Sometimes the good guys win after all.

Of all the sequel announcements that have happened since I became an anime fan, this just might be my happiest moment. In the face of an upcoming season full of sequels and adaptations representing mostly safe and risk-free choices, a veritable celebration of mediocrity at the expense of art, Chihayafuru’s continuation signals that there’s still a place in anime for great storytelling and character drama.  It’s one (quite wonderful) thing for a show like Sakamichi or Tsuritama to get made in the first place, but it’s quite another to see a show at that level actually get renewed.

So why did this happen, in the face of all seeming logic? Well, it had been rumored almost since the end of S1, as you know if you followed my posts. Blu-ray and DVD sales were pretty decent for a Josei show – about 2500 per volume.  TV ratings were pretty good for a Midnight airing, though they don’t matter much at that hour.  Probably most important was the success of the manga, whose sales spiked considerably after the anime began airing.  That was arguably the top priority of the anime in the first place from a commercial standpoint.

Whatever success Chihayafuru did have commercially, it’s obviously a tribute to what mangaka Suetsugu Yuki created and the fantastic job Madhouse did in bringing it to the screen.  This is a series than transcends genre as few others – a josei, it’s as good a sports shounen as any since the halcyon days of Major and Cross Game.  In Taichi, it gave us one of the greatest character arcs in recent anime history.  It also represents a non-romance series that has a more compelling romantic subplot than any romance currently airing, with three superb characters at its center.  It may not have sparked quite the boom for Karuta that Hikaru no Go did for Go, but it’s definitely brought a surge in interest for the game (Summer’s Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi might very well never have been green-lit otherwise). Chihayafuru isn’t a series that fits neatly into a demographic box, and its ragtag gang of fans span as wide a range as any group I’ve seen since I’ve been blogging.  We’re not the biggest fanbase in anime by a long shot, but we may be the most diverse.

I never gave up hope that this would happen, but it’s a pretty rare thing for this type of show to be renewed.  We don’t know much – will Asaka Morio be directing? Will it be “Taichi Tuesdays” again (probably), or another day of the week (I’d like to see a weekend morning timeslot, myself, though it’s unlikely)? And of course, in what season will it begin airing – and for how long? But there’s plenty of time to worry about that – for now, it’s enough just to be happy. To everyone who followed the links I provided and bought Blu-rays, CDs or manga – thank you. For fans of great anime, this is indeed a rare and special day – no matter what Urobuchi Gen says, good things can happen to good people!


      1. What ? I’m not a troll , I think you should all go and watch season 1 again, when that anon asked chihaya to go out and she accepted without knowing him.She is a slut,mind you.

        Don’t be so blind dudes,she is a slut.

  1. I am really, really excited for this. It was so unexpected and I can’t say how happy I am. The anime brought it to life in such a rarely seen way, whether it’s the music, the dramatic angles and movements, or the characters voices’. Definitely one of my favorites from the fall season, so I’m happy to see it come back.

    1. Completely agree! If they announced a second season of Claymore, I would cry tears of joy non-stop until the premier of the 1st episode(and probably all thru it too)! Unfortunately, I think that anime original ending killed that possibility T_T I’ve never heard of or seen an anime that had a second season after an anime original ending, or at least that I remember.

  2. “an upcoming season full of sequels and adaptations representing mostly safe and risk-free choices, a veritable celebration of mediocrity at the expense of art”
    Excuse me, but what?

    Ara Ara
      1. He didn’t say it looks terrible, just that it shows how producers are trying to play safe instead of playing around with possibilities, trying to do something significant, achieving artistic merit.

  3. It’s been a while since I got good news… YAY!!!!! I want the chibi love again! I want all that magic. I don’t want the stress of Arata around Ayase; but is part of the deal… Taichi ganbarou!!!!! never surrender. I want the queen back in full force that re-mathc has to be epic and I want to see her lose at her prime and not with thos 20 extra kilos. Is a no brainer that Arata will challenge the king. But the real winner is going to be us !!!!! good news indeed

  4. Surprising and amazing news.

    Chihayafuru was one of the most underrated shows last season purely because it was a josei show and people looked at the synopsis and saw that it was about “a card game”. Sadly, this instantly makes them think it’s a childish, nonsensical show.

