Hikaru no Go Episode #49 Review

Hikaru's first game as a pro is understandably drawing a lot of attention from people who have encountered him since he started in on everything. Some of those early games of course were all about Sai but he's more than established himself since then and has really taken to the game with a driven passion that's very controlled. His first game would draw attention no matter who he played, but that he's playing against Akira's father, and that Meijin specifically requested to go against Hikaru is of a lot of significance. There's the obvious thought that it's related to Akira and the rivalry the two have, but with Meijin it goes beyond that. Unfortunately, Meijin is not playing Hikaru.

The game itself is fascinating to watch play out as those observing it are completely confused by the approach Hikaru is using. There's an opening that would end the game and it's uncertain why Hikaru is doing that or why Meijin is not taking advantage of it. What turns the game into a more exciting match is that as we watch the two play up close, we see what Meijin is thinking and how close he is to really discerning the presence of Sai there. The whole match is really intriguing him considering the age of the player and the overall style of play, which Hikaru has blended into with his own style. Meijin's an intriguing opponent who doesn't brutalize his opponent and in his own way learns from him and adapts it into a strategy that works best. While he could crush Hikaru easily, there's also the handicap to remember that went into this game which really has you looking more closely at the end result of it.

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