The defense of Taichi – It’s me against the world!

Blasphemy! DFCs and small breasts rule the world! Chihaya!!!!!

I’m a new writer in THAT. My nickname is Impz. I am going to write a single post about how I love a random anime and then I will disappear into thin ash like the thousands of defunct bloggers in the blogosphere ahead of me. Of course, this starting is really awkward because I forgot how to blog. Hence, the term “new writer.” Anyway, the story why I have been away for such a long time would be one boring story. Most of you won’t know me :)

The reason why I am back for a one-time only offer is due to Taichi. From what I heard from an avid reader of the blog, it seems that there is a war against Taichi, a main protagonist in the shoujo anime Chihayafuru. Based on a very cursory (like 2 comments) scan, there are two camps in the anime, a Arata x Chihaya camp and a I-can’t-bloody-stand-Taichi group. While I have no problems with the Arata x Chihaya camp at all (even though honestly, it seems that it’s more of a deep-down friendly rivalry than any romance), I have difficulties understanding the other group. I can fully understand why they don’t like Taichi at the start. I didn’t. However, based on a purely objective view, is Taichi that bad?

Using the words of my wife 13sugars, is he a true-blue spoiled coward obou-chama?

The disliked Taichi

That is the day when I develop into a likable character

To be honest, Taichi is hardly the most likable person at the first new episodes. He is neurotic, he is a coward and he is a selfish rich kid who knows little to nothing about Chihaya. Honestly, he is the type of character you can’t hate too much, but yet cannot find any reason to defend him. To be truthful, I actually hated him and wished sincerely for an Arata x Chihaya end up to episode 10. Then it happened.

He started to show signs of becoming a man. An irritable juvenile man to one that has the emotional maturity, the will to fight and the reliability of a manly man.

Emotional Maturity

Boys, let me tell you about why flat chests are awesome. They just are.

While the argument against Taichi might be accurate at the start of the anime, one key criticism of him being a spoiled coward is no longer accurate. Through the karuta games, his emotional strength to bring everyone to success comes out very strongly. It’s no longer about just himself or to please Chihaya. It’s assuming responsibility and leadership that Chihaya cannot provide in the team.

Another area that you can see his character development to become more mature is the admission that he knows little to nothing about Chihaya. While Arata definitely has the edge here in understanding Chihaya’s love of Karuta, it takes a courageous man to admit what he does not know. It takes even greater courage and love toward Chihaya to want and know her better despite having a better love and karuta rival than yourself. Can we doubt his maturity to try and understand a person he finally realizes he loves deeply? That is why I find it difficult to dislike it and quietly hope for a Taichi x Chihaya ending, with Arata falling in love with someone else.

Touch your heart, dear readers.

Will to win

and I will win over my detractors, one man at one time.

One of the key weakness that made me dislike him is his low will to win. He always does something for very perfunctory reasons. It is to make someone feel proud. It is to feel that he is worthy for someone to take note of him. It is to show how great he is to someone else. It is to not disappoint his mother during any competition. It’s always about someone, not himself. While doing something for someone is not bad, it is bad when the person finds no meaning within himself. The truth is, many of us try to be acknowledged by someone through the things we do. Yet, the main reason of doing something is not about being acknowledged by someone else, it’s about challenging oneself to excel and progress.

Taichi’s continual struggle to fight on despite knowing that he’s not good enough will be the eventual tipping point of his character development. Can anyone hate someone who tries his very best when he wants something? He did eventually become second place again, but the meaning behind the second place differs greatly from the many second places he received before this time.

Of course, that is on the assumption that he will translate this will to win to chase Chihaya. Chihaya, being an absolute brickbat at love, definitely needs a huge dosage of WOLS and obvious-ness to break through. With that new found will to win for himself, it might be possible to break through the wall of ignorance and oblivion.

The real point

I kyaa-ed at the scene and my wife was booing at the top of her voice

In the end, it’s all about not being an absolute scumbag in the eyes of the anime viewers. While he has his flaws, his personality has become more reliable. In a shoujo manga, the guy with more support tends to be a bit more reliable and less of an emotional baggage. He is not going to be a bishie, but at least do not be the floppy generic love interest that everyone don’t like. At the rate he is going, the criticism by many is just way overblown.

Well, what do I know, Chihaya is more likely to get married with Karuta cards than any human anyway. Bah, what a waste of a DFC.


