Chihayafuru: Nobody Wishes to See the Beautiful Cherry Blossoms(1.24)Review
In the queen's match Yumin is the challenger to Shinobu who had put on quite a bit of weight since the last time Chihaya had seen her which was affecting her game quite a bit because of how she relays on speed and her body movements are different now that she's heavier. Yumin starts off the match pretty strong with getting cards that Shinobu just barely miss before Shinobu has a chance to correct herself.
The story of how Shinobu came to love karuta is somewhat shown in the episode with her having to stay with her grandmother after her parents separation and how her grandmother wanted her to be good at something useful. Shinobu ends up wanting to play karuta because the cards have pretty pictures and she then seems to develop a special connection with cards seeming to be her only friends. While watching the match Chihaya realizes how she doesn't have the type of connection with the cards that Shinobu and Kana has and is therefore at a disadvantage.
The match ends with Shinobu winning after dominating the second half and while Yumin is very sadden by her loss she still wants to try and work her back here next year. The episode ends with everyone getting ready to watch the master's match who is even faster at karuta than Shinobu and Nishida tells Chihaya that the way she plays karuta is more similar to his style than Shinobu's style.
I overall really loved this episode and even though it was all about just watching a match I still was really invested in it. Please tell me your thoughts on this episode.