Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rewind: Chihayafuru

At first glance, Chihayafuru doesn't look exciting. It's about teenagers playing karuta, a traditional card game based on 100 old poems. Why would anyone besides a literature or history nerd watch 50 episodes of that? Then again, if you've been on the anime scene very long, you know not to judge an anime by its subject. 

Taichi and Chihaya in Chihayafuru 2, episode 20. I love these two, and
they love each other... at least, they're dear friends. Chihaya's oblivious
to the concept of anything besides friendship at this point. Poor Taichi.

Chihayafuru shares a lot of qualities with sports anime, so it's no surprise that I like it so much. When the main character, Chihaya, starts high school, she begins a karuta club. She's passionate about it, and she inspires her friends to passion, too. She and her childhood friend, Taichi, wrangle up enough members to officially start the club. They train, improve, and compete in intense karuta tournaments. Suspense gets pretty high at times, just like in a sports anime. 

But tournament suspense isn't what has me patiently waiting for another season. No, the relationships between characters stand out to me. I wrote about the main trio of friends, Chihaya, Taichi, and Arata, at the end of the second season. It struck a chord with me. And the relationships between club members helped inspire a post at the beginning of last school year, Advice from Anime: Join a Club.

I'm hoping for another round of Chihayafuru, after there's enough material in the manga to pull from. As far as I know, nothing has been announced yet. I'm in no hurry. So long as I get to see more of this beautiful, often humorous show, I can wait for a couple more years.

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