Scene: Sumire buffing her nails in class
She gets a text message from her friend, asking her if it's true that her boyfriend broke up with her [especially during Spring -- how lonely :-(] This pisses Sumire off and she angrily texts back an excuse that she's already found someone better, a 2nd year senpai who is cool, and tall, and first in his class. She's even joined the same club as him and she's determined to date him. Sumire even offers to send her friend a picture. In return she gets an approving text response from her friend.
You just don't get it, Nami, Sumire thinks. For a girl like me who's at a higher level of 'cute' than your average pretty girl...I can use tenderness as a weapon! (She's read a lot of 'how to' magazines...) If this were a shoujo manga I would be the leading female character! I will overthrow the beautiful leading antagonistic love rival! (Chihaya)
Cut scene: Meanwhile, the beautiful leading antagonist love rival Chihaya is deep in thought during Classic's class
We only need the five of us to compete for the High School Championship.
The only ones who need to win tournaments are us five, right?
While her doddering teacher is lecturing, Chihaya passes a note to Meat bun (who sits next to her in this class) on her Daddy Bear stationary.
"Perhaps after we teach the freshmen how to appreciate karuta, someone among them will emerge as a strong player?"
"There are only 2 months until the High School Chapionship, there's no way we could train them fast enough. If you really want to train them, wait 2 months and we'll discuss it again!"
"If we ignore them for 2 months, we won't be able to retain a single member!"
He tosses a note back to her and it hits her in the face. "Isn't that OK too?"
Chihaya is shocked by Meat bun's response.
Not the same! Concerning the karuta club our ways of thinking are all different...
The difference (in opinion) is so vast--
Cut scene: Back in homeroom, class 2-1, Government (Ms. Miyauchi)
Ms. Miyauchi is explaining how every class will start with a pop quiz and all students should purchase a copy of the prep materials. Also, preparation for college entrance exams really begin during sophomore year. Once they've chosen a school, they can't be idle and must start preparing.
Chihaya-- Taichi thinks. That brat just doesn't understand. Our time right now is precious! Without even hesitating she just wants to do what she wants to do. He thinks back to when she lost to Shinobu. Her dream is becoming the Queen. When she lost, she was clearly crying!
I have to...stop her.
Cut scene: Chihaya dragging Meat bun down the hall
"Meat bun-kun, what were you doing?" Chihaya demands. "I clearly said we're going to have a meeting at lunch time."
"Well, because I ate my lunch early in the morning, I was going to get in line and buy a pineapple bun."
"I'll share half my lunch with you."
"That's not enough!"
They come into the club room and see Kana-chan cleaning the mats.
"Kana-chan, you got here fast," comments Chihaya.
"That's because class 5 is closest to the club room."
"Oh, everyone's here," says Desktomu-kun as he comes in.
"Class 1 is really far," remarks Taichi.
When they finally sit down for lunch, Taichi begins, "Concerning the issue with the freshman recruits, there's no way our club room can accommodate all 20 entrants...."
"ME!" cries out Chihaya, raising her hand. "Let me use another empty classroom and teach the 20 recruits!"
At that point, Taichi is about to pop a vein. "Chihaya...The most important thing for you right now is what? By insisting on taking this upon yourself, do you think you can win over Shinobu Wakamiya?"
"Let me be the one to teach the freshmen. Even if some of them drop out, what's important is to teach them properly from the start," says Kana.
"As long as we have enough members to keep the club room, that's all that matters to me, even better if they want to join in on club activities," comments Desktomu-kun.
"If there are 20 people noising about, can we really do our best during practice? The competition is in June!" says Meat bun.
"What about you, Chihaya?" asks Taichi.
"I..." she pauses. "The first thing right now is for Taichi to become A rank." Everyone is shocked to hear it.
What? thinks Taichi. Chihaya is actually thinking about my issues?
"And then our goal should be...BEING VICTORIOUS AT THE HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP! AND THEN EACH OF US WINNING OUR INDIVIDUAL RANKED COMPETITIONS! AND FINALLY, TO TRAIN THE FRESHMEN SO WE CAN BE A KARUTA CLUB JUST LIKE HOKUO ACADEMY--" Her speech pushes everyone over the edge and Meat bun actually falls backwards in his chair.
"What? What's wrong everyone?" Chihaya asks. Then she offers a hand to Meat bun. "Are you okay?"
She's so greedy! I've never seen anyone so greedy! everyone thinks as they are shocked speechless by her aspirations. Taichi puts his head in his hand.
"....Chihaya...." (he feels a headache coming on) "I understand the other goals, but becoming a school with a strong karuta club....and like Hokuo Academy...is impossible without a proper instructor."
"I..."she begins, "If I had kohai, even if I graduated I would still come back and teach karuta." Everyone is amazed by her words.
Never seen anyone who was so greedy. Or anyone who loved karuta more.
Cut scene: Chihaya teaching the freshmen
"Today, we're going to use this empty classroom and learn karuta together!" she says happily.
"Isn't Mashima senpai going to teach us?" asks Sumire.
"The other sophomores are busy right now practicing for the upcoming high school competition in June. As soon as you guys understand the basics of karuta, you can join the Shiranami Society and afterwards we can all practice together."
