Hikaru no Go (Hikaru’s Go)
Completed Episodes: 75/75
Aired: Oct, 2001 to Mar, 2003
Producers: Studio Pierrot, TV Tokyo,Dentsu, Viz Media, Dream Force
Genres: Comedy, Game, Shounen,Supernatural
Hikaru no Go is a manga adaptation written by Yumi Hotta and drawn by Takeshi Obata.
Gold. An unexpected Jewel. This anime is in many ways like so many of its genre and yet in completely different. Or maybe just has more feeling in it. Like so many games/sporting animes, Hikaru no Go is about a boy who falls in love with a game and seeks to become the best. Except, that’s not how it starts. Really it starts with a ghost. Sai.
Sai is a ghost who is about 1000 years old. While alive he worked as the court go master but for various reasons ended up dying before he could achieve his dream and discovering the ultimate move. Or rather the ultimate game. The hand of god. Sai now haunts a go board and when Hikaru touches it while searching though his granddad’s shed, possesses him.
Sai is a childish man. He loves to be over dramatic and pouts when Hikaru won’t let him play go. He is also very curious about how the world has changed and the people who now play go. But he is also very deep and philosophical. He doesn’t know how much time he has left after all, only knowing it will run out and Hikaru is possibly his last chance to achieve the hand of god. Except, something happens that Sai wasn’t expecting. Hikaru starts to want to play himself.
A minor problem for both of them as Sai wishes to play, though he is more than happy to teach the young Hikaru to play. As for Hikaru, he is known as a genius and for him to suddenly start losing games is more than his rival can take. And so the story unfolds. More than just Sai achieving his wish but Hikaru growing up and his ascend into the Go playing world. Literally watch Hikaru grow up.
Time passes in this anime and we watch as Hikaru grows from being a elementary student, up until high school. He’s a stubborn brat the whole way though, but we do watch as he develops into a young man and the experiences he has. The friends he makes, the trails he faces, they are all part of the world he has unexpectedly found himself want to know more about. Hikaru is a likeable character and portrays the emotions of a young boy very well. He gets upset when his friends leave him. He is ecstatic when he wins a game. He wants to win and is determined to do so. Also things can be very serious to him, even if they are not as serious to us. This anime is most definitely worth a watch.
This is not Hikaru’s story though. This anime is full of interesting characters who sweep you up into the world and keep you paying attention. From his childhood friend Akira to his main rival Akira Toya. Touya especially. Touya is the son of the current master of Go and has been training his whole life to follow in his father’s footsteps. He is frustrated by his boy who has suddenly appeared in front of him who sometimes plays like a pro and other times like a new player. That doesn’t stop him going to Hikaru’s aide when he gives up Go to give him the kick up the ass he needs. Touya has few friends and I think you can indeed class these two are friends. Disjoined as they are.
The others around them can not help but watch this younger generation as they seek to topple the current gods. The presence of Sai unsettling them all, either though Hikaru or over the net. Especially the net. Everyone wondering who who Sai is and just what is Hikaru’s connection to him?
This anime is platinum to me. Its bold and daring. The emotions raw and true. Everything from the script to the music is exciting and draws you in with a tight grip. The art is a little dated now but the HD version has been enchanted so it is bright and the lines are clear.