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  1. Posted January 28, 2012 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    it seems that there is a war against Taichi

    A crusade of some form, I believe. And I think Taichi is poised for the most growth throughout the story, with his major flaw being your mention: “It’s always about someone, not himself.” Also, I think the love interest between Arata and Chihaya is half-fabricated in viewer minds. We understand they are striving to be competitive with each other, but there is no exclusivity between that behavior and intimate romance; leave it to “shipping,” meh.

    • Posted January 28, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      >> crusade

      Surely your terminology of choice cannot be mere coincidence!

    • Impz
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      The interesting part about Chihayafuru is that the romance part of the show is very mellow, almost non-existent. Part of it is how Chihaya literally absorbs most of her time into Karuta, meaning she has little time to develop her personality to fit in love. If you notice, her character has not developed much since the first episode.

      Ironically too, the Taichi now and the Taichi before are so different, it’s kinda hard to imagine how he changed so fast, so quickly. I guess the 10 episodes of him being a total crap sucker stuck with many people @_@

    • Crusader
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it is Crusade! For Zeus has in his infinite wisdom found Taichi lacking and has declared a Holy War upon his kith and kin for daring to ensnare a maiden who is pure of heart and mind. We are righteous in our fury and resolute in our disdain for House Mashima and their ill-gotten gains that were made off the blood, sweat, and tears of the proletariat.

      Taichi is GUILTY of striking a Faustian Bargain with Hades to try and sabotage the Karuta club to prevent Kana-chan and Chihaya from their destined meeting, and to rob Nishida of Karuta Glory. Taichi has and will continue to lie and cheat his way to seduce Chihaya for he sinfully lusts after her despite the fact he loves her not and disapproves of her upstanding ways. Though Taichi has many misguided heretics pleading for his licentious cause those who uphold the Righteous Ways of Love shall remain undaunted and unwavering in our Crusade. ZEUS MARCHES WITH US AND TAICHI WILL BE CRUSHED UNDER THE WEIGHT OF HIS OWN SINS!

  2. Posted January 28, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Yeah…I think people who rail against Taichi at this point are probably irrational about their shipping preference. Taichi’s transformed so much in the course of the series, which makes him even more likeable; even if we didn’t see how spoiled he was as a child, he’d still be likable.

    • Impz
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      The thing though is that he became a bit generic for my liking now. While he is developing a nice thing here, his personality feels even more distant from Chihaya. I cannot really see a Taichi x Chihaya end to this anime.

    • Crusader
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Come now love is never rational, those who marry rationally are gold diggers. Chihaya is not so low as to be one, and it’s not her fault that Taichi is too big a coward to confess his love if it can be called that. I really wonder how one can love someone they do not know and fail to understand. Taichi hardly knows Chihaya and remains confused about her actions. He wastes no effort to sabotage her efforts to make a karuta club and now cannot spare the effort to make a clear confession.

      I am disappointed in those in Taichi’s camp it’s as if brooding is the new bravery, pouting is the new resolve, quitting is the new success. You speak of Taichi as a saint when in fact he had the most to grow and is only starting to be a decent person and a genuine friend to Chihaya. Also none of you want to acknowledge that Taichi had a girlfriend that wasn’t Chihaya. Taichi started out as the most rotten of the three, of course he had to improve by leaps in bounds otherwise he would have remained a scum sucking brat who would have tried to claim Chihaya through force and through bullying.

  3. Dein
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Haven’t seen a post with your name under it for a very long time.

    Anyway, while my initial hate for the character, that was provoked by the earlier episodes, has cooled off a little, I still find Taichi to be subpar at best. Perhaps not due to lack of pentential, but mostly he just doesn’t measure up compared to the other characters. He doesn’t really display any real love for the game, and his entire drive to play it (to me, at least) seems to be based on a vague train of thought, like join the club to get close to Chihaya ~> Try to maybe become stronger than Arata ~> Make Chihaya notice him in a more romantic fashion based on the sole fact that he’s stronger than Arata. There are plenty of chances given to him to atually move his relationship with Chihaya forward, but so far, most of those chances are wasted, as he sits in silence, thinking of what could’ve been while Chihaya is dreaming of Arata/Shinobu/Snowmaru. In part, it is also due to Cihaya, who is somehwat oblivious to Taichi being anything more than a team mate, but that comes from her being driven by a very clear goal that she throws all her focus on, while Taichi is simply not trying.

    There are also plenty of smaller goofs that display his nature, which show that he’s not really making as much progress as it might seem. All this, while the other characters all strive to improve both karuta-wise, and personality-wise. Even Desk-kun, who I don’t find very likeable either.

