Hikaru no Go Vol. 2 (Story by Yumi Hotta/Art by Takeshi Obata) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
October 13, 2004 by Dennis Amith
The award winning manga series finally arrives in the U.S. Find out what happens when Hikaru takes part in a Go competition illegaly! Volume 2 is highly recommended!
© 1998 by Yumi Hotta, Takeshi Obata. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Hikaru no Go Vol. 2
STORY BY: Yumi Hotta
ART by: Takeshi Obata
FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha
PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC
RATED: A for all Ages
RELEASE DATE: October 13, 2004
Meet Tetsuo Kaga, a Shogi punk, the sophisticated members of the Kaio Go Club and the optimistic few of the Haze Go Club in this new volume of Hikaru no Go. As enticing as the Go games are, the upcoming tournaments and behind-the-scenes politics will also leave quite an impression…
What happens when Hikaru illegally joins a Go competition, posing as a Kaio Middle School student (when he’s actually a grade school student), so the team can compete in the 3rd Winter Middle School Go Tournament? And he not only catches the eye of Akira but also his father, Koyo Toya?
Find out in “Hikaru no Go” Vol. 2!
What is “Hikaru no Go” about?
In 1998, writer Yumi Hotta (“Yutto”) and illustrator Takeshi Obata (“Cyborg Jii-chan G”) began their successful manga series “Hikaru no Go”.
Known for creating the “Go” fad in Japan, the manga would win a “Shogakukan Manga Award” in 2000 and the “Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize” in 2003. Supervised by Go professional Yukari Umezawa (5-dan), the manga lasted for 23 volumes and the anime adaptation would be published in 2001 and would last 75 episodes.
And now, the popular manga series will be released in the U.S. in May 2004.
The story begins with Hikaru Shindo and his childhood friend Akari Fujisaki inside his grandfather’s shed. When Hikaru finds an old Go board, he is unaware that it is haunted by the spirit of Fujiwara-no-Sai, a Go player from the Heian era.
Immediately, Hikaru is possessed by Sai and the two are able to communicate through their thoughts. At first, Hikaru thinks it’s creepy to talk to a ghost but Hikaru realizes that he needs Sai to help him on history homework and Sai needs Hikaru to play Go.
We learn that Sai’s goal was to attain the “Divine Move” and the perfect game. He had once possessed the player Honinbo Shusaku but hasn’t played for awhile, so in order to stop Sai from complaining or whining, Hikaru participates in a competition at a local parlor and immediately with Sai’s help, he is able to beat people. And one of those people is Akira Toya, the son of Koyo Toya, an excellent player who is also in pursuit of the “Divine Movie”.
But for Akira, his loss to Hikaru/Sai has driven him to the point that he becomes obsessed with wanting to play against Hikaru and how someone who just started playing can be so good.
And because Sai is always wanting to play Go, Hikaru must find a way to satisfy his Go needs or else he will never get some peace and quiet
In vol. 2, Hikaru meets Tetsuo Kaga, a Shogi player who was once in Go class with Akira Toya. After Tetsuo has the opportunity to see how good of a player that Hikaru is, he comes up with an idea that he will join the Go club if he can convince Hikaru to join them for an upcoming Go tournament. In order to satisfy Tetsuo and Sai, Hikaru decides to take part in the competition.
But as Hikaru pretends to be a middle school competitor, what happens when someone rats him out?
I first discovered “Hikaru no Go” through the animated series back in 2002. I absolutely loved the series, for it’s competitive nature but also humor and the growth of the characters. But it’s great to finally read the manga series and fall in love with the series once again as the artwork of Takeshi Obata is detailed and well-done, while the writing for the series is excellent.
I would never expected to see an anime series about “Go” to be great, but the whole concept of a kid possessed by a master Go player and going against other professionals is very intriguing!
For this second volume, what makes this one quite intriguing is that Hikaru is starting to like Go but also for the fact that he’s actually taking part in competition illegally and his team is doing very good. But as Akira tries to pursue Hikaru and wanting to have a rematch, this volume will set up the rivalry between both Hikaru and Akira.
Overall, “Hikaru no Go” is one of my favorite manga series of 2004. Great artwork, addictive story and a manga that is highly recommended!
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