HIDIVE to Stream the English Dub of the Third Season of the Chihayafuru Anime

HIDIVE has announced that the service will begin streaming the English dub of the third season of the Chihayafuru on July 30, 2021. New episodes will stream on Fridays. The episodes will be available in the United States and Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia, and Central and South America.

The story of the third season of Chihayafuru is described as:

They may have just won their most coveted karuta tournament, but the members of the Mizusawa karuta team still have a long way to go. Each member chases their dreams, and with a win under their collective belt, those dreams are closer in reach more than ever — but an unexpected revelation will deal these karuta players a hand none of them saw coming.

Source: HIDIVE

English Cast Announced for the Third Season of the Chihayafuru Anime

The English cast has been announced for the third season of the Chihayafuru anime:

  • Luci Christian is Chihaya, Young Chihaya
  • Blake Shepard is Arata
  • Adam Gibbs is Taichi
  • Bryson Baugus is Desktomu
  • Juliet Simmons is Kanade
  • Greg Ayres is Porky, Yukari
  • Maggie Flecknoe is Sumire
  • Gareth West is Akihito
  • James Belcher is Dr. Harada
  • Vicki Barosh is Mrs. Miyauchi
  • Shannon Emerick is Young Arata
  • Chelsea McCurdy is Young Taichi
  • Natalie Jones is Aki, Daisuke
  • Taylor Fono is Akihito’s Mom, Midori
  • Kyle Colby Jones is Akira, Mr. Fukusaku, Hiro, Young Hiro, Yoshioka
  • Brittney Karbowski is Amakasu, Jin
  • Kregg Daily is Arata’s Uncle, Shinkai
  • Rachel Landon is Chieko
  • Cat Thomas is Chiemi
  • Carli Mosier is Chitose, Haroumi
  • Katelyn Barr is Fuyumasu, Mari, Rion, Shinobu’s Grandma
  • Olivia Swasey is Dr. Harada’s Wife, Ishida, Miyagawa
  • Kelly Greenshield is Haruka Inokuma
  • Ned Gayle is Hayashi
  • Orlanders Jones is Hidakaya, Midori’s Brother
  • Daniel Regojo is Hiro Matsubayashi
  • Benjamin McLaughlin is Hiroshi
  • Courtland Johnson is Hyuga
  • Jack Ivy is Ise, Mochida
  • Clay Thompson is Kameda
  • Joe Daniels is Kawashima, Shinji
  • Gabriel Regojo is Coach Kanno, Nitta
  • Anthony Hunter is Kenichi
  • David Wald is Kenji
  • Scott Gibbs is Kenta, Takemura
  • Shannon D. Reed is Kibayashi
  • David Harbold is Mr. Kitano
  • Michael Wronski is Koda
  • Nathan Wilson is Konno, Tadashi
  • Ty Mahany is Mr. Kuriyama
  • Shelly Calene-Black is Kyoko
  • Kay Bertrand is Kyoko (Singing)
  • Joanne Bonasso is Maniko
  • Clint Bickham is Makoto
  • Josh Morrison is Mashita
  • Carolyn Medrano is Mayu, Natsufusa
  • Allison Sumrall is Megumu, Reiko
  • Alyssa Marek is Michiru
  • Alexandra Bedford is Momo, Young Tadashi
  • Joel McCray is Mori, Shiroyama
  • Adam Noble is Murao
  • Tiffany Terrell is Rieko
  • Avery Smithhart is Risa, Young Suou
  • Houston Hayes is Ryoga
  • Patricia Duran is Coach Sakurazawa
  • Cody House is Satoshi, Takei
  • Christie Guidry is Shiho, Yuikawa
  • Kira Vincent-Davis is Shinobu
  • Greg Cote is Shun Matsubayashi
  • Blake Weir is Shusaku
  • Mike Yager is Sudo
  • David Matranga is Suou
  • James Marler is Tsutsumi
  • Molly Searcy is Uozumi
  • Heidi Hinkel is Watari
  • Jay Hickman is Wataya
  • Natalie Rial is Yube, Yuu
  • Courtney Lomelo is Yumi
  • Antonio Lasanta is Yuta
  • Christine Auten is Yukiko

The voices for the official karuta readers include’:

  • Clint Bickham is Mr Igarashi
  • Blake Jackson is Hirota
  • Andrew Love is Komine
  • Joe Daniels is Kyoji
  • Blake Weir
  • Cat Thomas
  • Gabriel Regojo
  • Heidi Hinkel
  • Melissa Molano
  • Natalie Jones
  • Nathan Wilson
  • Scott Gibbs
  • Shannon D. Reed

Additional voices include:

  • Blake Jackson
  • Caroline Harrell
  • Cara Nguyen
  • Clay Thompson
  • Cody House
  • James Marler
  • Melissa Molano
  • Orlanders Jones

Shannon D. Reed is directing the dub.

