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Thursday, January 19, 2012

So close! (Chihayafuru Vol. 7.2 (Chapter 37)

There is a saying in Chinese: Using one foot to board two boats. I have to wonder at what Chihaya is thinking sometimes. Or maybe she doesn't think before she acts... -_-; You can't have BOTH of them, girl. You just can't....

Chapter 37 (TN: this is one of the sucky scanned chapters...sorry if the translation is incomplete/inaccurate in some parts.  Anything in parentheses denotes a name/place that I'm not sure if that's how you pronounce in Japanese, b/c it has no meaning in Chinese)

Scene: Arata plays against (Tsuboguchi Hiroshi)-san, Hiroshi is down to only one card


So strong...

Tsuboguchi Hiroshi-san of the Shiranami Society....

Hiroshi-san thinks, There's only one more. There's only one more card!  Come on, kiri card! Let it be kiri! It's definitely kiri! Kiri, kiri, kiri, kiri, kiri, kiri, kiri, kiri, kiri, kiri..!

Arata looks at his opponent. Behind him, he imagines Harada-sensei.

Sure enough the next card is the "kiri" card, on Hiroshi-san's side. Both he and Arata touch the card at the same time and the card goes flying against the window.


Arata acknowledges his loss and bows.

This is great! This is great! But just then...that was all luck. I really wanted it to be that card, so I was focusing on it to begin with, Hiroshi-san thinks.  But his hand caught up with mine...If it had been one of the other two remaining cards, he would have taken them for sure....

Arata sits on the tatami, exhausted and looking at the ceiling. He thinks about his loss and gets up. Suddenly, there is a dark, threatening aura around him (as he is exceedingly pissed).

Announcer: "Next match is in 10 minutes. Players please be ready."

Arata, still looking grim and dissatisfied spots Taichi, who is just wiping his face against his sleeve. (TN: apparently still a little weepy from the last chapter...)

"...Really slow!" Taichi remarks. "Hiroshi-san is our Shiranami Society's 'king' of karuta. He wouldn't lose to a freshman noob like you." Taichi can't look Arata in the eye and he's still tearing up a bit. He grips Arata's shoulder.

"Yeah," responds Arata. (TN: I think he understands that Taichi is trying to console him...albeit clumsily. Or maybe this is payback from what Arata said to him earlier? *shrugs*)

"Chihaya!" Taichi says, remembering her presence. "You too--" He stops short at the crumpled Chihaya mumbling to herself on the floor while scribbling notes in a note book. (TN: creepy OCD vibe...)

Chihaya talking to herself: "Why can he take the card like that? Why didn't he touch the "blank" card?...Why? Why?...Does one simply count on luck when handing over a 'penalty' card? What? Why? Why is that...?"

"Oi! Chihaya! Oi!!" Taichi smacks her over the head. She looks up at Arata. Immediately her hand gravitates to his shirt and she clutches it tightly.

"Huh?" asks Arata. "What is it?"

"Sit down," Chihaya commands. She bows deeply to him, as if they were about to enter into a match. She imagines Shinobu in front of her. She looks up with a wary grimace.

And somehow, as if warding the evil that Shinobu represents away, she superimposes Arata's face onto Shinobu's. (TN: remember that time after she lost to Shinobu she said she only dreamed of Shinobu, and no longer of Arata? I think she's trying to get that back. She's trying to get Arata back as her inspiration/goal)

"What?" smiles Arata. "Before you compete, do you also wear that scary face?"

There are no other words exchanged between them, but Arata brings a refreshing (TN: purifying?) presence to her mind. Shinobu's face and the dark, left hand slowly disappear, and all she sees is Arata.

Taichi remains silent.

Suddenly someone calls out Chihaya's name angrily. It's Kana-chan, who came to the competition to take notes and to cheer Taichi on (in cognito). She's shocked that Chihaya selfishly came to the competition herself, even though the others also wanted to go support Taichi but had to stay behind because of helping her study.

Then, Arata's mentor calls him over to meet some other karuta players. Taichi asks him if he'll be leaving now. Arata mentions that he has to go wherever and whenever the Nagumo Society players go since they carpooled together. Even if they leave now, it will be late at night when they reach Fukui.

Taichi is silent for a moment. "Then, you give this to her." He hands over the paper Arata gave him earlier.


"Tell Chihaya your phone number yourself. 'If there's a need,' what the hell is that? You're putting me in an awkward position too."

[In the background, Kana-chan is pulling a reluctant Chihaya away, forcing her to go back to studying.]
"But..." Arata says, a little unsure of himself. "After I moved...I had no idea...whether you two were dating or not..? I had absolutely no idea."

"No!" responds Taichi quickly. "Gawd, no. I had no idea you'd be thinking that far."

