Chihayafuru 22: Just As My Beauty Has Faded


This. Forever this. Never give up probably ranks highest on the list of trite expressions. Except it’s not trite. Not when it’s timelessly true. I, for one, heartily welcome the newest cast member. While she might lack the conventional beauty of Chihaya or the cuteness of Ririka, Yumin is just as beautiful. Where do I begin?

She is accomplished. She’s a former Queen. She’s achieved her dream where many have failed. Moreover, she reached that pedestal by hard work. Potential is sexy, very sexy in fact but the dedication necessary to labor for years towards victory is just as attractive.

She is flawed. The viewer is given the impression that her tenacity in arguing every close call is distasteful at best and borderline cheating at worst. Yet, it demonstrates that she has a moral compass of her own. She isn’t afraid of what others may think. She plays “[her] own karuta”.

She is mature. She harbors jealous and and sour thoughts regarding her age and appearance relative to others. It’s a gender normative action but she rises above it. She displayed great discipline by practicing to reach her current level of play. She exercises great discipline during matches to gain the mental edge. She is intensely emotional but controls it with immense finesse.

I am as happy as the next guy/gal at the abundance of ample, supple, ni… bosoms prevalent in anime. But it’s incredible refreshing to witness emphasis on a female character not pertaining to the aforementioned characteristics. It reminds me of Studio Ghibli’s passion in celebrating the female experience. We have enough male pilots and magical schoolgirls. Let me be the first to hope that the popularity of Chihaya will encourage similar animes to follow.

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