Chihayafuru 3 Finale: Unleashing Emotions – Series Review

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The Complex Nature of Chihayafuru: Exploring the Final Episode and Contemplating the Future

When it comes to the anime series Chihayafuru, describing it is no easy task. The final episode, directed by Asaka-sensei, has left us with mixed feelings and perplexing questions. It’s unclear whether these choices indicate a higher probability of a fourth season or if they were simply artistic decisions. A significant amount of crucial content from the manga was omitted from this episode, and we are left wondering about Asaka’s intentions for these exclusions.

Another question that arises is whether we even desire another season. In a previous statement, I expressed that I would have preferred the manga to end where the anime was a few weeks ago. However, with the possibility of a fourth season, I face a dilemma. There is undeniably valuable content in the upcoming chapters, including some intriguing material that was skipped. It is difficult to determine the ideal course of action in this situation.

An Unconventional Finale Centered on Arata’s Karuta Club

The final episode took an unconventional approach by predominantly focusing on Arata and the formation of his karuta club at school. While much of this content aligns with the manga, the decision to make it the centerpiece of the finale feels somewhat peculiar. Especially considering the significant dramatic events occurring in Tokyo, this choice renders the episode mildly anticlimactic.

Zooming out for a bigger picture analysis, Suetsugu-sensei cleverly emphasizes the diverging paths of Arata and Taichi/Chihaya. As the latter two gradually drift apart from each other and the karuta club (Chihaya’s departure occurs off-screen), Arata, who has always been a loner, strives to become part of a team. His motivations are clear—having compared himself to Chihaya and Taichi, he has come to appreciate the interpersonal connections he lacked due to his unwavering focus on the meijin title. Arata’s journey presents an opportunity for him to forge new bonds with the world through his involvement in karuta.

Arata is taken aback when he learns indirectly from Sakurazawa-sensei via Retro-kun that Chihaya and Taichi have quit the karuta club at Mizusawa. Although one might expect him to piece together the puzzle in his mind, there is no evidence of this in the episode. Additionally, his efforts to become the club’s leader consume much of his attention. Unlike Taichi, who possesses natural leadership qualities but lacks a profound connection to karuta (a role previously fulfilled by the ego-driven Chihaya), Arata is a natural leader with limited innate knowledge of the game.

The Personal Struggles of Chihaya and Taichi

In this episode, we gain glimpses into the personal lives of the two central characters. Chihaya is shown trying to devote herself to her studies—a task of utmost importance. However, her emotional state is in turmoil following her separation from the karuta club. As is often the case, she finds solace in unexpected places, developing a unique bond with Fukusaku-sensei (Endou Daichi deserves credit for his portrayal), who may not share her passion for karuta but understands the profound connections fostered by the poems themselves. Fukusaku-sensei recognizes Chihaya’s genuine desire to teach, despite her unconventional fit for such a role.

Taichi informs “Mrs. Pressure” (who is appalled that he lost his top class ranking to Tsutomu-kun) of his departure from the karuta club. However, her reaction is unexpectedly subdued. Taichi’s focus shifts toward his college preparations and his long-term goal of attending medical school. Fate seems to intervene when his cram school teacher turns out to be none other than Suou-meijin. While Harada has been an excellent mentor to Taichi in both karuta and life, there are certain aspects—due to their contrasting personalities—that Harada-sensei cannot teach him. Perhaps Suou, despite his marked differences from Taichi, possesses the capacity to offer a distinct form of mentorship.

Overall Assessment: Season 3 Surpasses Its Predecessor

Despite leaving us in a somewhat somber state, there is no denying that the third season of Chihayafuru surpasses its second installment. While karuta remains a central theme, the competitions are more captivating, especially when it comes to the storylines involving Harada-sensei and his opponents. The non-karuta developments have a seismic impact that compensates for their limited screen time. However, this evaluation is complicated by my intimate knowledge of the manga, which leaves me conflicted about the future of the anime (assuming it continues). Chihayafuru has always been a series that evokes complex emotions, and it undeniably maintains a firm grip on my psyche, for better or worse.


In conclusion, the final episode of the third season of Chihayafuru presents a myriad of perplexing choices and narrative developments. As the central characters navigate their individual paths, we are left questioning the implications for the series going forward. Despite some unconventional decisions, the third season outshines its predecessor, delivering compelling competitions and impactful developments. The future of Chihayafuru remains uncertain, and the complexities underlying this anime series continue to captivate audiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will there be a fourth season of Chihayafuru?

While the possibility of a fourth season exists, it is unclear at this time whether it will come to fruition. Fans must patiently await an official announcement from the production team.

2. How does the anime adaptation differ from the manga?

As with any adaptation, the anime version of Chihayafuru may contain modifications and omissions compared to the original manga. These changes often aim to streamline the narrative or address time constraints.

3. Which aspects of Chihayafuru make it so captivating?

Chihayafuru’s appeal lies in its multifaceted characters, compelling karuta competitions, and the intricate connections formed through the poems. Together, these elements create a rich and engrossing world that keeps viewers invested in the series.

4. What impact does Chihayafuru have on its audience?

Chihayafuru has a profound effect on its viewers, evoking a range of emotions and fostering a deep connection to the characters. The series explores themes of ambition, friendship, and personal growth, resonating with audiences on a personal level.

5. How does Chihayafuru stand out from other anime series?

Chihayafuru’s unique blend of competitive karuta, complex character dynamics, and thoughtful storytelling sets it apart from many other anime series. Its ability to captivate audiences with its nuanced exploration of personal journeys makes it a standout within the genre.