Friday, March 9, 2012

Chihaya Furu 22: Impassioned gods

Chihaya's next opponent is a woman called Yamamoto Yumi. She and Harada-sensei get all worked about this, which confuses Taichi until he realizes that Yumi is the former queen. Harada-sensei encourages Chihaya by telling her that she already knows her "go" signal, and with that Chihaya prepares to challenge the second best karuta player. But Yumi isn't the same player she was when she was just a challenger for the queen title. Now, she seems tired as though all her confidence has been drained after she lost to the reigning queen, Wakamiya Shinobu. Sensing victory, Chihaya pushes up her game but as a result makes a grievous mistake in one of her favorite cards. Even so, Yumi only really picks up the slack when her coach, Kitano-sensei forces one of the windows open and advises her to play her own karuta. And even though every player in the room, including Chihaya, hears him and takes his advice to heart, it turns out that this is all that Yumi needs to play like her old self. Nishida calls it the "Contest Yumi" since Yumi is known for contesting cards with such confidence her opponents lose their bravado and focus. She does this with Chihaya. But more than that, Yumi's karuta is deserving of her "former queen" status as she goes on and demolish Chihaya, who can't even say "arigatou gozaimasu" after the match.


What the hell? I mean, what the hell?! What's supposed to happen now? We can't be spending the last three episodes of this series, watching some previously unknown character play the most anticipated match against Shinobu. That's just crazy. How does this qualifier matches work? Does one defeat mean that you'll never have a chance of advancing? Is there a wild card entry? Dammit, I was so sure Chihaya would win this match but Madhouse went and demolished that assumption. What the hell, show.

more screencaps from episode 22: