Total Pageviews

Sunday, January 25, 2015

In case anyone wanted to see, I found my notes on Chihayafuru Chapter 75

TN: When last I left you, two years ago (??) this was the chapter I wanted to show you all.  I can't believe no one has picked up these chapters in scanlation while I was gone??  Wth?  Just because they're not romance centric doesn't mean we can't get snippets of (Arata/Chihaya/Taichi/Shinobu) romance right?  They're all under the same roof, for heaven's sake....  

Holy cr@p I totally forgot where I left off and all these turns of phrase....

To appreciate the nuances of Chihayafuru, I have these open on my laptop simultaneously: for the actual Karuta verses in Japanese calligraphy, Romaji, and English 
Google translate - when I just can't remember what the hell that word meant, though I should! an online Chinese dictionary! A must! (when in doubt start counting the radical strokes and look it up the hard way....) to let you see the where I am

For visual thinkers like me, here is the link to the Chapter 75 raws.  So Chihaya et al. are still at Omi Jingu in the national semi-final round with Akashi Girls Institute while their fellow Tokyo entry Hokuo has lost miserably 1:4.  Thus far Meatbun was defeated, but Kanade and Taichi have bested their opponents.  Megumu Osaka is now turning on the heat because she sees a real rival in Chihaya.  Chihaya wants Megumu to give it her all, to show that they are worthy of challenging the Queen, if only to show Shinobu that she's not alone.

It's at this moment that Shinobu, in the dorms, thought she heard the "Ai/Love" card calling her. (Remember that Arata and the Fukui team are banned from the team event due to Arata's illegal entry to help them out)


Chiyahafuru, vol. 14, chapter 75

"I felt someone calling me."  At that moment, Megumu and Chihaya go for the card, but it becomes clear who the winner is.

Chihaya still...has to bow no matter how unsatisfying it is.  Her team members watch as she dutifully puts her hands together and exchanges a bow with her opponent and exchange formal thanks.

"It was an honor, thank you very much."

We won!  The Akashi members exchange happy glances.  
We lost...  The Mizusawa members stare forward grimly.  Chihaya, feeling the weight of her defeat, starts to hide her eyes and sink low but Taichi and Kana on either side of her support her evenly, in silence.

But everyone realizes that neither the Akaishi Girls Institute or Mizusawa High School has been announced.   Desktomu/Tsutomu is still playing.

Komano-senpai...  Sumire watches anxiously.  Each of them only have one card left on either side; Tsutomu has the "Nageki" card while his opponent has the "Arima" card.  Taichi knows there are still 4 "blank/empty" cards to be read, and plenty of room to fail.  Sumire notices that the whole room has gone quiet and everyone is watching intently.

I so don't ever want that to happen to me, she silently prays, shutting her eyes tight.  I would never want to be the teammate whose game decides the victory.  I wouldn't be able to take it.  I can't watch!

Three "blank/empty" cards are read and Sumire thinks desperately, Isn't it over yet?!  Just then Tsutomu interrupts, apologizes and stands up to stretch.

**Sumire's flashback with Tsutomu-kun:

Karuta is tiring and fearsome...

That's the advice Meat Bun-kun gave me.

End flashback.**

Fearsome indeed! Tsutomu thinks, wiping his sweat and catching his breath.  The very last match...the pivotal victory!  (TN: no pressure...)

The next card is read but it too is a "blank/empty" verse. know right? thinks Taichi as he watches anxiously.  There are no more empty cards...

The next card will decide the match!!

How scary! thinks Tsutomu.  But... the thing that will help me...

"Arimayama ~"  (TN: By putting the Chinese translation to Google, my guess is that this is poem 58, As Mount Arima Sends its rustling winds across Ina's bamboo plains, I will be just as steadfast And never will forget you.)

To everyone's astonishment, Tsutomu reaches out and takes his opponent's card at breakneck speeds, flicking it upwards and over her hand.  He sits there stoically as Chihaya watches in awe.

Desktomu!  Desktomu!

"Mizusawa 3 wins, Akashi 2 wins, Mizusawa advances!" announces the referee.  The teams bow and give their appreciation and thanks to each other.  The entire room breaks out in applause while the Fujisaki advisor watches silently.  Miyauchi-sensei, tears in her eyes, can barely believe it herself and remarks
 to Sumire and Akihiro.

(TN: Akihiro then says, "二年級的好拚命"which roughly translates to "Sophmores giving their all.")

Miyauchi-sensei then sees the Akashi girls in a huddle, consoling amidst their tears.  Megumu's fan club watches through their lenses, desperately wondering if they can get that sweet shot of her in tears. (TN: wtf @**holes..?)  She turns to them, grabs the camera and yanks it towards her.

