[Anime] Chihayafuru Season 2

Opening Titles

I'd watched the previous season of Chihayafuru, mainly because to keep up with a certain individual because to be honest the initial description of it hadn't really attracted me, but maybe not so surprisingly I'd enjoyed it rather immensely. The opening theme, Youthful by 99RadioService, was inspiring somehow, the animation was colourful and 'pretty' - a lot nicer than the preview picture that Animetake had put up looked - and karuta itself was interesting.

I even put myself to learning one of the poems:

「ちはやぶる かみよきかず たつたがわ ・ からくれなゐに みつくくるとは」 "Impassionate gods have never seen the red that is the Tatsuta River."

So it was no surprise that I had to watch Chihayafuru Season 2 when it was released, seeing as the previous season had left us all hanging in figuring out what Chihaya would be doing next, if Mashima would ever resolve his crush and if Arata and Chihaya would meet again. It didn't fail to disappoint though and carried the story on in the same manner from season 1 with the same suspense, use of colour, right down to the same upbeat mood present in the opening theme song.

However some of the art looked a bit odd to me, which had also looked a little strange to me throughout season 1, so it wasn't a great deal. As an adaption from a manga though, it had adapted the same style the mangaka had used, yet had always looked just a little off.

Chihaya studies her cards

I feel this new season started off in an unlikeable manner but most likely it was because I couldn't relate to the character which was being focused on at the start of this new season, Hanano Sumire. A first year was introduced to us, who entered the karuta club in order to chase after Mashima because of his good looks after just being dumped by her previous boyfriend on the first day, so looking for a boyfriend on the rebound you could say.

She's redeemed later on though, by giving a honest chance to karuta and beginning to get into the swing of things, studying honestly to memorise the 100 poems.

Unhappy Taichi

The karuta club also goes through its difficulties, however. After resolving many of their differences and working together as a team and even achieving measurable greatness as well as developing a will to do much better in the first season, they still have different focuses and goals which Chihaya finds hard to internalise, but eventually brings them all together in giving her reasoning for her selfless actions in focusing on their new members and her own ambitions which the other members find too 'greedy'.

When all is said and done though, although Chihaya is a karuta ace, she is still a total ditz whose ignorance about things sometimes sends people into shock, or anger. However this also makes her likeable in a way as we can explore how she realises about her style and what she needs to do and develop along with her. Also Chihaya is a bit ditzy, when she has her mind set on something, she will see it to the end.

Determined Chihaya

Like the previous season, the romance is present, but held at bay. Although karuta is essentially a bunch of love poems, which is a good point made by Sumire, and romance is obvious in that Sumire joined the club initially with the single-minded aim of getting Mashima to be her boyfriend, the relationship between Mashima, Arata and Chihaya still hasn't progressed and is unlikely to until they meet again in competition in later episodes. Although Chihaya is too clueless to notice it herself, there is a quiet competition between Mashima and Arata.

It will be an interesting journey, and those interested could of course read ahead in the Chihaya manga, however nonetheless it will be interesting to see what direction this story takes. Whether Chihaya will meet the Queen again in battle, whether Mashima will make Class A, and what relation the Queen and Arata have to each other… all remains to be seen.

Pleased Chihaya