There are hints of romance and jealousy but it never gets far. At this point, the love trio will slowly settle things. This show’s primary focus is about Karuta but romance is always lurking around the corner but it is only glanced upon for a quick moment. Suo wants to invade this love triangle and make it into a square but Chihaya cant see this development.
I loved how Suo was trying so hard to tell Chihaya that he doesn’t have a girlfriend and screams it and Chihaya is running to the Karuta match and yells that she doesn’t either. This moment comes in at the right time to break the tension from the Karuta matches and lighten up the show. This comedic moment comes with Chihaya’s usual characteristic that she can’t leave the Karuta and ignores everything else.
I would like to see the Queen Challenger matches take up a bit more of screen time to develop some of the female characters a bit more. Blink once and you miss their scenes. Their Karuta matches mostly just happen without any of those impressive feelings that are being given to the Master challenger matches. These segments were meant to build up Inokuma and that was a job well done as her motivations and skill are portrayed as her oldest son gives her a flower in her second match. But it’s a shame that Megumu got so little screen time and development. She is a top Karuta player but nothing was done with her. She has devoted fans cheering her on in her matches, so there is some reason for her to appear as she has captured people’s hearts but she is ultimately forgotten.
Dr. Harada becoming a temporary protagonist in these last couple of episodes has been a welcomed change. Dr. Harada is a character that fully acknowledges his strength and weakness. He is the oldest player and has acquired experience and the drive to do whatever to win but still be respectful of his opponents. Dr. Harada’s weakness has been an aspect that has been hinted at several times and this episode puts into the foreground. Dr. Harada has gained experience in his career but with that experience comes excruciating pain and with that pain comes suffering and this battle will make for a thrilling conclusion.
The Queen qualifier matches go by in a flash and their matches are too short. Their match should have been given a bit more time and emotion. Dr. Harada is the driving force between these episodes and that has been a delight to see. Will Chihaya ever realize that she has three guys who have an affection for her?
Grade for Episodes 12-13: B
Streamed By: Crunchyroll