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Chihaya Furu  
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From J-SiS:

All her life, Chihaya's dream was to see her model sister become Japan's best... That is, until a quiet, unassuming transfer student named Arata tells her otherwise. A dream, he explains to her, is something she needs to work at herself.

Arata plays a competitive version of a traditional Japanese card game--known as Hyakunin Isshu--in a way Chihaya has never seen before. After taking Arata's place in a game, Chihaya discovers she has a passion for it. Now Chihaya wants to become number one in the world, the Queen of Karuta.

Won the 2nd Manga Taisho Award. Winner of the 35th annual Kodansha Manga Award for Best Shoujo.


Related Series
Chihaya Furu (Novel) (Side Story)

Associated Names
Chihaya Full

Groups Scanlating
Immortal Abyss
Lazy Ass Scans
Living Dolls

Latest Release(s)
c.141 by TDX (28d ago)
c.140 by TDX (64d ago)
c.139 by TDX (104d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
26 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1 [S1]; Vol 9, Chap 50 [S2]
Ends at Vol 9, Chap 49 [S1]; Vol 17, Chap 93 [S2]

User Reviews

8 topics, 48 posts
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User Rating
Average: 8.8 / 10.0 (434 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.65 / 10.0
 41% (180 votes)
 26% (114 votes)
 19% (84 votes)
 6% (28 votes)
 2% (10 votes)
 1% (6 votes)
 1% (3 votes)
 1% (3 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 1% (5 votes)

Last Updated
January 1st 2015, 10:36pm PST

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Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Be Love (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #356 increased(+24)
Monthly Pos #368 decreased(-105)
3 Month Pos #230 decreased(-29)
6 Month Pos #224 decreased(-39)

List Stats
On 2234 reading lists
On 1252 wish lists
On 97 unfinished lists
On 433 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Chihayafuru (Arata/Taichi) 28 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes ago
Taichi or Arata? 641 days, 0 hours, 18 minutes ago
General Technical question about scanlating 643 days, 17 hours, 46 minutes ago
Anime vs Manga 673 days, 16 hours, 14 minutes ago
Second season announced!! 919 days, 7 hours, 14 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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romance too too unrealistic   
Rating: N/A
by ajaykumaryadav
September 9th, 2014, 12:05am
Does author have some sort of grudge against character taichi
C Mon man he is clearly mentaly suffering from chapter 1 to 134(ongoing) arata and vicce versa. She clearly worry about taichi as childfriend..which should not be interpreted as romantic interest
So why author choose to make him chase her without any result
It is way obivious arata is talented kind hard working. Way. Stronger than taichi
So its annoying why author hadn't made taichi atleast as strong rival....
He Is just chasing after her and doest have courage to confess to her.
It just. Romance has become unrealistic.

1.Chihaya is not dumb she know about love(towards arata)and romance and all,then also she doesnt have slight feeling that taichi may bee loving her...
2.taichi is constantly chasing after Chihaya..get up man have some self pride and concentrate on karuta..Chihaya dont give dam about your feeling(because from chapter 1 to 134 she only thinks of arata) dont think her feeling will change after only 2-3 chapters...
3.arata dont give dam..about taichi he is way stronger than him in every accord(he even dont consider him rival in any contex,,while taichi consider him his rival)
4.about she dumb or what everyone in this manga(except Chihaya and arata) know taichi have feeling for her...
5.taichi plz leave Chihaya alone and develop some character of your own
6.lastly why author want to meddle in love between Chihaya ant arata plz there is line between friendship and love...Chihaya acts above childfriend towards taichi that is annoying..geeting taichis hope up!even though she constantly thinks of arata.....
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I really like it but...   
Rating: N/A
by geniLove
June 30th, 2014, 9:28am
I stopped reading because I am waiting for some of the middle chapters to be scanned, translated and such. I'm holding out hope and I don't want to spoil the story for myself. Please, someone, post from chapter 49!
Scanlation teams, FIGHTING!
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a potential manga for 10 out of 10...aish   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by Mayuchi89
April 30th, 2013, 7:26am
It really dissapointed that i cannot read in japanese..i blamed myself for that..when the story is getting more n more interesting..the chpter skip too much it crush me..i want to read chapter 50 so badly..anyway it is a good manga to read..i got similar feeling of skip beat when read it..maybe because of the female lead competitive...
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Frustrating shoujo   
Rating: N/A
by Kawaiiko
April 24th, 2013, 4:11am
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Although this manga is shoujo it is like shounen sports game where the protagonist tries hard and meet stronger rivals then suddenly an useless epiphany or team support makes her reach semi final only to loose in the finals which keeps on dragging their original dream, this is hindering the progress in its romantic plot. Will the heroine never realize feeling of love for taich. Its lame to one point with draggy explanations and flashbacks, it makes it all the more frustrating during a serious match.

