Oct 5, 2011 to Mar 28, 2012
22 min. per ep.
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
8.361 (scored by 54,257 users)
indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
SynopsisChihaya Ayase is a frank and ebullient girl who becomes fascinated by the obscure world of competitive karuta, a card game based on Japanese poetry. Introduced to the aggressive style of the game by a quiet and thoughtful elementary school classmate named Arata Wataya, the two quickly become close friends. They start playing as a group with Taichi Mashima, Chihaya's smart and athletic childhood friend, until they have to part ways during their middle school years due to several circumstances. As their high school life begins, they meet once again.
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Characters & Voice Actors
Opening Theme"YOUTHFUL" by 99RadioService
Ending Theme#1: "Soshite Ima (そしていま)" by Asami Seto (eps 1-24)
#2: "YOUTHFUL" by 99RadioService (ep 25)
Reasons to watch Chihayafuru:
> Likeable female protagonist.
> Badass main female rival, who has so many layers to her character.
> In fact, all the characters are so fleshed out with meticulous character development throughout the series.
> The protagonist team is co'ed, yet there are absolutely no qualms that the female lead is the strongest player among them.
> Karuta, karuta, karuta!
> The majority of people choose not to watch this because they don't know whay karuta is.
In its simplest definition: Karuta is a 1v1 card game. A reader recites poetry from the "Ogura Hyakunin Isshu" and the players attempt to steal their opponent's corresponding card while protecting their own.
> You will cry, you will laugh, you will cheer, you will be on the edge of your seat. It's a non-stop roller-coaster ride of emotional turmoil.
> There is a romantic subplot but it takes a backseat most of the time to give more attention to the teams, characters and the game itself.
> Remarkable poetry and symbolism that will take your breath away.
> You will fall in love with karuta, that I can promise you.
Let's start with the fact that I am not interested in sports anime. I always thought that they will be boring for me. Yep, I am so prejudiced.
But this didn't prevent me from starting Chihayafuru - I was curious about it, because it had a really good score. So, I said let's beat the stereotype and give it a chance. Here are the results of my venturesome operation.
Story : 5
The anime follows the story of a team of kids and how they got into Karuta - a card game that demands good memory and agility skills. It depicts their passion and development as the years pass, as long as the bonds that form between them, because of their common enthusiasm towards the game.
Well, as I lack interest over such a subject, I didn't find it particularly appealing. Neither original to be frank.
Art : 5
The art was mediocre, I found it rather outdated as it reminded me the art of late '90s. The eyes were a little freaky with the pupils painted deep into the iris. They tried to make them look more realistic, but the result was creepy.
Sound : 7
It was ok. Nothing out of the ordinary. The themes fit nicely, but nothing excited me.
Character : 8
Most people were likeable and consistent, although there was much of character development throughout the series. It simulated nicely the coming-of-age part of the cast. The supporting characters were given special attention, too, as they grew to like Karuta and know themselves better through it. Helping each other understand themselves and their playing style was interesting, too.
What I couldn't relate to was their enthusiasm. Ok that's natural. But I found their emotional outbursts exaggerated. I almost laughed when they were shouting and crying expressing their fondness of each other or Karuta.
Enjoyment : 5
I enjoyed about the 1/4 of all the episodes - it consisted mostly of Karuta contests. I liked observing their thoughts while they played and I got a little anxious over who would win, too. That was nice. But the first 12 episodes were too melodramatic for me and no formal failure was displayed so I was losing interest. Then it got interesting for maybe 6 episodes and then it got boring again. I am a little cautious of giving 2nd season the chance to change my opinion.
This is my first time writing a review, so bear with me as I try to sort out my thoughts on this wonderful anime.
I almost didn't watch Chihayafuru, and I hadn't even heard of it until it was already a few weeks into the show. As time went on, more and more people were raving about how great it was, how it was going to be the sleeper hit this season, so I finally decided to give it a shot and see if a show about a card game really was THAT exciting. And let me tell you, it is. I am writing this review because I really, really, really want you to watch Chihayafuru and love it as much as I do.
