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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chihayafuru Manga Synopsis: Vol. 8.3 (Chapter 44)

Chapter 44

TN: <GASP> Goofy looking guy asking Chihaya out?  Blech.

" see you every morning at the station, Ayase-san.  I always think, "Wow, she's really cute!"  If it's OK with you, why don't we go out?"  (TN: Get in line, buddy!)

Chihaya: ..... <too shocked to speak>

Cut scene: back at the club room


"But Kana-chan, how can you be so quick to make that decision?" asked Chihaya, confused.
"Of course!" responds Kana matter-of-factly.  "He's just someone who pays attention to outer appearances and doesn't know the first thing about you."
"But!   BUT!!" Chihaya interjects.  "This is the first time someone has told me 'Let's go out.'  If I make a misstep here, this may be the very last time anyone says that to me for the rest of my life!"
"A noob at first confessions?" asks Meat bun (TN: eating a meatbun...cannibalism?).  "She really is a 'wasted' beauty."
"Well, ever since I got to know her, I haven't considered her beautiful," says Desktomu honestly.  (Although in the beginning, he did)
"I get the feeling that people at our school don't like her because Mashima-kun is always by her side, that's definitely a huge factor," says Kana.
"What? Why?" ask Destomu and Meat bun at the same time.  (TN: apparently they haven't noticed Taichi is gorgeous)
"Isn't it great?" asks Taichi without looking up from his seat at a table.  "You should go out with him," he adds casually.
"Taichi..." says Chihaya.
"If you don't experience it for yourself you won't know," he concludes, "that it absolutely won't work out.  Going out with someone who is totally unaware that you play competitive karuta will only end in disaster."  Chihaya is shocked by his words.
" that so?" she asks.  "But there are so many missed calls from him already."
"YOU GAVE HIM YOUR CELL NUMBER?" demands Kana.  "You have to tell him you refuse!"  Before she can continue, Taichi snatches the phone away from Chihaya and hastily texts something and sends it.
"I've sent a refusal for you," he says calmly.
"Starting tomorrow you're going to get up early and start taking the same train with me to school," he concludes.  Kana blushes at his words (understanding their meaning).  His words remind her of a pair of poems written in 960 A.D. Ancient poems about quiet love that could no longer be hidden.  (TN:  the Chinese version says "隱藏不住的暗恋和歌," literally "hidden no longer quiet love poem," so I think my translation is accurate to a degree)

In the background, Meat bun-kun says he's never had to screen his calls before and Tsutomu says neither has he.  Certainly, our dopey team members don't get it, but I understand, President! Kana-chan thinks enthusiastically. (TN: here, Kana says "糊塗蛋" to describe  her teammates.  These words together can mean "dopey."  Literally, they mean "paste," "smudge" and "egg" but it could also translate to "paste for brains" (Nishida) "smudge for brains" (Tsutomu) and "egg for brains/idiot" (Chihaya).  See for yourself. Kana is pretty harsh -_-;)

Chihaya checks her address list on her cell phone (which is pathetically small), but focuses on the two last entries, "Wataya Arata: cell" and "Wataya Arata: home."

I can't communicate with him...even though Taichi went out of his way to give his contact information to me....But Arata lost in the 4th round of the Western Conference... is he feeling right now?  How much regret is he feeling?

There are too many things I want to say to him.

Cut scene:  Arata giving out a dark vibe in class

Other classmates go to his neighbor, Yu, who is also apparently in his class.
"Yu-chan, did something happen?"
"Why has Arata-kun been making that sort of face lately?"
"Arata!" says Yu, going up to him.  "Was the Western Conference that dissatisfying?  It's the first time you entered and you still ended up in the top 8.  Isn't that good?  And now you have a rest period.  You just have to do better next year..."  Yu stops as she realizes her words are falling on deaf ears.  Arata is steadily playing karuta in his head, apparently not listening to a word she says.  He is reliving the cards of his last match and is very far away...

