Awesome, Chihayafuru is back! More addictive Karuta, and the two new characters will definitely bring in a new dynamic that will keep the series fresh here. Karuta was just a simple card game, and yet this series made it exciting beyond belief.
I do have to voice two major concerns at this point though. First of all, there was the animation. Unfortunately, it’s clear that the second season either lacks the budget of the first, or a lot more scenes are outsourced. In the first season, every hit on the mat packed a punch. Here though, there are a lot of awkward movements, rushed drawings. It does not look as polished.
Second of all… the series composition has changed people. This time there are two people doing it. The first is pretty much new: after writing one of the Stitch series, she did a bunch of episodes for the first season, and she adapted half of Sakamichi no Apollon. The second one though… is behind the mess that was Persona 4. In fact, she did the series composition for a lot of different series, none of which I liked. For Chihayafuru, it is the original material that shines through, but I’m really scared about them keeping the balance, which was done so well in the perfectly paced first season.
So far though, the two new characters still need to get introduced, and the problem with them is that they’re initially very unlikable, so they need a lot of time to warm up. With that in mind, the past two episodes did a very good job. The girl in particular is already developed and has quite a few different sides, playing off really well against Kana. Meanwhile the new guy will probably play really well off Nishida. It’s an interesting idea here to have this guy show off a different style of Karuta.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)