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small image Chihayafuru 1 – The Beginning

October 5, 2011 11:17 am by small image

I apologize in advance for any gushing that may occur in this post.

If you’re completely unaware, Chihayafuru was my most anticipated show of the fall season. The series promised romance and it had absolutely gorgeous art. The one thing I wasn’t so sure about coming in was how well the Japanese card game karuta would fit in the mix. The small taste we did get this episode shows it could get really interesting, especially once we get to see how well our three main characters can play now that they’re somewhat grown up (I can just imagine the awesome over the top card throwing that will undoubtedly occur). It may still be too early to tell, but it looks like Chihayafuru is going to be one enjoyable ride.

Woah, there! I wasn't aware that Chihayafuru was that kind of show...

Just in case you’re not all that familiar with Chihayafuru, it follows a girl named Chihaya who’s beginning her first year in high school. She’s naturally pretty, like all shoujo heroines, but as the boys put it, it’s a “Beauty in Vain” for Chihaya happens to be a bit dense. On her first day in high school, she sets out to create a club for the Japanese card game called Karuta. However, no one seems to be all that interested. Though, as luck would have it, she runs into her childhood friend, Taichi, whom she used to play Karuta with. That’s where our story begins.

Yeah, you're just friends all right...

I found the characters in Chihayafuru to be quite refreshing, but I don’t watch much shoujo, so specialists may tell me otherwise. I was bit surprised to find out exactly how much of a tomboy Chihaya is, but I guess that’s expected when you grow up with two best friends that are boys. Actually, the small snippet of their friendship – pictured above – felt so natural that it surprised me, in a good way. The love triangle, while not implicitly stated, is heavily implied, which makes me wonder how they’ll deal with that demon when it rears its ugly head. I heard Chihayafuru’s manga counterpart won a ton of awards, so the writing must be above average. It gives me hope that if the love triangle ever does take center stage, it’ll be done with grace. Though only time will tell.

Now, it just wouldn’t be right if I went through this entire post without mentioning Chihayafuru’s gorgeous art. I really don’t even need to say anything about it, for the art should speak for itself, but just wow. Not only are the backgrounds stunning but the character models stray from the usual tall and gangly things that are most common in shoujo. When you combine stunning backgrounds with pleasing character models, you’ll undoubtedly get something like Chihayafuru. Hopefully it’ll be able to keep it up through its 26 episode run. Yes, that’s right, Twenty-six awesome episodes.

I’ll miss watching Hanasaku Iroha but Chihayafuru looks like it’ll be just the show to fill in that empty space. I’m really looking forward to watching more of this one.

 

Want to check out the opening? Click the link:

Chihayafuru Opening