Both shows have a great amount of character development. Even the side characters get their own time to shine. Also, there are no overly unrealistic elements in both shows (no super powers). It's just about normal high school students (some with born talent like Chihaya and Hinata) working hard to achieve their goals.
Both are standout sports anime with stellar execution (fantastic OSTs, great writing, nice cinematography and art, etc.) and a great cast of lovable characters that you'll really want to root for.
Both are anime about completely opposite type of sports but they have one important thing in common-- atmosphere; it is very similar. Enjoyed one? High chances are you will enjoy the other.
Both are realistic sports show that don't rely on supernatural "powers" to generate excitement. They also share a great importance in the characters and their development through the series, with Haikyuu focused on the teamwork and bonds of the various teams whereas Chihayafuru is more inclined to the protagonists and with some romance elements (that aren't present at all in the former)
Chihayafuru and Haikyuu!! are both great sport anime that maintain high tension throughout the episodes and seasons. They both make you cheer for the teams that strive for victory. The emphasis on teamwork and little friendship dramas are similar too.
While Haikyuu!! has more of a comedic style, Chihayafuru has a little bit more romantic elements.
Both Haikyuu and Chihayafuru are about high school students completely and utterly devoting themselves to a single thing that they're passionate about. In Chihayafuru's case, it's Karuta. For Haikyuu, it's volleyball. Both Chihayafuru and Haikyuu have central themes that are popular among sports animes, mostly the idea that teamwork is essential. This is even more true in Haikyuu because volleyball is a sport that you can't play by yourself. The characters in Haikyuu struggle to build team bonds, overcome obstacles, all with the ultimate goal of reaching the national stage.
Both main characters have special talents that make them formidable players in their respective fields (Chihaya's
Both are brilliant sports anime. Gripping, exciting and filled with characters you will come to know and care for.
Chihayafuru has slightly more romantic elements with the main protagonist being a girl.
Well, this might seem like a recommendation that is really "off", but it's really not, trust me. First, volleyball & karuta are INSANELY different, the sports in these two anime, yet watching Chihayafuru I got an experience very similar to of when watching Haikyuu.. Why? Because of the ultimate potential & love the characters have for the sport they're playing, they're so absorbed in it that they're unable to see anything besides it, the extreme obsession with "victory", just screaming "COME, COME, COME"... The players practicing day & night to get better at the sport, TO WIN, it's so lovely to watch it.. Honestly when
-sports animes with amazing character development
-makes you feel like a part of the game without actually being part of it
-easy to grasp plot yet unpredictable at times
-focuses on issues other than the sport itself to create a relatable storyline
-VERY likable characters you will get attached to
-episodes feel like they fly by
-please give this underrated anime a try it's so freaking good you'll like it especially if you like sports animes but even if you don't it's a good one
Both series present main characters that work hard to become the best in their respective sports (Volleyball in the case of Haikyuu and competitive karuta in Chihayafuru) as they find rivals and allies with similar goals. Great animation in both cases and nice character development.
Although Haikyuu!! resembles heavily Kuroko no Basket, in practice the hype and thrill I felt during the matches resembled the one I felt during Chihayafuru.
Although volleyball and karuta are fundamentally different sports, they both emphasise on pinpoint precision, striking one target at a time, rather than on footwork and full body contact, as with basket.
Also, the protagonists (Chihaya and Hinata) had quite similar personalities, being naturally talented in their respective sport, a bit airheaded, upbeat and sweet as hell.