Cut scene:  Arata riding his bike home

It's not enough!
Doing my best...
Making spare time...
I can't be away from it!  Not even for one day!  
I can't be away from karuta!

Cut scene:  Arata practicing at the Nagumo Society

He exchanges bows and thanks to his opponent.  He recalls his opponent who beat him at the Western Conference, (Takesaka/Takesaku?)-san, who will go on to compete against the (male) champion of the Eastern Conference.  Certainly, his wasn't a highly sophisticated form of karuta but he's won 4 titles just this year.  And, he had the stamina to go through all 6 levels of the Western Conference to win.

Every duel should be taken seriously.  I should treat practice as if it were a real competition, and feel the real stress of competition.  Even if it's just practice, I have to earnestly compete.

The practice coordinator calls out to Arata and says his 3rd round sparring partner is...a C rank little boy...

The little boy is shocked and claims Arata-nii san is too scary to duel with.  Arata duels him seriously and the whole time the kid is crying out, "Scary!"

The other society members are talking about how Murao never comes to practice anymore.  No one has seen or heard from him since the November competition.  Their other top player is busy trying to graduate (from college) so he hasn't been practicing either.  There are certainly not enough skilled players to duel with Arata.

Arata thinks back at what Mr. Murao told him.  Listen, just do your best and that's it.

Cut scene:  At the Murao residence

Murao comes home to a lively atmosphere.  Arata is apparently being force fed by his family's hospitality (heaping bowl of rice) as they sit around the tonkatsu and have hot pot.  His mom berates him for being so late, since Arata has waited for a while.

"Good...good evening!" Arata says as Murao's little brothers try to force feed him meatballs and shrimp.

Cut scene:  Arata and Murao outside after dinner

"Sorry!" says Arata.  "I took advantage of your family's hospitality and even stayed for dinner."
"Don't be.  I can probably guess what happened.  Every family is alike, and my mother's the same way. She'll invite anyone inside, so..."
After a brief silence, Murao asks, "Was there something you needed?  You probably came to tell me to practice, right?"
"...Right..." responds Arata.
"That's not like you to be such a damn busy body," comments Murao.  "Aren't you the last person to be telling me that, since you gave up karuta for an entire year and a half?"
Murao turns to go back inside.  "I'm sorry...and it's at a time when you need to practice to be strong, but I can't be your sparring partner.  Say hello for me to those at the Nagumo Society, will you?"
"I really..." Arata begins, trying to find the words.  "I really regret...."
Murao stares at him.
"I really regret running from that time....  We just can't be apart from karuta for too long, Murao-san!" he exclaims.  "Becoming Meijin is my goal," he says steadily.

Murao looks at him in wonder and then starts to get the chills.  He tells Arata that that way of thinking is quite scary, to want to be Meijin and nothing else.  He sighs.
"Arata, I have no way of going back to living by that mentality...but if you want a dueling partner to play with, you can come find me.  Good night."

It's not like you to be such a busybody....  Arata thinks back to when Chihaya and Taichi came to see him in Fukui.  (TN: perhaps they've rubbed off on him...)  Murao watches him leave from the upstairs window.

I will come visit again...

Cut scene:  November

Caption:  At the Tokyo Karuta Commemorative Society Center, East meets West as the respective champions gather to duel to decide who will be the ones to challenge the current Meijin and Queen.

"You seem really happy, Kana-chan," Chihaya remarks as they make their way into the center.
"Because! Because!  I finally get to see a match where the competitors are wearing traditional clothing!"
"Yeah," says Chihaya, her thoughts turning to those they are going to watch.

Caption:  Wearing traditional Japanese clothing through 3 consecutive matches.  Yamamoto Yumi (24) of the Midorikita Karuta Society, (Akashi) Karuta Society's Saka Megumi (17) (TN: Totally think I'm mispronouncing that one!), Shiranami Society's Tsuboguchi Hiroshi-kun (22), and a member of the High German Court College Karuta Group, Keiichi Takesaku-san (28) (TN: not sure about the pronunciation of this one, either).  The first to win 2 matches will prevail, and in a month's time, move up to duel the reigning Meijin and Queen.

