I am finding Chihayafuru part 3 to be an odd experience to watch at the moment. Having seen the live action movies, and especially Chihayafuru Musubi, I am getting a sense of deja vu constantly.
In a very real sense much of what made Chihayafuru Musubi sing for me as a movie is being established in Chihayafuru part 3, a sense reinforced by the fact that this season of the anime is currently in part of the time skip between the second live action movie and Chihayafuru Musubi.
We are, for example, starting to see Chihaya’s dreams for life beyond karuta, and how those wider dreams affect her decisions in the here and now. At the same time those decisions are setting up particular story beats, ones that I already know from the movie, for what will probably be a fourth season of Chihayafuru.
This meant that in episode 14 The emotions experienced, I knew the outcome of the match between Harada-Sensei and Arata because of what has to be set up for the future.
This isn’t, quite, like the problem with prequels that I’ve observed previously. There’s enough variations in the two continuities for that to not quite be the case but there is a similar feel here.
Chihayafuru part 3 (and presumably part 4) is going to be hammering down on the romantic triangle a lot more than the movies did. That’s also fair as the anime has a lot more screentime to work with.