Megumu and Chihaya battle it out with the cards, contesting things along the way.
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Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With some intense gameplay produced in the previous episode, the match as it continues is one that really started to push Chihaya and Megumu to do their best. While we often do get Chihaya pushing herself for the love of the game and her own growth as a player, there are times where she also starts to change and grow because of who she plays. We saw that a few time sin the first season and it’s coming again here, though she’s finding it to not be an easy path to victory. Particularly since Megumu has managed to rally her team well by being calm and almost positive and plucky in a way that can be off-putting to your competition. It doesn’t quite get under Chihaya’s skin, but she’s surprised by it with the way Megumu seems so upbeat.
Part of Chihaya’s growth here is to start contesting some of the card captures that go on since the two of them are hitting some of them at the same time. Of course, while Chihaya does manage to actually contest it at times, it ends up throwing her off more than her opponent since there’s a certain grace to Megumu as she accepts the contesting and just moves right along with the next move. But as the match progresses, we do get some good bits throughout from a few different point of views, including a good nod from Taichi as he tries to be a rock for Chihaya to lean against and to remember what they faced previously so they can surpass this hurdle and move forward once again.
The flashbacks do filter in throughout the episode, which at times can feel like it’s throwing the flow of things off a bit since we know what the Mizusawa kids have been through, but as it moves on and we see the way the game gets more and more intense between Chihaya and Megumu, the strain is starting to show through in new ways. Chihaya can’t see it since she’s not as familiar with Megumu, but others that know her are beginning to see the cracks in the facade. Like past matches, there’s a solid buildup towards things here as we see how both girls are dealing with the match and the way Megumu suddenly realizes that Chihaya has eaten away at the lead she had, making it far more competitive than she thought it was going to be.
Chihayafuru does spend a lot of time on this match between the previous episode and this one and it’s largely kept to the material between Megumu and Chihaya as they battle it out and struggle with each other at different times. We do get to see the others playing and some of what they’re up against, but it’s given a cursory nod more than anything else, though it has some incentive given towards the end to get Megumu back on track. There’s some fun stuff to watch with how this is unfolding here and the way the two sides battle out their game against each other, but it does take longer than you feel like it should, especially with what’s mostly unnecessary flashback sequences.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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