Chihayafuru: An Objective Review

So yeah, this post is meant to be fun. Please don’t take it seriously. Yeah. At one point a year or so ago, I challenged Irina into writing some kind of objective review. I’ve been too busy to really try it until now. Now it is time to try it. This seems hard, but I think it’s going to be fun hopefully. Should be a short post too because it doesn’t have any actual opinions of it. Yeah….let’s see what happens with this one.


Chihayafuru is an anime about characters who play karuta. All based on the manga by Yuki Suetgsu by Kodansha in a magazine called Be Love since 2007. It is a Jousei manga. There are three seasons produced by Studio Madhouse and directed by Mirio Asaka. The first season appeared in 2011, with the second season in 2013, and the third season in 2019. In total, there are 74 episodes and one special ova episode. Kunihiko Hamada designed the characters and Kousuke Yamashita produced the music. All opening songs are by 99RadioService.

In this anime, there are characters. A lot of characters in fact. The main characters are the trio of the tomboy Chihaya Ayase, Arata Wataya, and Taichi Mashima. Join them on their journeys from Elementary School onward as they face other opponents to win to be the best Karuta players in Japan. Chihaya and Taichi for their own team of interesting characters at Mizusawa High School with Kana Oe, Desktomu, and Nishida as they take other high schools in Karuta competition for dominance.

Season 1 focuses on Mizusawa Karuta Club during their first tournament as the show establishes other teams that the characters will be facing other the years. This is the year that Mizusawa is unknown. Season 2 features a more experienced Mizusawa facing against teams that have high expectations of them. The third season features a more adult cast and our main cast as they face their last year of high school and what is beyond it. All featuring Karuta tournaments of different kinds.

Chihayafuru features Hyakunin Isshu Karuta. It also called One Hundred Poets. It is an anthology of compiled Japanese waka poetry where each contributor wrote one poem each. Karuta is also a Portugese loan word for card. In this game, each player is given 25 cards to lay down in whatever formation the player wants. When a reader reads a poem, the players compete at who can grab each poem the fastest. The player with no poem cards on their side in the end loses.

In this anime, these characters are animated. Some are moving panels and still frames while other movements are created by fast frames of one cel after another. Each character is colored in definitive color designs. Characters also make talking noises provided by their various seiyuu or dub actors/actress. All depending on vocal choice the viewer chose to watch it. Other noises are provided through sound design. Some backgrounds may look like a school while others are not.

Chihayafuru is an anime.


Oh god, that was hard. Never doing that again. I’m sorry I made you do this, Irina.

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