Chihayafuru s2 e23 ~ you break an opponent by attacking their strengths

June 15, 2013

Chihaya Ayase in tears at the end of the B-kyu Individual tournament.

Chihaya Ayase in tears at the end of the B-kyu Individual tournament.

Episode 23 of Chihayafuru season 2 splits the attention between two very important games. In the A-kyu tournament, two of the most important people in the world of Karuta are facing off for the title. In the B-kyu tournament, Taichi is ready to face down his final opponent … until Chihaya appears ring-side. Taichi instantly loses his cool, and struggles to end the match early, because he wants to release Chihaya.

Taichi’s desire is to support Chihaya, and let her watch the game transpring between Arata Wataya and the the Queen, Shinobu Wakamiya. His good intentions cause him to play recklessly, however, and then he loses confidence in his own ability to win against an opponent that Chihaya barely beat a few episodes back.

The episode had interesting perspectives on Karuta strategy (in both Shinobu and Taichi’s case, a decision was made to focus on winning certain cards, instead of over-committing in the face of a powerful opponent). There was also a surprising insight into the world behind the scenes, as Kanade Oe realizes that the reader for the B-kyu tournament is being graded for a position as a certified reader. Nevertheless, in true Chihayafuru style, the story comes back to the human and emotional elements in the end.

Chihaya and Taichi’s relationship in this episode is a little like the story of the Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. Chihaya wants to be there to support Taichi in his bid for A class ranking, and Taichi wants to support Chihaya by getting her out of there and back to the battle between Shinobu and Arata. Each of their gifts diminish the meaning behind the gift the other person gives.

We only have a couple of episodes left. I’m going to be so sorry when this show is over!

9 Responses to “Chihayafuru s2 e23 ~ you break an opponent by attacking their strengths”

  1. annecelestine Says:

    it was a touching episode – chihaya choosing to support her friend to win the B-class championship rather than watch and learn from the battle between two karuta geniuses.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      It’s too bad they don’t have a little extra money for a videocamera in the club budget. Yuusei could be recording it for them to review later.

  2. annecelestine Says:

    that’s true… but chihaya will be able to watch it… at least the second part of the game. thankfully taichi won fast enough for them to see the climax of arata and shinobu’s game.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Yeah, we still have that to look forward to! I’m guessing that Arata wins and that sets up the reveal that he is moving to Tokyo, thus motivating the premise of the third season, which will kick off with the preparations for the Meijin and Queen matches.

      • annecelestine Says:

        that is something to look forward to. but they still have a year in HS before arata would be able to move to tokyo. he said he’d study in a uni in tokyo. so i presume he’s only moving when they enter college.

      • Joojoobees Says:

        Way to bring me down! Still I guess I shouldn’t get my hopes that high.

      • annecelestine Says:

        hahaha! i apologize. i didn’t mean to put your hopes down.

  3. blindability Says:

    I guess Taichi had some luck leftover after all! – or perhaps, more accurately, he no longer relies on luck to advance. I loved how Chihaya’s absence and presence is so revealing in how it affects Taichi’s game; it also further builds on the lingering question of why Taichi plays Karuta, why he tries so hard, what drives him, and what he hopes to accomplish.

    I really, really hope there’s a third season. These first two seasons focused more on the high school team and individual matches, so there’s a good chance that a third season might focus on the Queen and Meijin matches – which may be between our main characters, now that Arata has more than a fighting chance at beating Suo, Taichi’s made Class A, and … well, depending on how Chihaya’s injury heals, she’ll likely be a challenger to Shinobu!

    • Joojoobees Says:

      I agree that the story has gotten to an interesting point. All of these great players, and many of them have been very well established already.

      I’m glad Taichi’s luck held up, or whatever it was that got him to A-rank. It definitely makes his story have meaning, and also opens the way for Desk-kun and Kanade to advance.

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