Friday, February 3, 2012

Chihaya Furu 17: Learn something new

Don't let the main screencap fool ya. Nothing happens in the way of Taichi's unrequited crush on Chihaya. And yes, I do think he has a crush on Chihaya. That's pretty obvious, despite the purposeful omission made in the recap episode (episode 16). It's Chihaya whose feelings are a little vague. I know that Taichi is jealous of Arata, not only because of karuta but also because Chihaya pretty much idolizes the guy. But whether Chihaya's feelings for Arata goes beyond that of admiration for his mad skillz in karuta remains a question. As for her feelings for Taichi, I remember in Episode 1 how Chihaya reacted to Taichi's girlfriend calling him Ta-kun.

Incidentally, this episode also shows Taichi breaking up with said girlfriend over the phone and it's interesting how Chihaya makes the connection between the "Ta-kun" incident and the break-up. I wonder if it's going to change anything in the friendship dynamics between the two. Taichi is certainly inclined towards the idea as he half-heartedly asks Chihaya (and only Chihaya) on a trip, presumably to compete in a karuta match there. Chihaya, however, is oblivious to everything except karuta, so there's that. I guess the only hope that Taichi has for winning Chihaya's affection is to become as good a karuta player as Arata, and that seems a long ways off, especially when his plan to become a Class A player backfires.

Meanwhile, the new recruits Desk-kun and Oe-san continue to train under the more experienced team members' guidance but end up teaching Chihaya, their strongest player, a thing or two about her game. This, as well as advice from Haruda-sensei, leads Chihaya to shift her focus from speed to accuracy.

I really enjoyed this episode. Chihaya had some classic expressions. Also, Oe-san, for the first time, shows her temper. Oh my. Mayhap the sweet-looking girl is hiding a tsundere side? The animation downgraded a little bit, especially with long shots. Characters look deformed, or look less perfect than they should. Close-ups, however, remain good. Also, I've been listening to the OST a lot lately and I am honestly loving it, so I might review that one of those days.

more screencaps from episode 17: