If you're looking for anime similar to Chihayafuru, you might like these titles. All recommendations are made by Anime-Planet users like you!
Maya is a dreamy young girl whose clumsiness is matched only by her absent-mindedness. While others have given up on her, the legendary actress Tsukikage sees her hidden potential and offers to take Maya under her tutelage. Maya loves the theatre more than anything, and as there's not much she can do about it at home, she chooses to run away with Tsukikage. The world of theatre is harsh, however, especially for a naive young girl far away from home. While she finds new friends who support her, her mentor has powerful enemies and Maya is often on the receiving end of their ruthless plans. In face of the adversity, Maya must constantly fight to develop her skills to catch up with her unbelievably talented rival, Ayumi, if she hopes to inherit Tsukikage's legendary role: The Crimson Goddess.
Honoka Kousaka is heartbroken. Her school, Otonokizaka High, will be forced to shut down unless it can find more prospective students. Luckily, Honoka and her friends have a plan: they'll form an idol group and throw concerts to attract others to join the school! But following through won't be easy – they'll need to find talent, make outfits, find practice space, build stamina and more in hopes of keeping Otonokizaka High alive!
While these two shows aren't exactly similar on the surface, I couldn't help but be reminded of Chihayafuru while watching Love Live! Both series concern an energetic but sometimes childish redheaded high school student that drag people along into her dreams of becoming the best at whatever she's passionate about--karuta in Chihayafuru, idol singing (and saving a school) in Love Live!
On top of that, both shows are generally feel-good, but don't at all deny the difficulty needed to accomplish becoming good at a skill. Both shows focus a lot on the hours of practice and planning that can go into achieving your dreams. They also focus a lot on the groups of misfits that come together to form their respective clubs, and the interpersonal relationships between all of them. Chihayafuru does this partially through romance and a love-triangle, while Love Live! is exclusively about the friendships between the girls, but it's still rather similar in tone.
And really, when it comes down to it, both shows felt really similar to me because of how inspiring they are WITHOUT denying how difficult learning a skill can be. In fact, they even cover a lot of similar tropes for the hardships encountered (illness due to neglecting your health, strained relationships, having to go up against the best-of-the-best, etc). They're like happy, colorful sports anime without the sports.
So if you felt really inspired and comforted by one show, I think the other would give you the same feeling.
It's the first day of high school, and plenty of school clubs are doing their best to recruit new members. However, for ditzy Yui, none of them seem to fit the bill. However, when she accidentally signs up to join the light music club, Yui begins a hilarious adventure to become a world class guitarist! There's just one problem: she's never played the guitar before in her life! Joined by bassist Mio, drummer Ritsu and keyboardist Tsugumi, Yui and the gang will juggle their studies with buying instruments, learning how to read music and even performing in the school festival, all in the hopes of someday becoming a successful band!
At first, these two don't seem to have much in common besides the fact that they are both about school clubs. But they share the same kind of lightheartedness and focus on the characters' individual talents. They are both also very subtle about their main theme, which for both of them is how things in life change more and more as you get older. There are also a few hints of romance in both, but it really doesn't seem to go anywhere. Although they were made by different studios, they both have stunning animation.
Aki Miyagawa moved to Tokyo to pursue her dream to be a taiko drummer, but had a hard time balancing her strict training regimen with her part-time job. Now, after 15 years, she's returning to coach others for a taiko festival.
In both Chihayafuru and Aki no Kanade, energetic young girls develop an obsession for traditional Japanese things: Chihaya loves the game of karuta and Aki finds the taiko drums irresitible. Both of them aim their enthusiasm at others around them, getting their friends & classmates to participate. If you liked the way one of these shows portrayed young people & tradition, you might like the other too!
Kousei Arima was a genius pianist until his mother's sudden death took away his ability to play. Each day was dull for Kousei. But, then he meets a violinist named Kaori Miyazono who has an eccentric playing style. His monotonus life was about to change forever.