"Can you give the pictures to me?"  she asks.  Her fans are a little shocked that she would ask.

"You guys took a lot of photos of this last match, didn't you?  I want them all."  She them empties out all of their SD cards and takes them with her, to their chagrin.  

She goes back to her team and starts taking off her headband. 

"Megumu..." says her teammate.
"The group match semi-final is over.  This is the end."  Megumu stares at her name on the headband (the one her friends made her).

If not for doing this together with everyone, I would not have continued practicing karuta...

"We'll do this with you...  and practice to the point where you can't reconcile to losing."

Megumu's tears fall onto the headband.

I'm so stupid!

Even if I lose I can still feel unsatisfied....  That's why I can't quit now.  Her friends embrace her.

Back at the rest area, Tsutomu gets back to business with strategies for his team.
"The last part is the match against Fujisaki High.  "Everyone, you need to listen carefully to the points I'm going to give you right now."
"Desktomu-kun," begins Chihaya.
"Destomu-kun, you were really awesome....  I mean, really REALLY awesome!" she gushes.  "Just then amid the decisive match, why did you steal the "Arima" card?  Were you actually able to hear it?"


"There's no way I could have heard it," he explains.  "I totally took a gamble!"  His teammates just stare at him in shock.

"Referencing the notes I took when I was observing the previous matches..." he continues without missing a beat, “in the decisive matches, the chances of an "A" card being read were a little higher.  That's all."

When speaking of chance, half of that is unchangeable, but... thinks Taichi.

I've heard before that... 

I've heard Sensei once say that... thinks Meat-bun.

**Flashback with Meat-bun's teacher.**

"There are different kinds of curses when battling with fate.  For example, what was first a 3rd syllable card can suddenly become a decisive 1st syllable card."

**End flashback.**

There will be "A" cards!

A curse.... thinks Meat-bun.  He looks over to Desktomu-kun.

Tsutomu has only practiced karuta for one year and 3 months.... but he's already figured out the curse on his own.....

Meat-bun is worried.  As for Tsutomu-kun...

Desktomu continues his briefing for the others and decides their strategy against Fujisaki.  "We will maintain our key members and use the sophomores to initiate the attack."

...he's already exhausted beyond measure!

Tsutomu inset: What helped me...was my data.

And he's still able to help everyone else too... We can do this!  Meat-bun concludes.


Meanwhile, the Hokuo team huddles together trembling in the shadows.  Suddenly, a hand rests on one of their shoulders.

"WE'RE SO SORRY! WE'RE SO SORRY!WE'RE SO SORRY!WE'RE SO SORRY! SUDO-SEMPAI! PLEASE DON'T PUNISH US!" Hiro cries out despairingly.  But they turn to see the match coordinator instead.

"Members of the Hokuo High School team, that last match was really regrettable."

"Something you need?" asked Hiro irritably.  
" kids know Arata Wataya?" he asks.  "He's Fukui's--"
"ARATA WATAYA!" cries out Hiro.  "That punk is my lifelong nemesis!!"  Hiro then grips both sides of his head and goes into a diatribe about his battle with destiny at that young age...

"Ah, no," says the coordinator.  "I just need to know if you knew him.  Is that right?  Wataya-kun wanted to come and cheer you guys on, but because he broke the rules, he's not permitted to enter the tournament grounds." 

Hiro glances over at the Mizusawa team but turns away sharply.  It has nothing to do with me!  Right now I don't have time to busy myself with other people's problems.  Because....

"Hey guys," says a frosty, familiar voice.  Sudo-kun wraps his arms from behind them and everyone feels the chill.  “You ready to take the Tokai road home hopping like rabbits all the way back?"  (TN: he actually says 你們準備好在東海道上一路用兔子跳跳回去了嗎  and I just used a literal translation of East China Road and rabbits...  Needless to say, it's a threat  ^_^;)

But he relents and says, "I'm just joking.  I was too naive.  I thought you guys would actually qualify for the finals so I didn't bother watching the last match. I thought you would qualify for the finals so I was saving my energy."  They all shudder at his emphasis.

"But we will watch!  Since we are Hokuo, we always conclude with a victory!"  They all look at him inspired that he's trying to cheer them up.

Meanwhile the Fujisaki fans behind the banner are saying "The senpais are really awesome!  It's the heart's beating out of my chest."

"I wonder what the final match's roster is going to be?  That makes me so nervous..."
"I don't think they need to change their strategy right?  They're already the strongest group."
"Idiot!  Don't you know Sakurazawa-sensei's methods?"
"For the last match for sure she's going to use first and second year club members."

