The Japanese entertainment news site Comic Natalie invited the Chihayafuru manga’s editor, Emi Miyazawa, for an interview in which he hinted that the story is heading towards its pinnacle point. In that sense, the analogy he used is rather fitting, as he compared the progression of the manga to climbing Mt. Fuji:
In the latest chapter, Chihaya and her friends are third year students in high school. The arc in which the national high school karuta team competition championships take place is the endgame, so I suppose if you put it in terms of climbing Mount Fuji, we’ve reached the seventh station. Though, this is just in terms of the timeline. I think it’s what [Chihayafuru manga creator Yuki Suetsugu] wants to draw the most, considering the large mountain waiting in Chihaya’s path on her way to fulfilling her dream of becoming queen.
On Mt. Fuji’s many trails to the summit, branching off at the fifth station, the seventh stations are major checkpoints marked out at several different heights. For instance, one seventh station is at 2,700 metres, compared to the summit’s height of 3,776 metres, while another on a different trail is at 3,010 metres. From there, the ninth station is the final checkpoint before the summit, so it certainly seems Miyazawa is letting fans know that the manga is nearing the final act before its end.
For now though, Chihayafuru carries on with its long run since it launched in Kodansha’s Be-Love magazine in December 2007. The manga’s 31st collected volume was released last week, published by Kodansha on March 11th, and in the meantime it’s also inspiring two live-action films, the first of which, Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku (Chihayafuru: Upper Phrase) is opening on Saturday.