The third season of Chihayafuru is scheduled to be released on Blu-ray on July 27, 2021.

Source: Sentai Filmworks

Section23 Films Announces July 2021 Slate

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its July 2021 slate of anime releases.

Product details follow, in order of release

Coming July 2021

Title: KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 742 min.
Street Date: 7/6/2021
Format: BD
Language: English, Spanish & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $89.98

SYNOPSIS: The alien Gauna may have destroyed Mankind’s original home, but aboard the asteroid-based spaceship Sidonia, the human race has found ways to adapt, change and survive in the endless depths of space. Now the former people of Earth can photosynthesize like plants, a third gender has been created, and military service is mandatory. Because what could be man’s last battle is about to begin, and the survival of our species will require every resource humanity has left. That includes Nagate Tanikaze, who carries a secret buried in his past that could change the course of destiny. Unfortunately, the Guana have their own new tricks as well, and not all of Nagate’s allies are who he thinks they are. The ultimate war of the worlds is about to be waged in Knights of Sidonia – The Complete Collection.

Title: GRISAIA
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 625 min.
Street Date: 7/13/2021
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: There’s a reason that The Fruit of Grisaia‘s Yuji Kazami adjusted so easily to living in a prison-like school with five very twisted girls: Mihama Academy wasn’t his first experience with an education in hell. In The Labyrinth of Grisaia, Yuji’s horrific past is revealed. From a dysfunctional family controlled by a domineering sister and an abusive father, his youth was a steady descent into hell that ultimately led to a school for assassins where the only way out was murder. So when Yuji’s past comes back to haunt him and he’s framed for a crime that he didn’t commit, there’s really only one group of bad girls he can trust to have his back… and the five girl commando squad of Yumiko Sakaki, Makina Irisu, Sachi Komine, Amane Suou, and Michiru Matsushima doesn’t let him down in The Eden of Grisaia.

Title: RAHXEPHON STEELBOOK
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 770 min.
Street Date: 7/20/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $129.98

SYNOPSIS: For 15 years, the human race has fought an ongoing battle against the Mu, the alien invaders who have trapped the city of Tokyo inside an impenetrable dome where time flows in a different path and the mind-wiped citizens have no idea that their city has been conquered. But as Earth’s military begins to briefly breech the walls, one young man starts to realize that something is very wrong. That nothing is quite as it seems. And when he makes contact with a woman from outside, he learns that he, himself, is somehow at the center of the entire alien plan. A plan that will literally re-write reality itself. Prepare for an epic saga of love, war and time as the complete television series and feature film versions of the anime classic are unleashed in the ultimate steelbook collection of RahXephon.

Title: MM!
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 7/27/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Love can be painful, but Sado seems to like it that way. However, since he knows that’s odd for a high school student, Sado decides to join a certain club where he can beat out his masochistic tendencies. Unfortunately, that’s like putting out a fire with gasoline, as the club members all have “issues” of their own, and guess who’s about to become the new favorite whipping boy? Is even Sado ready for a nurse who forces other people into cosplay and a club president who believes herself to be a goddess? And if that’s not complicated enough, toss in man-shy Yuno, the same girl who introduced Sado to his love of negative reinforcement, and Hayama, Sado’s best friend and a compulsive cross-dresser who’s also the girl that Sado is (unknowingly) infatuated with. Love is about to get really, really weird in MM!

Title: CHIHAYAFURU SEASON 3
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 600 min.
Street Date: 7/27/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $89.98

SYNOPSIS: Chihaya Ayase’s obsession with the card game Karuta has already begun to bear fruit, and the fledgling Mizusawa High School competitive team that she helped form has stunned the karuta playing community by winning the national high school team tournament. That’s just the beginning for Chihaya, however, and now the young card mistress has set her sights on an even more impossible task: taking on grand master Wakamiya Shinobu and wresting the title of Queen away for herself. As difficult as everything has been before, it will seem easy compared to the task now ahead of her, and her teammates look to be equally challenged, especially Taichi Mashima, who’s finally made it to Class A. Has he finally learned enough to challenge Arata Wataya? Only the cards know the future as Chihaya and Crew hit the decks in Chihayafuru 3.

