Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Taichi Tuesdays: 3/13/12

Chihayafuru Ep. 23: The Night is Nearly Past

Episode 23 of Chihyafuru finally takes the series back to its roots of being a young love title. I enjoy this format more because I like the whole teenage romance anime scene. But when I think about it, I don’t think Chihayafuru would have been as good if it was centered around the romance and emotional elements. The karuta episodes helped to spread the story apart, although I would have preferred if the series had a few more teenage romance episodes to develop Arata’s character a bit more.

Taichi was there to comfort Chihaya after she lost her match with Yumi, and he reveals to himself that he truly loves her. Such is the expression on his face in the image above. A bit later in the episode we return to the school setting and learn that Chihaya has a boy who likes her and is trying to get her attention. Taichi takes the initiative to block the boy on her cell phone and Kanade finally realizes that he has feelings for Chihaya. It’s comical for her to point out the rest of the karuta club are just a bunch of nincompoops.

Arata also lost his qualifying match to play against the current Master, and he’s now trying to get his former mentor to play at the karuta society again. I believe Arata is learning that some people lose interest in hobbies and passions, and karuta is no different. Arata will likely eventually find someone worth playing in his karuta society, and if not, maybe he will turn to Taichi or Nishida?

Going into the end of the episode provides a look on the different Christmas parties that are happening for Chihaya, Taichi, Tsutomo, Kanade, and Nishida. Chihaya is gawked at because of her natural beauty, Taichi is tricked into being the only boy invited to a karaoke party, Nishida goes bowling, Kanade goes to a restaurant, and Tsutomu attends the same event Chihaya does. The ending is special because Chihaya wants to be with the rest of the group that night instead of at the party with her class. When Tsutomu points out that he feelings resemble an acknowledgement of family, she calls Arata. It’s difficult to tell whether she called him because she has true feelings for him or if she called because she is so close to him as a friend. It’s kind of tough to tell, but the very last moments signify that she has confidence in the result of her phone call. You can tell by her facial expression and the stride in her walk. At the same time she may be thinking of Taichi, finally realizing how much he loves her. Who knows, I mean it is Chihaya we are talking about!

I believe there are only two more episodes of this wonderful series left to air. I wish there was more, but all good things must come to an end. Hey, that’s two more episodes where you never know what could happen! In seven days we’ll know more!

-Jared Cyhowski

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