Chihayafuru2‘s tournament episodes can get pretty intense. The show’s writing and direction standards are high, and the characters are strong enough that any turn in the matches can send me up or down like few other shows can. On the other hand they can be hard to watch for those same reasons. After a couple of episodes of that intensity I’m dying for a break. Fortunately, after the tournaments the show likes to take a rest and develop little things, and so we have episode 7. A lot of vignettes in this episode. The club allows the wind ensemble to use the space upstairs for storage and get an unexpected reward for it. But more interesting is Chihaya’s home life. Her sister Chitose is thinking to quit acting after some nasty reviews online and her mother suddenly turns to Chihaya and gets her a new outfit for tournaments, which leads to a nice scene with Kanade and her mom but makes you wonder at the same time if Chihaya’s mom is unable to focus her love on more than one daughter at a time. We get more of Karuta-Tsundere Sumire’s misadventures at the local karuta club–I think her reaction to playing Harada was the funniest moment in the episode. A little of everything. The only character we don’t see much of is Desk-kun. Just the break we needed before the Nationals next week. A short break, indeed.
Meanwhile OreShura is working overtime with its latest story arc, but the show is making so little impact that I forgot what this arc is about (getting the goods on Ai’s “boyfriend”) and why they’re doing it (so save the club, whatever the hell it is). And so a big date plan is hatched through the usual series of predictable scenes and dull dialogue–with a couple of exceptions. The traditional Reading of the Notebook scene has added layers to it with the girls’ commentary so that I am almost capable of watching now without thinking “Chuu2koi did it better.” We also get a flashback to one of the notebook’s scenes and witness a moment of Eita’s adolescent heart breaking, which wasn’t bad but once again I thought there should have been more impact to it. The movie scene (boy, they picked the wrong movie for their plans to work) is actually pretty good, but nothing really came out of apart from a decent comic moment. Also, Ai is the worst tsundere I’ve ever seen. C’mon, Ai, at least TRY to maintain your composure when Eita looks at you!