Chihaya out-muscles Taichi in a feat of strength. Kanade gets Chihaya to be a model. Can Kanade make Chihaya a real Queen? When is the Kana-chan Chihaya traditional tea ceremony? It’s already Week 6 and Kana-chan is getting more of Chihaya’s attentions that Taichi could manage in a decade.
Welcome to a most glorious Week 6 in Chihayafuru, where we finally get a new power to contend for the coveted prize that is Chihaya’s heart. We begin by singing praise to Kanade Oe better known as Kana-chan, who while unable to hit the bulls eye has already shot cupid’s arrow dead on at Chihaya. Granted Kana-chan is a very different karuta player, in that she does not seem to relish victory as much as she longs for a courtly well-mannered game with Chihaya in full regalia. I understand this, Chihaya understands it as well that Kana-chan’s love for karuta while different is still love for the game or rather one specific aspect of the game. Yes, Kana-chan has yet to play a game but she understands the poems and knows plenty about the game, unlike Taichi. Kana-chan is helping Chihaya master another aspect of karuta beyond memorization and did a pretty damn good job of it, though Chihaya was a most eager student. I have high hopes for Kana-chan growing her relationship with Chihaya as I am confident that they will better each other as people. I have to tip my hat to Kana-chan for extorting a good deal for her enlistment. The condition that Chihaya be the model for her family’s catalogue was most inspired, the demand that the club room be clean was definitely a shot at Taichi, and the demand that they wear traditional clothing was worthy of the kind of extortion that I see from the likes of Scott Boras. Kana-chan might have been born in the wrong era, (Who can blame her longing for a different time due the prevalence of lose and fail that created guys like Taichi?) but she was just the kind of friend that Chihaya needed, one that was on hand to better her game. Say what you will about Kana-chan being smaller but she is craftier than her current rivals.
Chihaya is certainly something special not only is she proving herself to be the best athlete she is also proving to be a much better recruiter than Taichi. I am glad that Chihaya is taking the leadership position in her club because Taichi just wanted to keep the club all to himself so that he could pretend to be dating Chihaya away from the eyes of Miss Girlfriend. Good for Chihaya running down Kana-chan like that and recognizing that while Kana-chan has a different sort of love for karuta it is still love. Better to expand the club and better still that she did not follow Taichi’s questionable advice. Credit must be given for stepping up and honoring her agreement with Kana-chan, not only did the photo-shoot go well, but Chihaya readily agreed to clean the room as it should be. I hope the remaining recruits will help improve Chihaya’s game and I look forward to seeing how she rounds up the last two and what poor sop of a teacher will have to be their minder when they reach official club status. Given how everybody including the boys knows who Chihaya is and how much they seem to admire her from afar I can’t help but wonder what kind of reaction the remaining two will have. I suspect they might in turn be smitten in which case it will be fun to see what kind of pathetic response Taichi will come up with. Either way I hope Chihaya meets and then exceeds her goals, she is the leader of this club as it should be because she is the heart and soul of it.
I also find it highly amusing that Chihaya is taller than Kana-chan and in terms of lady-like refinement Kana-chan is most definitely a lady while Chihaya is still god-tier Tomboy. It is fitting then that flowers should sprout when they meet and most deliciously of all their conversations are so much more civil. Given how there seems to be an overabundance of boys and a decided lack of men why shouldn’t Chihaya be the man of the show and sweep Kana-chan off her feet. Though to be honest I suspect that Kana-chan is going to sweep Chihaya off her feet with poetry, something Taichi can’t do due to lack of intelligence and Arata can’t due to distance. If nothing else Kana-chan is in the most enviable position with those photos that Taichi doesn’t have and more over I am sure Kana-chan took some extras that did not make it into the catalogue. It is good to see Chihaya make a new friend so that her development can be refined a bit so that she can grow into that Queen role Chihaya has been aiming for. Certainly having a bunch of boys isn’t going to help Chihaya be an admirable lady, but if anyone can do it, it will be that court obsessed Kana-chan who already has endeared herself greatly to Chihaya.