"Is it OK for you to be here, senpai?" asks a freshman. "Is it because you're not the strength of the karuta team that you got stuck teaching us?"
"Are you the back-up player? Though I don't really understand the rules," says another.
"I'm the TRUMP CARD!" Chihaya declares with a scary face.
Huh? Trump card?
Cut scene: back at the club room
"Well, we'll use the recordings today," says Tsutomu (no one to read).
"Sure, are we starting?" asks Meat bun.
"Well..." begins Taichi. "Would any of you mind if I headed to the Shiranami Society to practice? I just need to go on Tuesdays or Thursdays during the week.
Meat bun grins. "Why are you being so polite? Just go!"
"He finally asked!" smiles Desktomu.
"And Harada-sensei and Tsuboguchi-san are there as well," adds Meat bun.
Taichi looks at them gratefully and heads out.
"First I want Taichi to become A rank."
"I think Ayase-san has really changed," says Desktomu. "Certainly she still does everything by winging it, that hasn't changed, but...it started since I told her that she had 20 single syllable cards."
"Has she changed?" asks Meat bun.
"I can't explain it really well," begins Desktomu, "but, you see, because she said something like that...it finally opened Taichi to start thinking about himself."
Cut scene: during karuta freshmen training
Sumire is thinking that it's so obnoxious to have to study karuta poetry and not have Taichi there to look at. Just as she's feeling sleepy she notices there's a guy sitting next to her. (The only guy in the crowd). But then she notices the "hanano wagami" card.
"Memorizing the poems is, of course, a good thing but there are better ways of memorization. It would be faster to memorize the first few syllables of the first phrase of the poem, and the first few syllables of the second phrase of the poem." Chihaya notices that Sumire is tearing up.
"Sumire-chan! What's wrong? Was it a ghost? A bug?" she says hurriedly, handing her a box of tissue. (TN: ...what...?)
"T-the poem..." Sumire sobs. The "hanano" card is based on a poem about the fleeting beautify of flowers and the poet makes a comparison between the flowers (sakura) and her youth.
"It's...so true...." Sumire concludes.
Youth and beauty...always fade over time.
To not live for love...how is that possible?!
Sumire quickly excuses herself. The other recruits also pick up on poems they really like or have some significance for them.
Chihaya remembers the words Kana once said, that the poetry and not the competition was what held the most significance for her. If you start off loving the poetry for what it is, you will always see it as poetry in your heart.
Cut scene: Sumire at the station
She's been looking for Taichi. (TN: stalker)
"Mashima senpai!" she calls out.
"Wow, what a coincidence. I was heading home early because I had a headache."
"Oh, you're Sumire-chan, right?"
Oh, he called me Sumire-chan!
"What's your last name?"
"Well then, Hanano-kohai," says Taichi.
"You can call me Sumire," she responds immediately.
"Do you think you can continue with the karuta club?" he asks.
"Of course I can," Sumire answers.
"Really? That's awesome."
Wow, his voice is so beautiful!
Isn't this great? Isn't this great? As they step onto the train, Sumire thinks she super lucky because they seem to take the same route to and from school. A wind of good fortune is certainly blowing my way!
"Oh, there's an empty seat," says Taichi. "Why don't you sit down?"
"Oh no! How can I just abandon you and sit down on my own? Besides...I always think, 'What if there's someone who is even more tired than I am?' so even if there is an empty seat, I never sit down," she answers. (TN: *throwing up a little in my mouth--I actually work with someone just like her ^_^*)
There, using my strongest feminine attack, I can win his heart, she thinks deviously. (TN: she actually says "I can clear right through" in the Chinese translation)
"It's OK, Hanano-kohai, you're not feeling well right now," he responds. She sits. Other girls on the train are commenting amongst themselves how good looking Taichi looks. Taichi is standing a little ways from her when she strikes up conversation again.
"Ma...Mashima-senpai, you seem to be admired wherever you go."
Taichi takes note of what she says. "That again...do you think so?"
"Absolutely!" Sumire says with confidence. "A lot of girls have confessed to you, haven't they? You don't have to worry about getting a girlfriend."
"Ah--" Taichi sighs. "Lately, I'm beginning to think that I understand those sorts of things more... I keep thinking lately 'how does a guy get chosen by a girl?' But...I want to be the one doing the choosing...and then give it my all." Sumire stares at him, wide-eyed.
Announcer: "Bubaigawara. Bubaigawara." (TN: Bubaigawara Station (分倍河原駅 Bubaigawara-eki?) is a railway station in Fuchū, Tokyo, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and Keio Corporation. c/o Wikipedia)
"Since you're cute, Hanano-kohai, a lot people would choose you too, wouldn't they? Well, I'm off."
I can already feel it. Mashima-senpai absolutely won't choose me!
No! I have to be chosen!
Sumire's thoughts fall back on the "hanano" poem.
I absolutely don't want to be someone who would recite a poem like that! she thinks as she hops off the train and chases after him. (TN: stalker...)
Cut scene: Chihaya vs. 3 recruits
Caption: Currently not caring about the winds of love, the Captain meets with no resistance as she takes all 100 cards