Recap: Mizusawa continues their fight against Hokuo. Every match comes down to the draw, but Hokuo has the experience to put Mizusawa in a bind. Will they let luck rule them, or can they find a way to win despite the odds?
With Chihaya done testing the waters, she finally puts the screws to Amakasu
I was hoping to see a bit of Komano since he’d been absent from any part of the drama all season. I suppose you could say I simply empathize with him the most but to see him kicking ass was really a welcome sight. You can just tell how much this team has grown when every member goes toe to toe with their Hokuo rivals. Unfortunately, being against equal matches it still just comes up too close for each member.
We got introduced to the concept of a “luck of the draw” finish last year when Nishida barely surpassed Taichi to get into Class A. The scenario the gang finds themselves in must be a one-in-a-million, but it was still fascinating to learn how that can play into a teamwork dynamic. The reverse-psychology Taichi worked on Retro was absolutely amazing. I was expecting Chihaya’s speed to be what got them out of the trap, but instead Taichi laid out some fantastic mind games to win his match.
Once again, team Mizusawa loses, but it was in the most fantastic way possible. I absolutely adore this show for how it sucks you into the sport and strategy and then enhances it with the bond you share with these players. Nothing brought a smile to my face more than to see Chihaya, even though they’d just got beaten, beaming for all to see, because she played a fun game, and then not even taking a moment’s break before planning to train for the finals. Even in defeat the story of Chihayafuru is triumphant, and it just makes you fall in love with these characters that much more.