Siren Visual bring us a continuation of the cult anime series Chihayafuru. Some say it is a cult show that deserves more attention, and this i can see as being very much true. This series immediately pick up after series 1, where Umire follows Taichi to the karuta society, where she becomes curious as to why he enjoys karuta. During practise, Chihaya takes keen interest in Akihiro, who is experienced in Second Verse Karuta, whilst also noting how Sumire felt when obtaining her first card. When Chihaya asks Sumire to trim her nails, she ends up blurting about her crush on Taichi and runs off. Learning that karuta, much like love, is determined by its rules, Sumire decides to take karuta a bit more seriously.
Chihaya returns and tries to create a new karuta club during her freshman year of a fairly prestigious Tokyo high school, Mizusawa High. She has few friends in high school, aside from those who knew her in middle school on the track team, and is desperately seeking the bonds from her childhood which were broken with time and distance.
Taichi returns from his escalator school because he was sick of the hour and half long commute, and Chihaya finds out they go to the same school, she wants to persuade Taichi to join and help with her karuta club if she becomes a Class-A karuta player. They become an official club after they gather Yusei, but Taeko Miyauchi requests to change the club's president to anyone other than Chihaya, which everyone agrees to Taichi becoming the club's president, most likely due to Chihaya's often over-zealous passion for karuta that would likely drive off her team members if she was in charge, and so Chihaya becomes the "Captain" of the Karuta Club.
Each member of the club has a certain element to bring to the team. She is able to teach Chihaya the true personality and "color" of each of the 100 cards, thus honing Chihaya's skills in Karuta further.
Nishida is extremely talented as a Karuta player, having a true love for the game as Chihaya does. He is willing to sacrifice himself to be paired with a stronger opposing player, just to increase his team's chances of winning.
Sumire follows Taichi to the karuta society, where she becomes curious as to why he enjoys karuta. During practise, Chihaya takes keen interest in Akihiro, who is experienced in Second Verse Karuta, whilst also noting how Sumire felt when obtaining her first card. Learning that karuta, much like love, is determined by its rules, Sumire decides to take karuta a bit more seriously. And this is the main plot of the series as the it begins to expand. The series is also very well dubbed, depending on which version you see; the English one is not at all distracting, in-fact it draws you in.
Arata places second in a tournament, stating that is true goal is to face Chihaya in the high school championship. However, after everyone shows their support in providing him a towel, Taichi manages to make a comeback and win his match, helping Misuzawa reach the finals against Hokuo.
Having scouted Hokuo during the semi-finals, Sumire reports that they plan to target Taichi, Tsutomu and Kana to secure three wins without much effort, which pushes them to become more serious about their match. The match soon approaches his climax with Chihaya, Taichi, Kana and Tsutomu all down to a luck-of-the-draw scenario, with Hokuo splitting the cards to their advantage, meaning Misuzawa will need to take cards from their opponent's side in order to win. Chihaya manages to encourage Taichi to try to aim for the opponent card, pushing his opponent to make an error and secure a win for Misuzawa and evening the scores. Meanwhile, Chihaya receives a text from Arata about what she thought of the finals, her reply being that it was both the most fun match she's had and the most frustrating loss. Overall at this point in the series that characters have been fully fleshed out and we genuinely care about Chihaya and her goals in the series.
As Chihaya laments her loss in the regional finals, she allows the concert band to use the room above the karuta clubroom as storage. Noticing Chihaya's depression, her mother takes her to Kana's family shop to buy her her own hakama in order to encourage her to keep playing karuta. As Chihaya gets her motivation back, the concert band plays performs for the karuta club as thanks for letting them use the second floor. Overall another impressive season from this show, I really hope it continues to be produced as it is such an incredibly intriguing premise with a large amount of characters to become attracted to as it progresses. Unique art and style this is not one to be missed, pick it up now!