Deck Name: The Chibi Tarot
Creator: Adam Blodgett
Warning: extremely Millennial and “this person lives on the internet” review ahead
Somedays, instead of having conversations that are nuanced, explore a variety of perspectives and options, go deep into whatever topic I’m engaged in, or are in general conscientious and thoughtful, I just want to express my thoughts and opinions through memes. And GIFs. GIFs are good too. GIFs are cool. I’m fond of the now (shockingly) old school ones, like Success Kid, or literally any GIF of the show Supernatural (especially of the scene where Sam loses his shoe in a grate. What a great little Tower moment!).
Tarot feels like that too. Yeah, it’s great to just Really Dig Into a reading and Really Explore the depths of the major and minor arcana, but like, really, sometimes…I just need a damn answer. That’s quick and no-nonsense. Meme-y, even. Preferably fed to me in a cute, cartoony way. Welcome in the Chibi Tarot by Adam Blodgett. It’s cute, it’s clear, it might even give you a case of the Heart Eyes.
The artwork in the Chibi Tarot is based on Japanese chibi anime style: shortened, cutified versions of characters that twinge the same part of our brain smol bby animals and humans do. The result is usually a chorus of “OMG SO. CUTE.” or “HEART HEART HEART” or “I WANNA EAT IT IT’S CUTE” (side note, the desire to eat super cute things, including babies of multiple species, in reaction to cuteness is a real thing! Humans are wild, y’all). Now, while the Chibi Tarot is based on chibi anime style, my (not so) inner nerd will argue that it’s not actually full on proper chibi art. But that’s okay! It’s still super adorable and I went “awwww” a lot while looking it the first time. The people and animals and everything else are smol-ified, anthropomorphized, and all around worthy of being squished like a well loved stuffie. There are also a good number of video game nods in the art, including original Nintendo Mario-style stars and clouds. It’s super well done.
Other things that are “chibi” about the deck: its total number of cards. The Chibi Tarot is a majors only deck. A few cards (The Devil, The Wheel of Fortune) are also duplicated, though with slightly different imagery and Spanish titles. They bring new dimensions to those cards, however, which can change their interpretation in some neat ways.
Things that aren’t chibi: the actual card size. These cards are HUGE. So tall. Much big. My hands cry at the effort of shuffling them. But they show off the clean and lovely artwork so well! The LWB is also decently substantial for what it is – each card gets a full page write up with Blodgett’s thoughts and musings on the card meanings, including quotes from and references to the Hero’s Journey from Joseph Campbell. He has a delightful and thoughtful approach to the cards, and it really shows in the LWB. The deckcome in a standard tuck box; unfortunately, it ends up being annoying to open and close due to its skinniness and tuck box-ness. The cardstock is thin and ridiculously flippy – it would be considered a pretty standard thin glossy cardstock in other decks, but the sheer size of the cards enhance the flippiness. They can be a little unwieldy to shuffle at times as a result.
The Chibi tarot does a great job following the RWS system while also cute-ifying it. There are also just enough twists and unique takes on the images to shake things up a bit. The Magician is a classic stage magician, cards and (fake) wand at the ready. The Hierophant shows a preacher and congregants making a joyful noise in praise. The Hanged Man shows a tree with a grinning face and holding the person upside down by their legs.
The Devil has an unusually sad face hidden beneath the hood of their devil onsie, which makes me wonder just how chained their position is too. Death holds flowers and wears a fez (because Fezzes are Cool). The Moon is desolate and The Sun is grinning. Each card is a clear, straightforward poke in the brain, just like the memes and GIFs I love.
If you’re into adorable majors-only decks, this is the one to check out. Personally, while I’d love it more as a full 78 card deck shrunk down to standard tarot or poker card sizes, I’m glad I had to opportunity to meet it. Some days, all we need is that quick, meme-y note of a card draw, and for that, the Chibi Tarot delivers.
You can find the Chibi Tarot for $10 (plus shipping) at chibitarot.com.