After weeks of being left in the dark, Chihaya finally broke down over her inability to communicate with Taichi properly. The struggle of not being able to understand why he is so stressed out has been eating her alive. All she wants is for him to smile and be happy again. She cares about him more than he realizes.
In effort to lighten up the weary mood, Kanade suggested she and the girls make some chocolate for club and host a Valentines Party. It was an interesting change of pace to see a lot of girl talk, but I liked it because it offered us a chance to see the three of them interact together in activities outside of Karuta. Sumire wowed everyone with her godly experience of making delicious chocolate waffles and chocolate marshmallows, saving Kanade and Chihaya from wasting more ingredients from their failures.
My favourite part of the episode was when Sumire mustered up her courage and confessed to Taichi with her wishes for him to do the same to the one he likes. I can’t tell you how much I respect her for doing that. She has been that character who has so much passion for love that it has contributed to her growth in such a positive way. She wanted Taichi to notice her, acknowledge her feelings, so she came to respect his love for Karuta and decided to work hard to do her part. She stands up to his mother, she listens to Chihaya’s advice about Taichi’s preference of fermented squid guts over chocolates for valentine’s day and best of all, she pushes him to confess to Chihaya.
And her courage was not in vain. Taichi has finally made up his mind and will (soon) confess to Chihaya. It was something we weren’t sure would be resolved this season, but after this episode, I have a sneaking suspicion they will use it to serve as the season finale’s cliffhanger, where everyone will go batshit insane until the next season come around (or else a good hook to encourage the anime-only viewers read the manga).
But man I felt for Sumire when Taichi gave her chocolate in return for her gift. It was sweet but also brutal to watch because the first part of the conversation was a good set up for building up the hope that shouldn’t be there in the first place. I can understand why Sumire backtracked by pleading him to wait two weeks, and honestly I don’t blame her the slightest for it. It’s hard to keep your cool in that kind of situation.
As for Taichi, he isn’t handling his loss to Arata well, and he is so blinded by his frustration and jealousy that he fails to see that Chihaya is actually worried for him. That’s why when he claimed Chihaya had only asked Hiroshi to hang out with him to ask about Arata, Hiroshi basically told him he was an idiot.
He was also given a warm (yet wild) surprise party as ‘Taichi’s Cup’, a karuta tournament Chihaya and their friends pulled together with the help of their fellow karuta colleagues. She has been working overtime to find ways to cheer him up, and it really shows much she has thought about him for these past few weeks. And as much as Chihaya was touched by Arata’s confession, you can tell how love is not her top priority. It’s something that can be tucked away in the back of her mind while she focuses on the things she considers to be far more important, which are Karuta and finding a way to cheer Taichi up.
The question now is, was Arata invited (I would presume so) and will he show up? Honestly it makes me a bit nervous because Taichi has a number of things he needs to get off his chest before he meets him again. If he continues to keep everything to himself, it would only be a matter of time before he implode.