The girl from the Akashi Karuta Society trips over her hakama in an unsightly way and bumps into the coordinators.  Kana comments that the Western Conference champion isn't used to wearing traditional clothing, and her hem is too long.  Harada comments that even though she made it this far with her determination, the focus now is on her lack of experience.  He declares that the members of the Shiranami Society are among the most experienced and informed.

Hiroshi-kun is apparently wearing fever reducers to keep his forehead and neck cool.  (Apparently, they brought 9??)  Just then, someone tells Harada to move his big head because he's blocking the television crew's view.

As Chihaya watches she thinks, I can't help it.  I really want to.  Will I be able to make it to this stage?  Will I be able to sit up there?

As she is thinking, she notices Hiroshi-kun peeling off his fever reducers.  Hiroshi thinks back at what he said to Taichi and Harada when he lost his prior competition, when Harada asked how Hiroshi could be so easy going.  It's just the way I am! 

But the only reason I'm the Eastern Conference representative is because during Harada-sensei's decisive match, he tired out his opponent, and I was able to beat him after that.  Just watch, sensei!

Just then, Megumi pauses and asks if she can wear her headband.  Inside, there's a sewn inscription "Good luck, Megumi!"

I have too high an opinion of myself.  I can't believe I thought that all I had to do was "do my best" and I'd end up sitting up there.  Those sitting up there are the East/West Representatives.  They represent all of us! thinks Chihaya.

Announcer:  "Let the competition begin!"

As the first card is read, Yumi stakes her claim by verbally contesting the first card.  Hiroshi is working hard as well.  In the next panel we see Yumi taking another card.

Cut scene: Arata's mentor talking on the phone while Arata duels that little kid in the background.  "Scary!" the kid cries.

Arata bows and thanks the kid after their match.  The boy says he's going to to try hard, become stronger, so he hopes Arata won't be annoyed that he has to duel such an inexperienced player like himself.  Arata smiles.

"Everyone!" announces Kuriyama.  "The outcome of the match has been decided. The Meijin Challenger will be Keiichi Takesaku and the Queen Challenger will be Yumi Yamamoto."

Shiranami Society's Tsuboguchi Hiroshi-san lost? thinks Arata.

Cut scene:  Chihaya, Taichi and the others watch speechlessly as Hiroshi fans himself.

"Oh my gawd, so tiring!  How annoying to duel the same person 3 times!  On top of that, Takesaku was like a war horse!"
"Hiroshi-san," says Chihaya.
"Ah, I really want some beer!" Hiroshi-kun says.  But the minute he sees Harada-sensei his face changes.

Shiranami Society's players...someday one of our own will ascend to the seat of Meijin.

Hiroshi breaks down and collapses, crying into Harada-sensei's lap.  Chihaya and Taichi watch silently, also feeling his loss acutely.

Cut scene:  Suoh-san walking out of the Center's front entrance.

"Wow, I am flying HIGH!" he says to no one in particular.  He dials up a number on his cell phone.
"Ah!  Shinobu?"
CLICK. (She hangs up on him again)

---End Chapter---


  1. Wow yuo're doing a great job here!! :) Thanks
    Ahaha Kana-chan is shipping ChihayaxTaichi XD

    1. Thanks and you're welcome! Yup! Kana is a total ChihayaxTaichi shipper! :-D It's cute.

    2. Well, I have to say that I'm a ChihayaxTaichi shipper myself... but I'm waiting for Arata to come back, then we'll see ;P

  2. I appreciate your summaries. I am so glad to have found your blog. So nice to read these when the scans are slow coming out. Thank you very much.

    Make me number three for Chihaya x Taichi. Arata is OK, but I think Taichi makes the better boyfriend. I like Kana-chan more because of this chapter.

