|Flashback Friday is a weekly post where I talk about a book, manga, or anime series I’ve finished. This is more like me reminiscing on stuff I come across back then.|
Genre: josei, game, sports, drama, slice of life, romance
Episodes: 25 (S1); 25 (S2)
Anime Director: Asaka Morio (Card Captor Sakura, Nana)
Chihaya is a lighthearted tomboy, who's not especially good at anything in particular. Her dream has always been for her sister (an aspiring model) to become the number one beauty of Japan, or perhaps of the world. But then one day she meets someone who tells her that a dream is something that should concern only herself—and something she has to work hard for as well.
At the same time, Chihaya discovers a passion for the old Japanese game hyakunin isshu, also called "karuta".
* * *
It’s been so long since I last wrote an anime post so I thought that I’d work on an anime flashback post :)
Chihayafuru is one of my favorite anime series. It was one of those anime that kind of inspired me. It was one of those anime that I just fell in love with – its art, execution, and its lovely and delicately developed characters.
I was a bit hesitant to watch Chihayafuru when it first came out because it was tagged as card game, sports, and Japanese poetry. Odd combination. What actually convinced me to pick this one up was because I was a fan of Miyano Mamoru during that time. But you see, I’m really glad that I decided to watch it whatever my reason was because it was an insta-fave for me.
Chihayafuru is about Chihaya and her dream of becoming the Queen, the greatest female karuta player. It’s like Bakuman with all the passion, big dreams, experiences of failure, working hard, and never giving up. While Chihayafuru didn’t inspire me as much as Bakuman did, I still look back to it for motivation and sometimes just for the fun of it. Karuta is a very gripping sports anyway. I get so excited watching it the same way I get to excited watching Seido play baseball in Ace of Diamond.
Ayase Chihaya is one of my favorite female characters (and I don’t like a lot of female anime characters). It always amazes me how she handles everything. In fact, I envy how strong she is, how positive she is, and how she always looks at every difficulty as motivations. Wataya Arata is this character with so much talent and closed himself from what he has always loved at the beginning of the story. As the story progress, Arata came back to playing karuta (particularly in second season). He inspires and motivates both Chihaya and Taichi. Mashima Taichi is my favorite character and he’s the one I am able to sympathize the most. He’s this guy who’s a good at generally everything but is not the best at it. Karuta-wise, he’s below both Chihaya and Arata. He always practices so that he’ll get the skills to overtake Arata but there are just a lot of times when Taichi would just feel that he won’t get better than Arata. Taichi is this guy who doesn’t want to show weakness. He’s this guy who puts himself down. He’s this guy who’s always so serious about something but (probably) doesn’t get good enough. The three of them are all lovely characters with their very own struggles, strengths, and motivations in life.
One of the things I also love about Chihayafuru is the romance, the love triangle going on among the three of them. Chihaya being the center of it all. She's the typical dense heroine who do not even understand her own feelings towards Arata (but generally it can always just be about how she admires and wants to be better than him and he she rarely sees him). Arata is this character truly shine in the second season. Arata obviously has feelings for Chihaya and only later on in the series that he sees it. AND Taichi who carries the most pain. He has feelings for Chihaya but she obviously doesn't feel the same way. He's the guy who hears Chihaya talk about Arata all the time which really just makes me feel sorry for him in a lot of times.
Chihayafuru is that beautiful series that caters to maybe a more mature audience as compared to Bakuman (since it is categorized as josei – upper shoujo). It’s a very inspiring series with delicately developed characters and beautiful visuals.
* * *
How about you guys, is there any book, manga, or anime series you’re reminiscing right now? OR is there anything that you were reminded of when I talked about Chihayafuru? Have you watched Chihayafuru? What do you think of Chihayafuru? Is there a book, manga, or anime that motivates you to do things? :)