New first-year student Sumire Hanano, who is dumped by her boyfriend on the first day of school, takes an interest in Taichi as the karuta club appeals for new members. Twenty first-years, Sumire included, apply to join the club, although most are inexperienced and intimidated by the effort the game requires. Chihaya soon realizes the club members all have different priorities for the club. Chihaya's priority is to make the club stronger, by Taichi making Class A and by Chihaya training the new members, so the club can win the national high school tournament, both team and individual in every class. Sumire tails Taichi as he goes to train at the Shiranami society.