This show is so much more than a card game. To Chihaya, the protagonist of the series, karuta is also about creating a dream for herself, and the bonds she formed with her classmates Arata and Taichi back when she was twelve. Before graduating into middle school and going their separate ways, the three agreed to meet again when they all became Class A players. Arata moved back to Fukui, and even though he was fantastic at karuta (and the one who taught Chihaya!), he eventually quit playing after some unfortunate events. Taichi ends up at the same high school as Chihaya and helps her to form a karuta club, through which we are introduced to more wonderful characters.
I remember someone saying that "Chihayafuru loves its characters." This is certainly true. All of the main characters have grown since the start of the series and seem much more three-dimensional than those of many other shows out there today. Even supporting characters are fleshed out enough to be likable. In fact, there isn't a single character that I dislike. And if you know me, that's really saying something. I love hating on characters.
The animation for Chihayafuru is absolutely stunning. From the characters to the backgrounds, everything is breathtaking. The OST for the series is gorgeous as well, one of the best I've heard in a long time. They all complement each other to create a unique and wonderful tone for the series.
Maybe this still isn't enough to convince you to watch Chihayafuru yet. Even though it doesn't sound like a memory card game can be entertaining, it really is. The karuta matches are some of the most intense scenes throughout, and you'll probably find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat when it's finally over. Karuta isn't simply memorization either. It's about reflexes, and mental stamina, and Chihaya even has extraordinary hearing which sometimes helps her to quickly win cards over from her opponent.
Honestly, I don't know how else to put it. The cinematography of this show is amazing. The characters are developed and lovable. The story, while often predictable, is still exciting and endearing. There wasn't a single episode that I didn't enjoy. I breezed through the seventeen currently-aired episodes in just under three days, which I haven't been able to do even for some of the most exciting anime I've seen. I just couldn't wait to see what happened next! (Also, this show will give you a LOT of feelings. Just wait). I can't believe I waited so long to watch this series. And if you decide to watch it too, believe me, you'll be saying the same thing. read more
"What the hell is Katura?"
Of course, that was my first reaction.
At first, this anime really didn't catch my interest. It was plain and dry, like trying to shape out the dry clay; but as it went on, I found myself immersed in it. Like a sea of colors vibrantly expanding across an infinite of sky. Yes, even now, fifteen minutes after I finally saw the last episode, I am still numbed by its excellence.
In the beginning, the story seemed boring. Predictable. Like a boat streaming across still water. It was lifeless, and simple. I expected it to be like any other Anime with a swindle of a romance eclipsed by the ever flamboyant facade of a sport or activity.
But somewhere, as the series progressed, it seemed to evolve. It seamlessly grew to something more, something beyond the natural limits of a story. It wasn't plagued with typical conflicts or unrequited desires, it was like a light that slowly lit itself brighter and brighter, unblocked by the trends of literature and expectation. Barriers that innately shackled a series' potential seemed to fade away, and every climactic moment that the characters felt was somehow shared with the viewer. As if a crescendo of realization would slay you alongside them.
All in all, it was about the sport, Katura. And, you'd think: "Well, if its just about a sport its not like anything interesting can happen." But somehow, it was different. The sport was a sort of catalyst that helped the characters not only develop towards one another, but it opened the door for an entire world that we all seem to forget, as if blinded by the mundane trudge of life.
The competitive aspect of the game, which yearned for such a demand of stamina seemed to be later eclipsed by the "true" virtue hidden within the sport. Yes, what the beginner sees, and the masters forget: The poetry. Such an attribute slowly became the mortar that gave new meaning to each simple issue that arose during the characters' failures.
It was seamless as we learned with them, through their desperation and hardship; their envy and willpower. The goals kept increasing, and aspirations began to soar, capping only at what the characters truly wanted.
Romance. Friendship. Deeper revelations. Aspiration oriented. Perseverance through strength. No text box storytelling. Failure.
The art in this show was interesting. It had primarily bold lines, and definitely took some getting used to. But now that I finished it, I really couldn't imagine this anime any other way.
The thing is, since this show is so off on a tangent in the first place, it seemed necessary to break the norm.
However, I will say that there were moments when I wished that they wouldn't have. The fact of the matter is, the art does well for its purpose, but it seems like it was aimed at a particular niche. I guess it just comes down to personal preference, really.