    1. You're welcome to my summaries! I really enjoy doing them and try to at least get one or two out per week. I just hope not a whole lot is lost in translation b/c the Chinese version may be slightly different in wording and jokes. Ugh, don't even get me started on the names... Lately I've been skipping the karuta poetry if it doesn't really matter in the story b/c they are really hard to translate! :-P But, I guess we can all get the gist of what's going on and the feel of it so I guess we can make-do until the scanlations come out.

      LOL, yeah, I think the Chihaya x Taichi shippers may go to war with the Chihaya x Arata shippers at some point in the near future...hehehe.... I like Taichi a lot, mostly b/c he's voiced by Mamoru Miyano, but I also like Arata a lot. But lately, I've been thinking that neither of them are a good match for Chihaya romantically. (I know! Blasphemy!!)

      I really like Kana b/c she's a wealth of information. I think each of her teammates have contributed to Chihaya's skills, and I think what Kana teaches her is the "soul" of karuta--which is really important, especially with Shinobu as her archnemesis. But now she's gotta put it all together to be #1. I'm really hungry for that showdown!

  3. Yeah shipping wars can be scary! XD
    I like Arata more than Taichi (mostly because I have a kind of fetish for glasses u_u) but since this is a josei and it should be a bit more realistic than a shojou, I don't like the idea of Chihaya falling for him just because he is her karuta god (that's how I see it at the moment): that's why I said I was waiting for him to come back. Plus in the end Chihaya will be the Queen, Arata will be the Meijin (Taichi won't NEVER be able to win against him) so, at least, just give Taichi the girl (he's such a well writen character, he can't be such an underdog :P )
    Oh and by the way I'm Sara (I don't like this anonymous thing) :)

    1. Yeah, this site doesn't let you identify yourself unless you have one of like, four obscure accounts. Can't understand it either. Hi Sara!

      (yeah, dark haired megane hottie with a Fukui accent...I think it was the accent, for me)

      I feel as though the mangaka will never let Taichi be more than Chihaya's side-kick. There are 2 primary things on Chihaya's mind: karuta and Arata. Secondary are: Daddy Bear, eating, sleeping and school. Taichi is a really well developed character, which is why I agree it's such a waste. He supports her like a true friend, but his ulterior motives are different from Chihaya's passion for the game, so if they did go out, I'm not sure it would end well--especially with her Arata worship thing. But Arata is also clueless--that would make a strange relationship, wouldn't it? (a funny fanfic, tho)

      Still, there are moments between Arata and Chihaya that make it feel as though they have that ethereal connection that she and Taichi don't, which makes Chihaya x Arata a very romantic concept: how they first met in the rain while she was waiting for him to deliver the paper, when she stood up to Taichi and defended Arata from bullying, the time she pulled him off his bike under the cherry blossoms, when she saw him again during his match, when she called him on his cellphone on Christmas Eve (next chapter).

      But, if anything happens between the two, it won't be until they sit next to one another as the reigning Meijin and Queen.

    2. Taichi's biggest problem is that he's always there, he put himself in a friend-zone and Chihaya takes him for granted.
      With Arata everything is more romantic 'cause they don't see each other so it's always like "oh am I gonna see him? what should I tell him? Oh I bet he's stronger now": it's true, they have a strong bond (and it could easily turn into something more and be very romantic!) but like this it gives me the feeling that she likes him mostly because he's an awesome player and because he gave her her dream... and I aspect more from this manga :D
      I hope that the real competition begins when the three of them get to be together again (assuming Arata has feeling for Chihaya too, because if we can say that she has a thing for him -even if I don't know what kind of thing ^_^'' - I'm really not sure about him), till then I can't help but think Taichi deserves more!
      Oh gosh I started a discussion, now the post is full of comments XD

    3. XD You know, I love discussions as long as they're not mean spirited and everyone respects the others' shipping preferences and tries not to give big spoilers away. I totally feel you, when you say we have no idea what Arata is thinking. That's why I'm a bit on the fence about him now. I think the mangaka wants to keep that "mystery" for a later date, just to keep us reading. It's boring when you know everyone is after the same girl (i.e. Fushigi Yuugi) and you know who the girl loves.

