Hi. Don't know how many are interested, but here's an indirect translation of the Chinese raws I found online for those of you who haven't seen the anime. I'm a huge "Chiharata" fan, so sorry if my opinions are a bit skewed. Vol. 4 covers scenes from episode 11 - 13 of the anime. Needless to say, Vol. 4's cover and art is all about Arata. I am drooling. This pic on the first page, right panel of a casually bored Arata alone made me have to wipe my mouth several times with my sleeve...
I'm really surprised how the anime closely follows the manga. But then again, if they only have 25 episodes planned for the 1st season, we won't be able to see much, will we? PLEASE let there be a Season 2!!!
Inset: Fukui City, Fukui Prefecture
Arata sits looking really bored in the bookshop where he works. The automatic sliding door opens and he says "Welcome" to a cat who came in from the heat to sleep on the welcome mat. Cat ignores him.
He asks the manager if he can check his email. Manager warns him not to scope out any porn sites. Arata explains that he's been having problems with his desktop at home, and wants to check his mail. He is shocked to see so many incoming messages. The Manager asks him if it's "spam" as he notes Arata's shocked expression. (Apparently, Arata doesn't get much e-mail and his manager surfs the net for porn -_-;)As he checks them, he realizes they're all from Chihaya, about once a week since he texted Taichi about her birthday. She was surprised he remembered. Then the emails get closer together as her team advances in the regionals.
The last email indicates they are advancing to the finals. It's dated the same day as today at 13:01 (1 p.m.). He looks at his watch. (14:45 = 2:45 p.m.)
Cut scene: Back at the regional championships
Chihaya sweats as she faces her opponent, Sudo, of Hokuo Academy (reigning regional champions). Sudo doesn't look so great either. Hokuo's teacher marvels at how good she is and reminisces about Sudo's karuta origins. Kana and Desktomu-kun bow out as they've lost their respective matches. Hokuo only has to win one more to win the trophy. Hyoro-kun marvels at how much better Taiki, his opponent has become since they last played against one another. Taiki is sweating but he clears his mind to assess the remaining cards on the battle ground. He knows he doesn't have Nishida's experience nor Chihaya's intuition but as the team's President, his strength is his ability to strategize around what cards have already been read throughout the match. TN<-- "zhi you jue zi de bian hua bu hui nong cuo" rough translation, in Chinese it's more like "I will never get the decisive word variations wrong " or something to that effect. It's been ages since I studied Chinese, so humor me.
Taiki triumphs over Hyoro-kun since the latter took the wrong card, forgetting that the card he though it was had already been read. Now the only ones remaining are Meat bun/Nishida and Chihaya.
Sudo becomes less and less confident in his abilities as Chihaya continues to keep taking cards. His teacher cheers him on loudly, and apologizes to the crowd for it. Sudo is strengthened by his teacher's encouragement and wants to win for the teacher who taught him the fun of karuta. Suddenly Nishida cries out in victory. Now only Chihaya and Sudo are left and the teams are tied. Crowd is in an uproar.
Chihaya and Sudo face off silently in the next two page panel. She has a strange expression on her face (trance-like, looking at something far away) and the next card is "Chi~" Chihaya successfully swipes her "name" card, despite the fact that Sudo had been guarding it in a position closest to him. It was the last card in the match, and Chihaya is victorious.
Sudo is bewildered at how Chihaya could've possibly claimed the card when she had such an expression on her face. Mizukawa's team cheers loudly in the backdrop as Chihaya fainted. When she comes to, she realized what she has accomplished and there are tears in her eyes. A single thought comes to mind as her teammates "group hug."
"Watch me, Arata...."
Meanwhile, back in Fukui, Arata is waiting in front of the computer when he suddenly receives another e-mail message. He clicks on it and has to oddly tilt his head to the right to see the picture Chihaya sent him of her teammates basking in their win. She is proceeding to the nationals with her team. Caption reads: Look, Arata! We are off to Omi Jingu! Come watch us. Chihaya.
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