Chihayafuru [Overall Review]
Animation Company: Madhouse
Genre: Drama, Game, Sports, Josei
Summary: Ayase Chihaya never had a passion or a dream that she can claim is her own. A boy (Wataya Arata) from her class, introduces her to Karuta, and where she discovers her passion for it and strives to one day take the title of the Queen.
Story & Plot: 10/10
The best part about this show is that they didn’t waste a second of their time. There was that one recap episode, but even that was fun to watch since it included the Manga’s Extra Panels’ Comics! The plot is pretty straight forward, Chihaya puts together a Karuta Club and she aims for the Championship so that she can take part of the Queen’s match. Of course let me tell you, nothing goes according to plan, nor does it proceed very smoothly. There’s drama in this, not over the top- but if I had to describe it, it’s very realistic. Either way I enjoyed this from start to finish. Best of all, they wrapped everything up the best way possible and gave us plenty of closures as well as plenty of room to continue into a second season.
Characters & Development: 9/10
The entire Cast of Chihayafuru was a magnificent group. There’s not a single one of them
except for Yumin who you could bring yourself to dislike. Our heroine, Ayase Chihaya is a complete package as my favourite type of character. She’s badass, she is persistent, atheletic, motivated and has a fiery passion.
As for the main group, each and every character had a piece of development. If anyone was lacking development, I’d say it was Nishida- but even so, he wasn’t one of those characters that was assigned an important role. It was definitely sad not to see more of Arata- but that’s how it is in the Manga, and he does gradually show up more over time (which SHOULD HAPPEN if we get a second season – WHICH IS WELL DESERVED).
Animation Quality: 9/10
This is MADHOUSE, and if you know of them, they are relatively known for quality animation- especially for adaptions. Chihayafuru’s animation was breathtaking. Everything about it, the flow, the designs, the vibrant colours- small specific details, they nailed it. They did a marvellous job captivating the audience and drawing them into the show that leaves such an impact as if they were standing right in front of the the entire event.
I already have Chihayafuru’s OST. I loved how they had a mix of traditional tracks, modern as well as a bit of a combination~ I declare it it a masterpiece. It’s by far the most gorgeous soundtrack I’ve heard in such a long time (besides Guilty Crown’s). I love just about every track on it. It was this what took Chihayafuru to a whole new level. Despite this not being a Music based show, the OST still played such a significant role that successfully delivered the emotions, the tensions and the prelude.
Overall Score: 10/10
Chihayafuru is a pure masterpiece. If anyone says it’s boring- they have no idea what they are talking about or at least missing the bigger picture. They are missing the art, the literature, and the inspiring characters that you cannot bring yourself to ever hate (not that they do anything that’d make you hate them).
Except for Yumin, most if not all people in the Chihayafuru Fandom despise her.
With the combination of the strong characters, an inspiring storyline, the breathtaking animation, and the traditonal themed original soundtrack, Chihayafuru accomplished the most difficult task of all- making the audience feel as if they too, were part of the show. There’s not that many productions that brings out so much energy, excitement, and such passion from the audience members themselves. I’m proud to say I’m one of them, and it made the experience memorable. It’s not something you can get tired of so easily, it’s something you can watch over, and over and over again.
Recommendation: STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING, AND START WATCHING THIS!!!!
Chihayafuru may turn people away with how it’s described as a sport, a card game and so on- but it’s so much more than that. Karuta is a beautiful sport. Watching this was exhilarating! You never know what’s going to happen. Then you have these magnificent characters that you can’t get enough of. Seriously, you’re missing out big time if you don’t at least give this show a chance.