Up against Ousaka Megumu, Chihaya prepares herself to fight against a strong opponent, however begins on a losing streak right from the beginning. She starts stressing and thinking too much about winning, until Kana taps her on the shoulder and reminds her of the passion of karuta. After this, Chihaya relaxes and goes back into her groove, ready to fight Megumu in a fierce battle.
Such a slow episode… And yet, I thought it to be better than other episodes, if only because of the last 5 minutes.
I really liked the way they developed Megumu’s character. They made her much more important than other player Chihaya has faced yet, and I’m glad we got to know more about her background, as well as the background of her awesome teammates. I feel like this is not the only time we’ll see Megumu, and I love that she has the potential to be a Queen; it pushes Chihaya even further, and definitely gives her a chance to become more known as a karuta player.
This episode was much slower than the last few episodes before, however I didn’t mind it at all. We had so many epic battles in a row, it was really just one match after another and this episode really slowed things down and made things a little lighter and more entertaining for us. I personally really liked the humouristic view brought in by the 3 Megumu stalkers. I don’t think I’d like to see them again much more than what we’ve seen of them in this episode, but it was so retarded too see them go, I couldn’t help but laugh.
The main thing that made this episode so great, however, was definitely the last scene involving Kana and Chihaya. To have made a scene so powerful with such few words and explanations is the main reason why I love Chihayafuru in general. Right before this scene, we witness Chihaya struggling and struggling, building up stress and freaking out; trust me, I was kinda freaking out too. After the whole explanation of Megumu’s character, I got scared that Chihaya might not win this match and make her whole team lose, giving her yet another rival to defeat later on. And then, just as I was thinking about whether Chihaya would have enough skill or speed to defeat her opponent, Kana came out with that one sentence: “When the wind blows.” All of a sudden, techniques were wiped away; speed was no longer necessary; even winning was out of the picture: only passion mattered.
The fact that Kana was the one who said that sentence also added a refreshing tone to the show, since I expected once more to see Taichi’s hand come out and care for Chihaya as a white knight would do. Adding the animation, the soundtrack, the timing and and build up to this scene, I could only tear up as I watched. Powerful scenes like this one is definitely what makes Chihayafuru a masterpiece; it is not an easy feat to get the audience to feel the same way a character does, and yet this show does it all the time and keeps throwing my emotions all over the place.