Anime of Tomorrow
Chihaya Furu Ep. 1
Final impression – interesting premise, uninteresting characters (4/10)
Autumn 2011 to winter 2012 (25 episodes) (title literal translation – Chihaya Swoop) (more info)
Chihaya Furu has a familiar feeling to it. It reminds me of a lighthearted Shion no Ou—a story of a group of friends brought together by their passion for a game. But unlike a sports anime, the focus is on the people and not on the sport, which is where most sports anime go wrong. Nobody has any obscure superpowers nor is there any banter analyzing boring technique. However, the game that’s bringing them together is karuta. For those of you not in the know, it’s a game where cards are placed on a table in front of you and as an announcer calls cues, you have to slap your hand down on the correct card the fastest. As the characters themselves comment, it’s not well known outside of Japan. So Chihaya Furu puts a very interesting spin on this idea of being the best in the world at something that isn’t very popular. It’s a cool concept, but I’m not convinced the characters have any lasting appeal, even though I’ve only watched one episode. This may be an anime I might revisit in the future, but for now there’s other titles I’d rather be watching.