First episode of season 2 was compelling enough for me to go back to see what the first season was all about.
Basically, Taichi likes Chihaya, Chihaya likes Arata, and Arata loves karuta. Chihaya is fairly dense about feelings and doesn’t equate her intense focus on karuta as an extension of love for Arata. Since no one is chasing after Taichi, he gets his very own stalker in season 2.
The first story arc deals with the trio when they were kids. Taichi as the antagonist who bullies Arata out of jealousy then Chihaya too because she doesn’t pick up on his primitive male courting rituals. The rest is set in high school and deal with creating an official karuta club, helping Arata regain his love for karuta, dissension in the team, personal growth, and playing karuta competitively so Taichi, Arata, and she can meet in ranked matches as they promised each other as children.
All the quirky characters are interesting and serve to advance the story. Oe exists to explain the history behind the cards, and Tsutomu’s methodical note taking helps Chihaya realize her opponents exploit her weakness, 3 syllable words. Oe also notes Chihaya relies on her speeds so much she makes reckless mistakes. Porky is used to show body weight is not an issue in a sport where speed, memorization, stamina, and concentration is prized.
The second season brings back the original five karuta club members looking to increase club membership. Everyone has their opinion on what the club should focus on. Chihaya wants to do it all.
Clubs is a great place to start on leadership skills because it shows immediate results when there’s no cohesive goal in place. Case in point, people not interested in competitive karuta signing up.
I misjudged Shimure. I thought she was a conniving, manipulative girl (she is to a degree) but you have to admire her a little for pursuing a doomed, one-sided love in such a bullheaded manner. At least her misguided ambition gets her interested in karuta.
I have to say if it didn’t have the comedy (reactions, expressions)
with the heavy competitive gaming aspect, I wouldn’t be watching it as the romance aspect is annoying.
E26 aka S2E01