The match between Hokuo and Mizusawa continues, close as ever. Chihaya has caught up the 5-card lead that Amakasu had, and everyone is so pumped that all four remaining games end in a luck of the draw, where Hokuo is almost certain to win. With this, Taichi and Chihaya aim for an attack, giving Retro too much pressure and causing him to fault. With one win on each side, the match continues, and in the end Hokuo wins by luck, as they had the cards on their side called out.
Wow, what an intense game that was! This was a generic type of battle where the impossible happened, but I still happily enjoyed the episode, save for a few details.
To start off with the bad stuff, I’d say I was a bit bored at the time when they explained the “luck of the draw” thing. We pretty much knew what was going to happen when we saw the luck of the draw, and although it was important to point out that Hokuo could win easily, I find they repeated that little fact a little too often. The explanation was good, but a bit useless by the end. I also found this luck of the draw thing to be pretty generic, but considering how it ended, I don’t really have any complaints about it.
When Retro faulted, that was basically when I realized just how awesome this match really was. The producers didn’t content themselves with a match where everything would come down to Chihaya stealing Amakasu’s card or not (since I doubt Taichi had the skills for it). Before the fault I thought it would be impossible for the match to become even closer, however it did, and made the whole thing much more interesting. Moreover, the fact that Mizusawa lost to Hokuo despite their obvious greater skill was also another plot twist which diverted the show from becoming cheezy and generic. They should have won (after all, Amakasu stated that he only got the card because it happened to be on his side), but they didn’t; instead of other shows where the contrary happens, they decided to go with the road people usually like less, and still made it epically awesome.
Finally, I can take back what I said about Chihaya not doing anything useful for the first half of the game. Of course, it didn’t do her much in Amakasu’s match, but I can see clearly now that she tried her best to practice her swing in order to get better at karuta in order to beat the Queen. By going at it constantly, she tries to match the Queen’s accuracy, and it doesn’t show quite yet, but I know that she’ll continue practicing, and when she gets it she’ll be absolutely amazing.
I changed my mind from last episode because this time we saw Chihaya as she tried to improve her speed and hearing, and we could definitely see that she had a lot less trouble with this part of her learning. She went with everything she had, and her already amazing speed was shown off once more as she beat Amakasu to every single card 5 times in a row. If that’s not talent after trying her best for only nine months, then it’s crazy determination, and I’m pretty sure Chihaya has both. I’m always amazed at her overall improvement in such a short period of time; when she finds out what she has to work on, she goes at it endlessly until she can do it properly, and only when she accomplishes her goal will she stop. I love this girl~
My guess is that next episode will be the national high school tournament at Omi Jingu; can’t wait to see what happens with that!