Chihaya is overwhelmed with relief when the karuta club's introduction at the entrance ceremony attracted so many candidates. But she and the other members find out that the new recruits only joined because of Taichi, and are not so interested in the game.
In the entrance ceremony for the introduction of the freshmen, part of the program is the introduction of all the clubs in Mizusawa High. There were new characters, Sumire Hanano (the girl that was dumped by her boyfriend through a text message) and Hinako, her friend.
It's the Karuta Club’s time to introduce. Sumire saw Taichi, who is the Club President, which was dressed in a traditional hakama. All the girls including Sumire found him so attractive. Then they saw Chihaya and all the boys in the auditorium dropped their jaw as they saw her so beautiful and elegant. (It is Kana's tactical decision to let them wear hakama so that before the students react on what is karuta they will first praise the hakama being so beautiful especially dressed by such beautiful models. Kana also instructed Chihaya to stand behind Taichi and just be quiet and act elegant.)
Then Taichi handed the microphone to Chihaya, to introduce herself as the team captain. Then Chihaya said the following: "Even though I don't have many friends to speak of, I consider all 100 poems of karuta to be my friends...and I hope I can have 100 more juniors." Those words created different reaction from the students.
In the club room the following day, the members where waiting for new recruits while discussing on who will train them. Chihaya volunteered to train them but the others don’t agree with her because they think Chihaya needs to practice for her upcoming match, so Kana volunteered to do the training.
Almost 20 students (mostly female) appeared on their club room including Sumire and Hinako. The members lined-up and introduce themselves. While Chihaya is talking she was interrupted by Sumire asking Taichi is he has a girlfriend. There was sudden burst of laughter in the clubroom and Taichi was annoyed. Kana-chan shows her authoritativeness and told Sumire that she can’t talk while her seniors are talking (Miyauchi sensei told Kana to look for the team while she is busy with the tennis club). Sumire thinks that Chihaya is an enemy as well as Kana.
Chihaya then asked them if anybody played Karuta before and if anyone can recite one poem and there is no response from the new recruits. Chihaya then handed then handouts prepared of syllable identifiers of each card of the Hyakunin Isshu poems which were prepared by Kana. She told them to memorize it but it looks like they're not interested in memorizing. Kana then suddenly told them that they'll going to have a quiz in a week and those who can't memorize the 100 can't join the club but they will be given another chance for a make-up test.
Chihaya then discussed and demonstrated to them along with Meat-bun what competitive karuta is all about, that it is a one on one game, 50 of the 100 poems are in play, and the rest of the poems are in the reader's stack. Each player gets 25 cards in which you have 15 minutes to position and memorize them as well as the opponent's cards. It’s about memorizing the 100 poems, memorize the syllable identifiers for each card, memorizing the card positioning and then taking card as fast as you can. Chihaya then cheers everyone to do their best.
The new recruits were in shock with how hard Karuta is and some were already becoming disinterested and now in doubt. Sumire then blurted out than no one among them would like to play like that and what they really like is to just join the Karuta club but not play.
After the new recruits leave the club room Chihaya is trying to be positive while everyone looks doomed. Taichi then told Chihaya that she can’t teach those unwilling students because she needs time to practice at the Shiranami Society for the next Queen's match which will be held after 6 months. Meat-bun then told Taichi that they also have to practice for the High School National Competition and that he should not be minding others' problem since he needs to raise himself to an A rank. Kana stops them and insist to let her teach them since they don't need all the 20 freshmen and just keep those who can play. Everyone seems to agree with that except Chihaya because for her if they don't teach the freshmen how to love karuta, the karuta club won't be able to continue.
In order of appearance:
- With this Chapter, Season 02 of the Anime starts.
- Sumire mentioned bozu bekuri in this chapter. Bozu mekuri is another game using the yomifuda of the uta-garuta.