  5. …about 2500 per volume <– isn't really much in the world economy.

    It's a shame – they'd sell much more if their price point was better.
    Sometimes I don't believe they truly understand the appeal Anime has.
    I've decided to invest in a couple of series myself, but have to limit
    myself to 2 a year. I'd purchase more than I'm spending now if I was
    able to acquire more content. A show can't have any bad eps, or I can't
    justify its season's cost. The ones that I buy are ones I have no expectation
    of ever being exported outside of Japan (Sora no Otoshimono is a good example).

    I know it's off-topic, but really – only 2500 is considered strong sales?

    Thanks ENZO – it’s interesting to see some of the business behind what we enjoy.

    1. Well, what I said was “pretty decent for a Josei”. And given that Josei traditionally don’t sell many discs, 2500 is – but whether that’s “strong” or not is up to interpretation. For a traditional late-night anime that number would be sub-par, unlikely to generate a sequel – but Chihayafuru is a long way from a traditional late-night anime. Manga sales were always going to be crucial, and they did experience a very nice bump from the anime.

  6. I very badly wanted to scream, but alas, I was at school, and it probably wouldn’t have sounded good.

    But I am extremely excited for this. I look forward to seeing more of everybody, and learn more about karuta.

    Made my day, finding this out. 😀

  7. Oh my goodness, this is probably my happiest moment all day, trying so hard to suppress my joy right now so that I appear normal. >w<

    Looking forward to more Taichi Tuesdays with your coverage, Guardian Enzo! 😀

  8. GOSH DARN IT!! WHY?? Y? Y? Y!!!! There’s one less show I’d be watching. I hated this show. Something about the weird voodoo-like old geezer voice chanting for poem readings and throwing your whole body into some cards like some idiot to flip them first bothered me greatly. The rest of drama was totally fine, but I couldn’t get over that game concept. And that was the main theme of this show.

    Hopefully it will be only 10 episodes or less, thus minimizing damage. 😛

  9. I’m iffy about a season two though, how ever much I enjoyed S1. Following the manga, it’s so long, or maybe I’m the type that doesn’t like long mangas but the story seems to be moving so slow as in development etc. We might reach chapter 200 and Chihaya still won’t be Queen yet 🙁

  10. Thank you so much for the announcement! I cannot express properly in words how excited and happy this made me! (*≧▽≦) While Kuroko no Basuke is indeed interesting, it doesn’t exactly compare to my dear Chihayafuru. Never mind the fact I’ve missed the last few episodes of Kuroko no Basuke . . . ヘ( ̄  ̄;ヘ)

    So even though it’s currently unknown when the second season comes out, I’m hoping when it does, I’ll be able to once again read your blog posts on them. Because there is no one else I believe that could do justice to the second season of Chihayafuru. After you did it so beautifully the first season, how could I have any doubts?

    Thank you so much for telling us about the second season! I’m excited to see more of Chihaya, Arata, and, of course, Taichi!(*^^*)

  11. I thought this day (though it must be a special day) is full of bad news. This one made me really happy and swept all of my stress. My, still, no. 1 series for 2012 is now having a season 2! *Now making Chihayafuru my wallpaper again

  12. Best anime related news I’ve heard in a long while and like probably everyone else I thought we would never see a second season. Time to show some support and buy some more volumes.

  13. This just made my day ^_^!!! Actually, THE REST OF THE WEEK!!!

    I yelled out “YES!” so loud that my both my brother and sister ran into my room to see what had happened. lol Now that I think about it… I have to admit that I’ve probably never been this excited for a sequel either Enzo!

    Thanks for the AWESOME news Enzo!

  14. Wow – really happy to hear about this. Yes! Tachi most definitely needs to proceed to Grade A. We need Ayase to win more of her matches and the love arc between the 3 main characters to develop even further. What a fantastic balance of marvelous Anime! 🙂

  15. I first heard the news thanks to Anime News Network, and I quite literally jumped out of my seat and yelled, “Yeeeeaaah!!” in pure, abject joy.

    I want this series to own on DVD. I’ve reiterated this desire many times on this site and others, and it’s just as true now as it was before I learned of season two’s go-ahead.

    All that you said about Chihayafuru perfectly articulated why I adore it so much.

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