meteordust: (hikaru)
Linking the past with the future...

That's something everyone alive is meant to do.

It has nothing to do with Go, or with nationality or anything else.

The reason we play Go is simply the same as the reason we go through life.

- Yang Hai, Chapter 189 of Hikaru no Go

Hikago Day

May. 5th, 2016 11:28 pm
meteordust: (kujaku)
I still have not accomplished my goal. I have yet to play "the Divine Move".

- Sai, Chapter 1 of Hikaru no Go
meteordust: (kujaku)
So we finally play each other.

The last time was at the Go Club's team tournament...
...two years and four months ago.

It's been that long, huh?

Yes. That long...

I saw your game with Zama Sensei in Go Weekly.
Too bad. You were close.
It was a good game, but his advantage in the opening influenced the outcome at the end.

He once held the Oza title. I can't defeat him in just one game.
But the next time I play him, I'll have changed too.

I got to see your ability through your games with Zama Sensei and Hagiwara 9 Dan.
Today it's my turn to show you.
I haven't just been foolin' around these past two years and four months.

- Chapter 145 of Hikaru no Go
meteordust: (kujaku)
Shindo is coming. Soon he'll face me as an equal.

Then I'll get to the bottom of the mystery. I'm going to find out about him. I'm going to see for myself.

Come on, Shindo! I'm right here...

... waiting in the world of the pros!

- Akira, Chapter 96 of Hikaru no Go
meteordust: (kujaku)
"Surrounded by young pros studying Go from morning to night confirmed my own desire to walk that path.

I have my sights set on the pro test, but it's not my ultimate goal.

The path continues far beyond that.

And though we're competing against each other, we're walking the same path."

- Isumi, Chapter 139 of Hikaru no Go
meteordust: (hikaru)
"Hikaru, if I remember correctly, you became interested in Go because of Akira, didn't you?

And I was the one who actually played him. So he thought you were a strong player and came chasing after you.

And then when he actually did play you, he was so disappointed...

But you have come a long way, Hikaru."

*Akira Toya would never have been distracted had he not met Hikaru. Akira would have just continued down his own path.

He would never have stopped.

Nor would he have turned back to look...

... and pull Hikaru up to his level.

Indeed, when I think about Hikaru's remarkable progress...

... I get the feeling that...

... the gods sent Akira Toya to help Hikaru grow.*

- Sai, Chapter 50 of Hikaru no Go


May. 5th, 2011 07:36 am
meteordust: (hikaru)
It's a little over five years since I first read Hikaru no Go. It's still one of my favourite manga of all time, not just because it's a great story in its own right, but because of what it says about striving for your dreams. For this Hikago Day, I offer one of my favourite quotes:

"You are quite different from Akira. And I'm not talking about the difference in strength. I'm talking about how passionate you are in pursuing your goals. You don't know what Akira was like in Kaio's Go club. Akira went after you with everything he had, despite the consequences. You'll catch up to him someday? And just exactly when will that day arrive?"

- Kishimoto, Chapter 40 of Hikaru no Go
meteordust: (hikaru)
This year, for Hikago Day, I offer some brief musings.

Hikaru no Go is still one of my absolute favourite manga - inspiring, funny, moving, and surprisingly gripping considering it is about a boardgame. ("Where will he put his next stone?!!") But one thing you can't praise it for is a strong showing of female characters. They are far fewer and more peripheral than the male characters.

I'm sure it's been discussed before, and really, it's no worse than what I would expect from the typical shounen manga. But on the other hand, some of my other favourite shounen manga, like Fullmetal Alchemist and Bleach, have heaps of women running around - heroes, villains, mentors, housewives, soldiers, engineers - so it can be done, and done well.

I guess what I'm particularly feeling is the dearth of female go players, and especially female professional go players. Of the former, we see Akari and Kaneko (junior high school students) and Nase (an insei); of the latter, we see only mentions and glimpses. (The only named one I can recall is Sakurano, whose match Touya subbed for, and who we didn't actually see.)

So what I've been wondering about is which, if any, of the other characters could have been written as female, without altering the dynamics of the story too much. My personal favourite choice would be Kurata, the young hotshot pro climbing the ladder. He is prominent enough in the story to be a real person, and genderswitching him wouldn't detrimentally affect the story or the portrayal of women.

And if I were forced to pick another, I would say Kuwabara, who I can easily see transformed from a wily and irreverent old man to a wily and irreverent old woman. But then again, perhaps to have a woman at the top of the ladder would be turning the world of go upside down.
meteordust: (hikaru)
In honour of Hikago Day yesterday.

