It is now time for the semi-finals, in which Taichi and the rest are up against a team trained by Shiranami Society’s ace, Tsugubouchi. During the match, Taichi is forced to go up against a person who manipulates him into thinking that he lacks talent, until he finally manages to focus on his match and wins.
Fiouh! I almost started sweating when I saw them playing karuta and the air conditioner wasn’t working. It must’ve been damn hot in there… Especially for Taichi, who had the most pressure of all in this match.
Why isn’t he class A yet? Our questions are finally answered with this semi-final match, where we see Taichi almost crushed under pressure because he thinks he doesn’t have any talent. Confidence is a big thing for everyone, and an even bigger thing when karuta is involved. The game needs a lot of concentration, and for Taichi to get distracted by a lack of confidence is a major issue. In this game, it was also quite obvious that he was way too focused on other matches, which made him lose even more concentration, and which explains why a complete beginner would be able to beat someone as strong as him.
It was fun to see another tough team appear before Misuzawa. I thought they would quickly skip through semi-finals to show us the final between them and Hokuo, but we were surprised by a good team right when we didn’t expect it. It was refreshing, and I definitely enjoyed Taichi’s opponent, being someone so damn creepy, she would fit in really well with Tsukuba. It was also fun to see Chihaya once more beat her opponent as she was incredibly focused, showing no mercy even to a guy who just asked for her phone number.
Chihayafuru is a show about character development, and I’m always amazed at how tournaments manage to challenge every character so much, despite this being a high school tournament. It isn’t as intense as National tournaments, but for some reason it always tends to look really awesome none the less. Taichi is a really strong player, and all of a sudden he turns around and has a big confidence crisis against a complete newbie? I really didn’t expect something like that to happen, however with this tournament, there’s a chance that now he might turn around and actually manage to become A class. Every match counts for him, and I really hope he’ll get to A class really soon.
Another thing which came across in this tournament and became an extra challenge to Misuzawa High was the reader’s inexperience, which we definitely wouldn’t see in a big tournament. With a small, regional high school tournament like this one, it was something to think about, and with Taichi’s bad luck, apparently this had to coincide with broken air conditioning and a really hot day. You know, when you get one of those days…
Anyways. Next episode will be the showdown between Hokuo and Mizusawa High, which is what I’ve been waiting for pretty much all along. Kana and Komatsu improved a lot, but does this means they’ll be able to beat Hokuo anyways? They will definitely beat them, but I’m curious as to what challenges will await them when they go against them. We will see this next episode~