Nonetheless, the art was still phenomenal. Everything down to lighting was near perfect, and facial expressions were particularly pronounced so as to invoke the true feelings of the characters. Bloom, Sparkles, Glitter, Comical Backdrops, and Chibi Moments; everything seemed in good shape.
Overall, it had a realistic feel. Which held tremors to the viewer considering the entire theme could be realistically translated into anything the viewer truly desired.
The art was different, but really you shouldn't have any complaints.
This soundtrack is simply awe inspiring. Even now, as I write this review, I have OST 7 "Main Theme" on loop.
The music in this show was EXTREMELY good. It did very well to convey the emotions that were felt by the characters, and worked seamlessly with the art and choreography to invoke what the moments wished you to feel. To be honest, the music had a voice of its own. As if it was an entire character separate of the cast, watching the show with you, helping you along through the tears.
It sympathized with you when necessary, and laughed alongside you, guided you along the adventurous moments... It really couldn't have been any better.
Even if this show had 5 frames a second and 1980's art, I would still choke for air at how many times this musical score seems to steal your breath away.
If anything, I'll still be listening to this music many decades later. Thank you, Kousuke Yamashita.
If only I could rate this 20.
Symphony. Commonly repeating motif. Varied orchestration. Light sounds mixed with heavy ensembles. Stellar composition.
While romance is an aspect of the story, it is merely a development feature. Note that the story is more so directed toward the love of friendship and the game itself than it is towards any romantic moments.
To start with, each character occupies a niche.
Ayase is a beauty, yet it is in vain. The moment she speaks, it is broken by her tomboyish image and personal drive. But its those very traits that reel you in. She is the joyous energy that keeps the group together, and despite her clear superiority in the game, genuinely cares for her friends, and helps aid them in their journey to pursue Karuta.
Taichi, Ayase's childhood friend, remains her loyal companion throughout the years. His mental forte is unmatched to most every player the game has ever known; even once reciting every card at random in the entire deck of 100, just because he could. His family is privileged, and he is pressured by his parents to keep at the highest tier in terms of sports and exams. His brains keep him on par with the purists that achieve their status merely due to athletic prowess. He acts as the groups motivator and leader, often amping everyone out of their slumps with "Just the right words" to turn them around.
Arata represents the reverse side to Taichi, being the poorer, lesser appreciated, segment to the story. As the story progresses, his darker past becomes realized, and he continues to become a shining beacon for Ayase.
There is a triangle romance between the three of them, but remember, the show does not articulate this enough for this show to be branded as a romance.
Of course, there are a great many other supporting characters that help aid Ayase on her journey to realize herself through Katura, each having a realistic and effective back story that warps the plot in one way or another.
The characters were diverse, which allowed for the story to be seen through a wide spectrum. Realistic. Believable. Nothing was over exaggerated.
Did I find this show enjoyable?
Well, in a way I did.
I felt that it was really giving a perspective about achievement I had never really thought about.
To learn meant failure, to grow stronger meant to feel hardship and to overexert yourself to what phase out the illusions to what you truly desired.
At the end of each episode, with the crescendoing music resounding with each episodic climax, I felt the overwhelming desire to watch the next.
It was like a ten hour long movie that always kept you drooling for more.
I was stunned by the hype of this show that I nearly skipped over it. And let me tell you, I ALMOST did.
And simply for the thought once existing, I regret it.
If I had passed up this show, I really would have missed out on such a masterpiece. I am shamed of myself.
I honestly cant wait to jump into Chihayafuru Season 2.
It was beautiful to the core. Every aspect was heartwrenchingly flawless. If you have any last minute questions before watching this series, feel free to PM me.
I really don't think the world can afford to have people so many that haven't seen Chihayafuru.
Both series centre around a protagonist who becomes aware of and learns to love a classic Japanese game that's faded to 'niche interest' status, aspiring to become the very best and accumulating similarly-minded friends along the way. Although Chihayafuru lacks the mild supernatural element found in Hikaru no Go, Chihaya's motivation of improving to Arata's level of skill function similiarly to Hikaru playing go at Sai's urging and wanting to catch up with Touya.
