Chihayafuru

27 01 2016

Japanese title: ちはやふる
Number of episodes: 25

Some info:
1) Wikipedia
2) ANN
3) Official Site (Japanese)

This series has something different, most notably one of the main elements of the show is something that I have not seen much of previously, and that would be Karuta. Karuta is a Japanese card game that have fairly simple rules but competitive gameplay is a totally different matter altogether. Personally, I have seen it appear in other shows that I’ve watched previously, but it was never a huge theme of the story and also there wasn’t much of an introduction or anything to it as I presume it is pretty much common knowledge to the natives.

Thankfully for people like me, this series does cover the rules of it, the basics and some of the unique properties that should be aware of, even as a beginner. However, due to my lack of ability to read the poems, much less understand the complexity and beauty behind all the literature (the subtitle source I got probably isn’t as accurate as it possibly is, but at the same time it is sometimes difficult to translate literary contents like these while fitting into the situations) I probably have a lower appreciation of the game and art as it should have been.

But nonetheless, this series is still a nice watch. Why? Of course, the competitive Karuta element is quite nice and something new for me, but the characters are also quite fun to watch too. The relationships, friendships etc have a nice feel to it. I can’t really describe it too well, but it’s probably because the mix between a competitive sport and the ‘slice of life’ style of the characters are blended well.

Unfortunately, I think the anime series only covered a relatively small number of chapters in the original writing though I haven’t gone to take a look myself. Even if it isn’t, there should still be a long way to go seeing that there are still so many areas for development. Somehow I get the feeling that there will not be a 2nd season, though I would most welcome to be proven wrong. It is an enjoyable series to watch.

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