It’s finally time for the confrontation between Ai and Ika! Who will emerge as the victor?
The day of MyNavi Women’s Open preliminary stage has finally come, with Yaichi handling the commentaries for the matches accompanied by Ginko. Ika appears among the crowd and has a bit of a banter with Ginko before leaving a message to Yaichi that she is waiting for his disciple in the finals.
On the other hand, Ai and Ten-chan has successfully won their first match in the preliminary stage.
Ginko later forces Yaichi to tell her about his relationship with Ika, and we get to know that they started knowing each other from playing internet shogi together. Ai later joins the conversation and, after hearing Yaichi’s story, resolves to defeat Ika to drive her away from Yaichi.
The match begins with an unconventional move by Ika, followed by her utilizing the Opposing Rook strategy to taunt Ai. She continues pressuring her with off-board tactics and drives Ai into a corner, but Ai makes a powerful comeback and manages to make Ika run out of time. With the game tilting in her favor, Ai ends up winning the match.
As Ai and Ten-chan (along with Keika) pass MyNavi’s preliminary stage, it turns out that they have been going all out to win the matches as a birthday present for Yaichi. After a touching short speech from his two disciples, Yaichi hugs both of his disciples while shedding tears.
In the end of the episode, Ayumu faces off against the Meijin to determine the challenger for the Ryuuou title match and ends up losing against him. With Meijin being confirmed as his opponent, Yaichi prepares himself for the upcoming title defense match.
It does feel like things are going on a really quick pace, but the match was done pretty well in my opinion. I also like the original touch of adding the scene where Machi pushes Yaichi towards his disciple, which the author himself noted was a creative decision made by the animation studio. I’m guessing that they are going to slow down the pace a bit, since the last three episodes will be focusing on the most important part of the story: Yaichi’s Ryuuou title defense match!