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Chihaya Furu  
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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.

Note: Won the 2nd Manga Taisho Award and the 35th annual Kodansha Manga Award for Best Shoujo.
Was nominated for the 20th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2016.


Related Series

Associated Names
Chihaya Full

Groups Scanlating
Immortal Abyss
Lazy Ass Scans
Living Dolls

Latest Release(s)
v.38 c.195 by TDX 16 days ago
v.38 c.194 by TDX 18 days ago
v.37 c.193 by TDX 26 days ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
37 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

9 topics, 51 posts
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User Rating
Average: 8.7 / 10.0 (531 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.57 / 10.0
 39% (205 votes)
 26% (136 votes)
 21% (109 votes)
 8% (41 votes)
 2% (13 votes)
 2% (11 votes)
 1% (4 votes)
 0% (2 votes)
 0% (2 votes)
 2% (8 votes)

Last Updated
March 4th 2018, 6:12pm PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Be Love (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Kodansha Comics (9 Volumes - Ongoing; Digital)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #324 decreased(-26)
Monthly Pos #159 decreased(-6)
3 Month Pos #242 increased(+67)
6 Month Pos #257 increased(+77)
Year Pos #291 increased(+34)

List Stats
On 2654 reading lists
On 1429 wish lists
On 120 unfinished lists
On 530 custom lists

Note: You must be logged in to update information on this page.

Forum Posts
Taichi or Arata? about 1 year ago
Yuki Suetsugu's Chihayafuru Gets Live-Action Film over 2 years ago
Chihayafuru (Arata/Taichi) over 3 years ago
General Technical question about scanlating over 4 years ago
Anime vs Manga over 4 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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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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expectedly good! RECOMMENDED!!   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by angelfire_aja
March 27th, 2012, 9:39am
I was just skimming through some animes to watch. When i found the plot soooo interestong and the art too, i decided to go directly to reading the manga, instead. Now i think, "HOW COME I NEVER FOUND THIS BEFORE??" Like i have been hunting my way to get through my depression and found only so-so manga to pass time, i just found it NOW?? This deserved to be RECOMMENDED!! you cant afford to miss this.

P.S. I really need not point it out but---*whispers* I really like model-like protagonists and they happen to be all girls. Chihaya is just so COOL! Has her own way of showing it in an non-cliched manner. Now i wanna get better in a card/board game. . . Hmmmm, chess is a bit intimidating, let's say I take the game of the generals, then? Haha

... Last updated on March 28th, 2012, 1:57am
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AMAZING & BORING at the same time...   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by saxenas1
March 21st, 2012, 12:08pm
The art is amazing. LoTSA potential there for the artist. Simply loveable and vibrant. The Story is ALSO amazing. I mean its a boring card game, yet the author was able to play around with the character roles so well that it can be summer up in only one phrase....."AMAZING & BORING"
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Simply delightful!   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by kurotan
January 24th, 2012, 9:44am
I first watched the anime and really liked then I checked the manga only realize that the art is BEAUTIFUL!! Not to say that Madhouse didn't do a good job. They did. The anime looks amazing too. Anyway I hope to read this all the way through after the anime ends. Not a big of Shoujo but Josei is actually very nice to read.
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Rating: N/A
by phanzanu
January 2nd, 2012, 8:55am
The anime adaptation is awesome. Madhouse brought a beautiful animation to a beautiful manga. Here are just some deviations of the anime from the manga (unless I'm mistaken) for the detail-lovers:

- Nishida's story was expounded in the anime
- Chihaya visits Ooe's store in the anime

Just some little fillers that I don't think anyone will mind, because it actually gives their stories more color.
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Kyaaa!!!!! Read and Watch!!!   
Rating: N/A
by shasa88
December 15th, 2011, 8:27pm
The manga is actually very good..and the subject is quite rare (karuta) so it is fun to read and to know something new... however the scanlation is quite slow but I know that scanlation is actually a hard work ("Gokurosama des ta" to the scanlator group) So for now I stick with the anime first (the anime is actually quite good, Madhouse really make it similar with the manga so I'm very happy with it)...

Unimportant Rumble

I really want to support Arata with Chihaya.. but when I saw Taichi, my opinion begin to wobble... *sigh... Chihaya is quite dense about Arata and Taichi's feeling (I think both of them have a feeling for her) oh well.... I can't wait to see their development in this story, both as a Karuta player and in their relationship....

BTW Taichi with his face and voice (Mamoru Miyano) are a lethal combination that make my stand (ArataxChihaya) wobble.... * splurt!!! *nosebleed

... Last updated on December 15th, 2011, 8:33pm
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