Anime Blu-ray Review: Chihayafuru Season 2

Chihayafuru Season 2 includes three discs that contain all 25 episodes of the second season of the series. The release includes the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and an English dub.

Chihayafuru Season 2
English Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: March 20, 2018

Season 2 picks up where Season 1 left off. Chihaya and Taichi promote the karuta club at the first years’ entrance ceremony, and around 20 girls go gaga over Taichi and decide to join the club. Unfortunately, all but one of those girls drop out of the club after going to a couple of meetings. One girl, Sumire, follows Taichi one day when he heads to the karuta society to hone his skills. Sumire stays in the club at first because she’s only interested in Taichi, but as the season progresses, she begins to build an interest in karuta. While she’s not as excited about it as the other members, she at least recognizes that there’s some worth to karuta. I admit that for most of the season, I really didn’t care much for Sumire. But by the end of the season, though, I came to gain a little better appreciation for her character.

Another new member also joins the club: a boy named Tsukuba. He used to play second verse karuta when he lived in Hokkaido. While he has a basic understanding of how karuta works, his challenge is to learn the version that Chihaya and the others play. Tsukuma can be prideful, though, and thinks of himself as a rising star in karuta and keeps trying to force his way into being a starter for competitions. He has three younger brothers that he wants to impress. While I didn’t find him quite as annoying as Sumire, I still thought he was a little obnoxious. But like with Sumire, we got to see some character development for him, and I also came to gain a little better appreciation for him.

The other members of Mizusawa’s karuta club also work at improving their skills in karuta. Porky-kun has the biggest struggles, though, and questions whether or not he’s really helpful for the team after he keeps losing his matches early on in competitions. Chihaya also learns an important lesson about helping others out by agreeing to let the orchestra use the upstairs part of their club building to store their instruments. The support the karuta club receives from the orchestra after this is simply amazing.

We also get an unexpected twist: Porky-kun’s sister starts dating Hyoro from Hokuro Academy, Mizusawa’s biggest rival. Porky-kun doesn’t even know about it until their first competition with Hokuro Academy. I’m sure this didn’t help Porky-kun with his karuta playing.

This season sees old rivalries renewed, but new rivals are introduced as well. Of the new rivals introduced, my favorite was the team from the Chiba International High School of Information Sciences. Megumu Ōsaka, the previous year’s western queen finalist is also introduced, along with her team from First Akashi Girls’ School. There were also the players from Yamaguchi Mioka, but to me, they were the least memorable of the new schools and teams.

This season also sees Arata returning to the world of competitive karuta, although he’s doing so as an individual rather than as part of a team. His goal is to compete against Chihaya and Taichi. And when Arata qualifies for the Omi Shrine tournament, he also learns valuable lessons about playing karuta as part of a team.

Of course, when we get to the individual matches at Omi Shrine, Chihaya is pitted against Shinobu again. But the real matchups to look out for are Shinobu versus Arata, as well as Taichi’s final Class B match.

Chihaya gets the biggest lesson of all after sustaining an injury during the team matches and ignoring it until the end of the day. But even after being told not to play in the individual matches the next day, she still goes ahead and does it, anyway. She has to learn an even bigger lesson after trying to play in this condition. Even though Chihaya grew a lot as both a character and as a karuta player in this season, she still hasn’t learned yet when she needs to let her health take precedence over her karuta matches.

Overall, though, I enjoyed the second season of Chihayafuru. I thought it was a realistic progression for the characters between the first and second season, and I came to appreciate the two new characters after being initially annoyed by them. My only real gripe with this season, is one I had with the first season (which I believe I forgot to mention in my review for the Season 1 set), is the recap episode that appears in both seasons. To me, these episodes didn’t really add anything of any importance, and just basically felt like “clip shows” to kill time in their respective seasons. Even with that gripe, though, I’m still looking forward to a time when I can see the third season of the series and continue the story of Chihaya and the others.

The quality of the animation continued to impress me in the second season. I didn’t see any degradation in quality between the first and second seasons of Chihayafuru.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition / 16×9, while the audio has English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. I had no complaints about either the video or audio quality of this release.

