Chihayafuru 24 ~ I can’t dedicate myself to Chihaya
March 21, 2012
Episode 24 of Chihayafuru does the seemingly impossible: it makes an entire episode about the main characters watching a TV broadcast compelling. We finally get to see the match to decide the new Queen, which delivers quite a surprise. This episode also introduces the Meijin. Let the Karuta begin!
Besides the fact that Taichi’s mother was making the most amazing hissing sound, I just wanted to point out that the Daddy Bear logo also has the depressed shading over its eyes.
The Mizusawa Karuta club gather at Taichi’s house to watch the Meijin / Queen matches on Taichi’s big TV. This is the match that we have been cheering Chihaya to get to from the very beginning. This is the match in which Chihaya’s rival Shinobu Wakamiya is defending her title. This is the match in which “the previous Queen” must be put down. Ever since Chihaya lost to “the previous Queen”, I have been looking forward to this match, because I felt the only thing left to me was to see Shinobu punish “the previous Queen” for the way she stole Chihaya’s place in the Western Qualifier. I’ll get my revenge, but there’s no way this could be exciting, right?
Curse you Snowmaru! Normally there would be no question of Shinobu delivering a humiliating defeat to her opponent, but she stuffed herself with ice-cream to earn tickets for a rare Snowmaru purse and handkerchief. Now overweight, her game is off.
Worse, the “previous Queen” and her mentor are up to their old tricks again. She has been coached to drag out the match, in hopes of putting Shinobu at a disadvantage. Further, when they started the flashbacks I started to fear that Shinobu had lost her drive, because her grandmother had died and wasn’t pushing her anymore.
Fortunately Shinobu makes a comeback, and delivers to the “previous Queen” the thrashing that she deserved.
At one point Nishida describes Shinobu’s style as being like Iaido, a martial art that focuses on efficient sword-work, starting and ending in a sheathed state. Chihaya recognizes, however, that Shinobu is connected to the cards, not attacking them. By watching this match she gets a greater understanding of her own deficiency, but as the Meijin match begins, Nishida points out that Chihaya should be studying the current Meijin’s playing style, which, being extraordinarily fast, is more like Chihaya’s own natural style.