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Full disclosure: possibly my favourite episode of Chihayafuru season 2 so far.
I make that statement with no guarantees, since I'm going to have to re-watch season one. Not because I can't remember but because waiting each time for a new episodes of Chihayafuru is become more and more unbearable.
This season set itself apart from the first season right from the start. Season one had its own charm and introduced us to the world of karuta, and so far season two has worked on expanding the characters. What could be seen as a minor flaw of season one was that Chihaya got more attention than anyone else. It looks like season two is taking care of that effortlessly.
Going on from the recent episodes on teamwork, it's Komano's time to step into the spotlight. He's had his fair share of drama involving the club, and Nishida was going to give some more in this episode. What I construed to be him looking out for Komano's interest was actually him calling out someone he was questioning. Later the drama would be resolved in the most 'bro' way imaginable, making it an important part of the episode.
I'm still very impressed by what Chihayafuru continues to do. With Komano being the tactician of the group, he himself is often forgotten because he's not battling in the front lines. Still, any sport has a handful of players like Komano. It's not just karuta, but any sport you can think of will have players who study the game, the opponents and form strategies.
This observation keeps pushing Chihayafuru into the side of a sports anime, and the drama surrounding the players stops it from straying too far from the original intent of the series. Komano's episode was great because it not only showed a member doing something as part of a team, but also showed us the different ways of being a team player.
Now it's onto the first big opponent. We've had fun with the past few opponents, but now things are about to get serious. Chihaya will be facing the strong Ousaka Megumu whilst her team mates worry about their own opponents. Will she lose to a Queen candidate? Or will she overcome that barrier. We must
impatiently wait for the upcoming episodes.