I’m in the mood for some competitive karuta… anyone with me?
Japanese Name: ちはやふる
Air Date: October 5 2011 – March 28 2012
Chihaya Ayase is a lighthearted tomboy, who’s not especially good at anything in particular. Her dream has always been for her sister (an aspiring model) to become the number one beauty of Japan, or perhaps of the world. But then one day she meets a young boy named Arata Wataya who tells her that a dream is something that should concern only herself – and something she has to work hard for as well. At the same time, Chihaya discovers a passion for the old Japanese game hyakunin isshu, also called ‘karuta’. And so a long journey to become the ‘Queen’ of karuta begins…
Why on earth did I decide to watch this you ask? Mainly because of Mamoru Miyano. Everything I watch these days has Mamoru-san in it, so watch out! Major obsession coming to light here xD
I was also intrigued by the idea of a competitive card game. There’s nothing like that these days so it was nice to see some old fashioned games taking centre stage! It was confusing at first but I gradually understood the rules of the game. Hopefully everyone else understood it too!
The theme song was a great start to this series – it’s called ‘Youthful’ and it’s sung by 99RadioService. Youthful really suited the theme of this anime; perfect for a group of youthful people living their lives (^ ^) plus when you’re young, you really live life to the fullest because you only live once!
Who wears a skirt AND trousers? Chihaya certainly does ＼(^o^)／ when I first saw her, my immediate response was ‘she is not the main character’. Boy was I wrong xD she’s a strange girl and has guts to climb a chair with pins in her mouth. She’s a confident and outgoing character too which makes this series feel more real. I’m liking Chihaya already… you go girl!
The artwork and animations are beautiful. Chihaya really stands out since she’s a beauty. Beauty that’s gone to waste. She has my sympathy, you’re still beautiful in my eyes Chihaya-chan! Flowers bloom whenever she looks at boys, how flirtatious of her but they’re really pretty flowers. I think they were cherry blossoms?
TAICHI ~ ah, Mamoru-san! You’ve outdone yourself again…another handsome character under your belt, that has to be a record ＼(^o^)／ Taichi Mashima is Chihaya’s childhood friend and is an all rounded sportsman. You know what really sucks though? He has a girlfriend ( ಠ_ಠ ) my life is over. And what’s even worse is that he clearly has feelings for Chihaya! Why are you with another girl? Do something man!
But they were really cute as kids…
BOOM BOOM BOOM! That’s all I hear whenever they play karuta. It’s a fierce game and after watching a few episodes, I never even want to attempt it! Plus Chihaya is so deadly serious…if I were against her, I’d be wetting my pants xD
How Chihaya tries to recruit Kanade Oe and Tsutomu Komano made me giggle. She had a more direct approach which was scary. She managed to get Kanade to join but Taichi managed to win over Tsutomu… by throwing his desk into the air Σ（ﾟдﾟlll）
In episode 9, the group have a training camp at Taichi’s house
why didn’t you invite me?! Chihaya pressures Kanade and Tsutomu into improving their karuta skills. She was really harsh with their training and pushed them too much. The poor things were exhausted in the end! However, they learn new skills and got better ＼(^o^)／
Taichi is the backbone of the karuta club and demonstrates his true strength as a leader by yelling encouragements to his teammates in episode 11. I knew Taichi was special right from the start!
Man, this was a good series! Everything about Chihayafuru screams passion and determination. I could tell that all of the characters really wanted what they were aiming for, that’s dedication for you.
The casting for the characters was incredible. They seemed so real and were well thought out and I felt their dreams, hopes and passions in everything they do. Especially Chihaya’s and Taichi’s. These two really stood out… congrats Taichi! Each character experiences significant growth and it’s great that I feel like I’m in their shoes so it helped relate me to the characters.
Taichi had the best growth in the series. His thoughts and what he says to Chihaya in episode 23 was really sweet (*´ω`*) :
*Knocks on locker door*
Taichi: “Chihaya, come out. Let’s go cheer him on”.
“I know how much it hurts to lose after trying your best. You don’t want to face anyone. I know how it feels, but my words won’t be able to reach her. Only Arata can help her.”
*Door opens and Taichi falls into the locker* ﾌﾟｯ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵
Chihaya: “What are you doing?! You have to go watch Dr. Harada and Sudo-san play! Next year, they’ll be your rivals in Class A!”
“You have to go watch them play, not cheer them on!”
Kanade: “Chihaya-chan. The prez stayed behind because he was worried about you.”
*Taichi sits up*
Chihaya: “Oh, that’s right. Sorry. Sorry.”
“Let’s go, Taichi!”
*Chihaya grabs Taichi’s arm*
Taichi: “Yeah, I’m hopeless… hopelessly in love”
YAY! Taichi admits he’s in love with Chihaya, took you long enough! And he broke up his girlfriend… BONUS. I totally ship you with Chihaya!
Because of the connection gained with the characters I found my emotions going all over the place during episodes. Karuta matches, something that might be incredibly boring under normal circumstances, suddenly become prime time entertainment. Chihayafuru will capture your soul.
Now you see that I barely wrote anything about Arata… it’s because there was nothing of importance about him and he barely even appeared in this series! Most of the time he was absent, and mainly wallowing in the past.
Although Chihayafuru didn’t have a proper ending, it has been greenlighted a second season! It should be released in January 2013 though so we’ll have to wait a bit longer for more karuta action! I’m upset that not many people know about this series. It’s true. But it’s still really good so I recommend it to everyone… spread the word my minions! The world needs to know about Chihayafuru (⌒▽⌒)
Chihayafuru is a heart warming series, you’ll most certainly grow to love this series as much as I did. Watch watch watch! Season 2, hurry up!