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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Where is Arata when Chihaya needs him?

Where is Arata when Chihaya needs him...? This is how I see it; of course my own opinion:

Wherever she goes, he is with her. She's been connected with him and he's been with her all this time. So when they actually do meet, it feels as though they have a deeper understanding, as if they were never apart. That's what I think. Very little words are actually exchanged between the two when they see one another or when they have an opportunity to speak to one another. You'll notice that pattern too.

I want to believe that's love too. Something deeper than just "dating a handsome guy" who is readily available. Something that resembles the beautiful longing of the karuta poetry itself. Meeting and parting...meeting and parting... 

Notice how Chihaya's hand is always drawn to the "chihayafuru" card no matter where it is on the playing field? Notice how whenever she sees Arata, her hand automatically attaches itself to his shirt? (see Chapter 37 summary) LOL. 

Also, whenever Chihaya prays to a shrine, she ends up seeing Arata....

My answer: Arata has always been with her....

[:-) Old romantics die hard, I suppose ;-P]


  1. Seriously? SHINOBU??? NOoooooooooooooooooooo!

  2. That is apparently the word on the street (after vol. 15 which was released Dec. 2011)

  3. completely agree!!

  4. Its interesting most people say arata has no character development but I diagreed from the beginning he was already a developed character since he was a little kid. He is mature, responsible and worked hard to help his family granted he has his flaws who doesnt arata displayed admirable qualities since he was young its only natural that it keeps developing as he gets older. Its interesting how deeply connected they are to karuta its cute

    1. I feel that Arata holds a deeper significance than the mangaka would let on. He's been absent from 9 volumes or so, but why would the mangaka introduce his character at all if he's just to be tossed aside.

      Arata is a driving force for Chihaya and Taichi both. Chihaya is so obviously attached to him, it makes me to a face palm every time when I see how clueless she is. From chapter 10 onward I hope we see more of Arata. He has been mature most of his life, an effect of being raised by gramps, I suppose, but he's also changed since his grandfather died.

      If it wasn't for Chihaya shaking him out of his cocoon, he might never have felt happiness again. That's very significant, I think, in terms of what Chihaya means to him. That little girl who defended him against Taichi and other classmates who bullied him grew into that beautiful girl who came to him in Fukui to tell him it's OK to keep on living because he isn't alone.

      karuta is their conduit but the "message" is love. Just like the Beatles said, "All you need is love." So karuta has become a means to an end, now, as opposed to just an "end". He and Chihaya are living their lives and staking their futures on karuta. He wants to study in Tokyo. He wants to be with her again. He wants to be Meijin if she's going to be Queen. I have a feeling the mangaka "held him back" only to let Chihaya catch up with him (since he was so advanced in the beginning to begin with). It would never do for him to be Meijin and Shinobu the Queen beside him (that's why I think the character Suoh was created). The only Queen by his side should be Chihaya.

      Taichi is a little different from them. Often, I see him as the little puppy at Chihaya's feet, waiting for her to look his way. But she will forever be distracted by Arata, and so he's stuck. Pitiful character, actually. But Taichi, who grew up with almost everything (except maybe affection from his parents) is not a good match for Chihaya, who just exudes affection. There's something missing in Taichi that I think would make any relationship with Chihaya fail. He doesn't understand her on fundamental levels. He's always trying to box her in as team captain, as the voice of reason, as a friend who cares about her-- telling her what she can and can't do; telling her it's useless to date other people, telling her she shouldn't do this or that because he doesn't want to see her cry. I find his character as one who supports her 110%, but in the end, doesn't understand her at her core. Arata I feel is the exact opposite; someone who would let her run with her instinct, no matter if she failed, someone who wouldn't tell her what she could or couldn't do -- the sky is the limit. In the most recent volume I've read (vol 12) he is coming to understand why she holds team competitions so dear to her heart. She doesn't play to become Queen, she plays because she loves karuta the game, and he is the same. Taichi plays to compete with Arata. Shinobu plays because the cards are the only friends she has and loves. Suoh plays...b/c he doesn't want to graduate...?

      He and she are both striving to do the impossible. What's romantic is that they are striving to achieve the same goal, side-by-side.

  5. I've been reading your summaries so far, and even though I ship Chihaya and Taichi together (please don't kill me DX), I definitely agree that Chihaya and Arata have a pretty deep connection. Arata was the one who taught her how to play karuta and one of the people who she aspires to reach in skill (along with Shinobu, Harada-sensei, etc.). By the way, even though I like Shinobu, I can't see her with Arata. They're too similar!

    Thanks for the translations! I've been dying to read more Chihayafuru :)

    1. You're welcome for the translations! Like Sara said before on the comments section of another chapter, I think Taichi is too well-developed a character to be left hanging at the end. I have a feeling whatever the mangaka does with him, the Taichi fans won't be satisfied. I really come to realize that the "3rd wheel" characters are always wrapped up too nicely in a neat bow in the end. So I have a feeling I'm not going to be happy with the ending, whether it's Arata or if it's Taichi who gets left out in the end.

      But another comment by karuta_lover made me think that neither will end up with Chihaya and that's the most fair of all results. will we all pull our hair out in anguish at that point? :-D