Total Pageviews

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chihayafuru Manga Synopsis: Vol. 4.2 (Chapter 20 - 21)

Chiyaha & Co. are presented with the regional trophy.  Chihaya's eyes well up with tears as she realizes the trophy is what she and her team accomplished together.  For now, everyone basks in the glory of winning.  Their former opponent, Hyoro-kun grabs the trophy suddenly, his face also in tears but for a different reason.  He laments that the trophy has been in their high school trophy case for several consecutive years.  He is reluctant to part with it.  Hyoro-kun vows to take it back next year.

Sado kun, with a smile, tells them they will now represent Tokyo and warns them not to disappoint.  His team members crowd him and apologize profusely for not winning.  This is apparently his last year in high school and he won't be able to represent them anymore.  When she hears this, Chihaya understands the profound meaning behind the trophy she's carrying, with all the winning ribbons from the previous highs school regional champions attached.

Chihaya goes home and finds her parents happily bustling over what her sister, Chitose, has accomplished lately.  Her father is busy clipping a news article.  Chitose was a contestant on a recent quiz show.  Chihaya tries to tell them what she accomplished in the regional championships but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

Chitose barges in announcing her presence and insists on them watching her on TV.  They watch speechlessly from beginning to end.  Apparently, Chitose didn't answer a single question.  Her parents lament that she actually has to push the buzzer in order for the camera to focus on her....  (TN: -_-; beauty and no brains...)

Chitose sulks a bit, saying she wants to be featured in a drama so that she can help her family pay off their debt.  Everyone is awestruck.  Her parents insist that it isn't her responsibility.  Her father says he is just happy documenting his daughters' successes in his scrapbooks.  As her family enjoys themselves, Chihaya watches them wistfully.

Dad, Mom, Sis...I went to a karuta regional championship today and we won.  We now represent the best in all of Tokyo and we're heading to the nationals in a month.

She steps outside for some air in frustration and checks her hand phone.  Arata hasn't responded to any of her mails.  (TN: jerk.)

Cut scene: Back at Mizusawa High

A revitalized Chihaya goes to school the next day urging her team to practice for the nationals.  She suggests they come with her and Taiki to the Shiranami Society to meed Harada Sensei, but Meat bun-kun suggests the newbies come with him to meet his former coach at the Suihoku Karuta Society.  They dash off to practice.  Taiki marvels that the three already know they need to improve.

At the Shiranami Society, Harada-sensei is happy to see Chihaya-chan and Eyebrows-kun again, but immediately sets off with his lecture on what he saw them doing wrong at the last tournament.  Chihaya and Taiki sit silently, a little mortified.

Chihaya is matched against Harada-sensei, someone she has never won against.  Afterwords, she walks home with Taiki in shock, marveling at how she still couldn't beat him, and wondering how she was supposed to represent all of Tokyo with her skill level.  Taichi tugs at her cheeks and tells her it sounds like she's afraid of going to the nationals.

Chihaya tears up again, remembering Sudo's words.  What if they disappoint the others who lost to Mizukawa High?  What if those they left behind thought it should have been them to go, instead of Mizusawa?  Taichi karate chops her head painfully and pulls out a detailed playbook prepared by Hyoro-kun.  He asks her why she is carrying that sort of weight on her shoulders.  They have not done anything to be ashamed of.  In fact, when they go to the nationals, they will be carrying the feelings of all of the regional Tokyo players to the tournament.

Chihaya returns to an empty house.  Her parents are shopping with Chitose for the next photo shoot.  Chihaya wonders how she will ask them for the travel fees to the national championships when money is already tight and most of it goes to Chitose.  She then notices a clipped paper on the table and realizes her father has actually been following her victories as well.  There is a single scrapbook on the shelf with her name on it, showing the kimono brochure Chihaya modeled for, and various clippings of their team's more newsworthy competitions, including their latest regional victory.

Chihaya bursts into tears (TN: she cries a lot doesn't she??) realizing that her parents have been carrying her important feelings with them as well.  She crumbles to the ground in tears as her family returns from shopping.

Cut scene:  Back at school...

Chihaya and Desktomu-kun meet with "The Empress" Ms. Miyauchi, who is generally unimpressed with their achievement.  Though she is the club's advisor she actually enlists another teacher to go since she will also be busy during the summer break.  This other teacher is thrilled because the "Birdman" convention will be in Kyoto as well (he doesn't intend to actually supervise them during the competition...)  This concerns Ms. Miyauchi a bit.  She also warns Desktomu-kun that his grades have slipped since he joined the karuta club.

Chihaya begs Desktomu-kun not to leave just because his grades are falling.  Desktomu-kun is unconcerned, since he still ranks among the top 5.  Chihaya is relieved but Desktomu-kun warns her that she shouldn't be so flippant about her grades since she ranks in the bottom 5.... -_-;

Back at the club room, the members are busy working on their karuta skills.  Kana-chan laments that her beginner's practice cards have markings on top of the poems themselves for training purposes.  She feels as though it is insulting to the poetry on the card.  When they see Kana's arrangement they all cry out in shock.  Apparently, Kana has arranged them per season, style, etc.  The others tell her she should just do it the standard way (by wording) since it will be easier to memorize.  As Meat bun-kun helps her with the arrangement, she asks if he knows the meaning behind a particular card.  He admits he doesn't and she flies into a fury.  Chihaya calms her down and tells her it is a shame that the players haven't studied the poems themselves.  However, if they are to proceed to the nationals, they must focus on competitive karuta, as opposed to karuta poetry.  Kana resignedly agrees.

Ms. Miyauchi happens to be nearby, wrapping up the tennis team's practice.  (She is apparently their advisor as well).  She notices the karuta is still making a hullabaloo in their club room and goes to reprimand them.  She peeks in the window and is astonished by what she sees.  Their speed and concentration is impressive and their serious dedication to the game as they shout out instructions and critiques of one another surprises her entirely.

One of the cards fly out and nearly knocks their trophy over and Chihaya worriedly carries the trophy to different corners of their club room, wondering which spot is safest. Taiki says he knows it's important, but she should hurry up.

Watching the purple sunset, Kana recites a poem:  "The wide open sky is colored in purple, walking across the field, through grassy wilderness I see my love's sleeves waving at me." (TN: I'm not even sure if I got the wording correct; the feeling is the same, but I think some of the original poem was lost in translation)

Kana apologizes for spacing out about poetry again and explains that the poem  is not from the karuta cards poetry collection but goes on to tell them that the poem was written by the wife of an emperor, who chanced to meet her former husband on the emperor's lands.  (TN: that's...kind of sad...)  The literature lesson is completely lost on Chihaya, though....

Kana explains that she will play karuta correctly, competitively, but she doesn't want to lose sight of the fact that the cards are actually cards conveying people's ageless feelings.

Ms. Miyauchi is touched and comes in to yell at them to hurry up and go home.  She also takes the trophy to be placed in the trophy case in the administrative office and ultimately changes her mind about not accompanying them to the nationals.  She even goes so far as to borrow a book from the literature teacher called "The world of the 100 poems," <-- a book about the poetry in the karuta game.

Cut scene: we see Chihaya & Co. traveling by train

When they reach Kyoto, Chihaya stops to look at the sunset. She recalls the words from Kana's wistful poem and begins to understand their profoundness.  She tells Kana-chan that ever since she explained it to her, Chihaya now sees her "namesake" card as bright red.  In her memory, she recalls asking Arata once about Omi Jingu and what it was like.  In her head she sees both the young Arata, and the older Arata smiling at her.  She remembers his response:

"It's bright red."

The bright red shrine looms in front of her.


No comments:

Post a Comment