Okay so I just finished watching season 1 of Chihayafuru and before I forget everything that has happened in this season, I’m going to write it down here first.
So like I said in my preview, this was a stressful anime to watch. Thank god for comedy parts interspersed in every episode. I didn’t know it could feel so disappointing and actually hurt when you’re cheering on for somebody to win and they don’t, by a very slim margin. I mostly felt that way for Chihaya and Taichi for this anime. It doesn’t seem like an anime that will end too, since no one’s going to give up until they get the title of Queen or Master. Sports are never-ending that way.
So anyway, back to the story.
Chihayafuru is about a girl, Ayase Chihaya whose dream since young is to support her model of a sister no matter what and see her rise in fame. One day, she makes friends with a transfer student in her class, Wataya Arata and he introduces her to the world of karuta. The very first match she plays with him, Chihaya sees that he is extremely strong in the game and by watching the way he plays, she is drawn to the game itself.
Arata tells Chihaya that she has talent for playing karuta because she has an exceptional hearing ability and that if ‘you are the best in Japan, that would make you the best in the whole world’. He shows her what will come to be her favourite card: the Chihayafuru card, meaning ‘Impassionate Gods’ and tells her that it is her card.
Chihaya’s other friend, Taichi becomes jealous that she’s paying the new boy so much attention that he goes so far as to steal Arata’s glasses right before a karuta match with him to handicap him. However, Chihaya interuppts the match halfway through and volunteers to take Arata’s place because he isn’t in top form without his glasses. She goes on to beat Taichi in the match and since then, Chihaya realises that she enjoys playing karuta.
Arata and Taichi make peace and together with Chihaya, the three of them become close friends, calling each other by their first names. This happened all when they were all in the 6th grade.
Years later, when Chihaya starts high school, she meets Taichi again, who happens to be in the same school as her. Initially, he refuses to help her start up a karuta club but when he sees her playing her hardest to win a match so she can advance to Class A, he sees how much she has improved and that she hasn’t given up on karuta. He agrees to help her start up a karuta club so there would be something that she could go back to and for the following few episodes, they work on recruiting 3 more members in order to become an officially recognised club.
In the middle of all this, Chihaya and Taichi travel to Fukui to visit Arata but to their dismay, he shows them a cold side and kicks away Chihaya’s karuta cards, saying that he has stopped playing karuta. But after reading Chihaya’s letters to him that she had left behind, he decides to change his mind and return to playing karuta because he still loves it.
Most of the following episodes after this show us the practices of the karuta club members and their steady journey to the different tournaments. We are also shown the trust built among the members and how they help each other by studying others’ karuta playing style and giving each other advice.
And gradually throughout the show, we see that Taichi has feelings for Chihaya, although she is too dense to realise it. At least she isn’t as dense as Hikari from Special A hahaha. The scenes of jealousy that Taichi displays every once in a while are funny and cute. Kana-chan even states at one point that maybe the reason why guys in their school don’t approach Chihaya even though she is extremely pretty, is because she is always with Taichi. I especially loved a scene in episode 19 whereby Chihaya sees Taichi sleeping in the car with his head hitting the car window and she brings his head over to lean on her shoulder.
The most nail-biting match would be the one with Chihaya playing against the Queen, Wakamiya Shinobu, who looks a little scary actually. And all the matches that Taichi played but only managed to place second at the finals were also heartbreaking. The disappointment shown on their faces and the tears they shed are enough to make me feel as downhearted as them (although I know they are all non-existent).
At the end of this season, it shows us how far they have come and how they have grown not as a team, but also as a family. Overall, this whole season 1 of Chihayafuru gave me this impression at the end that yes, this whole season, it was a good journey for them 🙂
Hahaha this guy, Sudo is absolutely whacked-up in his brain. Of course you feel better when you look down on others lol.
Harada sensei, I wonder what your reaction would be if Taichi answered yes
‘So why my house?’
‘Because you have a 60-inch TV!’
‘These are the Master and Queen matches! Master and Queen matches! Master and Queen matches! We have to watch on a big screen!’
HAHAHA CHIHAYA ^^