Chihayafuru is a trilogy of films about the world of competitive Hyakunin Isshu Karuta and how this traditional card game brings people together. For people that aren’t familiar with the game, the basic rule of the game is that a poem is read and the players pitted against each other must swipe/clear the cards from their territory before their opponent to win. The film does a good job with explaining the intricacies of the game which was really nice for someone with no knowledge.
This film is an adaptation of the manga. I don’t watch many animes or read mangas, so I can’t give you an honest opinion on how genuine the adaptation was to manga but the general consensus that I got from from forums and review websites is that people thoroughly enjoyed it. Though, I don’t think that would apply to me anyway. I often enjoy Japanese shows/movies that are heavily criticized by fans for it’s adaptations.
The films were a great balance of comedy and drama . The romances depicted throughout the films weren’t too on the nose and didn’t take away from the film at all. It almost feels like the movies were made for TV; That’s not to take away from them, since I enjoyed watching them all. Chihayafuru will surprise you how intense a card game can be while exploring many themes such as the definition of strength and the meaning of a legacy. The films have an extremely likable cast of characters with some characters that will surprise you with how deep they are. I highly recommend this slice of life trilogy.