Chihayafuru 20, Ano Natsu 7, Inu x Boku SS 7

Another surreal Chihaya/Arata meeting.

So much seems to happen in Chihayafuru 20, but we’ll only see the consequences later. First up we get Chihaya and her nearly failing grades, so she can’t to go the next tournament, but study under the tutelage of that sadistic taskmaster Desktomu. But Chihaya really isn’t the focal point here. Taichi goes to the same tournament and runs into Arata, who is starting his comeback run. It’s a friendly, nervous moment. Of course, Taichi is, “deep down,” happy to see him, but think of what Arata’s presence means! One more impossible obstacle in his karuta career AND rival for Chihaya’s affections. He’s so rattled that he doesn’t win, meaning no class A this year. But there’s an interesting moment afterward, talking with Arata (who didn’t win either), who assumes that Chihaya and Taichi are a couple, or that they might be. Maybe that’s what puts the fire in Taichi’s eyes later when he refuses an offer to join class A the easy way, saying he’s no longer running away from his challenges. Meanwhile, Chihaya, this object of desire (who otherwise is shown in this episode as a total slack-off goofball) ditches studying to cheer on Taichi, thus meeting Arata. Lots of underwater imagery ensues, from both her and Taichi. Not sure what that’s about. And later a specific poem is brought up, one that reads like the meeting of long-lost lovers but actually refers to old friends who are gone in an instant, heightening the already ambiguous relationship here. At any rate, everyone now has a goal or two. Arata: Chihaya, Taichi: class A and Chihaya, Chihaya: exams. None of it, save maybe that last bit, will be resolved easily.

Ano Natsu de Matteru 7 clears up all the little spats and misunderstandings in one episode and leaves little to do from here. It’s mainly a series of explanations and revelations. The childhood friend’s explanation was pretty dull, and the only reason we would care is to see how would affect Ichika, but it doesn’t, really. She talks to herself about not being sure or denying her feelings, yet she’s all ready to accept Taichi’s kiss. As for Mio’s little revelation (so to speak), it was absolutely ludricrous and I still don’t know what to make of it, unless she has a more cunning mind, or a bigger sense of humor than she let on. Oh, well, it got a confession out of her. That leaves poor Kanna by herself if you don’t count Remon, who again exists only to screw up other peoples’ lives because she hasn’t got one of her own, and to give off that annoying laugh of hers. Now I don’t know how they’re going to fill the time until the the series ends.

It looks like there’s only one story that Inu x Boku SS is going to tell, and that’s the Ririchiyo/Soushi relationship, both forward and backward. All the supernatural stuff is simply there for window dressing. Once again a threat is presented which proves to be not much of a threat at all. However, this one allows Ririchiyo time alone with Soushi so she can yet again try to tell him how she feels. Just how she feels is an interesting question and possibly not clear to her, with her desire to reciprocate his kindnesses toward her while at the same time having her adolescent heart go thumpity-thump-thump when he’s around. However, she again fails to say much of anything, apart from a thank-you, only to get his “I’m a dog” response yet again, and so the episode really goes nowhere. The other tenants, there to add comic relief and so much needed this episode, aren’t that entertaining. There’s really no more to them than we’ve already seen. The exception is Karuta, with her blank looks and sudden action when something REALLY important happens. But it’s not enough to rescue this episode.

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