20 March 2016

ちはやふる 上の句 Chihayafuru Kami no Ku

Title: ちはやふる 上の句  Chihayafuru Kami no Ku 
English Title:
  • Chihayafuru First Verse
  • Chihayafuru Part 1
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2016
  • 広瀬すず Hirose Suzu
  • 野村周平 Nomura Shuhei
  • 新田真剣佑 Arata Mackenyu
  • 上白石萌音 Kamishiraishi Mone
  • 矢本悠馬 Yamato Yuma
  • 森永悠希 Morinaga Yuki
  • 清水尋也 Shimizu Hiroya
  • 坂口涼太郎 Sakaguchi Ryotaro
  • 國村隼 Kunimura Jun
  • 松田美由紀 Matsuda Miyuki

Ayase Chihaya is set on forming a competitive karuta club in high school. When she finds out that her childhood friend Mashima Taichi is attending her high school, she enlists his help to form a competitive karuta club.

Chihaya and Taichi used to be in a competitive karuta club when they were in elementary school, when their friend Arata Wataya taught them the game. The three friends separated soon after though, when Taichi went to a different middle school, and Wataya moved away.

Although Taichi is not really interested in karuta the way Chihaya is still obsessed with it, he willingly helps Chihaya in recruiting for their professional karuta club. To be recognized as an official club, they need to have at lease five members.

Chihayafuru is about the professional karuta game; the verses of the one hundred (100) poems are written on karuta cards, a reader reads the first verse of a poem, and the players have to get the karuta card where the second verse of the poem is written. It is a game that requires a lot of skill and concentration. It is based on a manga with the same title.

Chihayafuru Kami no Ku is about five individuals who got together for various reasons to form a professional karuta club in high school. Ayase Chihaya, Mashima Taichi, Nishida Yusei, Oe Kanade, and Komano Tsutomu have gotten closer to each other as they work together to improve their skills and compete as a team.

Komano Tsutomu: What are you all saying? Did you think that there won't be players better than you?!

Chihaya was impressed when she met Arata Wataya in elementary school, and he expressed his desire to become a meijin, or a recognition given to the best male professional karuta player (whereas being called a queen is a recognition given to the best female professional karuta player). I think Chihaya came to like Wataya in a special way because he was the one who showed her how to dream, and to aspire for something great.

Although it's amazing that Wataya wanted to become the best at something at such a young age where most other kids haven't even thought about what to do during their free time, I think he was able to have such high hopes because he had someone to look up to and someone who showed him the way. Wataya's grandfather was a meijin, and so Wataya knew what a meijin is and what he needs to do to become one.

Anyway, the movie is also about unrequited love because Taichi has romantic feelings for Chihaya to the point that he went to the same high school she's going to attend, and he joined the professional karuta club because she wanted to make one. It seems that Chihaya also has unrequited feelings for Wataya because she continued playing karuta because he taught her the game, and she set up a professional karuta club in high school because she wanted to meet Wataya again in some national karuta competition.

I haven't read the manga so I don't know who ends up together, but if Wataya happens to also like Chihaya and since Chihaya likes him, then they possibly will end up together. Although that's the seemingly logical outcome, I'm still rooting for Taichi based on what I've seen in this movie.

Oe Kanade: I think love is superior the closer you are together.

Harada Hideo: That's it. If you know it won't come, you should go and get it!

ちはやふる 下の句 Chihayafuru Shimo no Ku
ちはやふる 結び Chihayafuru Musubi

ちはやふる 上の句 Chihayafuru Kami no Ku