Saturday, 16 March 2013

Chihayafuru 2 - Episode 10

While the national team tournament continues apace, Arata has to face up to the consequences of his actions in last week's episode - something which he does with surprisingly good grace for someone so passionate about playing in the individual tournament, even if his goal looks likely to be stripped from him.

Meanwhile, Mizusawa find themselves facing off against another decidedly unconventional opponent in the form of a handful of students from Yamaguchi Mioka high school, an establishment renowned for its high level of entrants into Tokyo University.  Not only that, but the school's karuta team are also the champions of an inter-school quiz show, and they seem intent upon bringing this intellect to bear against all-comers in the world of karuta to boot.

This means that yet again Mizusawa's players have to focus against opponents that they simply don't know what to do with - Chihaya in particular is flustered by the completely random placement of her opponents cards and the fact that he constantly moves and jumbles them further, leaving her unable to even attempt to memorise them.  It's a problem that some of her team-mates don't have when it comes to memorisation, but do they collectively have what it takes?  And even if they do win, will Arata's plight become a distraction for Chihaya?

Even when it's repeating the template of the previous episode in some respects (pit Mizusawa against a strange set of opponents then stand back and watch), it still works just as well at the second time of asking - watching the interactions between players, and more importantly their personal battles with themselves, somehow never gets old and remains entertaining throughout.  Come the end of this episode, we're also party to some more developments between the main cast, which could add some further dimensions to a series that it already brimming with great moments of humour, introspection and character development.  Bring it on!

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