The regional championship tournament takes its toll on Chihaya and her friends.

Chihayafuru is the show that keeps delivering flawless episode after flawless episode. In Episode 11, our protagonists are up against their toughest challenge yet, a team that habitually wins the Tokyo Regionals, and has a good shot at the National title. And, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, we see the return of Arata Wataya!

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Chihaya Ayase face planting.

I truly do love this show. Chihayafuru episode 10 had so many things going on, from the tension around the central love triangle, to personal triumphs and sorrows, all within the larger context of the Tokyo Regional tournament preliminaries. The pacing is excellent. There always seems to be an excellent mixture of pathos and comedy. And to top it all off, the show continues to look great, especially because of Kanade’s condition that everyone must wear hakama in tournaments.

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Chihaya Ayase (right) is on the prowl, and she has her eye on Kanade Oe (left).

Episode 6 of Chihayafuru introduces a new character who brings a completely different perspective on Karuta. Oh, yeah, and girls in kimonos.

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Fuji Ayako-san

One of the proudest traditions here at the Abandoned Factory, is kicking back with some Enka on the 4th of July. Last year it was Yoko Nagayama, and while nothing says “4th of July” quite like a beautiful woman in a kimono playing a shamisen, this year we are going to spell Independance A-Y-A-K-O, as in Ayako Fuji.

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