Chihayafuru Season 2
I should start with getting the basics out of the way, and that’s that Chihayafuru 2 is, as the name indicates, a direct sequel to Chihayafuru, a series which was covered on the blog in ages past, and a series which revolves around the game 100 Poets. It appears pretty complicated, but at heart it’s a game of intellect and memory, and being a keen chess player myself, I can appreciate it all the more.
However, it’s my opinion that this franchise isn’t actually about the game. I think that it’s about the characters, and that it uses the game to develop them to the next level through very clever characterization. The cast really shines, and they don’t hesitate to keep adding new members into the cast and to continue to let them all develop and shine.
At heart, the show is about our main female, Chihaya, and the president of the karuta club and Chihaya’s childhood friend, Mashima. The two of them set up the club in the previous installment, and there’s a lot to be said for them in terms of development and characterization. Then on top of that, you’ve got the characters from the last series returning with the same roles and more. It all creates a delightful backdrop, and it’s honestly enjoyable to watch simply for the characters, even if you’re not very big on the game or you just don’t understand it.
Sadly, that is a possibility and something which hampers your enjoyment of the franchise, especially as this one winds into a very long tournament arc. For those who don’t understand the game very well and who can’t understand it, this series is actually starting to offer less and less. Everything depends on the game as things keep going forward, and the development of the amazing charters that were mentioned previously also depend on this.
It’s short, but there’s not honestly much to say about this series which hasn’t already been said in our last review. It’s a direct sequel, and nothing really changes. We go down a tournament arc and come out the other side with stronger, more resolved characters, and that just gives you the faint impression that the entire thing was a huge teaser for the next series…which may never come.