Has your love of anime and manga inspired you to try new things? In the case of Karolina Styczyńska, her love of Naruto changed her life — and helped her make history in the process.
It All Started with Naruto
As a student in Poland, Styczyńska was a fan of the Naruto manga. It was an issue of this manga that first introduced her to shogi, or “Japanese chess.” She taught herself to play thanks to a few websites and online videos. And eventually, she and her friends started playing together.
Styczyńska began to play on the shogi website 81Dojo, and her play style caught the eye of professional player Madoka Kitao. The young fan was invited to study in Japan, tested by the Japanese Shogi Association, and awarded the rank of 4-dan.
But it didn’t stop there!
On February 20, 2017, Styczyńska achieved the rank of 2-kyu — making her the first-ever non-Japanese professional shogi player. She continues to make leaps and bounds in her career. And a fellow Polish professional has collaborated with CalorieMate to tell her story in the most suitable way we can think of!
From Anime to Anime
You’ve likely seen the work of Polish artist Mateusz Urbanowicz and not realized it. He’s lent his talents as a background artist to your name. and Space Dandy, just to name two.
Now, the accomplished creator has teamed up with Studio Colorida and CalorieMate to create an anime tribute to Styczyńska.
Susume, Karolina turns Styczyńska’s road to the world of professional shogi into a colorful fantasy adventure. The shogi pieces become soldiers — a reference to Styczyńska assigning personalities to the various pieces. Urbanowicz wrote and directed the piece, and created the beautiful watercolor backgrounds.
You can watch the whole 3-minute short here:
Be sure to turn on captions: they include commentary from Styczyńska!
At present, Styczyńska is a 1-kyu, and continues to pursue her dream. We love her determination, and that a fellow anime fan found success via her favorite series!
What has anime inspired you to do today?