The power of data analysis

The power of data analysis

Episode 11 of Chihayafuru season 2 resolved the lingering questions about Arata, as well as the surprising situation from the end of the last episode, in which Tsutomu (aka Desk-kun) was kept from playing in yet another round. Tsutomu is not just a data-gatherer, he also is very good at analyzing the information on hand, as he is able to make something substantial out of the notes that Sumire gathered on their opponents in the semi-final, First Akashi Girls’ High School.

I’m glad we are already building up the match against Megumu Ousaka, because it is a good indication that we will get an interesting match-up between her and Chihaya. Aside from that, we still have the final round against Mizusawa’s arch-rival, Hokuo Academy. It seems that the team tournament will take us through episode 13, which should be the mid-point of the series (assuming it is a 2 course season). That means the next course can spend plenty of time on the individual tournament, and still have the Meijin matches as a climax.

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Shinobu Wakamiya ~ a face in the rain

Shinobu Wakamiya ~ a face in the rain

In episode 10 of Chihayafuru episode 2, the story of the national tournament is split into two tracks. In the first, Mizusawa High faces a tough opponent. In the second, the judges agonize over whether Arata should be denied an opportunity to participate in the individual matches that follow the team tournament.

Although this episode had some tension from a hard-fought Karuta match, it stressed both the comedy and personal dramas at least as much as the Karuta action.

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Yuuko Ichihara, the Dimensional Witch.

Yuuko Ichihara, the Dimensional Witch.

A wise man once said, “Every great television show has it’s monkey paw episode.” Episode 2 is xxxHolic live-action‘s monkey paw episode. Watanuki is just starting his work at Yuuko’s mysterious shop. I like the deranged atmosphere they have reached for in each episode so far. Humans are shown to be broken and kind of crazy, meanwhile Yuuko lounges idly in her shop, watching the mayhem erupt.

Yuuko Ichihara smoking pipe

“There are no coincidences, only fate.”

The exciting conclusion of the Tokyo Regional High School Championship Karuta Tournament!

The exciting conclusion of the Tokyo Regional High School Championship Karuta Tournament!

Episode 6 of Chihayafuru season 2 concludes the Regional championship tournament, and it was PACKED with suspense and exciting reversals. Things didn’t really work out as I had expected, but I can’t imagine a more fitting end to this arc.

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Nikuman-kun's sister officially joins the cast.

Nikuman-kun’s sister officially joins the cast.

Chihayafuru season 2, episode 5 begins the match against Hokuo Academy. Not only is this the final round in the Tokyo Regional, but it is a grudge match for Hokuo, since Mizusawa High denied them the opportunity to compete at the National championship at Omi Jingu last year. As such, this had to be a two-parter. What I wasn’t expecting was the appearance of several minor characters, and the strong foreshadowing of a Meijin battle to come.

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Another week, another episode of the greatest anime of the past three years.

Another week, another episode of the greatest anime of the past three years.

Chihayafuru season 2 episode 4 was more of the same, meaning more awesome than any other anime you are watching. How a series can be this consistently excellent, episode after episode, is beyond me. What I discuss in this post, instead, is what makes this episode a perfect sports show episode. Now some folks might ask, “why do you think this episode was better than any other episode of Chihayafuru?” I don’t. This show is extraordinary in the sustained level of quality it demonstrates.

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The Misuzawa High Karuta team return to defend their title at the Tokyo Regional championship.

The Misuzawa High Karuta team return to defend their title at the Tokyo Regional championship.

Chihayafuru season 2 episode 3 covers the start of the Tokyo Regional high school championship. We also get to see glimpses of Arata Wataya and Shinobu Wakamiya, indicating that a real showdown is not far off.

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