Arata comes to watch Chihaya and Taichi play karuta, however in the end he is forced to substitute for another school and plays for a team where he isn’t registered. He gets caught, and there is a possibility that he may not participate in the individual tournaments the next day because of this.
*rages for hours* ARRRRRRRRRGH!!!!!! This episode was so frustrating, on so many levels.
To begin with, I’m sad that last episode’s cliffhanger ended up going down the drain since Arata didn’t see Chihaya or Taichi at all. I thought then that he might play against them as a substitute, but it didn’t happen and in the end they didn’t even see each other. I’m curious to know why Arata purposely hid himself from Chihaya (whose amazing hearing will hear Arata’s voice from a mile away), since he wanted to see them in particular. Maybe he wanted to keep it a surprise and to watch them play first… It must be it, since I don’t really see any other reason.
Secondly, Arata’s match sucked. Let’s be honest: I wasn’t interested one bit in that school which I didn’t give two damns about, especially wince we already knew they were going to lose. It only got a bit interesting once Arata got serious, especially since he came back from a 15-card lead, but even then – I was expecting more from an episode featuring Arata exclusively.
The final cause of my screams and rants involves his possible ban from the individual tournaments; if they ban Arata from them and prevent him from playing with Chihaya and taichi I’ll flip a thousand tables, put them back up and flip them again. The last few episodes put a lot of emphasis on the fact that they’d be playing together, and it’s already been a whole season since we’ve been waiting for them to play again. I was hoping to have more development on that in this season, and I thought that this tournament would be the one where the group of children finally meet again and play against each other, or at least talk to each other more than just a few words. If that doesn’t happen… *bitchslap*
Aaaaaanyways. Enough raging. This episode was very disappointing, but we did learn a little bit more about the Queen, who seems to be a country girl through and through. Her bird watching contest got reported and she won’t be able to watch it, boohoo for her; maybe she’ll end up watching the rest of the team tournaments though, who knows? I thought it was very curious for her to say that team tournaments are for people who don’t really love karuta. Seeing as she is the Queen, I’ll assume that she said that because she thinks that people who really like it will be willing to put in more practice in order to become Master and Queen, not just play with a high school team for the hell of it.
To be honest, I thought it a bit conceited of her, especially since the last few episodes all contained the same theme to show that team players love playing karuta together, even if they don’t win. In my opinion, contrary to what Wakamiya thinks, team karuta is for players who truly love the game and don’t care about winning as much as individual karuta. I’m glad we had that part of her personality shown to us, however, since it adds to her character and shows just how competitive she is. She also got Arata’s mind fired up, and it was interesting to see him try and prove her wrong at the end as he played seriously.
In the end, I sincerely hope that Arata won’t be banned from the tournament, because we already had a sick Chihaya last season, and I wouldn’t want another repeat of that type. Hopefully next episode will be more heartwarming and full of Arata fangirl moments 🙂 They put so much emphasis on them, we’ve gotta have those moments somewhere…