The team tournament has made way for the individual event, and in spite of a hand injury Chihaya is insistent upon playing, even if it means doing so left-handed.
The trouble is, although her senses have been anything but dulled of late, actually using her left hand to claim cards is another matter entirely - her centre of gravity and movements are completely off, and her fired-up opponent from Akashi Girls School is making the most of matters to open up a commanding lead. However, as the game progresses Chihaya begins to find at least some benefits to operating left-handed when placed against a right-handed opponent, and the more she things about it the more she edges closer to a moment of clarity regarding the placement of her own cards on the field which turns the tide markedly.
With that first round match done and dusted, and with Arata watching on having destroyed his opponent in no time at all, it's on to the second round - here, our focus switches to Nishida as he finds himself drawn against wannabe tournament winner Arata. After a strong start, Arata soon gets serious and looks all set to blow Nishida away with his pure speed of movement, but with a sense of guilty that he simply doesn't try as hard or care as much as his Mizusawa team mates Nishida still finds the reserves required to make a game of it, even if victory proves to be beyond him. So, it's onto the final eight we go, and how's this for a match up, as Chihaya faces off against Shinobu once again. It's time to get serious for our protagonist, and off come the bandages...
Having enjoyed the team national tournament so much, I was expecting to find it a little harder to get excited about the individual event, and while this is true to some extent that didn't stop this being another great instalment of Chihayafuru - Ayase's left-handed revelations were a lot of fun in their own right, and this second season as a whole continues to really spread its wings when it comes to delivery proceedings with just the right comedic touches to keep things light-hearted. It perhaps says everything about my love for this show that I was all-but jumping up and down with glee at the prospect of a Chihaya versus Shinobu rematch next week - if proof were required as to how invested I am in this show, surely that must be it.