But that is my own opinion, as I want some romance, come one the cards are full of romantic poetry for nature or people. I also think its well done as a sports genre, with lots of cliffhangers so I don't really hate it if I ignore the overall no progress in love.
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What is Chihayafuru?   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by kekkaishistar
April 5th, 2013, 10:55pm
Chihayafuru is a word that means balanced and strong, like a top spinning continuously while maintaining perfect balance without ever shaking. Like the meaning behind its title, the story is a beautifully crafted masterpiece that is genuinely rare to see in manga. Sometimes stories tend to loose their pace in either the plot line or in a poorly developed character, but Chihayafuru maintains both and never looses its pace or forgets where it is heading to. It contains a vast array of characters and develops them thoroughly to the frightening point that they don't appear to be on a paper or the screen. The story starts of in an engaging manner - a brief flashback to the time when the characters, as children, first meet and proceeds on to introduce their weaknesses and their strengths. From there on the reader simply gets pulled into the story. When it seems like things are calming down, the plot line twists and turns and binds its cast into the 100 Ogura poems of Karuta.

In general Chihayafuru is an amazing story. The sport, karuta, which makes up the skeletal structure of the story, is simple, but the story writing, character interaction and the way the author ties the poems in with its cast, make it a sport thats far from just memorization and reflexes. It becomes the reason to gain friendship, achieve dreams, discover passion, find faults, improve and step forward.






Composition (flow of story):


The reason why I love Chihayafuru is because of its slow romance. For once we see a love that is actually realistic. For once we see a story where the only point of the story isn't to get the main characters to fall in love. This is why I love chihayafuru.

... Last updated on September 27th, 2013, 10:36pm
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it is a romance   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by namu76
November 22nd, 2012, 9:01pm
like in a man's

Well, it is true that one of this manga's unmistakably appeal is its romance. Speaking of which, I love the scene where Chihaya and Arata's eyes met early in first actually made my heart racing. This story is a drama. And a very realistic one, there is no trick, no gimmick (lol). Really. No magic, no fate nor destiny, just natural occurrences. The competitive part feels kind of similar to Hikaru no Go, but oh well....IT is a whole different story.

I love it so much that I got conflicted when I found out there are two groups releasing the chapters. Since skipping chapters of the series I really like is out of question. Please, will anyone release the missing chapters alreadyconfused It's been more than 2 months since chapter 41....
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Unexpectedly good   
Rating: N/A
by ache
October 23rd, 2012, 10:36am
I'd given this manga a wide berth simply because, honestly, a manga about flicking cards?

But man, is it GOOD. Even if you're not Japanese and this game is completely alien to you, this manga forces you to care. It's pretty typical, I suppose, of those shonen-type zero-to-hero bildungsromans, except with beautiful art and a much more josei slant and - I'm being honest here - really hawt boys.

At least Chihaya lacks the immaturity and wishiwashiness of shojo heroines, which I ADORE, mostly because her word revolves around karuta (rather than experiencing the *~spring of youth~* or the perfect high school romance!!!1one). Maybe making her beautiful was a little overkill, but meh, who can blame an author for wanting an attractive lead? Makes for pretty for us, too!

