Recaps for Hikaru No Go

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Hikaru no Go Episode #75 Review

After quite a good run considering this is a show about playing Go, Hikaru no Go finally comes to an end but in a way that's likely to displease a lot of fans. The show has spent a lot of time building up towards the match between Hikaru and Akira happening again, especially after the aborted one before, so when it finally does happen and we don't get back to it after the lunch break the characters take, it's fairly cruel to the viewer. Having the result of the game revealed in a dream sequence doesn't help ease it either since it feels like it's trivializing the match itself when it's something many have longed to see. A small portion of the final episode does play out in a dream where Hikaru sees Sai again, though Sai has no words to say at this point. Hikaru's definitely an eager student in all of this though as he's telling him everything that's happened to him and his friends and wanting to share all of it. It's something that's endearing even when it ends in a tearful note, but it's good to see that Hikaru has finally made his peace with everything and is able to move forward again. And that moving forward has him working hard as a 1-dan player, playing against Akira in the salon and through all the competitions and matches where he's become the strongest of them all in his rank because of the extra length of time he's going to be there because of all the matches he missed. Hikaru is moving forward fully and as we see him taking on more and more of Sai's characteristics with a lot of strength, alongside Akira, it's a great moment. Source Here

Hikaru no Go Episode #74 Review

Though it's been over two years since Hikaru and Akira have played against each other, Hikaru has the realization early on into their game that it wasn't a real game since Sai had played about half of it himself, which was one of the reasons Akira became so focused on Hikaru after that since Sai played unlike anyone else at the time. And it started his strong interest in Hikaru, as evidenced through the flashbacks here as we see the way he pursued knowledge of what Hikaru was up to an how he was playing throughout all of it. The rivalry between the two started awkwardly, a lot of it owing to the age of both of them at the time, but now they're both playing full on at true pro levels. With the series close to ending, it's interesting that they do start talking about the events that are to follow which were done in the manga, namely the larger world context of having a group dealing with Korea and China along with Japan in an under eighteen league of sorts. Mixing this into the match between Hikaru and Akira is amusing since the two would likely become partners in such a thing to represent Japan. The match itself takes a fascinating turn though as Akira starts to see the way Sai played in Hikaru, but it's different in way where it's clearly Hikaru who is playing with the influence rather than Sai himself as Akira had seen through the internet based games. It's a disturbing moment for him that causes him to question his own play a bit so as to try and draw out the real essence of Sai that he wants to play, that he's chased for so long. Read More Click Me!

Hikaru no Go Episode #73 Review

Much discussion in the adult circles of the series has been on the new wave of Go masters that are coming up through the ranks. With a lot of the older ones from the previous generation getting up there in years and some of them like Toya retiring, the competition is fierce to move in on that territory. You have some of them like Ogata who has made his move as he comes across as being in between the generations, but the majority of them are down in the realm of Akira and Hikaru's age with many spectators and punditry commenting that they may be the ones to lead the next generation into prominence. Hikaru's continual playing at this point in time is welcome since he strengthens his own game as well as those around him and that play against him. He's playing well without being overly aggressive or a cruel player. He's kept to who he is and is just building up his strengths and focusing on the game itself with nary a thought of Sai. All he's waiting on at this point is for the information to come in about the scheduling for the Meijin Qualifiers so he can know when he's playing and who he's playing against. With just two more episodes to this series after this, everything is taking on a rushed feeling as he's scheduled to play Akira in two weeks, a match he's looking forward to but not without some tension and nervousness since it's such an important one. Read More Click Me!

Hikaru no Go Episode #72 Review

Hikaru's win against Murakami was pretty much a given since it wouldn't be good for the lead of the series to lose after just getting his mojo back. With his win out of the way, he's set for the next round of competitions with a bit of energy to his step and the potential for playing against Akira again coming up in the very near future because of it. A lot of people are eager to see how he will perform, such as Kuwabara, but there are some that don't seem to consider him a real talent in comparison to Akira. Akira is considered the gifted prodigy, but there's something about Hikaru that sets him apart since he really just dropped into Go because of Sai and his start at a relative late age for everything. While Hikaru has been playing on his own for awhile now without the assistance of Sai, it does feel very unusual to not have Sai sitting at his side observing the games and talking about what's going on, or thinking about how the play itself is going in relation to other things. Hikaru's skill is definitely shining and, like Isumi, there is a new kind of confidence to his play that wasn't there before. Neither young man is playing in a way that's cocky or overconfident or even aggressive in a certain manner, but they're playing to win and they're doing so with more calculation and skill than before. The new wave of students that's coming up is having an impact on the older players as well as the psychological impact of being taken down brutally by youngsters takes its toll on them. Culturally and socially, it's an interesting area to examine and I wish it got more time instead of moving on to the next match. Read More Click Me!

Hikaru no Go Episode #71 Review

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. Read More Click Me!

