If you're looking for anime similar to Chihayafuru, you might like these titles. All recommendations are made by Anime-Planet users like you!
The studious and uptight Chiaki is well-known as the top pianist of his school, and dreams of becoming a world-class conductor like his idol, Viera; but his fear of flying (which makes studying abroad impossible) combined with a recent break-up and dismissal from his piano instructor causes that future to seem both bleak and unlikely. After collapsing outside of his apartment, drunk, Chiaki inadvertently meets a young woman named Nodame who, while quite talented at the piano, is unclean, clumsy, and haphazard. Despite being almost polar opposites, the two begin to grow closer and work, together, to overcome the obstacles in their careers.
Another josei series about another eccentric girl completely devoted to her hobby/sport/instrument. There's a bit of romance, a diverse cast, and a very in-depth, yet accessable look into the subject matter. The main difference is that I (and probably most other people) find music much more interesting than karuta, so Nodame Cantabile ends up being a more rewarding viewing experience, whereas Chihayafuru gets bogged down by epidode after episode of matches of a card game that I'm only sort-of interested in.
One afternoon on her way home from school, Haru saves a cat from getting run over by a truck and promptly gets the shock of her life when it stands on its hind legs to thank her. That night, she is greeted by a parade of felines who inform Haru that her earlier heroics saved the prince of the Cat Kingdom. Haru suddenly finds herself inundated with gifts of mice and catnip as means of thanks, culminating in the announcement that she will be taken to their kingdom to marry the prince. With no desire to marry Prince Lune, Haru turns to The Baron and Muta from the Cat Bureau for help, but unable to stop them, Haru is swept away by a horde of cats. Can Haru prevent this marriage of inconvenience and return home before she becomes a cat herself?
These two anime have a similar feel in terms of art design, as well as being gentle, optimistic tales about a girl finding her passion and coming of age as a teenager. The two genres are very different, with Chihayafuru being a romantic sports drama and The Cat Returns being more of a fairy tale, but I think someone looking for anime with a similar theme and feel will enjoy both of these.
Ippo Makunouchi is a loser. He has no friends, he spends his free time helping his mom with work, and he's constantly being beaten up by bullies. But that all changes when one day he's saved from another beating by Takamura, an up-and-coming boxer. Soon, Ippo turns his life around with a passion for the newly discovered sport, but his new lifestyle is far from easy! Before he can even dream of becoming champion, he'll have to overcome a slew of fierce rivals and learn what 'dedication' really means.
While Karuta is very likely somthing that you have (or will have) only ever heard of thanks to Chihayafuru, These two series share the same narrative structure and themes:
due to the above points, both shows are highly motivational and are recomended for anyone who currently finds themselves stuck in a rut in their personal lives.
When Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa and Rin were in elementary school, they swam together in a relay race and won the match. As Rin was on his way to Australia to train to become an Olympic champion, the gang decided to bury their trophy in a time capsule and retrieve it when they all had grown up. Now, Haruka, Makoto and Nagisa have reunited in high school and decide to dig up the prize. But on the way there, they run into none other than Rin, and he's determined to show Haru who's the best! As a result of this fateful meeting, the three friends decide to start a swim club, along with fellow classmate Rei, and their rival's little sister Gou as the team manager. Can the gang hold their own against Rin and prove their skills at the Prefectural Tournament?
When Yuugo Hachiken enrolled at Ezonoo, an agricultural high school, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. While his classmates revel in the barnyard chores and hard labor, eager to gain skills for their careers, Yuugo is challenged and sometimes downright horrified by the things he’s having to learn, whether he’s corralling stray cows, learning the shocking truth of where chicken eggs come from, or even getting comfortable with riding a horse! Alongside peers such as the lovely Aki, Yuugo will learn all he can about agriculture, making close friends in the process.
Two very different animes, but both have a unusual theme. In Silver Spoon this theme is Agriculture, in Chihayafuru it's all about Karuta. Both slice of life anime have a very similar tone to them, that make you just want to smile along while watching it. They also have the same level of comedy. So if you liked the unique theme in one, you might like the other.