In the shadow of her older sister, a tomboyish and strong-willed Chihaya Ayase grows up. She is pleased with her lot in life until she meets Arata Wataya, for whom she has no hopes or goals of her own. Her elementary school’s quiet transfer student introduces her to competitive karuta, a card game based on the traditional Japanese anthology Hundred Poets that is both physically and mentally demanding. Chihaya rapidly falls in love with the world of karuta after being captivated by Arata’s passion for the game and inspired by the idea of becoming the best in Japan. She joins the local Shiranami Society alongside the prodigy Arata and her smug but hard-working pal Taichi Mashima. Playing together as a group as a child is a blissful experience until life intervenes.
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Chihaya has transformed into a karuta nut by the time she is a senior in high school. At the national championship in Omi Jingu, she hopes to establish the Municipal Mizusawa High Competitive Karuta Club. In the wake of her reunion with Taichi, Chihaya realizes that her ambition of creating an all-female team to play karuta is only one step away from becoming a reality.
Moritaka Mashiro aspired to be a mangaka, just like his idol and uncle Tarou Kawaguchi, the writer of a well-known satirical comic book series. In the aftermath of tragedy, he gives up on his dream of becoming a doctor and instead devotes his middle school years to studying to become a wage-earner.
Moritaka’s friend Akito Takagi, the school’s top student and aspiring novelist, finds the meticulous drawings in his notebook one day. Akito approaches Moritaka and proposes that they become mangakas together, seeing the enormous potential of his artistic talent. A lot of convincing later, Moritaka realizes he can convince his crush, Miho Azuki, to voice her character in the anime adaptation of his popular manga series. As a result, they began writing comics under the pseudonym Muto Ashirogi in the hopes of becoming Japan’s greatest mangaka yet.
Her favorite pastimes include swimming and water sports, such as surfing. In elementary school, he and his three teammates Rin Matsuoka, Nagisa Hazuki, and Makoto Tachibana competed in and won a relay race. Having won the event, the four buddies went their separate ways after claiming victory. Despite the fact that they reunite as high school students, Rin has no interest in going back in time. He not only goes to a different school, but he also cares only about one thing: beating Haruka in the swimming competition.
If they want to compete in upcoming tournaments, Haruka, Nagisa, and Makoto decide to join the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club, but they will need another member. Nagisa enlists the help of a former track star named Rei Ryuugazaki. The four of them form a tight friendship as they prepare for the competition, which is just around the corner, and they hope to finally settle Haruka and Rin’s differences once and for all.
8. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
The brilliant pianist Kousei Arima’s career is accompanied by music. The loss of Saki Arima causes Kousei to lose his ability to hear his own piano, which causes him to slide downward.
Tsubaki Sawabe and Ryouta Watari, Kousei’s buddies from two years ago, still live a colorless life with him, avoiding the piano and leaving behind their admirers and adversaries. When he meets the stunning violinist Kaori Miyazono, his world is turned upside down, and he embarks on a journey to face music once more.
By focusing on Kousei’s recovery as he realizes that music is more than just playing each note flawlessly, and a single song may bring in the fresh spring air of April, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso tells the story of his recovery.
7. Hanasaku Iroha
Ohana Matsumae, a rambunctious adolescent from a single mother, lives in Tokyo with her father. For unknown reasons, her mother decides to flee with her new lover to avoid debt collectors, leaving the young girl to fend for herself in rural Japan, where her chilly grandmother manages a modest inn, as her mother had instilled in her. As she struggles to fit in at her new school and inn and make new friends, Ohana learns what it’s like to work as a maid and make new acquaintances in the countryside.
6. 3-gatsu no Lion
Rei Kiriyama, a seventeen-year-old Shogi professional, has moved out on his own for the first time. However, despite his independence, he has not yet matured emotionally, and his worries continue to plague him in his everyday routine. Anxious about his adoptive family, he struggles to relate to other high school students. Meanwhile, his professional career has taken a turn for the worst. His record and rise through the ranks have stalled as a result of the tremendous expectations put on him as the fifth to become a professional in middle school.
Akari, Hinata, and Momo, the three Kawamoto sisters, are all friends of Rei. The two of them, in contrast to Rei, are content in their modest abode, where they treat Rei as one of the family. With the exception of the occasional visit, he visits frequently and interacts with all members of the family. This allows him to receive the kind of love and attention that he lacked while in his previous placement.
This is the story of Rei’s victories and failures, new and old friendships, and his development as a human being..
5. Hikaru no Go
12-year-old When it comes to Shindou Hikaru, he’s just like any other sixth-grader. He comes across an ancient Go board one day while exploring through his grandfather’s attic. Hikaru is possessed by the ghost of Fujiwara no Sai the moment she touches the Go board, and he continues to haunt her soon after. Sai was once a world-class Go player who took his own life and remained in the world as a spirit wishing to play the game once more. Hikaru finally caves in to Sai’s pleadings and lets the young prodigy Touya Akira to play Go through him. Sai’s quest to find the perfect game, “The Hand of God,” has finally begun. Based on Yumi Hotta’s and Takeshi Obata’s manga series
Slightly larger than average Shouyou Hinata revives his middle school’s volleyball team after observing an athlete nicknamed “Little Giant” in action. However, in their first match against the “King of the Court,” Tobio Kageyama, the newly formed team loses and is eliminated from contention. He joins Karasuno High School’s volleyball team after graduating from middle school, only to discover that his long-time nemesis, Kageyama, is now his teammate.
Despite his outstanding jumping ability, Hinata is unable to obtain a place on the team because of his little stature. Kageyama has his own issues that only Hinata can help with, and working together appears to be the only option for the team to succeed. Based on the popular manga series Haikyuu!! by Haruichi Furudate, the film tells the story of two high school volleyball players who must overcome their fierce rivalry to make their team the greatest in Japan.
3. Kono Oto Tomare!
The koto club will take everyone who is interested in the traditional Japanese instrument, even if they are the last one standing, as a member. But finding harmony isn’t going to be easy when a delinquent and a prodigy player sign up—especially with ensemble contests looming. This eclectic group may be able to connect with the judges if given enough time and the opportunity to showcase their remarkable string skills.
Mahjong is something that Saki Miyanaga, a high school freshman, has little interest in playing. She’d always lost her New Year’s gift money playing mahjong with her family as a kid. Her parents would be furious if she won, and if she lost, well, then, she was a failure. To avoid falling into the losing category, she’s developed the skill of playing in a way that ensures her score difference is always a zero. Old friends are hauled to the school’s mahjong club to greet her when we first see her. While she dislikes mahjong, she has mastered the game via her background, so how would this girl fare in this environment?
1. Chouyaku Hyakuninisshu: Uta Koi.
Hyakuninisshu, an anthology compiled during Japan’s Heian period, contains 100 amorous poetry by 100 different poets, including Murasaki Shikibu of The Tale of Genji.