Manga-ka: Suetsugu, Yuki
Volumes: 39 (Ongoing)
Licensed: Kodansha Comics
Licensed Releases: V. 13
Genre: Sports/Slice of Life
Age Group: Everyone
Summary: 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.
Graphics Rating: 4/5
Plot Rating: 5/5
Opinion: Very sweet graphics. I love it. It’s average… but has that special something… I dunno. I really like it and it’s one of the top comments on this series.
I stumbled on this yesterday and was literally awe struck. How the hell did this magnificent piece pass me by? Absolutely FLOORED. I know I may be exaggerating but I have read SO many terrible manga in the past two months this is the best thing ever. Really reminds me of another favourite called “Cat Street”.
So Kurata is actually this strange card game that mildly resembles “Snap” or “War” except with poems? Obviously it’s a little more complex then that, and obviously the manga goes into DEEP detail on EVERYTHING but I skip those pages. The only flaw is that it will literally be a block of two pages of explanation and my brain just shuts down. Even without reading that, it is still amazing.
The characters are so absolutely flawless. They are all constantly learning and so dynamic. Even with 5 main characters you fall in love with every single one, even the randomly occurring characters. They all have strengths and flaws which you can’t help but cheer for.
Romance takes a backseat to the riveting world of card games, but it’s definitely there. It’s strange because love is a main driving force behind the series, love in friendship, and even love between the main three, but it is never the source of main conflict. Which is nice for a change when it comes to shoujo manga.
I also have to say when I saw this was 17 volumes I was literally -_-. HOW do you make a manga about a card game last that long? But the author must really love Kurata because all of the plots flow seamlessly. Despite basing the whole plot on cards. The highs and lows in the story make absolute sense and you can really tell there was a lot of planning that went into the series.
READ THIS. I’m begging you read it. You won’t regret it. It isn’t an award winner for nothing.
Also I think this is a perfect series to transform any shounen lover into a shoujo lover if you have one in your life. 😉
Final Rating: 5/5
Extra: There is a super popular anime based off the manga (I’ve heard)