12 Days of Anime Day 12: Poetry and Chihayafuru

 
 On the 12th day of anime, Ulquiorra gave to me . . . 12 charming poems

                                                                                     . . . 11 fun events
. . . 10 crazy intros
. . . 9 gurren laganns
                                                                                                  . . . 8 S&Ms
. . . 7 dragon balls
. . . 6 funny deaths
. . . 5 MOE GIRLS!!!
. . . 4 eargasms
. . . 3 melancholies
. . . 2 space bros
. . . and a cute fluffy bunny just for me! ♫


Hello~! Welcome to my final 12 days of anime post. And a late post at that, but the xmas party didn’t exactly end at my house XD. Now I understand why a lot of participants refrained from blogging on the 12th day of anime. I should have known better. Nevertheless, that won’t stop me from blogging about my most memorable anime moment of 2012: Chihayafuru.

Being one of the most anticipated shows from this upcoming Winter 2013, I just had to join in on the hype, and marathoning this anime was the best thing I did all year.

Animated by Madhouse Studios, the same studio responsible for Chobits and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, this show came to be my favorite Madhouse series in terms of visual quality and entertainment.

[SPOILER FREE]
SYNOPSIS:

Chihayafuru is about a young {tomboyish} girl who’s innocence withdraws her from aspiring a dream of her own, until she meets a boy who tells her otherwise. Now she and her two best friends share a similar goal – to become the best “karuta” player in Japan!

Adapted from a josei manga(aimed at women), this story is a lot more shounen than you’d think. And a lot to why that is, is because it has to do with the old Japanese game hyakunin isshu, otherwise known as, “karuta.”

Providing it is a game based off of Japanese history and poetry, this rather gentle sounding card game was a lot more intense than what I initially expected. I dare say it even rivals the intensity of sports anime like Kuroko no Basket and Prince of Tennis. However, the poetic background to the story was what really enticed me throughout.

As a writer, it is only natural for me to favor written words over any other means of expression and approbate the meaning implied by those words. Words like love and serendipity can imply many beautiful things, and further resonate their beauty whenever spoken a loud. This is what Chihayafuru innates. Beauty. And where can words be any more beautiful than in poetry?

A Thousand Swift Swords: Poem Number 17
千早ぶる Chihayaburu
神代もきかず Kamiyo kikazu
龍田川 Tatsuta-gawa
からくれないに Kara kurenai ni
水くくるとは Mizu kukuru to wa

English Translation
Unheard of
even in the legendary age
of the awesome gods:
Tatsuta River in scarlet
and the water flowing under it.

If you liked the sound of that, you can expect to hear 99 more of these in the anime. :D But this poem plays a bigger role above all others. Not only is it the title of the anime, it is used as our protagonist’s main link to herself.

Like all things beautiful in this world, most of those wonders have a history or a meaning behind it. In this case, the hyakunin isshu anthology or, “100 poems by 100 poets,” spans about 400 years of Japanese history, particularly making those Ooe, Kanade episodes a bit more attractive than any other episodes. Kanade’s love for poetry made me genuinely interested in it as well. She became my favorite character because of it! And it wasn’t long afterwards that I subscribed to a blog devoted to those poems. Yeah, I can be a real nerd sometimes. But it is hard to not fall in love with something so full of meaning and truth! And I think that “feeling” holds truth in itself.
 
Unfortunately, my only negative thoughts about the series would be on the romance involved and the fact that I didn’t get enough of it. It had a considerable amount of tender moments, however, if left unsatisfied it will significantly hurt my opinion on the anime as a whole, to which I thank God for a second season. No doubt, many are looking forward to the romantic developments that await us this upcoming winter and I do hope that future is kind to Mashima, Taichi – my bias. :)
 

Without further ado, Chihayafuru Second Season awaits you January 2013, so hurry up and watch the first season already! You can watch it HQ on Crunchyroll if you register for a 2 week free trial. Just Saiyan. But seriously, if you haven’t watched this series, you are missing out.

Still not convinced? Check out these posts that perceive the wonder that is Chihayafuru:
Reciting Poems in Karuta by Ephemeral Dreamer.
-SnippetTee’s take on the anime’s Gestures, Movements, and Karuta.
-And subscribe to this blog! XD

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