Arata laughs a little, and Taichi notices he looks a little relieved.

Cut scene: Kana and Chihaya

On the bus, Kana tells Chihaya not to be lazy. Every second she has should be devoted to studying and she forces her to open her quiz notebook. When Chihaya opens it to the wrong page, Kana tells her to turn to page 92, where the testing material starts. The poem from Arata's earlier competition comes to mind.

How long it's been since I last saw my friend...

"How long it's been since I last saw my friend..." Chihaya repeats. When Kana asks her about it, Chihaya says that it's almost as if it's describing Arata, and how she only always sees him for a short time.  Chihaya states it almost sounds like a love poem to her, but in reality it's just the feeling of a little girl longing for her childhood playmate.

Kana stares at Chihaya. ...Like a love poem? (TN: b/c it's not a love poem)

Chihaya has this beautiful expression on her face as she thinks of Arata.

Just like rushing water....

Her arm moves automatically, as if trying to emulate him.

"Put that down! Don't practice your arm swings on the bus!" insists Kana, grabbing her arm.

I will drink it down in one big gulp....

That murmuring, flowing water...

Cut scene: Chihaya sneaking back into the library with an expression of dread on her face

When Chihaya sees her friends, she apologizes to Desktomu-kun for sneaking out. Desktomu pauses before speaking. He tells her that the results of Taichi's efforts were already reported by Kana-chan earlier. Meat bun-kun asks if Taichi looked really defeated by it, but Chihaya can't respond (TN: she wasn't paying attention to Taichi at the time...)

Destomu said that Taichi continues his best to be the first in his freshman class, despite all the effort he puts into karuta. If he isn't first in his class, he would be forced to quit the club. In order to do what he wants to do, he forces himself to do things that are less appealing to him.

Chihaya realizes her mistake, understanding Taichi's efforts all this time, and declares that she will do her best from this point forward, and she will catch up to the parts she missed while she was gone.

At that point, the librarian is about to stop them since it's time to close up, but Ms. Miyauchi stops her and says she will watch over them as they study and she'll be the one to lock up.

While she is studying, Chihaya is thinking about Arata and what she saw today.

Cut scene: Harada sensei, Hiroshi-san and Taichi leave the competition grounds later that night.

Apparently all three have not triumphed today. -_-; Harada sensei is annoyed and demands to know why Hiroshi-san has such a tranquil expression on his face when during his last match he lost by 11 cards. Hiroshi responds that his last match was quite fulfilling, and therefore he feels no regrets.

Harada demands to know when his pupil feels dissatisfied (if not during such a time).

Hiroshi responds that it's just his personality. Taichi asks Hiroshi how it was to play against Arata.  Hiroshi responds "that bastard was really annoying. REALLY annoying. I clearly had no idea what he was thinking but he was able to put quite a lot of forethought into everything."

"But that type of player, the current Meijin, Suoh-san wouldn't even think twice about, I suppose...."

Taichi is surprised by his words. The winner of the A rank competition will eventually get to play the current Meijin. The Meijin's name is finally mentioned at this stage.

Hiroshi-san thinks that even though he said "it's just my personality," he really does feel dissatisfied since the opponent he lost to today will be able to play against the Mejin.

Taichi thinks, If I just could've watched the match with Arata and Hiroshi...that would've been great. If only I could've just watched it from the start.

Harada-sensei is noticing Taichi's mood. He says, "Eyebrows-kun, I've thought it over. If you can rank 2nd among the B rank competitions at least twice this summer, I can promote you to an A rank.... Even though it isn't consistent with our Shiranami Society standards, don't you want to participate in the Eastern Conference? Chihaya and Megane-kun are waiting for the A rank."

Taichi thinks about it, and laughs. His reaction startles Harada. "Sensei, please don't say anymore. I will become an A ranked player...But more than anything, I also hope to become someone who doesn't run away." His words move Harada-sensei.

Cut scene: Kuriyama-sensei and the others driving back to Fukui

His fellow society members notice how Arata is sleeping so soundly, and how cute Arata is when he sleeps.  Kuriyama says that perhaps Arata was nervous about the competition, or about meeting his childhood friends again.  They comment that he's probably also feeling quite fulfilled at this point.

Cut scene:  Chihaya hard at work studying...

I will drink it down in one big gulp...

In one big gulp!

---End Chapter---

TN: If Arata ends up with Shinobu I'm just going to scream really loudly into a pillow...especially after all of the above...

1 comment:

  1. that it obviously my interpretation of what is going on. the panels involving chihaya x arata are mostly w/o words... i dont knoe if the mangaka has no idea what they could say to one another or if a deeper meaning is trying to get across