15 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Shinmaru /

Chihayafuru 2 – Chihaya Fuller

chihayafuru-chihaya-is-the-ace

Don’t you fuckin’ forget that Chihaya is the Ace.

So as the resident possessor of good taste Chihayafuru fan here, it is up to me to go over this episode with a fine-toothed comb and present to you, the fair, intelligent readers of The Cart Driver, with only the best, most intellectual and sophisticated analysis of the first episode of Chihayafuru‘s second season.

OH MY GOD CHIHAYAFURU IS BACK YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY <3

. . . Ahem.

This is a strong episode to get everyone back into the swing of things with Chihayafuru. It’s actually pretty impressive how easily and smoothly this episode reintroduces the main cast and calibrates their situation following the season one finale, while simultaneously dealing with the new year, fresh additions to the club and the varied motivations and desires of the protagonists. Right off the bat, we have the familiar feeling of Chihayafuru with a new, fresh focus that makes a lot of sense. Even though they make a good team, the karuta club members are all quite different people with varying levels of skill at the game, so of course they would have different ideas about what is important to focus on in the new year.

chihayafuru-sumire

Not totally sure where I stand on the new gal, Sumire, yet. She has some amusing moments, but also a fair amount of annoying moments. I think I’m a bit put off by her mostly due to my general apathy regarding the romantic elements of Chihayafuru. I don’t particularly dislike the romance, mind, but I much prefer growth by karuta. Sumire may have her general romantic antics if she survives the trial by karuta. That said, she is amusing enough that I could easily see myself warming up to her. If you make me laugh, I’m cool with you. I am a sucker like that.

I also like all her purple flower petals. They are nice.

chihayafuru-new-guy

I am curious about this fellow, too, because he is obviously highlighted as Someone of Importance by this episode, so perhaps he will be highlighted next. I wonder how many other folk will join up? Didn’t seem as if there were many others of importance beyond the peanut gallery. Now that I think about it, though, having a rowdy group of rabblerousers for karuta tournaments would be amusing, even though none of them would be allowed inside while the actual game is going on.

Anyway, a good start! This episode looks and sounds as lovely as I remember the first season. I look forward to seeing all the characters who didn’t show up in this episode.

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15 Comments

  1. All Fiction
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    More Koromo!!!

  2. kirin
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    The great thing about this show is how it emphasizes that Karuta is much more than a sport. It’s a lifestyle,and an integral part of this lifestyle is embracing and forging a personal connection with the cards and the meanings that they represent. In this respect, I believe that Sumire deserves a bit more credit than she’s getting. She’s a bit rough around the edges for sure, but she’s a work in progress.

    • Posted January 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, that’s why I’m not in full on hater mode against Sumire right now. Karuta’s tough. I bet I wouldn’t have the patience to pick it up.

  3. Posted January 13, 2013 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    With any luck, Sumire will get some more growth as she actually starts to play Karuta. It worked well for everyone else. I also think that other new person looks like the sadist guy from last season, so I’ll be looking forward to hearing more about him.

    • Posted January 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Haha, now that you mention it, they do look similar …

  4. Anonymous
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    The new ED is amazing.

  5. Caramelon
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I was surprised to find out that Sumire’s VA is also Gon’s. Now I have a reason not to hate her.

    Also, great post :)

    • Posted January 15, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Oh god, if the next time I hear Sumire she sounds like Gon even a little bit, then I will NOT be able to unhear it …

  6. Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Thank god there is someone with good taste in the cart driver.
    Thank god for Shinmaru’s existence.
    But above else, thank god for Chihayafuru S2.

    Lets all fanboy/girl together and hope the show allows or makes us fall in love with this new love obsessed girl and fox eyes.

  7. Shogun
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Fox eyes appears briefly in the OP. His eyes open in an evil glare and he licks his lips.

    I have high hopes for this one.

  8. DS
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I really don’t get why people love this show so much. It is not horrible, but it feels a bit too formulaic in execution to make any sort of emotional impact.

    Anyway, I appreciate that they tried to add deeper character motivations for the usual “the club needs more members to survive” plot, but it felt a little unnatural. They switched from “we want new members so much we would rather use Taichi’s looks than karuta to get them” to “screw first-years, we have other aspirations” in an instant and it was jarring.

    Also, I loved how even though harem shows are often criticized for shallow portrayal of female characters, here, in a supposedly shoujo show, things are much worse. Really, Taichi only had to step on stage and they got a whole classroom of girls? This is just stupid.

    • Sarif
      Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      I think everything you said is very valid, but might have an answer for your first question. I think the show is so well received because it is a successful shoujo “aim for the top” anime. These are pretty rare with only Kaleido Star and Angelic layer coming to mind right away.

      I could be wrong but it is why I am watching.

  9. Sarif
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I have a sneaking suspision that Sumire’s boyfriend will be a rival Karuta player… Anyone else think so?

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