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Chihaya art from the Chihayafuru 2023 calendar. Pic credit: Yuki Suetsugu

The cult manga series Chihayafuru ended in Chapter 247 on August 1, 2022. But an extra chapter was released in the December 2022 issue of Kodansha’s Be Love magazine, which went on sale on November 1, 2022, in Japan (effectively, October 31, 2022, due to the time difference).

The Chihayafuru extra chapter is titled “Hana no Iroha.”

Chihayafuru appears on the cover (Chihaya is in the background, accompanied by Arata), which puts in focus a new karuta club member. As per mangaka’s hints, the Chihayafuru extra chapter also depicts Chihaya’s college life.

Take a look at the cover of the December 2022 issue of Kodansha’s Be Love magazine:

First look at the cover page of the December 2022 issue of Kodansha’s Be Love magazine featuring Chihayafuru extra chapter characters. Pic credit: Be Love Twitter

While international fans will likely have to wait a while for an English translation of the Chihayafuru extra chapter (Kodansha USA hasn’t gotten any further than Chihayafuru Volume 34 and Manga Plaza is up to Chapter 143), that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t enjoy a sneak peek!

Chihayafuru extra chapter cover. Pic credit: Yuki Suetsugu/Be Love

As a matter of fact, there are a couple of Chihayafuru treats to enjoy, since mangaka Yuki Suetsugu has been rather active with updates on her Twitter account.

One rather amusing Tweet is illustrated immediately below. Here, Suetsugu-sensei is seen adding the Shinobu (Wakamiya) sine qua non — her missing mole — to her commemorative Chihayafuru illustration for Be Love. She goes on to explain in detail how Shinobu’s name came about.

Operation “The Missing Mole.” Pic credit: Yuki Suetsugu’s official Twitter

Next on, even though the manga series is over, Suetsugu-sensei has finished a Chihayafuru 2023 calendar (illustration on top), which has its own respective website. The funds from the sales will be used to help the competitive karuta community in Japan, which came into focus thanks to the Chihayafuru manga series.

About the Chihayafuru manga

Chihayafuru (ちはやふる) is a manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu. It debuted in December 2007 and was serialized in Be Love magazine for the entirety of its run. The last 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 individual chapters have been collected into 49 tankōbon volumes as of July 2022. The final volume — Chihayafuru Volume 50 will be released on December 13, 2022.

Chihayafuru Volume 50 will go on sale on December 13, 2022. Pic credit: Yuki Suetsugu/TSUTAYA

On October 26, TSUTAYA Online Shop began accepting pre-orders for Chihayafuru Volume 50, which will include a limited bonus acrylic figure plate (120×120mm) featuring five different designs, which you can see below. The offer will end around November 11, 2022.

Chihayafuru Volume 50 limited bonus acrylic figure plate designs. Pic credit: Yuki Suetsugu/TSUTAYA

Chihayafuru won two notable awards early on: the Manga Taishō award in 2009 and the Kodansha Manga Award in 2011 (both for shoujo, even though Chihayafuru is a josei title). In comparison, the 2011 Kodansha Manga Award for shounen was awarded to Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan.  

Chihayafuru has over 27 million copies in print and its popularity is skyrocketing even 15 years after the series debut. Not without a good reason!

Chihayafuru is a rare gem everyone may relate to in one way or another. It’s no wonder that the manga has been credited for popularizing competitive karuta in Japan.

The plot focuses on 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. Arata eventually moves away and Chihaya is reunited with her childhood friend Taichi Mashima. Chihaya and Taichi found a karuta club.

Many picturesque characters grace this splendid manga series, which is spiced with youthful sensibility and a full-blown love triangle. Sentiments are abundant, the plot exquisite, and the illustrations quite pleasing to the eye. Overall, Chihayafuru is a must-read for anyone aspiring to be a serious manga fan.

Chihayafuru was adapted into a three-season anime series by Madhouse: in 2011, 2013, and 2019, respectively. All three seasons are spectacular and stick to the manga plot to the letter. The Chihayafuru anime series (all three seasons) is available on Crunchyroll.

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