Hey ho, it’s the Tofu-Yippy Chihayafuru co-review! We hope you’re enjoying this rather special review format, but if you have any ideas, comments or critiques you’d like to share, comment away! Your thoughts are invaluable as we strive to improve. Arrigato in advance! （＾＿＾）
Yippy// Well, it’s another week and another episode of our favorite karuta show-Chihayafuru! After last week’s cliffhanger, what will Hanano (what was her first name again?) do? Will she shake some sense into luckless Mashima that Arata is unstoppable in karuta AND love? There’s only one way to find out, so go grab your karuta kit and let’s get started! @Yippy: (Sumire-chan)
Tofu// It was definitely the best choice to introduce Tsukuba as soon as possible to set up the mood within the team. Like with Sumire, Tsukuba has shaken up the overall chemistry within the team with his sly-like nature… and his greedy attitude. Oh that greedy attitude creeps you out but now with him around, I’m intrigued to see how the team will respond to him as a club member.
Yippy// Hm…for me, Tsukuba was THE star of this episode but I wonder if he would’ve stood out more in a standalone episode. Every member of Team Misuzawa High School has had an episode dedicated to their MANLY/GIRLY STRUGGLE before joining the club, including Sumire-chan herself. However, since Tsukuba seems into karuta already, I don’t see him getting a chance in the limelight just yet, but who knows? Maybe his sly attitude and conflicting skills in Second Verse karuta will clash with the other members.
Tofu// His Second Verse Karuta style is really unique and much more aggressive than First Verse Karuta players but I think Tsukuba’s character introduction was done quite well. Sumire requires more development due to how she looked down upon karuta when she was first introduced. Tsukuba on the other hand already likes karuta and so I believe that his standalone episode will come along either in the next episode or later on in the series. But speaking of character development, this episode was practically dedicated to Sumire again but instead of the usual antic’s, she has finally started to learn how to love karuta!
Yippy// We haven’t seen much of Tsukuba in action yet, so I think we should exercise caution, what with high expectations and all that. I’m interested in how first and second verse karuta differ though; anyone care to enlighten us on this? Moving on to Sumire, I can see that she is beginning to go deeper into karuta, but I doubt her motives behind it. She’s doing this for her own vision of “love”, not out of any passion towards karuta and its poems.
But, on further thought, doesn’t the rest of the team (bar Kana) play karuta because of some goal other than the poems? Chihaya wants to be the best in the world, Mashima has his eye on impressing her and Arata wants to be a Master; no one is fawning over the poems themselves, but rather, the chance they offer.
I’m definitely with Kana on her “love with rules” speech. Would emotions, poems, songs and lose their meaning without restraint? Yes, I definitely think so. Although I’m against restricting emotions too much, I’m also opposed to the full-blown “love” that Sumire preaches at first. Without restraint, what would be the point? What are your thoughts on this, Tofu?
Tofu// Sumire is a flower that’s still blossoming but I believe that with time, she will grow to love the poems as it reflects her life. It’s definitely hard to comment on since we have only seen her for two episodes.
As for the “love with rules”, I agree that restraints keep the emotions pure because it forces you to try just a little bit harder in whatever romantic development you’re going for. I guess what I’m trying to get at is restrictions makes the game of love more interesting and intriguing, which then gives birth to those pure emotions you so desperately want the other person to receive. But it also speaks of acceptance in one another and that’s what Kana learns to do right at the end when she asks Sumire for advice on mascara. It’s beautiful character development done superbly once again!
Yippy// Nice link with Kana and Sumire’s heart-to-heart talk there, Tofu. I don’t see the connection clearly yet, but I think I understand what you’re getting at-love can also mean friendship, right? Although the pretty scene with them both was short, it tugged at my heartstrings, especially when Kana said that crying embarrasedly was a beautiful thing to do. Sounds weird in writing, but that sounded so…right then and there. I’m really excited at how these two will play off each other when they start going into the tournaments. Lovey-dovey stuff is great and all, but I want to see some card-slapping DRAMA and Chihaya’s famous shonen-style power-ups! Well, that’s all from me. Any last words, Tofu?
Tofu// Overall, episode 2 was able to successfully continue Sumire’s character introduction while implementing a great deal of development within a short time. Most series can’t pull this off and although episode 2 did feel like a lot of crammed in, it’s easily ignorable with the seeds of friendship starting to grow between the new members and their senpai’s; especially Kana-chan and Sumire. But like Yippy, I would love to see Chihayafuru move into showing more karuta action!
Yippy// Likewise, Tofu, likewise. Well, that’s a wrap. Let’s hope we’ll see a decent match in next week’s Chihayafuru! Till then, keep practicing your swing!
(aka shots I took but don’t know how to fit into the post :p)