Fall Digest : Chihayafuru – Watch this Show Now

Chihaya tactical push!

Chihayafuru is the type of show that solely based on the synopsis and no paying attention to the studio in question one would dismiss it as yet another generic, factory manufactured material or by one that is too dissimilar to one’s own tastes to like. The big news is that Chihayafuru is better than that.

I seriously like how Chihayafuru starts. It shows a dreadfully cliché list of sequences, the  school gate, the ever-present cherry blossoms, and the students rushing to class. It’s like something gotten out of the school anime book, then it throws you curve ball with the oddball of a bishoujo looking to get members for an unpopular club. Chihayafuru you have my attention.

Chihaya almost makes the combo of shirt + gym pants work

The Good:

+ Beautiful animation. The quality of the animation can be appreciated. Very smooth and fluid. Props to Madhouse for another great show.
+ Delivering proper dose of emotional impact and intriguing story. We can expect a fairly good balance in Chihayafuru. Nothing felt neither melodramatic nor too forced. This is one of those times when moderate doses of emotional scenes are welcome.
+ Good build up in the first episode. When a show manages to grasp you in one go it is worth checking out. There is enough story to work with. Compared to other shows Chihayafuru  had managed in a single episode to become one of the better shows of the season already.
+ Intriguing character relationships. The first episode is mostly a flashback of what events prior to the main story explaining the relationship between the main characters yet it doesn’t take anything from the show. The first episode managed to explain clearly what the audience needed to know about the show.
+ Great atmosphere. I definitely enjoyed the first episode. Chihayafuru is ambitious in the right ways and has a story with enough depth to back it up.

The Bad:

Frankly, there was nothing wrong with the first episode. With the great animation and a great story, one would have to be nitpicking for little details to pinpoint something that Chihayafuru did wrong. In my case I’ll simply voice a concern for the series to not focus more than it should on the gaming aspects of the series. Despite being a interesting game it isn’t always one that could be fun to watch moreso when the audience doesn’t get the game. Karuta is a difficult game based from I saw, but it turns out Karuta isn’t as difficult to get as it any kind of information that can be represented in card form can be used including shapes, colors, words in English, small pictures and the like. It just happened the anime explanation’s (think they used poems) was somewhat confusing and the less the audience wants is to feel lost. The advice for this type of show is that they should present these games in friendlier (to say it like that) more and subtle way and put greater emphasis in the characters as opposed to the card aspects of the show. A show like this shines the most when it centers on its characters’ stories after all.

Someone who would join Chihaya :

Chihayafuru  is one of the better shows of the season. It reminded me of Shion no Oh but with a more refreshing touch and better fleshed out characters. At first the description sounds like a blend between a take-your-pick shounen card selling game anime and shoujo yet Chihayafuru is more than that, and we’re thankful for that. Once we get to watch the show we realize that Chihayafuru is actually a well constructed story with fluid animation and enough poignant material to get one looking forward for more.

This is a 25 episodes show considered to be a sports and drama genre and there will be much the show will be exploring this season, but right now a show that does things right like Chihayafuru is it is more than promising. Based on what I saw I’m positive about it. Chihayafuru  gets away with plenty more than a passing mark and also marks the first show of the season that it is more than recommended to have a look at it in the Fall 11 season. It’ll be worth your time to give it a go.


2 thoughts on “Fall Digest : Chihayafuru – Watch this Show Now

  1. Pingback: Notes For The Fall 2011 Anime Season Final | Organization Anti Social Geniuses

  2. if you think the first episode was good, wait untill you watch episode 11.
    also its so silly to base an anime around the first 2, 3, or even four episodes, because the setup is super important. in this anime especially since its about deep red, intense love. love for a game, and love for.. well lets not get ahead of ourselves yet ;)

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