      But remember that incident with the swimsuit magazine? And the incident where he asked Taichi if they were going out? (And when he volunteered as her lap pillow)

      My theory is this: It clues me in that he's not disinterested, to say the least, but his focus right now is making up for abandoning karuta for 1 1/2 years. And he's got this friendship/rivalry going on with Taichi--like whomever beats the other will have the rights to confess to Chihaya or something. Arata plays fair (Taichi reluctantly does as well) and until they are both A rank, neither is going to confess. THAT is such a guy thing; I'm going to bang my head against a wall if that's the case b/c as of the last chapter released in 12/2011 Taichi is still B rank.

    4. Ahahah don't wory I won't become harsh: I'm not the type and I'm not really that sure about my shipping preference ;P
      I thought the same but if it's really "whomever beats the other will have the rights to confess" it's predictible: Arata's simply the best!
      By the way, about Taichi being B rank: in the last chapters he's in 11th grade, isn't he? And the match at the begining of the manga is during their 12th grade right? So he hasn't so many chances to level up.. no way: no title, no girl and forever B rank!! Poor boy, his mom's gonna kill him!! X°D

  4. I want to thank you again because your summaries are awesome.
    I don't know what to think anymore. Arata or Taichi? Hard decision, but as always we have to let the author decides for us.

    I saw the raws until vol 11 and I don't like the new characters, but it doesn't matter anymore because I can feel that a love square is approaching. Or is it a pentagon??? oh wait! I forgot about that girl, so, is it a love hexagon??. Anyway, the story is interesting again.

    I can't tell anymore detalis, I don't want to write major spoilers.

    And as always, thank you a lot.

    P.d Don't worry if you didn´t understand what I just wrote, I don't understand it myself either...

    1. Thank you and you're very welcome to my summaries as well!

      Don't worry, I think someone gave me a clue when I was surfing the Mangafox discussion boards a while back. I had a feeling it was going to be like that.... -_-; The romantic "Chiharata" shipper in me is inwardly groaning, but it should be really interesting to translate! And more to discuss! So everyone should hang on to their shipping preferences for now and read on until something astonishing happens and we can all go "WTF/FTW" together! :-D

    2. Upon reading your comment again, I thought to myself, "Goodness...more names to muddle through...." SIGH... It's just like Tite Kubo's Bleach...just keep introducing more characters to keep things interesting! Nooooooooooo!

  5. i absolutely LOVE the work you're doing here...
    i must thank you a hundred times for this "chuu~~~~"
    ....anyway...every time i see new names in there...i get confused too...i'm staring at it a few moments maybe i remember it and then i get over it hoping it's not a crucial character...
    anyway....i'm an asayaXXtaichi fan...who are you rooting for?

    1. Taichi...I love Taichi, he's such agood friend. But I'm a member of the ChihayaxArata Adoration Society.... -_-; (shhhh, I don't usually advertise it, tho)

  6. Thank you very very much for summarizing these chapters!!

  7. Hi Kero,

    I just came across your blog by chance while I was trying to translate some of the Chihayafuru manga myself. I'm currently trying to release a scanalation of this chapter (and the other missing ones hopefully!) but there where a few parts of the dialogue that I didn't understand very well. I was just wondering if I could use your posts as a source for my own translating (and maybe using yours if I can't translate well enough). Of course I would credit you and put a link to your blog on each release. At the moment I have finished translating chapter 44 (bar a few sentences I've given up on for now) and I'm just about to start adding the English dialogue to the manga pages I've cleaned.

    Please let me know what you think,



  8. You're a godsend! I was looking high and low ail over for the missing volumes, even went out to the nearby bookstores to see if they had Chihayafuru in vain T.T Thank you for the summary!