Chihayafuru Episode 3

This week’s episode starts off with Taichi, Chihaya, and Wataya going together to a karuta society (which I’m assuming is the karuta form of the go salon). When they enter, Chihaya starts to realize that karuta is taken very seriously. The three are welcomed by the proprietor of the society, but Chihaya manages to piss off one of the players, leading to a 3-on-3 karuta match. Wataya explains the rules to Chihaya, also explaining strategy to both Chihaya and Taichi. When Taichi suggests Wataya play himself (as he would crush them), Wataya explains that he’s always wanted to play in a team. However, when the game starts, Wataya is able to handle all three roles himself, leaving Chihaya and Taichi doing practically nothing. Taichi starts to wonder if Wataya truly trusts them, but Wataya’s next movement blocks their opponent, leaving the claiming of the card on their own side to Taichi. Chihaya’s reaction speed is able to beat Wataya’s when it comes to the cards that she knows, which prompts Wataya to start competing with her for her cards (leading to Chihaya getting crushed by her own teammate). When the game finishes, the three have won overwhelmingly. Wataya introduces himself to everyone in the room, who recognize him as a national championship winner in his grade, as well as the grandson of an Eternal Master. The owner then tells them about a team tournament in the coming March (although the three will be playing individually instead). The three start to train together and become close friends (Wataya finally asks them to call him Arata, his given name). However, Taichi is accepted to a middle school that’s farther away from everyone else, making karuta impossible. Arata is also planning to leave after graduating due to his grandfather falling ill. Chihaya runs off, realizing that she cannot play karuta with Arata and Taichi forever. Chihaya tries to return her karuta cards to the owner and ends up talking with the owner about the other two. On the day of the tournament, Arata arrives with a cold, and Chihaya is nowhere to be seen. However, Chihaya’s mother gives her a shirt that the others brought for her and she rushes over to the tournament. In the end, the three lose. At the graduation ceremony, Arata slips away to pack back at his house. Taichi and Chihaya notice this, though, and go to his house to play karuta one last time. This seems like an ending point for the flashback session…hopefully, the story will go back to the high school phase. The flashback was pretty cute, though.

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