Chihayafuru 2 Episode 18

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Recap: Chihaya’s injury seems to worsen as the game goes on, even as she starts to make a comeback. Unfortunately, Komano and Tsukuba fall out early, and Taichi is down in a bad way. Can our three remaining players really overcome the odds and upset Fujisaki?

Man, Chihaya really is going to be out for the individual tournament isn’t she? That is probably the most disheartening thing since seeing Mashima lose a second B rank final match. As much as I have loved watching the team struggle and triumph together through this tournament, what I wanted to see most was Chihaya going up against Shinobu or Arata again. Being robbed of that is really gonna suck a lot of fun out of those tournaments. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still enjoy seeing Komano or Taichi fight through their respective brackets, but in the end there’s just no better character to root for than our lovable airhead.

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What hurts most is that, even despite all the effort she’s putting into this match, things are still looking pretty bad for Mizusawa. I expected Komano and Tsukuba to be down and out, as much as it hurt me to watch them go with so many regrets. What’s worse, Taichi is down four cards with only one card of breathing room, and we didn’t even see what Nishida’s fight was down to. It is true that either way they’ll have come out of this tournament proud, even getting to the finals should have been nigh impossible for a team with such little history.

I hate to be the pessimist here, but this seems to be the death knell. I loved this run, but Chihayafuru has proved time and time again that our main characters are not invincible. I suppose with Chihaya’s possible exit from the individual tournament, we might finally actually focus on Arata’s playing for once. While the lack of scenes and characterization for him since the flashback episodes has really killed any engagement I had with him, I could see a good tournament effort getting me to care about him once again.

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