The match between Mizusawa and Akashi High continues, as CHihaya tries to overcome her extremely fierce opponent, Ousaka Megumu. As Chihaya keps fighting, Megumu eventually loses her cool and tries desperately to win as well, while her friends get a boost from her determination. The match drags on until the end of the episode, and we will only get to see the conclusion of it next week.
Woot, another awesome episode! It’s fun to get to watch something I know for sure will be good this time (upcoming Spring Season is starting to take its toll on me I guess).
Once again, the range of emotions felt when watching this was pretty wide and very well done. The friendship bond that exists between Megumu and her friends is amazing. The producers started building on it last episode, and although I found that Megumu’s friends were awesome, it didn’t feel like Megumu was actually enthusiastic that her friends did so much for her. This week’s episode cleared that, and showed that Megumu cares just as much about them as they care for her. In fact, she’s doing the same thing as them, which is kind of counter-productive if you ask me; her friends fight in order for her to become Queen for her happiness, and Megumu herself only works on becoming Queen because her friends want her to. It doesn’t change anything in the awesomeness of their bond, but I still find it slightly humorous that both sides are completely countering each other.
It also looks like Chihaya has managed to bring yet another unmotivated person back on track. As good as Megumu was, it took her a long time before she actually tried winning against her opponent. Of course she could keep her calm before; she didn’t have any will to fight back. When Chihaya started making her life tougher, however, I was happy to see her determination show up finally. It makes matches a lot more interesting when rivals are worth defeating. In fact, when talking about Megumu, I almost want her to win the game for her to keep playing with her friends; it reminds me of the trio that Arata, Taichi and Chihaya made when they were young.
Another thing which amazed me in this episode was–once again–Chihaya’s improvement in karuta since the beginning of the show in first season. This time it was shown through the eyes of Sudo, who played her a while back. Every time he mentioned something different about Chihaya from before, I remembered the time when she had just been defeated by Shinobu and was really depressed because she thought her dream was so out of reach. Now, she’s on equal grounds with the West representative of Japan who had an extremely close match with Yamamoto Yumi; she even manages to overcome her flaw and finally acquire the swing that she wanted so bad, the same as Shinobu’s. After only a year, Chihaya has managed to improve this much. I also admired her maturity when she observed Megumu’s way of playing: “She’s who I’d be if someone hadn’t taught me better.” She might be as dumb as a rock, but the fact that she can still notice these things shows just how much she has grown over time. She’s fully aware that she improved because of others, and only believes that she needs to improve much, without getting a big ego over it; now that’s someone who’s worthy of being a main character. So far, I’d say her main problem in this episode was mostly just being focused; whenever she was, she could win easily, but she lost her concentration so easily that Megumu still kept her lead despite all that.
This episode was awesome, and I’m glad that this match is going to last more than one episode; it is definitely worthy of being so, and I can’t way to see the rest of it. I seriously hope that Chihaya wins!