I should probably mention now before anything else that I absolutely ADORE the song. It's a song that a friend recommended to me last summer and it's been my top favourite of Mat Kearney's songs ever since, so yeah my opinion will most likely be slightly biased cause I love both your sources. (aww yeah Chihayafuru!!!
You know, I actually started an AMV with this song last summer but with Penguindrum instead. So when I first saw this, I found it difficult to get into because my vision of the song was with an anime that had a completely different story. Anyway theme wise....I think I get it. It's pretty abstract I must say but then I like abstract, it gets me thinking. If I'm right, I think you were trying to show something along the lines of "desperation"? When I hear this song, I imagine someone trying really hard to achieve something, they keep on hoping they'll reach it soon but at the same time they're impatient, they're desperate to reach it. In your AMV and from what I got from your description here:
« As long as we have karuta, we'll see each other again, won't we? As long as we keep playing, we'll see each other again. »
The question and the self confirmation afterwards reminds me of someone who's unsure and hopelessly clings onto something they believe to be true. It makes them look desperate. You showed this pretty well in your AMV using facial expressions and hardworking sequences, a few good examples at: 1:04, 1:07, 1:10, 1:16, actually this whole section till up around 1:37 was fantastic in showing this element, then at 2:22 again. I also liked the mix of "hopeful" and dreamlike scenes like the one at 2:15 and at 2:24 (obviously there are A LOT more examples than the ones I listed but if I had to write a list, we'd be here forever >__>) because they give a nice touch in showing how hopes and dreams are closely linked with desperation, in the sense that if you were to ever achieve those hopes and dreams, you need to work really hard.
Now that's the good side of your scene selection but like the others have already mentioned before, you had some really odd scenes in there at times that either a) made no sense or b) broke the flow cause it just didn't fit. The first one is more of a bigger issue but the good thing is you only had a few of them and from the top of my mind the only one I can recall just now is the one where the card slams onto the window where Kanade appears. It's a cool bit of sync but the scene was just so random! As for b, the more noticeable sections are the intro at 0:16 where modern-Chihaya appears walking along all of a sudden in the middle of a sequence that shows the past and then at 1:13 where you had a nice blossom scenery which is totally acceptable as a transition-type scene but then you had Chihaya randomly brushing her hair aside looking pretty before she turns ferocious and we see more card slamming scenes with Chihaya and Taichi. It all felt very strange and broke up your AMV. 1:08 was kinda random too cause it's sandwhiched between two present-scenes and there isn't anything to suggest it's a memory, although it's sorta passable because it goes with the "hope" theme. For a video that focuses primarily on Arata, Chihaya and Taichi, having other characters really detracts from the impact of their relationship you're trying to show. Like at 1:37, it's a team scene. Normally it's fine to leave it like that but for a video like this, you could have tried to make the other 3 seem less significant in comparison with Taichi and Chihaya (maybe a mask with black and white) to give emphasis to your concept. And oh yeah, 2:45 where Chihaya looks up from her umbrella didn't quite fit the sequence of events because earlier you showed her closing her umbrella at 1:08 as the day clears.
So a couple of mishaps with scene selection there, it didn't affect me that much because I enjoyed the AMV as a whole so I was able to ignore those mishaps though I can understand why some others might think differently. Technicals wise, I liked the editing. You kept the pacing fast to match with the theme and did a lot of beat sync which I LOVE.
But you also kept it smooth with soft fades and light flashes which fit extremely well with the mood of the song. It's really nice.
There were a few dodgy parts (such as 2:34 where there's a weird flash) and the pacing was slightly fast at parts (1:42 where you first started the second verse) for the song even though you used beat sync there.
Oh god, I ended up writing an essay again. I need to save these for OPs instead next time. >__> The whole theme of desperation could just be my own nonsensical interpretation but despite all that I said up there, I really did love watching this AMV and it's because I really liked it that I can find so much to write about it since it's able to leave such a lasting impression on me. And I am notorious for my awful memory at times.
So yeah, good job! I'll be looking out for your future videos, so keep up the good work!