Hikaru no Go Episode #70 Review

Isumi's return from Japan may just be the kick in the pants that Hikaru needs to get playing again. The last episode had a beautiful moment where the two ended up face to face with Isumi forcing Hikaru's hand by putting the Go table between them so that it was a strong reminder of what's in his blood. Now that he started that much, Isumi's doing the rest that's necessary in cleaning the dust off and reflecting outwardly to Hikaru about what he learned from his time in China and how it's shaped him, and the path that he wants to walk on that's very similar to Hikaru's. The two haven't been the best of friends during their time as Insei, but there's a bond that's forming here that may be the most important on to Hikaru outside of his one with Sai. When the two begin their game, it all comes flowing back after Hikaru stops asking for Sai's forgiveness and they go at it. Each new move becomes a key move in the match, bringing more of their desire to win to the foreground. Hikaru doesn't take long to become lost in the game and Isumi is playing to win just as hard since he expect nothing less of Hikaru. The two help to raise each other into the game, the intensity rising with each new move. It's also nicely paralleled to a game that Akira is playing in competition that will lead to who will play in the special round robin tournament, with it being his first time getting in there. Even as he plays there, Hikaru is on his mind as someone important to him that he must confront yet, though it's not as though he's realizing that Hikaru is playing once again. Read More Click Me!

Hikaru no Go Episode #69 Review

Hikaru is slowly but surely getting closer to playing the game of Go again as he finds himself drawn to it after being away for awhile. His quick visit to the high school tournament previously had him feeling the rush inside him again as he watched others play and could feel the way games should go. The small exposures, something he's tried to stay away from, are becoming more common and harder to resist. The game has definitely gotten into his blood and he very much is drawn to it in a way that surprises him at times as well. While he struggles with this, Isumi has returned to Japan to do his preparations for the pro exam and he's surprised to find out about the losses by default that Hikaru has been having. It's not what he expected after all this time and it's really shocking when he finds out that it's more than one loss at that. Isumi's return has him getting back in touch with Waya and it's actually rather adorable since he kids him by treating him like Le Ping at first, treating him like a little kid who has suddenly shot up. Waya's confusing is obvious enough but just seeing a happy and outgoing Isumi that has some confidence to him is the real plus here. His meeting with Waya has him searching for more answers about what's going on with Hikaru, leading him to talk to several people about it so he can get a clearer picture. Read More Click Me!

Hikaru no Go Episode #68 Review

If nothing else, Hikaru is definitely acting like a teenager at this stage of the series. After Sai's disappearance, he lashed out and went off to search for him wherever there may have been a hint of him. With that falling through, and with a couple of episodes of mediocre filler material with other characters and flashbacks, he's been pretty somber and listless as he just attends his classes and doesn't interact with friends and colleagues. Keeping to himself as a punishment for what has happened, he's causing quite a bit of concern among people, be it his friends and Go colleagues to his mother as well. His mood has changed significantly and it's definitely very appropriate for his age and situation. While most are concerned, some are much more vocal about it. An encounter with Fujisaki has him revealing that he may indeed quit the club, but it's when Mitani comes along that it gets heated. Mitani can't stand to see what Hikaru is doing, nor understand it, so he lashes out at the way he perceives that Hikaru is looking down at him and the others in the club for "just a tournament." It does have some impact on Hikaru as he remembers back a couple of years ago when he was so eager and was trying to get Mitani into the club so they had enough members. Even from a distance Hikaru is earning some scorn as there's a very cute moment with Tsubaki at his construction job where he grumbles about what Hikaru is doing. If he sees him, you'd expect he'd be even more in Hikaru's face. Read More Click Me!

Hikaru no Go Episode #66 Review

Much like Sai at the start of this episode, it's very easy to feel sad about what's about to happen. With Sai still out of the picture and with Hikaru moping around over the loss of his friend that he had forgotten had value, Hikaru no Go takes us back a couple of years again but this time to a period before Sai existed within the framework of the story so he's not really in it all that much. The story focuses more around Akira who see when he was younger and the difference is even more stark than how young Hikaru has looked when we've gone to these past stories. As young as Akira is here, there are still many people prodding him to move forwards taking the pro exam since he's so gifted and he has quite the lineage that is influencing it as well. But even as he does well and continues to push off the pro exams until he feels that he's good enough to take them, he's got this nagging feeling in the back of his head that something is missing from his life. Of course, even at this age, rumors swirl about him and his skills and there's a reputation building that's not entirely accurate in a lot of ways which keeps other players from approaching him. There are those that are tempted to go after him though, including Hideki who initially appears to be more of a somewhat older woman than a young boy who wants to challenge Akira. Read More Click Me!

Hikaru no Go Episode #65 Review

Hikaru no Go is in that sort of listless phase at this point after dealing with the issue surrounding Sai's disappearance. Having him gone for several episodes and having Hikaru chase after him is definitely a nice angle to play and it fits in with the overall narrative, though it may go on just a touch too long depending on what you really want out of the series. Spending the previous episode with a flashback tale to the time when Sai and Hikaru were still new to each other was decent but it was definitely full of filler material since it was reminiscent of a recent story as well. For this episode, a good bit of time is spent on focusing on a player who left the Go scene almost a year ago after not making pro. The insei days are a popular topic here with the launching off point talking about what Isumi is doing. Waya's frustrated by what Hikaru has done in quitting Go for reasons that haven't been explained so he does his best to confront him. It's actually nice to get a bit of an update on the other insei who didn't make it pro and to hear that they're still training hard at everything so they can pass the test the next time around. Hikaru's definitely acting younger than his actual age during the confrontation though since he's still very out of sorts when it comes to Sai's disappearance as all that's on his mind is finding him. Read More Click Me!