Chihayafuru 2 Episode 24: Impassionate Gods
“Strong enough to repel anything that makes contact, while projecting stability…a decorative word used for gods.”
There’s lots to talk about this episode, but firstly I’ll skip ahead to what everyone’s most excited about – the finals match between Arata and Shinobu. Without further ado ladies and gentlemen, let me present the winner of the A Class tournament, the person who represents the pinnacle of high school karuta – WATAYA ARATAAAAAAAAA!
Man that smile of his is unsettling. Rather, it’s knowing what’s behind that seemingly innocent smile that does it – there’s a monstrous karuta power lying in wait. Chihaya walks in, and suddenly the pressure she feels almost drowns her – for the majority of the match, Arata’s the one who has the control and the momentum. There are so many things that make him a powerful karuta player, despite how nasty his methods might be – from his cross-stroke to his acceleration, he used everything he could to his advantage. I’d actually completely forgotten about Kana-chan’s spinning top analogy; where the perfect karuta player is as fast and furious, but also as serene and stable as a top spinning at a high velocity. It’s perfectly applied to Arata, and he’s definitely portrayed as regal, godlike – even majestic. After all, this is the guy who finally toppled the Queen from her “high school champion” throne. I do feel sorry for his parents though :D I’m sure there’s some sort of scholarship out there.
Well, I’m happy for Shinobu too. She’s learnt not to discriminate against various cards (who all love her to bits), and to change her playing style when absolutely necessary – though I did personally prefer her silent karuta :D And it looks like she’s finally got the heavy challenge she wanted in the form of Arata. I wonder why Chihaya was so reluctant to watch their match? I’m not sure what Sakurazawa-sensei hinted at, but is Chihaya…scared? If we assume the “path she chose to take” is the one towards becoming Queen, would what she’s “better off not knowing” refer to the gap between herself and Arata towards beating the Queen – her ultimate goal?
While being part of the supporting cast for this episode, I think there’s quite a lot to say about Taichi as well. He’s seen a lot of successes within this tournament, beating both Emuro and Rion to achieve victory over his inner demons and conflicts – clawing his way up to where Chihaya and Arata stand at last. Good on him :D He’s fully deserved this, and it’s about time he’s received his fair share of luck. I doubt I can say the same about his love life though…I’m pretty sure that lots of Arata’s determination this tournament has come from his desire to go to Tokyo to be with Chihaya and Taichi – something Taichi does not want at all. Obvious symbolism is obvious – Arata’s advances towards Chihaya (the card he sent flying) has an obstacle in the form of Taichi (who blocked the card) whose feelings are ironically much like Sumire’s. Isn’t his love for Chihaya also burning like ibuki mugwort, hidden from her completely?
It’s the last episode next week, isn’t it. Damn, I’m going to miss this show so much…