Chihayafuru OVA

OVA (1 ep x 23 min)
3.556 out of 5 from 1,729 votes
Rank #5,170
Chihayafuru OVA

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Unaired episode bundled with the 22nd volume of the Chihayafuru manga.

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I was steered to the Chihayafuru OVA while doing the clean-up work closing up season two in preparation for taking on the last season.  The OVA situates itself at the end of the karuta tourney where Chihaya injures her hand and has undergone surgery.  Taichi has finally become Class A.  Now these two are at the gates of Fujisaki Academy to take on the next levels of karuta.  This OVA wedges itself in this same time span. Strangely, the main character of this episode is the first-year Sumire Hanano.  We flash back to the earlier episode where Sumire is inches away from confessing her love to Taichi ... except Taichi accepts! Surprise, it's Sumire's over-active imagination, and it’s this hope for love with all the wrong people which pushes her to conspire how to snag Taichi now that Chihaya is laid up for that week in the hospital recovering from her injury.  Her plotting centers on getting the karuta club to follow her plan to develop a romantic play to introduce the karuta club to the new class in the cultural festival.  The other members have their own ideas, and part of the humor of the OVA is Sumire's caginess in getting Kanade to get caught up in the romance concept, Tsukuba to nix the demonstration of gameplay, and Tsutomu to get excited in the novelty of the play.  Of course, Sumire has the perfect suggestion on whom to play the lovers. The drawback with this presentation is Chihaya does not a significant role in her own OVA.  Arata makes a cameo role in the end to complain that he had no lines himself.  Chihaya does succeed in gaining a role in a hastily revised farce involving the first years, much to Sumire's ire.  It was the karuta club not playing karuta but developing the relationships between the major characters … except it doesn’t.  It was a plot going somewhere and ending up nowhere. In the end, we have a total nonsense piece which does nothing to lead up to all the action that would flare up in 2019, when, after a six-year hiatus, fans of Chihayafuru got to see what is left in a premise which had Taichi and Arata as true rivals, both Class A players in karuta, and forthright friends of Chihaya.  Hmmm … and who shall be the better friend?

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