    Still, there is a lot of episodes left for Taichi leap forward, I suppose, even if I’m not really a fan of the potential Taichi x Chihaya outcome. That being said, while I love Arata, I’m not sure he’d be a good match either, simply because we don’t get to see him (flashbacks aside) in any sort of significant way.

    At this point, I\m secretly rooting for a yuri outcome. Not because of the hot boob on boob action in snowmaru and daddy bear tshirts, but simply because it seems like the best fit. Obviously, I might be wrong.

    • Impz
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Well, I haven’t been on the blog much. In fact, I haven’t read the blog for ages. With work and marriage, life has been hectic. Anime really took a backseat. It’s pretty much whatever my wife provides for me to watch after a long day of work. :P

      I really can’t complain about yuri, cos I love yuri. However, it’s just sad that the romance part is hardly explored, though there are hints enough here and there for shippers to go crazy with their speculations. As an anime though, the character development is pretty good. We see many positive changes from quite a few key people.

      I will actually say that Taichi on episode 14 and 15 finally stopped trying hard because of Chihaya or to show off, but simply because he wants to try his best at something. That, to me, changes his character to something more attractive. Whether that change is a temporal one or a permanent one, I do not know. It might even bring him further away from Chihaya now, though I doubt so.

      • Dein
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        I don’t really remember Taichi in any sort of special light during 14 and 15. I should rewatch those episodes tomorrow to take a closer look, after I’m done with the second season of Hayate no Gotoku.

        As for him drifting further away from Chihaya…. I dunno, doesn’t really seem possible at this point, them being just team mates and nothing else. The only way he can be further away is if he quits the team or simply gives up on Chihaya. So, in a sense, that’s good news for Taichi – nowhere to go but forward.

  4. Posted January 28, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The green haired trap makes a surprise visit! Its good to see that name again after so long! We miss you Impz~

  5. Hogart
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    It’s just shipping.. if it was meant to be rational, then no one in their right mind would choose Arata. Everyone just loves to dump on the rich brat, and the quiet guy who won’t stand up for himself. They don’t expect a character like that to grow, so they’re stuck with the views they had of him from the first few episodes.

    My wife and I both feel that Taichi deserves someone better than Chihaya. We’re both of the mind that Chihaya and Arata are both shallow enough characters to end up together, if the narrative was really after that. In fact, we think Taichi’s entire arc is supposed to be about him growing up, realizing it’s puppy love, and finding someone who’s worthy of his devotion.

    As my wife put it, he’s the Lawrence of the show, but there’s no Holo in sight.

    • Dein
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Can you, by chance, explain, what makes Chihaya, and more importantly, Arata “shallow characters”?

      • Hogart
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        I meant by comparison, and in terms of characterization. Chihaya is mostly just defined by her obsession with Karuta, and little else. Arata has a bit more development, especially since that recent episode, but has mostly just been the background inspiration for Chihaya and Taichi’s would-be rival otherwise. Taichi has come a long way in this series, as Impz pointed out.

        • Bob from Accounting
          Posted January 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          Arata and Chihaya are far from shallow. Good characterization doesn’t necessarily require drawn-out angst and personal struggles.

        • Posted January 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          I wouldn’t go so far to call Arata and Chihaya shallow. However, I will say that their personality leave little room to change or improve. In a way, it’s a take it or leave it feel. That is something I feel a little uncomfortable because Chihaya is in the stage of her life where her personality is shaped by her experiences.

          I guess I just want more romance, and Chihaya to be a little less oblivious.

    • Crusader
      Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      I saw Taichi grow but the thing is he had the most room to improve considering how terrible a child he was. As you say rational people would not choose Arata because he has no money nor much to offer other than karuta. Taichi comparatively is set for life and would offer financial stability even if he never has to work a day in his life. Rational people would never marry for love they marry for money.

      As for Chihaya not being worthy, well on that I agree completely because Taichi should go for Chitose who’d appreciate a rich pretty boy without letting karuta get in the way.

      I am amused at how every Taichi bannerman has forgotten that he had a girlfriend who may or may been dumped yet. It is totally Chihaya’s fault for not seeing what prize catch Taichi is, so he really should call it quits and move on. Good thing he is very familiar with quitting. If only his intelligence had improved he might see what a losing situation he is in and how he is romancing a stone in Chihaya despite not daring to make a confession.

  6. Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Shipping Kana x Everyone bisexual harem end.

  7. Posted January 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    And so, the wandering legend makes an announced, silent visit, only to quietly depart once more. Where is he going? Where has he been? Only he knows, and perhaps that is for the best.

