Synopsis and Review of Chihayafuru Part 2: Shimo no Ku
Synopsis and Review of Chihayafuru Part 2: Shimo no Ku

Synopsis and Review of Chihayafuru Part 2: Shimo no Ku

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Chihayafuru Part 2: Shimo no Ku is a continuation of the Japanese traditional game movie, Karuta. The live-action film is considered the best in its category and has collected a revenue of 216 million Yen for its second trilogy. Starring Suzu Hirose, Shuhei Nomura, and Mackenyu, the movie follows the story of the karuta club players as they participate in the Karuta Tournament in Tokyo. Although the game becomes more intense, the player’s challenges also become more complex. Here is a synopsis and review of the movie, Chihayafuru Part 2: Shimo no Ku.

Synopsis

Chihaya (Suzu Hirose) has a dream of playing Karuta with her childhood friends Taichi (Shuhei Nomura) and Arata (Mackenyu) in the beginning. When Chihaya wakes up from her dream, she tells Taichi about it. The two friends then board a train to Arata’s house. Along the way, Chihaya wonders why Arata stopped playing Karuta. When Chihaya finally sees Arata after contemplating whether to go to his house or not, she tells him that she misses him.

Chihaya invites Arata and Taichi to play Karuta, but Arata declines due to the death of his granddad who inspired him to play the game. Although Chihaya insists, Arata orders them to go home and train instead since they will be taking part in a competition soon. Chihaya later discovers that the reason why Arata doesn’t want to play Karuta anymore is that his granddad died, and it makes the game lose meaning to him.

In the Karuta club room, Tsukue (Yuki Morinaga), Nikuman (Yuma Yamato), and Ooe (Mone Kamishiraishi) are training while suffering from the heat due to the lack of air conditioning. Chihaya reveals that Taichi is participating in a Karuta match so he can enter the A-level rank. Nikuman implies that Taichi started to like Karuta recently, but Chihaya thinks he enjoyed it since a long time ago.

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At the Harada sensei’s dojo, Harada explains to Chihaya, Ooe, Tsukue, and Nikuman that for the national competition, a team of five players should win. Therefore, Ooe and Tsukue have to train hard to keep up. Harada also informs Chihaya that the competition will include a match for the Queen, wherein the best Karuta player would be recognized. The Queen is usually a solo, and the best player will win that title.

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Review

The second installment of Chihayafuru is more profound in terms of character development than the first. The protagonist, Chihaya, struggles with balancing her passion for Karuta and belonging to the team. Her obsession with becoming the Queen arises when she learned about the title from Harada sensei, the team’s Karuta mentor.

However, this single-minded focus causes tension within the group, affecting Taichi’s performance in Karuta. There is also an underlying romantic tension between Chihaya, Taichi, and Arata but never develops into anything significant in this installment.

One of the things that make this movie enjoyable is the way the Karuta scenes are filmed. It’s fascinating to watch these characters battle it out with just their wits and memories of the poetry on each card. The director also balances the serious tone of the match with the quirky, comedic moments featuring the cast’s excellent comedic timing.

Another notable aspect of the movie is that it explores the relationship between Karuta and death. The death of Arata’s granddad profoundly affects Arata, making him realize that Karuta no longer holds the same meaning that it used to for him. On the other hand, the grieving process is also explored when Chihaya tries to comfort Arata.

Conclusion

“Chihayafuru Part 2: Shimo no Ku” is a well-crafted continuation of the series that manages to deepen the characters’ relationships and struggles. The Karuta matches are still as exhilarating as ever, and the movie’s humorous and emotional moments are well-balanced. Overall, Karuta fans will find this a worthy watch, and those who are new to the series will surely enjoy watching this fantastic display of the traditional Japanese game.

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Nina Sulistya is a film review writer who is good at stringing words in writing film reviews. Her writings always provide a different and interesting point of view for readers who want to know an objective opinion about the film to be watched.

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