Passion Week, Day 3: Loving You for Who You Are – Arata and Chihaya

Chihayafuru was a wonderful ride the past two seasons.  My anticipation for each week’s show was never particularly strong, but I rarely walked away from an episode disappointed.  This was due in large part how I felt about the three most significant characters – Chihaya, Taichi, and Arata.  But there was one point in which I almost did a 180 on my feelings toward Arata.

Art by じゃが

In episode five, Chihaya visits Arata, who responds in anger at her prodding for him to play karuta.  Though his back story is later presented in a palatable manner, at the time I only thought of him as an immature punk.  Taichi, I think, felt the same way.

But Chihaya didn’t.

Chihaya is hurt by Arata’s actions, but never gives up on him.  She continues to encourage him, even when it brings tears.  When they were kids, she was the one to see him and his talent, understanding how important karuta was to him, even without necessarily knowing how deep Arata’s connection to his grandfather was.

Even more, through her own disappointments, Chihaya continues on, desperately seeking to get better and to eventually meet Arata in the national karuta tournament.

Chihaya’s love, whether romantic or simply friendly, shines strongly in all weather – in times of happiness and in disappointment.  Even when she’s let down, Chihaya continues to love Wataya for who he is.

Have you ever continued to actively love someone, even when he or she has disappointed you?  Have you ever experienced love from someone whom you’ve disappointed?

2 thoughts on “Passion Week, Day 3: Loving You for Who You Are – Arata and Chihaya

  1. I wish we’d seen more of Arata in the show. 🙁

    However, Arata’s role ended up being quite satisfying overall; the most skilled Karuta player out of the three by far, and yet also constantly striving to improve. Chihaya’s faith in Arata was also very satisfying, and certainly well-rewarded. In terms of loving him for ‘who he is’, I’d say that it’s unclear how she feels about him. She’s still naive/ oblivious when it comes to romance, but he’s clearly an important friend and role-model, so, as long as she doesn’t see him as too removed from her/ on a pedestal, then loving him for who he is is obviously not a bad thing, as long as she isn’t disappointed for seeing him as something else.

    1. Yeah, the series definitely does a good job of being ambiguous regarding Chihaya’s romantic feelings toward the male leads…or rather, making it clear that she probably hasn’t reflected on these ideas much.

      While you certainly bring up a good point about how Chihaya’s love for Arata could potentially be a bad thing, I like looking at the other side, in which her love toward Arata helped transform him, even while he was in the doldrums of depression.

      Thanks for the always excellent comments, Hana! 🙂

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