Friday, 29 March 2013

Chihayafuru 2 - Episode 12

The big national team semi-final is upon us, and while I'd like to say that all eyes are focused on Mizusawa's big match against Akashi Girls School's team... they really aren't, as in the eyes of most that game is a foregone conclusion, with most of the attention of those present focused upon the semi-final.

Indeed, even Akashi's ace Megumi seems to be taking the semi-final for granted, commenting that she'd really rather get straight on with playing in the final.  Certainly, her confidence seems to be in keeping with her abilities, as she makes a rapid start to put opponent Chihaya on the back foot while tactically doing all she can to also keep her on the defensive.

During the course of the episode, our focus shifts here and there, giving us some background into Megumu's rise as the centrepiece of the Akashi team after an unspectacular start as well as the origins of Megumu's "fan club" (are Madhouse practicing for Photo Kano already?), while also getting some insight into the ties between Kana and Chihaya and how they have a part to play in ensuring that the Mizusawa team works well as a unit.

If there was one problem with this week's episode of Chihayafuru, it was that meandering focus - we never quite had long enough engaging a specific subject to be drawn fully into it before our attention was flitting off elsewhere in an attempt to cover numerous elements in a single episode.  It isn't very often at all that this series gets its pacing wrong, but this is perhaps one of those rare occasions - not a fatal misstep, and there were still some really nice moments, but it does feel as if more could have been made of such a big match (although of course there's still more to come before this semi-final is over).

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