Chihayafuru Announces Manga’s Final Volume

Chihayafuru will conclude with the release of Volume 49 of the manga.

As reported by Comic Natalie, publisher Kodansha has confirmed that Yuki Suetsugu's long-running manga about a young woman who becomes immersed in a traditional Japanese card game will finally conclude its story with the release of its next collected volume. The manga's 48th volume was released in Japan on Feb. 10. The 47th volume of the series was released in Japan last August, when it was teased that the story was nearing its conclusion.

Chihayafuru tells the story of Chihaya Ayase, a young girl who has lived in the shadow of her older sister, a professional model, her entire life. After befriending a new transfer student named Arata Wataya, Chihaya is introduced to the world of karuta, a traditional Japanese card game that she naturally excels at. Years later, Chihaya starts a club focused on the game at her high school, where she meets new friends and is propelled into both a complex love triangle and the highly competitive world of professional karuta.

Suetsugu's manga premiered in 2007 and is serialized into Kodansha's Be Love magazine. The series was lauded by critics for its well-developed characters and emotional storytelling, and was awarded the Manga Taisho and Kodansha Manga awards in 2009. The series has also been praised for making karuta, a complex game based around the Hyakkunin Isshu, a collection of classical Japanese poetry, accessible and easy to understand for international audiences and those that have never played the game before. Suetsugu's manga has a achieved a circulation of over 23 million copies around the world and has been credited with renewing the game's popularity with younger generations in Japan.

Chihaya's story has been adapted to other media twice: the first being an anime series, which premiered in 2011 and was produced by Madhouse, the animation studio behind Trigun, Death Note and One-Punch Man. The anime has also been lauded by critics and aired its third season in 2020. The manga has also been adapted into a trilogy of live-action movies in Japan, which starred The Boy and the Beast's Suzu Hirose as Chihaya and Sonny Chiba's son, Mackenyu, as Arata. Mackenyu is also set to star in Netflix's upcoming live-action adaptation of One Piece, where he will play the swordsman Zoro.

The English localization of the Chihayafuru manga is available digitally from Kodansha Comics. The anime series is streaming through Crunchyroll and HIDIVE.

Source: Comic Natalie

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