Chihayafuru – 20

With her grades in awful shape and exams approaching, Chihaya is barred from competing in the next tournament, and Tsutomu tutors her and Nishida while Taichi goes alone. There he meets Arata, who is playing again and still in Class A. Taichi loses in the third round, and Arata finishes fourth, losing his final match by one card. Chihaya, who came to watch Taichi, is stunned to see Arata and blown away by his play. Harada tells Taichi he can promote him to Class A if he wants, but Taichi declines, stating he’s more focused on becoming someone who won’t run away.

It’s certainly been a good long time since we’ve seen Arata in action, and if the light that shines and the stuff winds that blow are any indication, he’s still not that bad at all at the game of karuta. His unexpected presence turns Taichi’s solo confidence-building and Class A-advancing exercise into another pity party, with Taichi litterally walking in worlds of grey clouds as his hair covers his face. OH BER BERR BERRR I’M SO DEPRESSED. He even starts to exhibit past behavior when he considers what to do with the contact info Arata gave him to give to Chihaya. But rather than hide it like Arata’s glasses, he tells Arata to give it to her himself, once she arrives. Growth.

Not only did Arata expect him to be in Class A by now, he also believed Taichi and Chihaya might be an item by now. Yeah Arata, we thought so to. ALAS. Here’s the thing, we can’t exactly blame Taichi for not trying to start something with Chihaya. Her utter obliviousness must wear him down, and it’s not entirely clear Chihaya isn’t madly in love with Arata and just doesn’t know it yet. She certainly admires the hell out of the guy, and is in almost constant awe of him. How can Taichi compete with that power?


Rating: 3.5

Mirai Nikki – 19

The mayor of Sakurami City successfully gets the city council to vote to close down Eighth’s child care center. In the Causality Cathedral, he almost has First and Second expelled, when the two arrive and reveal his identity to Eighth and Ninth, the other remaining diary holders. Yuno and Yukkii then ally themselves with Eighth’s team to bring down Eleventh, only to stab them in the back after intentionally faling into the Mayor’s trap, causing all phones to be jammed. Eighth escapes with Eleventh, and they lead Yukkii and Yuno on a car chase. When the cars are wrecked, Yuno is about to shoot Eleventh when Ninth arrives via motorbike with Akise, who has determined that the third corpse is Gasai Yuno, making the living Yuno an impostor.

Well, it’s about goddamn time Yukkii grew a pair again, and this week he does, and how. At first we were confused about his sudden, utter change of behavior, but his initial display in the Cathedral was just an act. Still, throughout most of the episode he’s more calm and confident, and follow’s Yuno’s handwritten plans to the letter without hesitation or pussyfooting. He even kills (and lets Yuno kill) with impugnity, something inconceivable up to this point. Perhaps the loss of his parents released a lot of the fear that plagued and paralyzed him so long. He knows the only way to be with them again (aside from maybe dying himself) is to become a god. The road to that outcome is bloody, but straight. The certainty of what needs to be done – and his faith in Yuno – are his new comfort.

But hold on…what’s behind Corpse Number Three? Oh, snap, Yuno isn’t really Yuno? Then who in the heck is she? More to the point, with her death necessary for Yukkii’s ascent, does it really even matter at this point? Apparently it does, since the show goes out of its way to milk the revelation for all it’s worth. Just when we thought we’d learned something about this crazy girl, and just a week later they turn her into an unreliable narrator. And let’s not forget that Yuno had a loaded gun pointed at Eleventh for quite a long while, but didn’t pull the trigger. Very un-Yuno like. Now she has some explaining to do.


Rating: 3.5

Car Cameo: Mayor Bacchus travels around in Epicurean
splendor in his top-of-the-line Toyota Century.