In both anime, the main characters (Chihaya and Hikaru) are introduced to a Japanese competitive game since they are kids (in Chihayafuru the sport is karuta, and in Hikaru no Go it is the board game called go), which they became hooked on. They both try to became the best in the respective sport, aiming for the title of "Meiji" (the master of the sport). In Chihaya's case, she strives to became a "Queen" (the best female karuta player). In order to achieve their dream, they go to various tournaments and have to catch up to defeat their rivals (for Chihaya it is Shinobu; for Hikaru it is Akira). For that purpose, they join the go and karuta clubs (Hikaru joins; Chihaya makes one) for the group tournaments, gathering friends. They are very similar in the development of the main characters that strive to become masters themselves.
both feature characters striving to be the best in the world at a fairly niche game
In both, at first the main characters are not interested in the game, and found it boring (Hikaru no Go) until they met(played the game with) someone around their age who is very strong in the game (Go/Kurata). Both of them got inspired by that person and wanted to keep playing, to improve, to catch up to the someone and to win.
Also, both are rather unpopular traditional Japanese games. There's no club in their schools, they started a club and found it hard to recruit people into their club.
Introduction to a competitive yet uncommon "sport"
Showcases character growth and development both inside and outside of the "arena"
Both contain intensity and bouts of seriousness but manages to incorporate light humor where appropriate.
Chihayafuru although little success maybe is the best anime of this season (winter 2012). Discover the joys of not only an anime very well done and entertaining, with a game unknown but equally interesting. Don't stop at the first episodes, let yourself be carried away by the wonderful episodes! Unknown game, just like Hikaru no Go I do not know if we can call it a common point, but you will also be carried away by this game if you wear a little interest in the anime. Both want us to enter their world and it is successful.
Both have main characters who slowly become good at a niche game,and have intense matches.
If you like intense game anime then they are really alike... both are really good... when i was watching Chihayafuru... it was still ongoing... so i really wanted to find something alike.... and i found Hikaru no Go..... they are sooo alike.... both 10/10!!
Hikaru no Go and Chihayafuru both feature characters wanting to become the best at a competitive game after encountering someone who is really strong and inspiring them to enjoy and love Go/Kurata.
Both series and mostly about the main characters growing and becoming better at the game and the friendships they develop on the way. They are both enjoyable series and each made me become interested and want to know more about GO and Kurata.
Some people don't watch animes like these because they believe the shows will be boring show about a game they don't even understand but they will really regret missing out on amazing shows like these.
All the characters are driven by their love for the sport
Both anime have a time progression and character growth
Both show a competitive side of traditional "boring" sport
Both shows have a naive main character
Both shows could of been longer with no problem
Both anime, despite a large time difference in their creations, focus on the fun and seriousness of relatively unknown, but competitive, Japanese games (for lack of a better term).
Overall, both anime are truly enjoyable and I highly recommend them to any person who is sick of the usual standard-battle anime and want to find an interesting and non-violent, but still entertaining anime.
Both are centered around an obscure type of game native only in japan, with good charicter development of both protagonists and antagonists
*both protagonist are playing traditional Japanese board/card game
*both are trying to be the best in their game (meijin/queen)
*both are getting better though friends rivalry
These anime focus on unusual Japanese games. Chihayafuru is about a young girl who starts a karuta team which is a traditional Japanese poem game. She wants to go all the way to nationals and higher. Hikaru no go focuses on the game of 'go' and how a young boy is haunted by a ghost named Sai who dominates the world of 'go' but he can only play if Hikaru lets him. so what if hikaru want to win by himself? What will happen to Sai? Both are filled with comedy and love which make the anime more interesting to watch.
Each person has to come up with a dream for themselves. However, sometimes you need someone to show you the way. Both of the females try to make their dreams come true, one in finding her dream, and one in achieving the dream she's already found.
the protagonist in both is very similar in personality. both anime are about achieving a dream. In both the protagonist has a school friend that has feelings for her. Both give you a nice relaxing happy feeling. Great animation and ost too.
Ohana and Chihaya are strong-willed female leads. Both series are similar in terms of tone, themes, and execution with regard to character building.
•Both Females have the same view on life
•Both feature people trying new things with new friends
•Both have the same warmhearted feeling to them
•Exploration & Emotion!
Both have gorgeous animation and are about the lead characters pursuing their dreams. They also give a similar feeling when you watch them.
