Arata…ARATAAAA!!! cries along with Chihaya
Chihaya and Taichi take a trip to Fukui to meet up with Arata, with Chihaya really worried about Arata’s response to her on the phone. When they finally meet up with Arata, he treats them coldly and tells them to go home, kicking the karuta cards Chihaya set up. On their way back, they talk to Arata’s neighbour who tells them that Arata’s grandfather died while Arata was away at a karuta match to become A-rank, resulting in Arata never having played karuta since that day.
As Chihaya and Taichi head home, Arata has a change of heart and cycles after their train, shouting both their names, and they realize that Arata doesn’t actually hate karuta.
ARATA…I KNEW YOU WOULD SEE THE LIGHT…You know you want to play karuta again. Dooooo it. If only for Chihaya~
But wow, what a backstory for Arata’s reason to quit karuta. The fact that his grandfather just happened to have a relapse while no-one was around, except for Arata, who had gone to a karuta tournament…he must obviously be feeling extreme guilt, and taking it out on karuta, which is probably why he didn’t play at all after that. Then Chihaya just had to start setting up a karuta game IN FRONT of Arata’s grandfather’s memorial, which pushed him over the edge. Don’t worry Chihaya, it’s not completely your fault! A bit of sensitivity wouldn’t hurt though xD
The neighbour girl that now lives next to Arata – she definitely sees him more than just a neighbour, and I’m guessing some sort of unrequited love is taking place here. Oh I remember now, she looks a bit like that girl from Tamayura. She seems to know a lot about Arata’s situation with quitting karuta and stuff, and so she could be a potential spanner in the works for Chihaya and Taichi to have Aruta start up karuta again. I’m not sure if that means he’ll move back to Tokyo and join the karuta club, it’ll certainly be hard to randomly ask him to move from his hometown to the big city.
Speaking of that karuta club, Taichi agreed to help Chihaya, yay! However from that little scene back at school, we see a twintailed girl standing in front of the poster, hinting that she wants to sign up. If she (and others) do, I’m not sure how I would take the main cast to expanding beyond Chihaya, Taichi and Arata…we’ll see about that if we get to that point.
Of course the end was EASILY my favourite part of the episode xD Complete with Chihayafuru-themed music and all, that scene where Arata was chasing after the train after he had a change of heart was absolutely stunning, and I easily felt myself tearing up as they screamed each others names ;(
WHY IS THIS SHOW SO GOOD???
From here on, even for the manga readers its all uncharted territory,
unless you can magically understand raws. I’m hoping that getting Aruta back to karuta won’t be too easy, since there was some proper high tension between everyone and I do enjoy a bit of drama now and then. It’s such a pity this show doesn’t do previews, since next Tuesday seems ridiculously far away…
PS. I keep trying to find some sort of symbolism for
Senbonzakura the sakura petals floating around in many of the outside scenes, like the initial reunion when Arata passed by them on his bike. It’s used a lot in 5 Centimetres per Second too, so maybe something about growing up or a coming of age sort of thing? Oh, and bonds of course.