Chihayafuru

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Chihayafuru
Chihayafuru vol 1.jpg
Cover of the first volume featuring Chihaya Ayase.
ちはやふる
Genre Drama, Romance, Sports (karuta)
Manga
Written by Yuki Suetsugu
Published by Kodansha
English publisher
Kodansha USA (digital)
Demographic Josei
Magazine Be Love
Original run 28 December 2007 – present
Volumes 38 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Morio Asaka
Written by Naoya Takayama
Music by Kousuke Yamashita
Studio Madhouse
Licensed by
Original network NTV, FBS, ytv, HTV
English network
Original run 4 October 2011 27 March 2012
Episodes 25 (List of episodes)
Novel series
Shōsetsu Chihayafuru Chūgakusei-hen
Written by Yui Tokiumi
Illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu
Published by Kodansha
Imprint KC Deluxe
Original run 9 September 201213 December 2013
Volumes 4
Anime television series
Chihayafuru 2
Directed by Morio Asaka
Written by Yūko Kakihara
Ayako Katoh
Music by Kousuke Yamashita
Studio Madhouse
Licensed by
Siren Visual
Sentai Filmworks
Original network NTV, ytv
English network
Animax Asia
Original run 11 January 2013 28 June 2013
Episodes 25 + OVA (List of episodes)
Live-action film

Live-action film
Chihayafuru: Shimo no Ku
Directed by Norihiro Koizumi
Written by Yuki Suetsugu (original story)
Norihiro Koizumi (Screenplay)
Music by Masaru Yokoyama
Released 29 April 2016
Anime television series
Chihayafuru 3
Original network NTV (AnichU)
Original run 2019 scheduled
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Chihayafuru (ちはやふる) is a manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu. It has been serialized in Kodansha's Be Love magazine since December 2007. It is about a school girl, Chihaya Ayase, who is inspired by a new classmate to take up Hyakunin Isshu karuta competitively. A 25-episode anime television series adaptation aired from October 2011 to March 2012. A 25-episode second season aired from January to June 2013. A third season will premiere in 2019. Three live action film adaptations were released from 2016 to 2018.

The manga has won the Manga Taishō and the Kodansha Manga Award. Since its fourth volume was released in March 2009, it has regularly appeared on the Japanese Comic Ranking chart, and in August 2011 was estimated to have sold over 4.5 million copies. Its popularity has boosted the profile of competitive karuta in Japan.

Plot[edit]

Chihaya Ayase is a girl who has spent most of her life simply supporting her sister in her model career. That changes when she meets a boy named Arata Wataya, a talented karuta player. After becoming friends, he believes that Chihaya has potential to become a great player. As Chihaya takes on a new dream of becoming Japan's best karuta player, she is soon separated from her karuta playing friends as they grow up. Now in high school, Chihaya is reunited with her childhood friend, Taichi Mashima. Together, they form the Mizusawa Karuta Club. With her teammates and friends supporting her, Chihaya strives to become the best karuta player in the world and to one day be with Arata again.

Development[edit]

An Edo period karuta card with the Kami no Ku, or "upper phrase" from the Chihayaburu Tanka and the attribution to "Ariwara no Narihira Ason" written on it. The name of the series comes from this Heian Era poem.

Yuki Suetsugu belonged to a karuta club in high school and feels that the school years are a period of a person's life where "you can dedicate the most genuine part of yourself to something." The name of the series is a poetic Makurakotoba, or pillow word, and comes from the first five syllables of the seventeenth poem in the Hyakunin Isshu poetry anthology, a collection of 100 poems which are printed on the karuta cards. In this poem chihayaburu is used as an epithet to kami and can be translated into English as "shaken in fury" and "swift in fury", according to Edwin A. Cranston, or "awesome", as offered by Joshua S. Mostow.[2][3][4]

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The manga has been serialized in Be Love since 2007,[5] and has been collected by Kodansha into 38 tankōbon volumes as of May 2018. Kodansha has also published the first three volumes in a two-volume bilingual edition, with English translations by Stuart Varnam Atkin and Yōko Toyozaki.[6][7][8] On 14 February 2017, Kodansha Comics began publishing a digital edition of the series in English;[9] 11 volumes have been released as of 15 May 2018. The manga is licensed in French by Pika Édition,[10] in Korean by Haksan Culture Company,[11] in Taiwanese by Tong Li Publishing,[12] and in Thai by Bongkoch Publishing.[13]

Anime[edit]