Similar main female leads with straightforward personalities. Both series involve the main character trying to achieve her dream. Both series are also dramatic and emotional at times, especially Chihayafuru.
Both series are lighthearted and contains a small cast of likeable characters in a typical every day life of view.
Both series contains characters who are following a dream and hoping to make it into a reality through hard work, determination, and a little help with the encouragement of their friends.
The series' main characters also has strong wills and determined to achieve that dream.
Both series contains drama, comedy, and a little inklings of romance here and there as the characters interacts with one another (either from the past, present, and what's to come for them into the future).
Both series' main female protagonists also has similar personalities.  read more
Both Chihayafuru and Hanasaku Iroha are coming of age stories about young women struggling to find their place in world. Ohana and Chihaya both search for something to be passion about and their stories follow them through their hard work and determination towards their goals: becoming the best, succeeding and making the people around them feel good. Both stories center themselves around traditional Japanese cultural themes (inn keeping, karuta). Both have beautiful animation and character designs, paired with wonderful costumes. There is also a degree of romance (specifically love triangles) in both series as well as lot of female bonding. Both of these series are exceptionally good and I would highly recommend them to anyone who likes female-empowerment stories or slice-of-life in general.
Both of these shows are about the main character's finding of a unknown hobby. Ohana and Chihaya are also very similar personality-wise.
The art. The art in both anime is just beautiful. It's stunning really.
The characters are refreshing. Both anime have a strong female lead looking for a goal to reach. The supporting characters are also written really well.
They are both heartfelt touching stories with a hint of love in it.
School kids work to find enough members in order play in competitions. Even though it is there first time in show, they are quickly noted as the team to beat.
In both of the animes, they play games (Mahjong in Saki & Karuta in Chihayafuru) to win the nationals. Themes such as friendship, dreams, teamwork are elaborated. However, Saki is more on the side of comedy (despite the serious moments), whereas Chihayafuru represents "slice of life" anime genre presenting a better character development, story & drawings.
- Both stories/plot focuses on their clubs related to their sport/game.
- The group aspires to improve and aim higher and go on training camps for that purpose.
Both are anime on competitive games. Although the art styles are different, the heat of the competition is the same. The main character starts out shaky, but she becomes amazingly good at the game.
Both have are sports and both main characters have the skills and passion for the game that which they play.
Rival schools all fight for the spot at nationals, friends who get together and fight their way to the top while getting stronger from outside sources. Friends becoming rivals, rivals becoming friends. Intense sport action in the form of a board / card game.
both take off beat sports and competition on small/underdog teams that have great potential and strive to compete on higher levels. Though one is based on cards and poetry and the other is based on tiles, both feature main characters displaying uncanny game sense and growth in these games
Both have a protagonist who is extremely passionate about one particular sport and are about a group of childhood friends who meet again in high school.
Both are about a team of childhood friends who used to participate in an activity together until one of them left. They meet back up and try to get the friend to play with them again. So far the plot is the same excpet with karata instead of swimming. Incredibly similar anime.
•Both are only similar in the way that a bunch of old friends start a club/group in their high school and along the way run into an old childhood friend that they hang out with, who is not the same person anymore.
•Both compete in competitions to see if they will meet that old friend of theirs and play "their" sport like they used to when they were just kids.
•Both have protagonists who are passionate about their favorite "sport" and it is always on their mind, ignoring all other logical reasons. I wouldn't say if you like one you'd hate the other but, Chihayafuru is on a completely different level than Free!.
•They are only similar in the "old friend from elementary school, rekindling the friendship between the bunch of friends, where everyone is in high school now, surrounding a sport that has changed their lives."
Both are similar in that they center around a sport that the main character(s) enjoy and have enjoyed since they were kids. As time progresses, the characters in both Free! and Chihayafuru lose a bit of interest in their respective sports. However, the love for the sport is rekindled in high school when old friends meet up again.
Both are categorized as Sports animes, where close friends are separated after elementary school and drastically change. Both follow the changes that occur after they join their individual school teams, and continue to compete and share their love for the sport. Both Nanase and Arata had quit their sport because they had a hurt a loved one, but found it impossible to deny their passion for swimming, and in chiyafuru's case, karuta.
