Chihayafuru, an Underrated Masterpiece

Madhouse is a studio that is a powerhouse in the anime industry. So I was a little bit shocked that I really didn’t notice that they had such an amazing anime that I have never really heard of beforehand (actually two anime – future post). As this amazing story of karuta and life called Chihayafuru captured me in such a way. This is a series that I never really knew what to think about. As I looked at the forums, youtube videos, and other things to learn about this anime. I found only a little to no information on the anime. Not many discussion or even clips about the anime. So I really didn’t know what to expect when watching the first episode. Then I watched the first episode and I was amazed that an anime can still really capture me from the jump.

Synopsis Via MyAnimeList

Chihaya Ayase, a strong-willed and tomboyish girl grows up under the shadow of her older sister. With no dreams of her own, she is content with her share in life until she meets Arata Wataya. The quiet transfer student in her elementary class introduces her to competitive karuta, a physically and mentally demanding card game inspired by the classic Japanese anthology of Hundred Poets. Captivated by Arata’s passion for the game and inspired by the possibility of becoming the best in Japan, Chihaya quickly falls in love with the world of karuta. Along with the prodigy Arata and her haughty but hard-working friend Taichi Mashima, she joins the local Shiranami Society. The trio spends their idyllic childhood days playing together, until circumstances split them up.

Now in high school, Chihaya has grown into a karuta freak. She aims to establish the Municipal Mizusawa High Competitive Karuta Club, setting her sights on the national championship at Omi Jingu. Reunited with the now indifferent Taichi, Chihaya’s dream of establishing a karuta team is only one step away from becoming true: she must bring together members with a passion for the game that matches her own.

[Written by MAL Rewrite]

First Thoughts On the Anime

The series really caught me off guard as the cover was one that looked like a generic romance anime. I then got the little info about the game of karuta and said hell i’ll give it a try. I then watched the first episode and kept watching. Then about 50 episodes later, this is probably gonna be my anime of the season of fall with the third season coming out in the fall. Maybe even my anime of the year. As the journey that I went through in this anime is amazing. I then started to love this game that I have never played before. I never though that such a series can make me love it so. But, one thing that hooked me was the passion.

The Passion Of Karuta

I know the feeling in sports anime and sports in general. As in sports, you know all the hard work that the people go through to achieve that championship or award. But, Chihayafuru is an anime that does it completely different level that Hajime and Kuroko. As this series is one that I really felt the passion for each and everyone of the karuta player along with coaches and teachers. As they all have their own motives, dreams, and aspirations. With that it is always a shock that I root for everyone of them to win knowing that they all can’t win. So you feel for all of these characters in this series.

Characters

But, I want to make a note about the characters in the series. As this was one that really captured me with the characters in the beginning. As this is a series that make every character from rivals, to friends, to teachers, and students. Each one get development and feeling into each one of their characters. As I am not even talking about the main three in the series. As all three of the main characters have climb in my top 100 characters of all time.

minor spoilers (Skip to Music)

As Tachi is a deep character that has one of the greatest developments and maturations as a character in the show. His whole arc as he continues to grow and become a better and stronger person is amazing from where he started in the beginning.

Chihaya is the Gon(HunterXHunter) of the group. As she is reckless to some extent. But, you can tell that she is the most passionate kurata player in the series. As she is someone that breaths that game every day and night. She is simple minded and very honest. Along with being such a loving and endearing character in the show. That no one in the series can hate.

Now about the goat of Arata, this man went through so much. He lost his passion and then regained it. To then regain his old ways to then face major competitors in the series. I want to talk about more but, I will hold off for now.

Music

The series is a sports manga. As it is the music for this type of anime has to hit in the right places. It does as when the moments hits it hits. The intensity in the music just adds to the greatness of this masterpiece. But if you want a sample of the amazing music here is the OP and decide for yourself if you want to embark on this journey as this anime is 50 episodes of greatness. Along with 25 more coming in the fall season of 2019.

Conclusion

I am so close to the end of the summer semester. Thank goodness, cause I will say that it was hell to make post and type these essays. Along with my constant procrastination. As this is just a hell of a final week. I don’t even know why I am typing this with an essay that is due tomorrow that I didn’t even start on. Well I’ll catch you soon hopefully if college stress doesn’t get to me. 読んでくれてありがとう, my A&M people.

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Author: Dez Polycarpe

An A&M Guy. Head of the Saké Clan.

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