Bronia's avatar


  • Canada
  • Joined Aug 23, 2011
  • 21 / F


Apr 13, 2012


I have never seen an anime based on this game called "Karuta", however there's plenty of tournament love triangle shows out there. Chihayafuru is a show that never really tries to do anything special or different with the plot, it simply bounces from one arc to the next- from the setting up arc where characters are introduced and backstories are told (at least for Chihaya, Arata, and Taichi.) right into a plethora of different tournaments (all of which seem to drag out their matches for as many inner monologues as possible.)

I guess right about now I should give you the disclaimer that the only other tournament show I've watched is Bamboo Blade. BB was not quite as excessive with inner monologues.

At the beginning the show is very sweet and fun, but around the middle I started to find myself getting bored with it. Not to the point of staring at the wall behind my computer, but there were times I felt like the show was just too formulaic to hold my attention much longer.


The animation itself was decent (other than one part of the OP wear Chihaya moves but the pattern on her hakama doesn't. YOU WILL NOT UNSEE.) and the art was pretty. The palet was soft and the character designs were clean and, if not memorable, they were at least suitable. The three main characters were all bishounen/bishoujo.


The OP was fantastic (I downloaded it instantly), but I skipped the ED. The soundtrack I always noticed because it followed a pattern and was pretty suitable for the over-the-top drama in the show.


The majority of the show was focused on Chihaya's quest to become Queen while the rest of the characters struggled to improve. While near the end, Kana got some development with her goals, most development was hogged by Chihaya and Taichi. Even Arata was fairly 2-dimensional. Chihaya as a main character was not much more than your average loud-mouthed determined girl who doesn't excel at school work, etc. She's fairly mediocre as a lead character. Taichi recieved a bit of character development, and was actually a fairly interesting character to watch. The other three in the Karuta club, Kana, Desky, and Porky, recieve little to no character development.


I want to rate Chihayafuru higher, but it's just too average to rate too highly. Chihayafuru knows what it is and doesn't try to be anything but. It bounces from tournament to tournament and never tries to be superb or unique.

It's still a good anime, and if you like tournament anime then you shouldn't skip Chihayafuru. Just don't go in expecting to be blown away.

7/10 story
7.5/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
6.8/10 overall

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Calahan Mar 1, 2013

Thank you for the response and explanation. As you said though, definitely a little flakey :)

To be honest I have difficulty understanding why some people don't place more value on their anime list. Since it is the main yardstick by which others form a first impression of someone elses anime tastes, and crucially, whether or not any reviews they've written can be relied upon to be objective, and not just written while wearing fanboy glasses.

So personally I am always somewhat distrusting of any reviewers who don't maintain their rating list as a true reflection of their opinion on anime. As if they don't care about maintaining an accurate rating list, then why are they likely to care about writing an accurate review? The two go hand-in-hand for me, and an inaccurate rating list, or one that has far too high an average rating, will always devalue any reviews that person writes, regardless of how accurate (and good!) the reviews might actually be. But maybe that's just me?!

Anyway thanks for the review all the same, but as I said, I can't really rely on it as means to judge this anime by because of your rating list. (as I'm afraid that's a deal breaker for me every time)

Bronia Feb 28, 2013

Reasonable thoughts, Calahan. You might not accept my answer since it's really flakey, but with the 5 star ratings I am really lax and I usually rate them really early while watching a show and don't bother changing them. My 5 star ratings are just right in the moment happy fun times, whereas if I'm going to review a show I give it a more honest and thought-out rating and really try to reflect on my thoughts while watching that weren't just "OMG OMG THIS IS FUN I LIKE ANIME!" In the case of all my reviews, you should trust my review rating more than my 5 star rating.

Sorry to cause you any confusion, and I hope this answers your question.

Calahan Feb 28, 2013

Why have you given this anime 6.8 in this review, but 5 stars on your watched list? (so the equivalent of 10/10). Surely the two have to match don't they? Otherwise it becomes a little difficult to trust either this review or the your anime ratings list.

As because there is an obvious discrepancy between the two, it means either this review or your anime rating list must be out of sync with your opinion of this anime (and also brings into question your other reviews and anime ratings as well), and therefore neither can be relied upon to accurately judge this anime by. Since one of the two has to be wrong (in relation to your opinion).

I'm guessing your anime rating list is the problem because what you wrote in this review matches your 6.8 score, but it certainly doesn't match the 5 star rating you awarded this anime on your rating list. But this is only a guess, and there is no way of knowing for sure.

So please can you clairify and correct whichever one is in error, or else offer an explanation for the obvious discrepancy.