Endless )

ETA: Spoilers for Volume 15 in the comments.
meteordust: (hikaru)
In honour of Hikago Day yesterday.

I didn't get into it when it was wildly popular. It wasn't until a long time after, when I stumbled upon the first few volumes at the library. After that, I went out and bought every single volume that had been translated. Problem was, that was only 5 out of 23, with Viz releasing new volumes on an achingly slow schedule. So getting hold of the rest of the series was a saga in itself, trekking to hole-in-the-wall manga rental places, hunting down sketchy online summaries, and pulling out my extremely rusty translation skills.

But it was worth it.

Spoilers for the series - this means you, Mr Tang )
meteordust: (hikaru)
I was going to post this on Hikago Day - the 5th of May, a significant day in the Hikaru no Go universe - but I lost that post. So here we go again: my Hikaru no Go fic recs, five categories of five faves each.

Many of these stories are set after the series ends and contain spoilers. Some also feature *cough* extrapolation of canonical relationships. A few may not be worksafe. Please note the warnings within each individual story.

Let's go! )
meteordust: (hikaru)
From another Anime News Network review of Hikaru no Go:

The great thing about shounen manga these days is that it can be written about pretty much anything without ever breaking from its quirky, inimitable style. You know what I'm talking about. All the one-on-one showdowns, and overwrought speeches on power and skill levels. The funky special techniques. How all the world's problems will inevitably be solved by engaging in some epic duel with the local ideologue. This all used to be pretty well limited to titles centered on martial arts or other similar forms of violence, back in the day. All at once, however, the entire industry seemingly picked up a volume of Dragonball or Hokuto no Ken and decided it would all work just as well without the punching.

They're right, of course. The appeal lies in the means, rather than the end. Diversity is inherently interesting.

And so, there are now shounen action series being written about everything. Somewhere in the depths of a Tokyo manga café there even exists one such series about... baking bread. I don’t remember the name, or how I came across it. None of that is important. What is important is the idea behind such an odd creation--the notion that one could take this premise, and, with enough belief in the process, find a way to leave the reader breathless. Who will win? Can our hero pull through? Watch the bread rise! On the surface, nothing could be more stupid. And yet, it is charming. All because of the unmistakably Japanese thought process that might lead a character to shout, in amazement, "I HAVE NEVER SEEN A YEAST SUCH AS THIS!"

That is shounen manga.
meteordust: (hikaru)
I've been trying for days to work out how to post about this without sounding completely insane. But maybe that's impossible. So I'll just have to tell it straight. If you're wondering where I've been for the past month and a half, I've been immersed in another world. The world of Hikaru no Go.

What is Hikaru no Go? It is 23 volumes of manga. It is also 75 episodes of anime. But most of all, it is one brilliant, absorbing, wonderful story.

Half of you are probably thinking, "Um, yeah, where were you three years ago? Under a rock?" And the other half of you are probably thinking, "What's so fascinating about Go? Isn't it, like, a board game?"

For those who aren't already familiar with the story, this review at the Anime News Network provides an excellent summary. I'm going to quote from it:

I will not try to hide my unabashed love for Hikaru no Go, the story of a young boy, Hikaru Shindo, whose mind becomes the home for a Go-playing ghost named Sai. Set free when Hikaru stumbles upon the Go board in which he had been inhabiting, Sai is a master Go player whose love for the game, and desire to play the "divine move" has kept him in the world for over 1000 years. Sai’s enthusiasm for the game slowly draws the hitherto uninterested Hikaru into the exciting world of Go.

Volume One quickly establishes what will become the central conflict of the series, the rivalry between Hikaru and the young prodigy Akira Toya. Akira is the son of the best Go player in the world, and even though he is only a sixth grader, he can compete with many professionals. Hikaru stumbles into a Go salon in order to indulge Sai, and picks out Akira for a match since he is the only kid around. Although Hikaru says he never has played before, aided by Sai he defeats Akira. Akira is shocked, not believing he could be beat by the likes of Hikaru who cannot even hold the pieces correctly. Akira demands a rematch which Sai wins, but seeing Akira's passion for the game sparks a similar feeling in Hikaru's heart...

To quote [ profile] supacat, apparently also one of Those Who Came In Late, "I really feel like the last one to arrive at the party with this fandom, sort of like if I just read Harry Potter for the first time yesterday and wanted to run around telling everyone how great it was, and everyone was like, look we told you to read it like two years ago, come on."


Touya, how can you be so intense...?

Is Go more than just a game...?

Are you trying to play 'the Divine Move' just like Sai...?

- Hikaru, Chapter 6


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