The sprawling story beings in Chihaya’s elementary school years and skips to high school, which is where the majority of the story takes place. However, there is a prequel that takes place while she is in middle school.
Chihayafuru Chuugakusei-hen follows Chihaya struggling to keep up with her interest in karuta. She is separated from childhood friend Taichi and her young mentor Arata. This saga fills in the gap to show why Chihaya withdrew from the game she loves, and it reveals what Taichi and Arata have been doing during this time.
The story was first written as a novel series by Yui Tokiumi with creator Yuki Suetsugu supervising. Oto Touda launched a manga adaptation last year and will conclude the manga on November 1.
Chihayafuru is one of the longest-running shoujo series — there are currently 39 volumes!
Madhouse has produced a two-season anime, totaling at 50 episodes. A third season will debut next year, but it hasn’t been confirmed if Madhouse will produce it.