Caption: In this championship, the A rank, C rank and D rank tournaments have already ended. The only one left is the B rank duel.
Meat bun-kun thinks that a duel of Fates is simply a sudden death match, but even so, Taichi went on the offensive. Meat bun-kun knows that he cannot be careless. Aside from the "ashi" card next to his hand, he wonders if there are any "a" cards left. He concludes that there must still be. At this point, Taichi will still attack. If they rely on Fate alone, they each have a 50/50 chance of winning. But Taichi wants more of a chance than that. Taichi is also employing a strategy.
Two more "empty cards" are read and even the audience is on edge. They each move their hands strategically before moving back to a defensive position. Hyoro-kun likens the contestants to sumo-wrestlers staring each other down before they move, flexing and loosening their stances in a threatening manner. All he knows is that he hates "empty cards." The sooner one of their cards is read the better. He looks over to Chihaya who is watching the match intently.
I can't decide...
It's not like it doesn't matter which side it is...
Because I also want to win...
The next card is an "empty card" but also an "a" card. As he thought, Taichi goes on the offensive but withdraws when he realizes it isn't the correct card. Meat bun-kun realizes that he was right to think there were other "a" cards left. But after this one, he is almost certain there are none left but the one under his hand. Now starts the real "sudden death" match.
When he looks at Taichi's determination, he isn't quite so sure.
Chihaya... If it were you, you'd know wouldn't you? You'd be able to distinguish the "a" from the "se" syllable in less than a heartbeat....
If it were you...Chihaya...
Sure enough, Meat bun-kun's "ashi" card is next, and he simply covers it with his hand. Taichi has lost. They bow and mutually exchange thanks. But it isn't a comfortable victory for any of them.
Back in the changing room, as Taichi and the others are getting back into their street clothes, Meat bun asks if there were only the "ashi" and the "se" cards left. Desktomu-kun corrects him and says the "kiri" card was also left. Meat bun-kun didn't know that. Taichi cooly congratulates Meat bun on his "luck," but regrets his words almost as soon as he utters them. Sitting outside by himself he knows that had he been more skillful, it wouldn't have had to come to a 50/50 sudden death match. He kicks himself thinking about all the prior cards he could have taken but didn't and how far he has yet to go.
He feels the strain of "staking it all" in a game. It can't be explained with mere logic...
Meat bun-kun plops down next to him. After some moments of silence, Taichi apologizes. Chihaya wants to approach them but stops short.
Meat bun-kun tells Taichi that he is glad that he is their president. Taichi tells him he's giving him the creeps. But Meat bun explains he is glad because it's him, instead of Chihaya, that "shameless, nickname calling, unforgivable, hare-brained IDIOT." Compared with her, Taichi is much, much better.
Chihaya is speechless after hearing such a tirade...
"The only one who calls me 'Nishida' is you, Mashima. I will continue to give it my all with you."
(In the background, Chihaya is slumped to the ground in depression.)
Taichi is speechless.
(Chihaya is found by Kana-chan)
(Kana-chan helps Chihaya up, wondering what's wrong with her)
Cut scene: on the road
The team packs into the Oe store van on their way back. Mrs. Oe comments how incredible their group is. Of the 5 who started out today, 4 people won awards (Nishida, Mashima, Oe, Komano), 3 have raised their ranks (Nishida, Oe, Komano). (TN: what the hell, Chihaya...?)
Chihaya notes that in the D ranks, first place, second place and 3rd runner up are lifted to a C rank status. She even starts haphazardly calling her teammates by their real names...they start to wonder about that.
She tells them she was really surprised today. While watching Kana and Tsutomu play, she noticed how smoothly, soundlessly and exact Kana's karuta style could be at times, she wanted to learn to play just like that.
Kana-chan says she's already at that level. Back when she played Sudo last summer, the last card she took was just like that. It was unforgettable. Chihaya says she doesn't remember and her teammates are incredulous.
Kana remarks that she gave 120% at the tournament today because Tsutomu was her adversary. Attacking strategies aside, she just wanted to be rid of all her cards because she didn't have the mindset to attack in the first place.
The mindset to attack...
Chihaya notices Taichi is asleep against the window, and she brings his head towards her and rests it on her shoulder.
The mindset to attack...
"I really want to compete as a team," she says out loud. Everyone is touched. Desktomu-kun says that as a team, they are really strong, with 2 C-ranked members, 2 A-ranked members and a B-ranked member. Chihaya comments that at the next A rank tournament, she and Nishida might go all out against one another.
Nishida tells her to just keep calling him "Meat bun-kun" and to not mind what he said back there to Taichi in order to make him feel better. He tells her he doesn't mind if she continues being an idiot. -_-;
My most precious team of five...
Cut scene: Arata playing karuta (TN: kyaaaa~)
He's apparently won a game against a Mr. Murao. Mr. Kuriyama and the others are quite impressed that he's beaten their best player.
This kid's karuta is...
Mr. Kuriyama starts thinking aloud that Arata might be placed against their best titled players and still win. He's also thinking of placing Arata in the next championships but stops short when his assistant tells him to stop thinking aloud.
Arata laughs but then notices a posting on the wall. He asks what it is and Mr. Kuriyama responds that it's the results of the Saitama Championship just held recently. Mr. Murao also participated in the A rank tournament and placed 3rd. He notes that the Kanto region's players are pretty strong.
Mr. Kuriyama says that even though Arata doesn't have any plans to enroll in any competitions, he asks if that's a definite thing. The next championship, the Western Conference is fast approaching.
"I want to participate," Arata announces. His finger falls next to Taichi's name. "I want to aim to win the Western Conference."
"It's not that simple," says Mr. Kuriyama, smiling.
TN: Gah, finally... Arata...