Isumi's return and essentially open confrontation with Hikaru is exactly what Hikaru needed to get going again and his time spent with Isumi has shaken him back into reality. For someone like Hikaru, he had a lot to grapple with but like a lot of kids his age, he's able to bounce back fairly quickly and recover his mindset once he's on the path again. What he has to do now though is to get himself back on the pro track by actually playing games again, and he's eager to do that after the match with Isumi. He wants to re-establish himself and seek out the things that he subconsciously knows is out there that he wants to achieve.
Hikaru's return to the matches certainly surprises a lot of people and the rumors flare up quickly as they're reminded that he's considered a rival by Toya. Those who had hoped to cruise by on a game since Hikaru had missed so many are frustrated while those who want to play him and see what he's made of are excited by it. And in the middle of all that are the two young men, Hikaru and Akira, not looking at each other but knowing that they're there in the same place going towards the same goals. It's also a very positive thing that we see his friends from school excited by the news that he's absent for matches and for study sessions, though there's a touch of jealousy among one or two of them as well. Hikaru definitely has a solid support system built up over the last few years in addition to the rivalries that have bloomed.
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