Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chihayafuru review (minor spoilers)

After I posted my opinion on Chihayafuru, too many people told me I had dropped it too early. Even though I hadn't watched it in a while and could barely remember the characters, I picked it up where I had left of, and was surprised as to how easy I was able to catch on again. Now that I actually finished it, can I say I have changed my mind? I little, I'll admit. I did enjoy this anime. It has it's moments.

Chihayafuru is about the high school freshman Chihaya, who likes to play a card game called karuta. She creates the karuta club, and her goal is to become queen, the best karuta player in Japan/the world. She tricks people into joining and forms great friendships with the members, while playing karuta.

What I like the most are the characters, I feel a bit ashamed of the way I trashed them before. They are all so sweet, with their own dreams and goals when it comes to playing Karuta. The protagonist, Chihaya, is determinded, and will do anything to achieve her dream of becoming the best karuta player in the world. (Or is her dream actually just to meet her childhood boyfriend Arata again? I'm not really sure...) Chihaya cries. A lot. At least once every episode she can be found in tears because she lost a match or won a match or her current boyfriend Taichi lost a match or she may simply have realised something life changing about karuta. I can't decide on whether I think this is cute and what makes her character, or just annoying.
Also, Arata is an annoying character. He's barely present, never says much, and he is still one of the main characters? How does that happen? He never replies to Chihaya's texts, but seems to have no problem chatting regularly with Taichi, why is that? I don't get this guy.

Ok, I changed my mind a bit, the music is what I like the most. It is beautiful, and so uplifting I always feel a little happier on the inside after watching an episode listening to the soundtrack.
The way this is drawn is almost perfect, but that's according to my personal preferences.

Now, the plot. Plot? Plot? Wait, there's a PLOT? Well, yes, of course there is. Aha. I don't even know where to begin. The start is slow, they spend at least seven episodes collecting all the characters, something which Suzumiya Haruhi managed to do in one (almost). Also when I started watching, I had really no idea where this was going, and I couldn't tell before the whole show was over. So the first part is getting to know the characters, but after that, it's all about karuta. No I mean, that's all there is left. They play games and tournaments, and when they're not doing that they're watching other people play karuta. And the most annoying thing is, I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE RULES OF KARUTA. It's too complicated, and that lingered in the back of my mind throughout the series. "Why did she do that, couldn't she have taken that card, what does that even mean?" etc.

In the end, I gave Chihayafuru 6/10, meaning it was fine. Would I recommend it? Not sure about this, but I know many people who think this is a masterpiece and who really like it. I'm just not one of them...

To be honest, what kept he hanging on to this was the hope of eventual romance. I'll watch season 2, sometime (not right now, I'm too sick of karuta), to see if I have my wish completely fulfilled, and also to see if some of these characters actually get better at playing.

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