I wasn’t going to review Chihayafuru yet, but it’s epic-ness needs to be shared with the world, well "the world," is a broad statement, and yeah so is "epic-ness," but either way, it's a really cute anime. So, let me count thee ways of awesome-ness.
Being a fan of both anime and manga (though anime has only a few episodes in as well) I couldn’t pass the opportunity to rant about it.
The story's main theme are on the simplicity of friendship, passion, and dreams, some the things that matter and drive our spirit as a youngster (first time ever to use that word). Not any passion, a form of passion that moves us and sometimes helps us achieve things we didn’t think we could, even if we feel that part of us has long ago deserted us.
Chihaya is an outspoken girl who looks up to her model sister and is her number one fan. Her number one dream is for her sister to become a great model.
One day, Arata transfers into her class and automatically because of his shy and none talkative nature he is secluded and picked on., His number one bully is Taichi, Chihaya’s friend since childhood. Through a few random occurrences they end up becoming friends. Arata then introduces her to the world of karuta, a card (sorta) game. Her world is never the same after that.
Chihaya’s point of view is pure, the only type of innocence that a kid can accomplish. The beginning is mainly showing us how karuta entered her life and how it changed her.
Right a way you can tell things are going to happen that are going to test the boundaries of friendship, will, love, and everything in between. Not necessarily romantic love, I mean the love you have for your dreams, goals, and for your friends. How people growing apart and having their own life doesn't mean they forget you . How no matter what the distance, they don't always really lose that part of themselves that made you friends to begin with.
The art is clean and beautiful. I loved to see the transformation into their older self and that they looked different and yet you can tell it’s them and not because they still resemble their old self somehow. It’s very well done. But hands down the anime gives you the full effect of said art. You’ll know what I mean when you see it. Still very cute and charming, just like the story thus far.
The characters are one of the best thing in this manga, though what gives it a nice touch is the karuta element.
Arata , Taichi, and Chihaya are great characters, whose individual persona are what make them a great combination, because they are very different. Chihaya grew up and didn’t forget and throughout the beginning you can tell that she’s the glue, the proverbial glue that holds them together at the end. Her and karuta. It always goes back to that game to the point that it’s character of its own.
I didn't really find anything I disliked with the manga. It's too early to tell what direction it's actually going to go, although we can speculate at this point but I really hope I'm wrong (I like to be surprised!). It has a shoujo atmosphere about it that is a common ground with a lot of manga but it also feels like it'll have more depth just like the first few chapters suggest.
The end of each chapter is a constant reminder that you shouldn’t give up on your dreams. No matter how young or old or in between, dreams are dreams. They fuel us to keep going, to look forward.
The thing to see is if Chihaya, Taichi and Arata can sustain the flow of time and distance…
I can’t say anything else since there are too few chapters out as of now. But it's definitely worth a shot.
“You can’t call it a dream if you don’t work on it yourself.”