A 25-episode anime television series adaptation, produced by the studio Madhouse under the direction of Morio Asaka, aired on Nippon Television from 4 October 2011 to 27 March 2012.[note 1][15] The screenplay was written by Naoya Takayama and character designs were by Kunihiko Hamada.[15] The music was composed by Kousuke Yamashita, and the sound director is Masafumi Mima of Techno Sound. The series was simulcast by Crunchyroll.[16] Animax Asia aired an English version of the anime from 13 February to 18 March 2013.[1] The series was released in nine DVD and Blu-ray Disc volumes from 21 December 2011[17][18] to 22 August 2012.[19][20] A Blu-ray Disc box set was released on 18 July 2013.[21]

A second 25-episode season, Chihayafuru 2, aired on Nippon Television between 11 January and 28 June 2013,[note 2] and was simulcast by Crunchyroll.[23] An original video animation episode was released on DVD bundled with the special edition of the 22nd manga volume on 13 September 2013.[24][25]

A third season will premiere on Nippon Television's AnichU block in 2019 with the main cast set to reprise their roles.[26]

Sentai Filmworks licensed the first two seasons of the anime series for home video release in North America.[27] The series' first episode premiered with English subtitles on the Hidive streaming service on 15 June 2017. Sentai Filmworks' dub is streamed by Hidive starting from 29 August 2017. The first season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 12 September 2017.[28][29]

The first season's opening and ending themes are "Youthful" by 99RadioService and "Soshite Ima" (そしていま, "And Now") by Asami Seto respectively.[14] 99RadioService released "Youthful" as a single on 30 November 2011.[30] Two original soundtrack and character song albums were released on 18 January – 28 March 2013.[31] The second season's opening and ending themes are "Star" by 99RadioService and "Akane Sora" (茜空) by Seto.[32]

Other[edit]

A 4-volume novel series was published by Kodansha under their KC Deluxe imprint between 9 September 2012,[33] and 13 December 2013.[34] The books were written by Yui Tokiumi and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu and follow the middle-school years of the three protagonists.[33] Kodansha released a guidebook for the series on 9 November 2011. It provides a study guide for the poetry and background for the story.[35]

On 11 April 2015, it was reported that the series would be adapted into a live-action film.[36][37] A live action film adaptation titled Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku was released on 19 March 2016, with a second film, Chihayafuru: Shimo no Ku, released on 29 April 2016.[38] Chihayafuru: Musubi, a third and final film in the trilogy, was released on 17 March 2018.[39]

Reception[edit]

Chihayafuru won the second Manga Taishō award,[40] and the 35th Kodansha Manga Award in the shōjo manga category.[41] When Chihayafuru won the Manga Taishō award, it was commented that the series combines elements of the sport genre and literary elements with a discerning eye on the subject matter.[42] The manga had sold over 16 million copies in Japan as the first half of 2016,[43] and its popularity has boosted the popularity of competitive karuta.[2][44] The manga has regularly appeared on Oricon's Japanese Comic Ranking chart. Between March 2009 and September 2011, the fourth through fourteenth volumes all appeared in the top 25 during the week of their release and the week after.[45]

Among North American reviewers, Gia Manry, writing about the first episode of Chihayafuru, felt that despite the animators' efforts, karuta seemed boring, and criticised the overuse of CG sakura, describing it as a "mixed bag" of an anime.[46] Bamboo Dong says that Chihaya's passion and characterisation make karuta interesting.[47] Carlo Santos felt that the series was the "first genuinely good show of the season", citing its characterisation, unusual subject, and polish of the first episode.[48] Marcus Speer enjoyed the production values of the first episode, but felt that the theme songs were "standard fare". He was intrigued by how the characters' childhood impacted on their present interactions.[49] Theron Martin appreciated the focus on the characters rather than the game, feeling that while the teenage Chihaya seemed "gimmicky", her younger self was "quite likable".[50] Chris Beveridge praised the tension shown between Arata and Taichi in the second episode's karuta match.[51] Theron Martin felt the second episode's karuta tournament was tense and compelling, and that despite the plot unfolding in a predictable fashion, the execution made this forgivable.[50]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As Chihayafuru's first season aired in Nippon Television's Tuesday 25:59 (1:59 JST) time slot, the episodes technically aired the days following the ones listed.[14]
  2. ^ As Chihayafuru's second season aired in Nippon Television's Friday 25:53 (1:53 JST) time slot, the episodes technically aired the days following the ones listed.[22]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]