Once again, the bonus features on this release are what I expect from Sentai Filworks: a textless opening, a textless closing, and trailers for other releases from the company.

If you’re a fan of Chihayafuru and don’t already have the second season in your anime home video library, I would recommend getting this release in order to have the episodes.

Additional post about Chihayafuru:

Anime Blu-ray Review: Chihayafuru Season 1

Chihayafuru Season 1 includes three discs that contain all 25 episodes of the first season of the series. The release includes the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and an English dub.

Chihayafuru Season 1
English Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: September 12, 2017

The main character of Chihayafuru is a high school student named Chihaya Ayase. When she was younger, she was more of a tomboy and spent her life supporting her older sister in her modeling career. In elementary school, she stood up for Arata Wataya, a transfer student that the other students in the class would tease and pick on. Among the tormentors is Taichi Mashima, Chihaya’s friend who excels at sports.

Through Arata, Chihaya learns to play karuta, a Japanese card game where players have to quickly determine which card out of an array of cards is required and grabbing it before another player does. After learning the game, it becomes Chihaya’s dream to become Japan’s best female karuta player (which is referred to as the “Queen”). Over the next couple of years, Chihaya is separated from both Arata and Taichi.

At the beginning of the series, Chihaya is trying to form a karuta club at her high school, but she doesn’t seem to be having a lot of luck. While Chihaya has matured into a beautiful young woman, her classmates consider her to be weird and refer to her as a “waste of beauty.” She discovers that Taichi has transferred to her high school, but he claims to have outgrown karuta. Chihaya, meanwhile, decided to keep playing karuta in the hopes of being able to see her friends again. In the first episode, both Chihaya and Taichi mention that neither one has heard from Arata in a while. Chihaya comments that Arata didn’t compete in the last major karuta championship.

Eventually, Chihaya convinces Taichi to help her form the karuta club, and they find the three additional members they need in order to become a recognized school club. Kanade Oe is quiet girl who is a fan of Japanese poetry, especially the One Hundred Poems that are used for karuta. Her mother owns a kimono store, and Kanade agrees to join the club if they start wearing hakama for tournaments. Yusei Nishida is a tubby boy who acquires the nickname “Porky-kun.” He was one of the top karuta players, and had played against Chihaya, Arata, and Taichi in the past. He had quit karuta after being defeated by Arata, but Chihaya helps him find the fun in playing the game again. Tsutomu Komano is an anti-social, yet intelligent boy, who is often seen studying at his desk, and he acquires the nickname “Desktomu-kun.” Chihaya and Taichi both manage to convince him to join the club, and the five of them start practicing and competing in karuta competitions.

At the same time Chihaya is trying to get the karuta club going, she is also trying to reconnect with Arata. When she calls Arata, he tells her that he doesn’t play karuta anymore and not to call him again. Chihaya drags Taichi along to Fukui to visit Arata, and it’s a tense meeting. After throwing them out of his house, Arata’s neighbor explains that Arata quit playing karuta after his grandfather (who had been an important figure in karuta and Arata’s teacher) died from a stroke on a day that Arata was supposed to be watching over him but went to a competition to make Class A. Over the course of the season, though, Arata realizes he still wants to be friends with Chihaya and works at trying to get back into karuta again.

While the karuta card game is a major focus in Chihayafuru, there is also a major emphasis on relationships and drama. There were two instances that stood out to me for events that weren’t about the karuta matches. The first is the fact that Chihaya’s family seems to place a lot more emphasis on her older sister’s modeling career than on what Chihaya is doing. This comes to a head when Chihaya tries to tell them about her club making it to nationals, but they’re more focused on her sister appearing on a quiz show. Later, among all the large scrapbooks her father’s been keeping on Chihaya’s sister’s modeling career, she finds a small one for her that includes newspaper articles and pictures of Chihaya’s successes in karuta, along with encouraging words written by her father. This did help to redeem Chihaya’s parents for me, since before then, I felt as if Chihaya was being completely ignored and overshadowed by her sister.

The other example comes from Arata’s flashback to his grandfather’s decline to his passing on the day Arata made it to A Class. It’s revealed in the flashback that Arata’s grandfather was diagnosed with dementia. My mother passed away from complications related to dementia in September 2019, and I can say from my own experience that the series’ depiction of Arata’s grandfather’s decline due to dementia was accurately portrayed. I nearly cried during these scenes, as it made me think about my mother and her dementia.

