I had a bit of free time today so I decided to cover this wonderful episode.
Chihayafuru is pure anime bliss. I’ve been watching each episode every week twice. Personally, I was worried with the pacing of the anime especially with the previous episode being so quick-paced. I’m so glad it came back to the right rhythm this week.
There were four interesting points worth discussing in this episode. The first would be Arata’s wish once he wins the National Championship. I get the strong gut feeling that he wants to go back to Tokyo and be with his childhood friends. I feel like this is the misty bridge he was referring to. Hints about that was the mention of his friends by his parents. He needs to be around the whole cast if the romance will move forward after all. All this theory is speculative at this point. But if does come true, I would be very much thrilled.
Now, on to the interesting bit: Taichi, the one who carries the development narrative oh-so-well. There were two intertwining human characteristics embodied in him. It began with the self-confidence issue. He was easily overwhelmed because he had been telling himself that he’s lacking in skill. Feeding one’s self with strong negativity would make anyone weaker. Running off to far tournaments, hoping to move up there is just an excuse for not being able to acknowledge his talents. Another reason for why he couldn’t focus on his self was he was too busy with his surroundings. As team captain, he had to make sure his teammates were fine. But he didn’t realize he could trust them. When we’re too conscious of everything, we forget that we’re not alone. We have people who we can lean on to. The towel scene was superb. A brief but powerful message indeed. That was all Taichi needed to get the strength he lost.
Surprisingly, Sumire is also someone who we can learn from. She was lacking interest because there’s nothing she could do at that time. There are two meanings implied in this. One is referring to her strength as a kurata player, and the other is her chance as a potential girlfriend. It’s obvious she acknowledges the truth that there’s only so much she can do. But seeing Taichi unyielding and working his hardest in a difficult match, she felt inspired. She scouted the other team. It is a simple thing to do but the effort she mustered to do so was the one that made the moment beautiful. She let down all her insecurities for a greater goal.
Truly, Chihayafuru does no wrong in my eyes. I can’t wait for the next episode especially with hints before of Wakamiya Shinobu taking interest with Arata’s reappearance.