Chihayafuru 2 Episode 14: A Beautiful Win
“People would always ask if I was pining for someone.”
This week’s episode sure turned up late…but hey, it was completely worth it :D We got a conclusion to both the match and the intense rivalry between Chihaya and Megumu – only in karuta are card games ever this tense. The scales kept tipping backwards and forwards so many times that you could only take a blind guess as to who was winning – from Megumu’s sudden aggression at contesting cards to managing to take the “Chihayaburu” card, she was clearly more than a match for Chihaya. But Chihaya herself managed to throw Megumu off balance numerous times, taking both her “Silent” and “Rain” cards. I love how everyone ended up drawn to Mizusawa’s tension, completely ignoring Hokuo (who lost by a harsh 1-4) by the late stages of the game. And it was Mizusawa as a whole who gave Akashi Girls’ a hard time too – Kana-chan managing to cancel out the anxiety from Nishida’s earlier loss. Man, Nishida’s not up to it today, is he? I’m sure Megumu was very, very surprised at not being the first to win a game. That match will probably stick with Megumu for a long time, which is an effect Chihaya had on Shinobu as well – she lost to the both of them, but they won’t be forgetting her for quite a while.
But Tsutomu took the glory today. I think Tsutomu is often seen as the underdog of the Mizusawa team, and it’s easy to see why – in the shadow of Chihaya, Taichi and Nishida (who often garner all the attention) Tsutomu doesn’t stand out enough. But it’s at times like this in the Nationals that he really shines – not just in “taking one for the team” and gathering useful data, but being reliable right till the very end and pulling off a beautiful win. “An individual match is a team match” – that applies perfectly to those last few moments, when there were no more dead cards left and the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. And after the match, Tsutomu goes straight onto discussing tactics for Fujisaki – acting completely normally and not basking in any glory or arrogance. What an unsung hero.
We also had lots of screen-time for Arata and Shinobu, who seemed very interested in
exacting revenge playing a friendly match with Arata before their eventual game tomorrow. Definitely looking to kill more than time xD But I’m glad Arata’s had a new-found perspective on the concept of team tournaments, having had the chance to play in one himself. Shinobu’s own perspective on karuta is very different – she’s strong enough to see it as a way to kill time instead of feeling any passionate intensity that people like Chihaya have when they run into strong opponents. I suppose it makes sense that she’s incompatible with team matches too – as there are five people, even the Queen can’t carry the entire team no matter how strong she is.