I love too that there ARE defeats, and they are many, and they are painful. Chihaya, though not immature in the typical way, IS child-like, and she must grow. And the growth is organic precisely because of the many pitfalls she experiences along the way, where each defeat becomes a moment of revelation and refinement for Chihaya, both as a character and a karuta player. Which is AWESOME. Because you're really there with her, every step of the way.

I actually prefer the anime to the manga art-wise - some deformities here and there, but meh, the PRETTY - but in terms of storytelling, manga can't be beat! ...Until season 2 of the anime comes out, of course. Hee!
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A promising manga...   
Rating: 8.5 / 10.0
by awavingflag
June 22nd, 2012, 5:46pm
...with likable and flawed characters and an interesting premise. I see that some people point out that since readers may not be familiar with the kurata game, they will miss the nuances that someone who IS familiar with it will catch. I personally haven't found this to affect my appreciation of the manga in the least; I still feel emotionally-invested in the characters' defeats and victories.

Speaking on that, what I like most about Chihayafuru is that there ARE a lot of defeats. I like that it dwells on the struggles the characters face and shows them as opportunities for growth. It makes for an interesting, riveting and realistic read. I wouldn't say that there's very little going on in the plot department, though maybe it may seem that way to some readers who either don't find kurata a terribly exciting subject to begin with, or who are more used to flashier(?) mangas.

Below is mainly in response to blackmokona's review, which I found to be off the mark in its condemnation of a pretty good series.

The manga doesn't "dote" on the "flat genius romantic interest" because Arata only briefly shows up after the chapters in which Chihaya and Taichi go to Fukui. Arata is not a flat character. We see a clear change in him after
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
his grandfather's death through his rejection of what was/is his favorite game. It's not guilt, it's not "wallowing in [his own] melodrama." Is it that difficult to believe that Arata's mourning for his grandfather manifests itself in this manner? It's a very human response, people deal with grief in different ways, this isn't a huge suspension of disbelief.

I would argue that when the flashback ends you feel that the "emotional upheaval" of the flashback chapter feels "cheated" because you have extremely high expectations for ten-year-olds. The flashback's function is to show the contrast of Arata past and present, as well as to show the initial meeting of the three characters, to lay out the foundations of their motivations. The present is where the emotional growth will really begin as they struggle to the top. Frankly, it's refreshing to see that the characters' actions and reactions are realistic. My issues with Chihaya as the heroine aside, I do think you're a little too personally hung up on her outer 'beautification'..

I do agree that there are a lot of panels in which Taichi is gazing at Chihaya - but not always in the 'I like you' way, sometimes in admiration, sometimes in encouragement. What I like about Taichi and Chihaya is that they DO have a relationship beyond the 'potential romantic couple' angle - they're friends who support each other and each other's passion for the game, so it isn't as annoying and infantile as you're making it out to be. (Case in point: look at most other shoujo mangas and compare with this one.)

Yes, maybe the whole deal behind Arata purging kurata from his life is an overdone plot device; but 'painful', no. It WOULD be painful if it was dragged on and on and on... but it's resolved when Chihaya and Taichi visit him. This calls back to the bond forged between them in the earlier chapters, and it also points out that Arata obviously loves kurata. He didn't reject kurata because he blamed the game for making him miss his grandfather's death, but because it served as a reminder of the grandfather who is no longer there, who was a powerful influence on him for liking the game in the first place. Kurata became a painful association and distancing himself from that association is a realistic response, I think. An emotional response, too, which are sometimes both logical and illogical (as in logical to that person, but appears illogical to others). Arata being able to enjoy the game again is symbolic of him moving on.

If you think that that is a "completely facile approach" to grief and growth, then okay, we all have our opinions.

