Well, that was silly.
I’m going to guess that this episode was made up of omakes from Sugita Kei’s Utakoi manga – it sure felt that way. If not, it seems as if Kenichi Kasai just decided to throw caution to the wind and get as far away from traditional Ogura Hyakunin Isshu discussion as possible We have oxcart G-1 racing (that course – seriously?), epic Hundred Poets card battle game (Karuta, eat your heart out) and “Teika’s Room”, which didn’t quite match the comic appeal of the “Yabe-chi’s Room” segments from Mitsudomoe, despite sharing one of the same primary voice actors. We even had a Six Poetic Geniuses host club. None of this was exactly hilarious, but there were some genuinely funny moments mined from what can be a pretty stuffy topic.
A couple of figured were introduced here, among them Teika’s “co-host” Utsonomiya no Yoritsuna (Shimono Hiro), the father-in-law of Teika’s son. We also met Fujiwara no Kintou, a brilliant poet also known for expertise in calligraphy and music, who would publish the Sanjuurokkasen or “Thirty-six Poets”, a hugely influential collection in its own right. He represents a segue in the story to the Mid-Heian period, as we’re apparently going to leave this original cast of characters behind. Narihira certainly stood out at the alpha male of this first group, but it’s Munesada who produces the biggest laugh of the episode – escaping the chaos in the G-1 pits (caused by former Emperor Youzei feeding his ox sake) to storm into the lead, only to have his cart fall from a bridge and into the Kamogawa. A very fitting end to a very silly episode.