Chihayafuru Episode #19 Anime Review

Chihayafuru Episode #19 Anime Review The other matches play out, just as intensely as Chihaya’s own to her surprise.

What They Say:
The finals have begun. The Class D final is between Kana-chan and Desktomu-kun. The Class B final is between Taichi and Porky. Both finals pit Mizusawa players against each other. Chihaya watches and learns as teammates and rivals battle it out.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the series having dealt with Chihaya for the most part early on when it comes to her skill level, getting past her Class A test and all, others in the club are still doing their best by going through what they need to in order to better themselves and their ranking. While it may have seemed kind of odd to get Chihaya up to a Class A rank so early on, it made sense after seeing her background from when she was younger and so focused on becoming a better player to catch up to those around her. And her drive is what has helped propel the club to where it is now, never mind their showing in the nationals and the growth in the other players in the club as well.

With the finals underway here, things are in a position we haven’t seen too much in the series so far as it’s been focused on Chihaya’s matches with others being of secondary importance overall. She’s now on the sidelines, having dealt with her own match, and has to watch how the others are performing. And of course, events have gone in a way where her friends are playing against each other for their final game, which is just awkward in general. It’s one thing when you play against each other for fun or for training while within the club, but this is a whole other situation. Chihahya spends a good bit of time watching how Desk and Kana play and the two definitely have a good match with some neat little moves added into it that the commentary by the audience explains isn’t normal but isn’t against the rules either.

While their game is fun and Chihaya gets caught up in it, watching the game between Taichi and Nishida is even more fun as it has a different kind of intensity to it. The two young men are going at it with all they have, but unlike Chihaya’s more on-display style of play, they’re simply hugely focused and intense and it really drives home a different style of play than Chihaya is used to seeing. And having her watch on and see just how much everyone around her has grown as well just reinforces how good her choices were in which people to bring into the club in order to try and become great players. With much of the focus initially on her and her dreams, the further show goes on, the more she’s shown that the others are more than just secondary players in her larger dream.

In Summary:
While there’s plenty of focus on Chihaya, I’m enjoying the growing role of the rest of the cast. And thankfully it’s not just all about Taichi either, though he’s one certainly worth focusing on as part of the trio of core characters in the triangle that’s not terribly clear to some. His struggles here are really well done as they all have to deal with victories and losses in different ways and they come together in unsurprising but very well done ways. But as much as I like what they do with Taichi here, it’s the other three that shine the best in the end. Seeing how Kana, Desk and Nishida are handled is really well done and just makes me want to see even more of them in stronger positions as the show goes on.

Grade: B

Readers Rating: [ratings]

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.