... Last updated on June 22nd, 2012, 5:51pm
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Problems Connecting   
Rating: N/A
by liquidsin
June 17th, 2012, 10:15am
I feel the same sense of disconnection when reading this series as I do with others that focus on specific board games. Possibly even more so because the game of Karuta is so deeply centralized in Japanese culture. The game itself is simple; an announcer reads the first 2 lines of a poem while the players try to remove the matching card that contains the last 3 lines of the poem. The problems, though, are plentiful.
  • Karuta isn't a global game. Foreign readers miss the nuances and specifics within the Japanese language that play a vital role in Karuta. This boundary causes gaps between specific plays and the explanations that follow while also ensuring that those readers will never be able to play Karuta. Why read about a game that can't be played?
  • The overall lack of strategy in Karuta is glaringly obvious. Memorization and quick reflexes rule Karuta to the point where Chihaya, the main character, and her teacher devise a method of shouting to destabilize her opponents.

... Last updated on November 30th, 2014, 6:41pm
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Very juvenile   
Rating: 6.0 / 10.0
by blackmokona
April 12th, 2012, 9:59am
Make no mistake, this story thrives on character development and has very little going on in the plot department. And it spends so much time doting on its juvenile heroine and her flat genius romantic interest that itís hardly worth reading.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
To get it out of the way, the first chapters were well written and in no way indicative of the rest. They contain flashbacks to Chihayaís childhood when she discovers the game of kurata and friends to last her a lifetime. It is heartfelt and significant because she gains a purpose for her own and steps out of her sisterís shadow, never mind serious implications that Chihaya has kurata because she doesnít have anything else. Only her two new friends shortly move away, leaving Chihaya to deal with loss.

No matter though, because when the flashback ends she is reunited with both of them, and the emotional upheaval then becomes cheated. Chihaya from a ten-year-old has grown into a beautiful teen, just as unkempt and spirited and oblivious and utterly tactless. After all those years not only did she not gain any emotional maturity, but she has actually regressed when lessons learned just the other chapter turn effectively worthless. By the way, if Chihaya didnít give a button how pretty she was, then why bother mentioning it? Hint I can be beautiful too but I donít really care and I donít wear fashionable clothing and make-up but if I do I would totally look hot hint.

What happens after is painfully overdone. Okay Taichi we get that you have a crush on Chihaya but must you blush while gazing at her every five panels? And did the other guy seriously quit playing kurata because his grandfather died while he competed? I have a word for people like that, but my mother tells me to substitute it with Ďself-centered egomaniacsí. Thatís not guilt; thatís wallowing in your own melodrama. That kind of shit is acceptable if he wasnít this wisdom before age type, but as earlier chapters pushed in that direction Ö arg.

Chihayafuru falls apart due to this completely facile approach to grief and growth. I think that it's due to the mentality of children which we accept as simple, but was treated with such care, and the mentality of teenager which are more nuanced but has been oversimplified.

Edit: Right, didn't see the reply. To awavingflag

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
It can be considered realistic. Does that make him likable? No. The shit he does still isn't acceptable. The fact that Chihayafuru doesn't call him out is what makes me see red--it doesn't acknowledge that its character is still wallowing in his own melodrama. It is contrived plot. It is contrived emotion, since the tension was entirely fabricated.

I felt cheated out of my own emotional reactions. There's a huge problem when the story does something to make us and the heroine cry and then undoes it a few pages later. Give her new friends. Show her that she has to move on. Anything but what it did.

So okay, my problem with the beauty thing is that it perpetuates the myth that women have to look "naturally' beautiful. News flash: no woman can look beautiful without trying to or without caring about how she looks. The myth allows men to demand women to look nice without trying, and then condemn those who puts on too much make-up or undergoes cosmetic surgery.

Re: Taichi, I have not followed it until the point that you are talking about. I don't see it in what little I did read, but then again, I had no reason to. And I don't like to compare manga like that, because that's like saying this manga is a little bit better than all those horrible manga.

Hopefully this addressed all of your points.

... Last updated on May 16th, 2013, 10:46am
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