After almost 15 years, cult manga Chihayafuru has come to an end. The final chapter, Chihayafuru Chapter 247, was published in the September 2022 issue of Kodansha’s Be Love magazine, which was released on August 1, 2022.
The September 2022 Be Love magazine front cover is, expectedly, graced by a special Chihayafuru illustration, which you can see below:
The text reads: “Chihayafuru’s majestic conclusion.”
Moreover, there’s another notable illustration on the back cover featuring Chihayafuru protagonist Chihaya Ayase (which you can see on top), as well as a mosaic art color illustration. Additional features include a special colored poster drawn to commemorate the last manga chapter, an article detailing the Chihayafuru manga history, and a congratulatory message from the cast of the Chihayafuru anime series and live-action movie.
On July 18, 2022, mangaka Yuki Suetsugu shared a photo of a fruit salad with “Chihayafuru” plastered on top, tweeting that the manga’s final chapter was finished. “15 years of fun,” she wrote.
And thus the roller-coaster that is Chihayafuru concludes.
Additional Chihayafuru commemoration activities are coming up in the future
Chihayafuru has been around for quite a while and still enjoys rather high levels of popularity, so it comes as no surprise that additional commemorative activities are being planned for the future. Some of them have been promptly reported and include:
- Free access to the Chihayafuru manga chapters 1 through 48 via the Magapoke and Comic DAYS apps (in Japanese) on August 1st and 2nd
- A Chihayafuru extra chapter will be published in the December 2022 Be Love magazine, which will be out on November 1st
- All episodes of the Chihayafuru anime series (all 3 seasons) will be made available for free via the YouTube channel Full ☆ Anime TV (フル☆アニメTV) from August 1st to October 31st:
Season 1: Monday, August 1, 2022 to Wednesday, August 31, 2022
Season 2: Thursday, September 1, 2022 to Friday, September 30, 2022
Season 3: Saturday, October 1, 2022 to Monday, October 31, 2022
About the Chihayafuru manga
The Chihayafuru (ちはやふる) manga, written and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu, debuted in December 2007 and was serialized in Be Love magazine for the entirety of its run. The individual chapters have been collected into 49 tankōbon volumes as of July 2022. The final volume will be released on December 13th.
The manga won two notable awards early on: the Manga Taishō award (2009) and the Kodansha Manga Award (2011) for shoujo, the latter alongside Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan for shounen.
Chihayafuru has over 27 million copies in print and has continually topped Japanese manga charts for almost 15 full years. What’s more, it has been credited for popularizing competitive karuta in Japan.
If you haven’t come across this magnificent manga series yet, suffice it to say that it wasn’t being serialized for 15 years for nothing.
The plot follows Chihaya Ayase, a girl who aspires to become a professional karuta player under the influence of a boy named Arata Wataya — a talented karuta player himself. One thing leading to another, the two end up being separated in high school, where she gets reunited with a childhood friend (Taichi Mashima). Chihaya and Taichi go on to form a karuta club and so the story evolves.
Chihayafuru is often labeled josei, albeit in truth it is a fine mixture of slice-of-life, Nana-style josei, and shoujo. If one word should be used to describe it, ‘wholesome’ would be my choice. It pulls at the heartstrings regularly and is high on thrills and youthful sentiments.
The manga is available digitally via Kodansha USA and via Manga Plaza (presently, up to Chapter 143).
Chihayafuru was adapted into a three-season anime series by Madhouse: in 2011, 2013, and 2019, respectively. All three seasons are available via Crunchyroll.