Man what a devastating episode.
The first half was calm before the storm. It was sunshines and rainbows with the sweetness of Taichi remembering the first Genpei match he played as a team with Arata and Chihaya. The surprise party was a huge success, and it was great to see Taichi enjoy himself! (And much to my relief, it seems Arata wasn’t invited, probably because he lives so far away.) He also came out on top with Chihaya, tied for first. I was in stitches when Chihaya announced the prize would be a kiss from Taichi!
And then came around the long awaited confession, and boy did Taichi deliver. He didn’t just stop at “I love you” he expressed why he loved her, and it was so lovely, it even made my heart flutter! And the animation, oh my gooddess, it was absolutely stellar. The way they delivered it was not only beautiful, but unbelievably devastating at the same time. Simply put, the whole scene was magnificent.
But it was also at that moment, when the storm struck. Chihaya is stunned and flustered by his confession, and because her response was so quiet, he couldn’t hear her over the bell and assumed he was rejected because the only part he caught was, “I’m sorry.” And considering this is Chihaya we are talking about, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was probably more to it.
The worst part about it was what followed the confession. Both Chihaya and Taichi are awkward around each other, Taichi tries to keep things normal with the club. And then just moments before they are due to make the club presentation to the new students, the Empress comes in to announce Taichi has officially resigned from the club, and all that was when things became sour for me.
Look I get that not only his grades have dropped and he’s in trouble with his mother, and it is incredibly difficult for him to be beside Chihaya after being (presumably) rejected. It makes perfect sense for him to take advantage of the unfortunate circumstances to use as an legitimate reason to resign, but god damn it, don’t just drop the announcement of the resignation the day of the club presentation! Even though things are awkward between them right now, and Taichi can’t bring himself to play Karuta because he is in too much pain at the moment, I don’t that was very fair to her. Of course this decision is not an easy one and was not going to be taken well even if he had said to her face. But they have known each other for so long, it really just makes it more painful to have a messenger inform her on his behalf.
And then there was the killer blow: The Kiss.
Now this is what I was alluding to last week about the killer cliffhanger that would drive everyone bonkers at the end of the season. I don’t remember how many years ago it had been, but it was at the time when I was following Chihaya’s manga on a regularly basis, reading the RAWS and such until I stopped at a certain point (I still plan to finish reading it but only once it’s over since it’s ending soon). Even though it’s been such a long time, this was one of the two details I had a hazy memory of. (Arata’s confession to Chihaya was the other one). And I gotta say, even after all these years I am reliving the exact same reaction: GOD DAMN IT TAICHI!!! THAT WASN’T COOL!
Let me reiterate, talk about horrible timing! And don’t you dare use the excuse he is giving Chihaya the Taichi Cup Reward! I get that he’s not made out of stone, he has feelings too, but come on! This was not the time to cash it in! TIMING IS EVERYTHING, and this is an ugly situation. Everyone’s feelings a mess, and now it’s just about to get muddier. What a bloody shitstorm.
Meanwhile in Fukui with Arata, we learned about what became of the ‘Impassionate’ card in the match between him and Taichi. As it turns out, the card was never read, but Arata noticed Taichi was trying to dive deep and was dead set on snatching that card if it had been read. It made him wonder which one of them would have gotten the card, and if Taichi had taken it, would it have changed the flow of the match. But unlike Taichi who is down in the dumps at the moment, this only makes Arata wants to play with him more.
We also get to see Arata will finally be able to form a Karuta Club at his school. Two brothers of from the Nagumo society will be freshmen students at his school.
Next week is the final episode and the club is falling apart. Talk about a dramatic way to end Season 3! I hope they will have an announcement that Season 4 has been greenlit at least, otherwise I suppose we will have to wait a few more years haha [sobs].