    For those of you who don’t know, Impz is a name written down in the Old BlogoSphere testament. It is said that he lead a revolution. No one knows what it was truly about, some claim it was about moe, others Shoujo, and many believe it to have been nothing but a gathering of traps.

    Regardless, once the man Impz held massive influence in this blogosphere, and even now, his name, though mostly forgotten, is still powerful enough to produce ripples in the sphere’s smooth surface.

    As for my take on it all, well back then, I was too young to understand, and now, I am too old to remember. Such is the way of life, I guess.

    As for this anime itself, I hate to say it, but I am far behind on Chihayafuru. I really should catch up someday, so, I to can ship people. But to be honest, I don’t think I’d like shipping in this case. None of the main three characters, seem shippable. From a relationship perspective, all ships would be well, too ordinary, or not kawai enough in my opinion.

  8. Posted January 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    You forgot us in the Queen X Chihaya camp =)

    • Impz
      Posted January 29, 2012 at 4:17 am | Permalink

      oh ya. I find the queen kinda weird, but I rather have her end up with Arata. :)

  9. Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    My liege! You have graced us with your presence once more! Good to know you’re still out there and keeping up with shows.

    Though I only watched the first two episodes of Chihayafuru, I still hate Taichi, heh.

    • Impz
      Posted January 29, 2012 at 4:16 am | Permalink

      Only whatever my wife is watching. Time is pretty limited after work here. With FFXIII-2 coming, my limited time is kinda gone. Taichi is very unlikable up to episode 10 to 11. So, it’s no surprise most people hate him if they stop at the early episodes.

  10. Crusader
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Good to see you back my trappy overlord, still listen to your wife she’s right and you are wrong. You’re married now this is the way it will be and I am sure 13sugars will make you see that.

    • Impz
      Posted January 29, 2012 at 4:14 am | Permalink

      Yep, she reminds me every day that there’s one that is always right in the marriage and the other one is the husband.

      Well, Taichi, as stated does not know Chihaya well, but he’s starting and changing himself too. Can’t hate such a person~

  11. pgal
    Posted January 29, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Haven’t read the blog yet but glad to see you!!!!

    • Posted January 31, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. :) I have been busy and I doubt I will blog regularly. That said, it’s always good to write something based on the discussion my wife and I have after each anime viewing. It’s good material for blogging. Blogging is really a conversation to the public after all. :D

      • pgal
        Posted February 1, 2012 at 6:21 am | Permalink

        Guessed that you weren’t coming back regularly, but this post brought back memories and it is nice to see a familiar face :)

        • pgal
          Posted February 1, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

          Before my replies have no relation to this blog post. Happy that someone is supporting Taichi. Sure he has his problems, but he is learning and he has changed a lot since the beginning episodes.

  12. Frog
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I would have agreed whole-heartedly with this post, but see the thing is, episode 17 came along and undid all the good in Taichi’s character development. Honestly speaking, he’s probably the most realistic of all the characters in the anime. As in, he’s not strictly defined by Karuta as is the case with Chihaya and to a lesser extent, Arata. Taichi shows all the flaws of a regular teenage guy, so I could relate to him on some counts, particularly with his lack of motivation. But honestly, episode 17 left such a sour taste in my mouth I lost quite a bit of respect for him.

    Overall, I’m not shipping TaichixChihaya or ArataxChihaya. I just hope the three of them get back together and it’ll just like all times. What the three of them had together was special, and even Taichi’s brattiness in the earlier episodes didn’t change their bond. In fact, it probably brought them all closer.

  13. Posted February 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    He started to show signs of becoming a man. An irritable juvenile man to one that has the emotional maturity, the will to fight and the reliability of a manly man

    I feel it’s important that you had ‘man’ and ‘juvenile’ in the same sentence, too easy to forget that they’re still just kids, after all. Still, nice to see such a flawed, but nonetheless redeemable character having uch a key role in the series – Go, Taichi!

    And finally, it’s nice to see you, Impz.

  14. Pearl
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    You’re good!

    I think Taichi is really an interesting character. The fact that he’s flawed really make him real. It’s really not easy to move from friend to lover or vice versa. There’s the idea that everything will change for the worse especially if you know the one you love loves somebody else. If it didn’t work out, you can never go back to where you ‘left’ simply because it’ll never be the same. And who wants to see someone you love go around under your nose with someone else? First loves are really hard to rationalize ~ So scarily risky… Cant expect Taichi to be so mature, he’s just a teen (^o^)~~ He’s maturing slowly as expected of a teen..

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