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Chihayafuru Anime Season 3 Reveals Video, Casts Maaya Sakamoto

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Series premieres on October 22

The official website for Chihayafuru 3, the third Chihayafuru anime season, revealed the main promotional video, additional cast, and the October 22 premiere for the show on Friday. Maaya Sakamoto will play Haruka Inokuma. The video previews Sakamoto in her role.

Maaya Sakamoto as Haruka Inokuma

The new season was slated to premiere in April on NTV's "AnichU" programming block, but was delayed to October. The season is scheduled to air for two cours (two quarters of a year), for a total of 24 episodes.

The three main cast members return, including Asami Seto as Chihaya Ayase, Mamoru Miyano as Taichi Mashima, and Yoshimasa Hosoya as Arata Wataya. Additional cast members include Tooru Nara as Yūsei Nishida, Ai Kayano as Kanade Ōe, Tsubasa Yonaga as Tsutomu Komano, Megumi Han as Sumire Hanano, and Miyu Irino as Akihiro Tsukuba.

Kenta Miyake (My Hero Academia's All Might) replaces Unshō Ishizuka as Dr. Harada, the mentor who teaches the traditional Japanese game of karuta to the main character Chihaya. Yoshino Ohtori replaces Toshiko Fujita as Taeko Miyauchi, the karuta club advisor at Chihaya's high school. Both Ishizuka and Fujita passed away last year.

Morio Asaka returns to direct the anime at Madhouse. 99RadioService, who performed the opening themes for both previous seasons, returns to perform the new opening song "COLORFUL." Band Harassment performs the ending theme song "Hitomebore" (Love at First Sight).

The first 25-episode television anime season ran from October 2011 to March 2012. The second season, Chihayafuru 2, premiered in January 2013 and also ran for 25 episodes. Crunchyroll streamed both seasons in several countries as they aired in Japan. Sentai Filmworks released both seasons with an English dub on home video. HIDIVE is also streaming the first season with Japanese subtitles and an English dub.

Sentai Filmworks describes the story:

Chihaya Ayase is a beautiful and headstrong young woman with a passion for karuta, a card game inspired by classical Japanese poetry. As a child, Chihaya was introduced to the game by a quiet, gifted transfer student named Arata, and she was instantly drawn to it. Now in high school and reunited with her childhood friend Taichi, Chihaya dreams of finding Arata and the three resuming their love of karuta, only to discover that Arata has quit the game due to personal reasons. Determined not to let Arata's passion go to waste, Chihaya and Taichi form the Mizusawa High School Karuta Club, where they learn that in karuta - as in life - working toward your dreams is the key to winning, even when what you want seems just out of reach.

Suetsugu launched the manga in Kodansha's Be Love magazine in December 2007. Seutsugu stated that the manga will likely not end until October, when the third anime season premieres. Kodansha Comics is releasing the manga digitally in English. The manga has 24 million copies in print.

Suetsugu's manga has also inspired three live-action films. The first film, Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku (Chihayafuru: Upper Phrase), opened in Japan in March 2016. The second film, Chihayafuru: Shimo no Ku (Chihayafuru: Lower Phrase), opened in Japan in April 2016. The third film, Chihayafuru: Musubi, opened in Japan in March 2018. A five-episode live-action tie-in series, titled Chihayafuru -Tsunagu-, premiered on Hulu Japan in February 2018.

Sources: Chihayafuru 3 anime's website and Twitter account, Comic Natalie

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