Poetry in motion, that is Chihayafuru. One of the most original anime series in recent memory, Chihayafuru is all about the poetry that exists between each moment, the little actions that speak loudest and the heart behind the words that we choose to live by. It is hard to believe that an anime about karuta can be so good, but Chihayafuru is living proof that sometimes the most beautiful things in life and the things you’d least expect.
With the second season of Chihayafuru, we pick up right where we left off in season one. Chihaya is back to recruiting members to the karuta team and is determined as ever to be the queen of the game. This season introduces us to some interesting new characters who create a new chemistry dynamic between the cast. Chihaya is still good old Chihaya but we come to see changes in some of the main cast that are both poetic and truly moving. Shinobu proves once again to be the perfect rival for Chihaya, being the current karuta queen and all. Her connection with Arata makes matters complicated as emotions become entangled all around the game of karuta.
As far as plot goes, the majority of this season revolves around the much anticipated national karuta tournament. Rather interesting to note is that most of the season is set at the tournament with very little down time from it. This is of course an inverse of the first season which never featured a tournament this grand in scale. Its refreshing to see a second season of an anime take a decidedly different direction to focus on than its first making both seasons feel distinct from one another.
It must be said that while this season concludes in a satisfying fashion, there is still a desire left for more of this story. You just can’t escape the feeling that there is more to be told about the world of Chihayafuru and these characters that we have come to hold so dear to our hearts. Here is to hoping that a third season does eventually come to fruition, because in all honesty it is a miracle that this season made it. Given the concept of the series, it isn’t a made by numbers sort of series, yet somehow someway it has proved to be a success. It is a good feeling to know that quality anime can still survive in this day and age.
Visually Chihayafuru season 2 looks just as incredible as the first. With lush aesthetics that feel hand painted and delightful character designs, the striking visuals of Chihayafuru become etched into your memory. The way the smallest of details are captured in the grandest of ways, whether it be a slight zephyr of wind floating by carrying cherry blossoms upon it or the 360 degree turn shots of karuta in motion.
Furthermore the soundtrack for Chihayafuru is one of the most memorable in recent anime history with dozens of unforgettable tracks capturing the spirit of this series to perfection. On top of that the series is well voiced with an impressive cast firing on all cylinders. It truly is remarkable.
As far as Siren Visual’s release of the series goes, we get a full complete collection of the series in a subtitled only format. There doesn’t appear to be any bonus features of great note but the series is strong enough to stand on its own.
Chihayafuru is a triumph for anime. The fact that a series like this can still be made in this modern anime landscape is incredible to say the least. Quality anime still lives on and like poetry there doesn’t always need to be a rhyme or a rhythm to it, it just needs to be. Chihayafuru season 2 picks up where season 1 left off in grand fashion, plucking our heart strings and showing us what passion really is. You don’t want to miss out of one of modern anime’s greatest series. Chihayafuru is essential viewing for all anime fans.
You can pick up a copy of Chihayafuru season 2 over at Siren Visual.