During the karuta matches, things could get quite intense. The intensity I was feeling reminded me of some of the sports anime that I’ve watched over the years, such as Haikyu!! and Yowamushi Pedal. But one thing I have to give Chihayafuru credit for is the fact that while Chihaya’s playing is impressive, it’s made clear that there are others playing the game who are even more incredible. To me, Chihaya’s progression for her karuta skills during this season felt very natural and realistic, and that she’s shown to have faults. She’s not a “superwoman” who is suddenly making waves and winning all the time. This gives Chihaya the chance to progress and mature as a character and as a karuta player, and still leaves her room for growth in future seasons of the anime. This season also establishes rivals for Chihaya, such as Shinobu Wakamiya (the current “Queen”), Hiro Kanashi (a player from Hokuo High School that Chihaya and Taichi knew from when they were younger), and Akito Sudo (another member of Hokuo High School’s karuta club).

The animation for the series works well for the story that’s being told. I liked the character designs, as well as the way the animators captured the motion and movement of the characters playing karuta. I’m not sure how to describe it, but the overall atmosphere of the series’ look almost has what I think of as a “warm” feeling to it. I get so drawn into what’s going on that sometimes I forget I’m watching something that’s animated.

I really enjoyed the first season of Chihayafuru, and I’m looking forward to continuing to follow Chihaya and the other members of the karuta club in the next season for the series.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition / 16×9, while the audio has English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. I had no complaints about either the video or audio quality of this release.

Not surprisingly, the bonus features on this release are what I’ve come to expect from Sentai Filmworks. It’s the usual again: a textless opening, a textless closing, and trailers for other Sentai Filmworks releases.

Even with the relative lack of bonus features, I would recommend this Blu-ray release of the first season of Chihayafuru to readers who are fans of the anime and want to add the series to their anime home video library.

Additional post about Chihayafuru:

Sentai Filmworks Licenses the Third Season of the Chihayafuru Anime

Sentai Filmworks has announced that it has licensed Chihayafuru 3, the third Chihayafuru anime season, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia, Central America, and South America. The company will begin streaming the series soon and release it on home video in the future.

The season premiered on October 22, 2019, and Crunchyroll is streaming the series as it airs in Japan. Crunchyroll Expo hosted a premiere screening for the third season of Chihayafuru on August 31, 2019.

Source: ANN

Crunchyroll Announces Premiere Dates for Three Fall 2019 Simulcasts

Crunchyroll announced at its panel at New York Comic Con that it will begin simulcasting the Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma: The Fourth Plate anime on October 11, 2019 and the Chihayafuru 3 anime on October 22, 2019.

The service also confirmed that it will begin simulcasting the Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! (Watashi, Nōryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne!) anime in Japanese with English subtitles on October 7, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. EDT. The anime will be simulcast in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and the Middle East. The series will get an English dub.

Source: ANN

Crunchyroll to Simulcast the Fourth Season of Food Wars! and the Third Season of Chihayafuru

Crunchyroll has announced that it will simulcast the Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma: The Fourth Plate and Chihayafuru 3 anime series in Fall 2019.

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma: The Fourth Plate is scheduled to premiere on Japanese television on October 12, 2019.

Chihayafuru 3 is scheduled to premiere on Japanese television on October 22, 2019. The season is scheduled to air for two cours (two quarters of a year), for a total of 24 episodes.

Source: ANN

Crunchyroll Expo to Host the Premiere of Chihayafuru Season 3

Crunchyroll Expo has announced that it will host Toshio Nakatani, the producer of the third season of the Chihayafuru anime, at this year’s convention. Nakatani will participate in a panel and screening for the premiere of the third season at the CRX 2019 Theater on August 31, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. PDT.

Crunchyroll will stream the third season of Chihayafuru in Fall 2019. The anime is scheduled to premiere in Japan on October 22, 2019.

Crunchyroll Expo will be taking place at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California from August 30-September 1, 2019.

Source: ANN

The Third Season of the Chihayafuru Anime Is Delayed to October 2019

The official website for the third television anime season based on Yuki Suetsugu’s Chihayafuru manga has announced that the staff is delaying the anime to October 2019. The staff did not explain the reason for the delay, but said that they will “work hard to deliver a superior work.”

The anime was scheduled to premiere on NTV’s “AnichU” programming block in April 2019.

Source: ANN