forum have a much higher regard for and interest in Taichi than they do in Chihaya. QED.


Coincidentally, I just came across a book by Ivan Morris, called The Nobility of Failure: Tragic Heroes in the History of Japan. Morris makes the point that the Japanese find heroism in the dedication that does not waver even in the face of failure. As one reviewer on Amazon puts it, "[i]n contrast to the Western ideal, the Japanese do not seem to require their heroes to 'win' or 'succeed.'" The applicability of this cultural concept to Sumire and Taichi seems straightforward.

A Blossoming Flower in the Snowy Winter

Last edited by hyperborealis; 2013-01-23 at 11:28.
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