Big focus on character backstories, character development and sports. When Free!'s drama starts getting heavier, it gives off a reminiscent feeling comparable to Chihayafuru's.
they both have to do with getting a lost childhood friend back , being passionate about your hobby , and the struggles of building a new club.
Both are about 'normal' teens who are following the dream to become the best at something.
Both have elements of comedy, romance, slice of life, drama.
Both have great characters (some of them genius at what they do), with lots of friends and rivals.
Characters trying to achieve their dreams with the help of their friends, there's also some romance on the side of each. Also even though Bakuman isn't a sports anime, it has a lot of features particular to the genre, except games are called deadlines.
Both are about young people discovering their passion and striving to achieve their dreams.
Both protagonists are extremely stubborn and absorbed in their own world (manga and karuta)
Anyone who has an strong aspiration of their own will be able to relate to this anime.
At first glance, these two series don't seem to have much in common. However, Chihayafuru and Bakuman have quite a few similarities that may be overlooked.
Both series features young people trying to do something exciting for the first time in their lives. In Chihayafuru, it involves Karuta. In Bakuman, in involves the creation of manga. As such, both of these series meets the similarities in which these young people try to fulfill their goals, improving their skill in what they do, and at the same time learn more about themselves. Along the way, they befriend new people and also have encounters with rivals.
Both series features a slice of life feeling that progresses with each episode on how these young people improve on what they enjoy to do.
Both series also features comedy, drama, and slight hints of romance throughout later episodes.
Both series are lighthearted and are appealing in their unique ways. read more
They both have a similar relaxing light feel to them. Both of the main characters are working towards their dreams, both inspired by another male character. All the characters are pretty well done in both anime and all are pretty likeable.
Now you may be thinking what similarities do a card game anime and an anime about making manga have in common?
The answer is pretty simple, in both anime the MCs are aiming to achieve a goal that someone important gave them. However they do not solely experience success, but failures are involved as well.
The general mood in Bakuman and Chihayafuru is pretty relatable while having moments of suspense.
Furthermore the main theme in both anime is the 'From Zero to Hero' process. Starting from scratch, only by working hard you can achieve your dreams.
Similarities in character development.
Healthy rivalry between friends.
Some romance but main focus on the concept (karuto/mangaka).
Idea of wanting to get to the top/ being the best in something.
Goes beyond high school life.
Similarities in ideas of team work, partnership, rivalry, succeeding etc.
Characters entering competitions and working hard to do their best.
Victories and failures.
"master/genius" type characters (< which was my fav part in both (gta love nizuma eiiji <3)).
Overall great plot story concept art and characters.
Both are must watch!
Both of these Anime deal with the "100 poets".
Chihayafuru is an amazing sports anime, with a very sweet tone of friendship and love, based on a not too known game: Karuta.
On the other side, Uta Koi is an historical anime exactly about telling the love stories behind the poems who actually compose the Karuta game. The love stories happened to the poets who gave them the inspiration and experience to make beautiful poems.
Both series are josei genre and share some sort of romantic feeling as well.
Personally i've started Uta Koi after i watched Chihayafuru, right because i wanted to understand deeper the poems of the Karuta game; and i have to say that it's very interesting.
Uta Koi's artstyle is particular but at the same time can be great, Chihayafuru's art is gorgeous and both series have a very awesome cast.
I certainly recommend to watch both :D
same 100 romantic poems from 100 different poets
Chihayafuru focuses on the game of karuta which uses the 100 poets.
Chouyaku Hyakuninisshu: Uta Koi is about the 100 poets themselves.
Watching one will probably lead to a greater appreciation of the other.
Chihayafuru is about the game involving the cards with these poems.
Chouyaku visually depicts the interpretation of the poems.
Chouyaku probably aired because of Chihayafuru
if you like the Karuta game, you'll definitely be interested in the 100 poems origin ! both chihayafure & chouyaku are great for all poems and old literate fans ^^
In a nutshell, both series has a variety of similarities.
Both series involves the idea of poem and turning it into a story that is insightful and entertaining.
Both series has drama as well as some romance and friendship elements
Both series has josei like artwork and themes.
Both series has a small cast of characters but entertaining to watch.
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