Things are looking bad for Taichi, I knew he wasn’t all in when he talked about forming the club and when Kana-chan appeared he wanted nothing to do with her. Maybe Taichi genuinely thought that Kana-chan had no love for karuta, but if that were the case how does one who knows nothing of love see it anywhere else? I think those of us with half a brain or more can see that Taichi was threatened by Kana-chan. Why else would he decline the opportunity to be a real club and then go on to remark that he’s the only club Chihaya needs? Motherfucker is certainly insecure and while Taichi is ignorant of a lot of things like Chihaya’s feelings and motivations, I think he sensed a threat in Kana-chan. I should mock Taichi for fearing Kana-chan, but in this one rare instance he might be right. Taichi is clearly still the worst karuta player around, Arata is still god-tier, Chihaya is A-Rank, and Kana-chan already has the poems committed to memory along with their meanings and history. Taichi, however, has little to show as Chihaya is still giving him a beat down every time they play. Moreover Arata is taller and is hero-worshipped still by Chihaya while Kana-chan got Chihaya’s undivided attention and even did a photo shoot for her. Taichi on the other hand gets beat down like the dog he is. Kana-chan is undeniably prettier and has gotten more hugs from Chihaya in a day than Taichi got all his life. Taichi should be worried that Chihaya and Kana-chan are the OTP since they already get along so well.
Moreover while Taichi is trying to keep Chihaya all to himself I wonder how Miss Girlfriend is doing, certainly we must see more of her. If somehow Taichi musters up the courage to challenge Kana-chan I hope she calls him out on Miss Girlfriend. When and if that day comes I hope Kana-chan will be having midnight tea time with Chihaya, invite her over for sleep overs, and then have a night of Kana-chan and Chihaya that goes on forever and ever. Come to think of it that should happen regardless if Taichi dares to challenge Kana-chan. I am glad that Kana-chan is around to set things right and help make Chihaya’s dream come true. After all were it left to Taichi it would be a club of one karuta player in a dirty room instead of the club of two with a clean room. I have no idea how Taichi lives but given his inclination to not clean up I suspect a garbage dump, and that would not be a proper place for a woman like Chihaya. Moreover Taichi’s lack of vision, work ethic, and leadership really do show in that he is not leading the charge but that doughy loser who can barely help carry three tatami mats and did not get a club room, recruit, or even clean up. It’s the story of his life really always the one following along while moaning and complaining, he did it three years ago and he’s doing it now.
I can’t wait to see more Chihaya and Kana-chan grow closer in Week 7, certainly Kana-chan’s presence will not sit all that well with Taichi who still covets the photos in Kana-chan’s possession.
Hana’s thoughts: on ‘beauty in vain’
Hello, Hana here with some brief fangirling on this week’s episode of the best show of the season. (In other words, just gate-crashing Crusader’s party ’cos I was too slow to claim this as mai current epi-blogging waifu first – thanks again for letting me, senpai!) Firstly, I had to LOL at all the attention and hopes surrounding little Kana-chan, who has yet to play a single game of Karuta. LOL and also eye-roll at the not-so-subtle yurilicious over-undertones. And LOL, again, at the fact that Taichi barely had any screentime at all in this epi, and yet Crusader still had two paragraphs’ worth of haterade to pour on him. Moving on. Near the beginning of the epi, several of Chihaya’s swains lament the fact that her beauty seems to be going to waste, due to her nun-like devotion to the god of Karuta. While the tomboy-female-lead-who-is-actually-a-real-beauty is hardly new in shoujo and josei, Chihaya’s allure is obvious. Not that she’s likely to follow in her sister’s footsteps if her Karuta-themed Plan A fails, but Chihaya’s beauty is clear for all to see in this epi, the climax of which being her kimono-clad photoshoot and the levelling-up of her Karuta powers as seen in her match against Taichi. Thus, it was a very entertaining and satisfying episode overall, with much needed comic relief in the form of Chihaya’s ‘wooing’ Kanade over to the Karuta side, needed especially after all that dorama in the previous megane-bishie-angst-filled-episode. Speaking of Kanade, thank gawd she’s not just a typical little moe girl crushing on the dashing (but still pretty!) lead who just dreams of playing dress-up with expensive kimonos. Nope, within the space of just one episode, she’s gone from an archery nobody to a bona fide connoisseur of beauty. And not just the physical kind; she’s also a lover of the beauty of language. Yes, her insight into the passion beneath the surface of the 100 poets was sublime to behold. Rather than just an info-dump (no matter how passionately expressed) on the background of the poems, I loved the way the camera kept cutting to Chihaya’s tell-me-MOAR-faced scribblings, and how happy and inspired both looked in that sequence of scenes, complete with those fiery colours and sparkly effects whooshing around them in the background, which are also echoed in the final Karuta game with Taichi, where the ‘colours’ of the cards really come ‘alive’ in Chihaya’s eyes and heart. In short: beauty ‘in vain’? I think not!