The Fujisaki team is thinking along the same lines.
Who's going to be put to the forefront?
Right now, our 5 person team is the strongest ... sensei!
I lost my last match ... is it gonna be me?

"Manata Suzuki," says Sakurazawa-sensei.  "You will step down and rest."  The team and onlookers have a collective gasp.

TN: Manata Suzuki and Kanata Suzuki (twins) are apparently some dynamic duo on the team, and they're wondering why she's cutting that strength in half.

The crowd is in shock.  What a she-devil....

"Sensei, why is it me--?
“Knee," she says simply.  “You're wearing a knee brace and it looks like it hurts to touch it.  Thank you, if it wasn't for you Manata we would not have made it into the final round."

He stares at her speechless.

Team member Rion Yamashiro, come forward."
"Yes, ma'am."

The fans start whispering among themselves.
"Letting a sophomore onto the playing team..."
"And it's Yamashiro?  The group is going to center around her in the future."
"Because I heard..."
"The next match's orator is..."

"Don't whisper!" orders Sakurazawa-sensei, eyeing the onlookers. "The finals are the best learning experience. Watch quietly and understand the cards' significance."
"Yes ma'am!"

The finals... thinks Mochida-sensei looking on at Mizusawa's group.  

Chihaya is deep in thought.  Even though we won the game, I lost my individual match. She then goes on reciting each card that was read and where she had gone wrong in taking it.  

What should I do?  

I even saw through her weaknesses... 

What is it that I have to do?  

What is it I must do?

Suddenly Taichi takes her hand and gently unclenches her fist to reveal where her fingernails were digging little moon shaped craters in her hand and lets it go.

Was I really gripping with that much strength? she wonders as she looks at her hand.  She looks up at Taichi who is already looking away.



Relax my energy....

This is the final round!

While Miyauchi -sensei is trying to make a phone call to announce Mizusawa's excelling into the final round, Tsukuba then gets her attention.  
"Sensei, there's something I need to talk to you about."
"Not again... If you're just vying for attention again, don't you dare."
"No, no!  That's not...  I'm not vying for attention, but I'm also here.   Even though the match with Fujisaki is frightening, I'm still here."

Kana-chan goes up to him, "Tsukuba-kun, do I really look that tired?"
"I'm all right.  I'm going to go up next with the rest of them."  She looks him in the eye but everyone notices for the first time that her hand is shaking (TN: due to pain from an injury).
"Just kidding..." she says, gripping her hand tightly.  " have to win."

End chapter.

So there it is!  The chapter of Chihayafuru that I meant to put out 2 years ago!!  LOL, now I remember why I loved this manga, and at the same time, why I had a hard time translating it.  It's really time consuming!! TT_TT (1 a.m....must sleep...)


Thursday, January 22, 2015

So... are you guys still reading this blog...?

Goodness, someone just PM'd me about my blog....

And I was like, huh, what blog?  Then I remembered, "Oh THAT blog!"  (Cue in opening 10 seconds of Fergie's London Bridge here)

I'm sorry.  There is one more chapter to this manga volume of Chihayafuru that I didn't get to.  I seriously meant to get to it.  My dog passed away in mid 2013 and I was pretty despondent after that since I had him for 10 years, about the same amount of time I spent at the job I was seriously starting to hate.   And then I said "F* this!" and quit my job 12/2013 and started a new one 1/2014, which I am still  thankfully at.  

And I totally forgot about Chihayafuru.  I didn't even bother watching the 2nd season on Crunchyroll.  I thought of her from time to time driving to/from work, and wondered who was winning in the Arata vs. Taichi war.  But I just had no TIME to return to karuta TT__TT.  FORGIVE ME, CHIHAYA!!!

As the new girl on the block at the new job, I had to put in my hours, walk the gauntlet, "take one for the team" and so finally, in 2015, my life has stabilized again (I think; crossing fingers.  Be gentle with me, bosses!). 

So, as I wait for the release of Tales of Zestiria in the US I find myself writing more Tales of fiction (surprise, surprise) and finishing up Tales of Xillia2. (Le gasp! Will Ludger save Elle in time?  Is Elle actually... his DAUGHTER in a weird Sailor Moon/Chibi Moon sort of way?  Eh. Who knew?)

And here come my shameless plugs in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the "Tales of" series:

What became of Elize from Tales of Xillia when she grew up:

Why Pascal from Tales of Graces eventually decided to take baths:

Fluffy Yuri/Estelle adventure with all the gang from Tales of Vesperia:

My dream summer trip: