Chihayafuru Episode 25 [Final]: Moving Forward
Master Suo Hisashi easily beats his opponent seemingly without losing any cards, with the announcer attributing it to his game sense, in which he can tell the difference between cards based on only the first syllable. Everyone has trouble with their motivation after watching the Master play, but Arata tells Taichi about the Master’s card positioning and they both get fired up again. Chihaya finds out that she has around 20 one-syllable cards as well, motivating her to become a better karuta player than she already is. When the teachers object to the karuta club keeping their clubroom, the Empress convinces them to let them stay on the condition that they get five new members for the club.
Vantage’s Final Impression:
It’s kinda depressing really, series ending one after another. I know it happens every season but it’s hit me particularly hard this time, with shows as epic as Chihayafuru ending. We’re set up for a second season as well – Chihaya hasn’t achieved her dream of being Queen, the other characters all have goals on their own, and if I may interpret it as a subtle foreshadowing, the fact they even mentioned needing 5 new members at all hints towards a second season. It would be well deserved xD
Right let’s start from the top. The Master match was scarily fast – not only Suo Hisashi’s speed, but the length of the match took up hardly any time in the episode, it just went by so quick! There was a time when I tried to pause to take a screenshot of him taking a card, but I actually missed the point where he took it, since he was just so damn fast T_T
His “game sense” as they called it is probably similar to Chihaya’s talent actually, where she can recognize the slight differences in voice infliction, meaning she can go for cards on the first syllable. Anyway, he thrashed his opponent, leaving both him and the rest of the male karuta population depressed. He’s good at karuta and all, but he doesn’t seem to have much of a personality to go with it. I dunno, he just seems a bit boring to me xD
It was nice to see the other members of the karuta club get some attention too – Desktomu giving Chihaya his notes on her matches and Kana-chan wanting to becoming a professional karuta reader. If she has to get to Class A to do it, then I think she will succeed in that – her love for the cards surpasses anyone else (except maybe Shinobu) and I have no doubt that she will go to any length to achieve her dream. Taichi was such a beast today too, having Sudo blood in him (yes Chihaya, he’ll burn all your Daddy Bears xD) and I hope we’ll see him come out victorious in something in the future, since he gets the short end of the stick too many times for such a nice guy.
She won’t admit it, but the Empress is definitely fond of the karuta club and Chihaya now, especially after seeing them play and grow stronger together. Chihaya herself has come so far since the start of the series, meeting so many people and developing her own skills. Beauty in vain indeed – but she’ll be Queen one day. We love you Chihaya!
Eva’s Final Impression:
PLEASE TELL ME.
PLEASES TELL ME THERE WILL BE A SEASON 2!
I BEG OF YOU!
OH MY GOD. THIS EPISODE WAS SO PERFECT, OMG HERE I WAS WORRIED THEY MIGHT’VE FAST FORWARD/TIME SKIP BUT NO, THEY LEFT ROOM TO CONTINUE THE LOYAL ADAPTION TO THE MANGA.
OH MY GOD I’M CRYING.
This episode made me so happy on so many levels. Thanks to Tsutomu, Chihaya learns that she has 20 One Syllable cards. That’s phenomenal. Speaking of Tsutomu, the way he takes his notes would make him an excellent coach or advisor.
With some words of advice that Arata’s grandfather passed on to him, he shared them with Taichi who is no longer hesitating to train properly, and finally started practicing his swings. I loved how he adapted to Sudou’s sadist method to break his opponent’s focus. In this case he used it on Chihaya, threatening that if he wins, he will burn all her Daddy Bears. You rock Taichi!
And then Arata who is trying to mentally prepare himself for in which he one day to face the Master in the finals made me so excited. It was also absolutely adorable and made me smile about how eager he was when Taichi called. I’m so happy that his mentor thought twice and came around to help him train.
I’m so happy for Kanade finally figuring out what kind of role she wants to play in Karuta, but she certainly has a long road ahead! Nevertheless, I firmly believe she can do it. Her passion to the poems and their backstory is what makes her an ideal speaker, much like Kyoko, which Master Suo had noticed with his senses the different sound (sensing a different image) with the word being emphasized.
Finally the Empress. Her respect and devotion to the Karuta club makes me all fuzzy inside. She passionately did whatever she could to defend their rights of keeping the club room that they are using right now. I was even more pleased how she was advising Chihaya where to put more recruitment poster for the club. It made me laugh so hard how Chihaya dressed the way she did the first time.
Last but not least, Chihaya was on fire this episode. She was frustrated with her own abilities and understood very well that what she has right now is not enough, although after hearing from Tsutomu that she has 20 One Syllable cards gives her a place to start strengthening her abilities. However again, Chihaya’s greatest weakness is not knowing every single card like the back of her hand so that she can develop a stronger and deeper connection to them like Shinobu.
Chihayafuru is hands down won me over as the number one show of both the Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 Season. I’m so in love with it, I’m going to be terribly upset if there isn’t a second season. It opened up my world and showed me a new sport, expanded my knowledge and interest in the Japanese Culture, and I’m even more eager to learn the language, and I have another piece of motivation: I would like to be able to read the poems. Heck it’s a sport I’d love to try out if I ever the chance one day
, though I’ll fail miserably because I wouldn’t be able to hear anything.