Hikaru no Go, Vol. 6 Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-01-06 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 4 user ratings

" This story is comfort food for me. I can't quite put my finger on what keeps me rereading/rewatching this and the anime, but my interest in Go certainly helps. I also like that it's a generally positive story about getting good at something. " said.

" ヒカルが院生になった! ヒカルは前に進んで、塔矢は新初段の対局を打って、でも、この巻、本当にワクワクさせることはあまりないんです (^^;) でも、やっぱり、面白いです。 そして、最後の編は特別編です ^_~Anime-manga match-up:ep 22 = vol 6 up to pg 47 (第44~45局)ep 23 = vol 6 pgs 50-98 (第46~48.5局)ep 24 = vol 6 pgs 101-153 (第48.5~50局)And about 4 pages of 第51局 matched to the first few minutes of ep 25. The rest of 第51局 probably shows up in some other ep later. " said.

" Another excellent volume. Hotta gives us a peek at Akira, and we see just how much Hikaru has really gotten in his head. Hikaru reaches the first difficult decision point since he got serious about Go and chasing Akira as he goes to take the Insei exam, knowing that if he passes, he's no longer eligible to participate in the Go club and its tournaments. We also see Akira in his first match as a pro against a titled Go champion. " said.

"Time to introduce Hikaru to the other insei kids we've been hanging out with! They're fine (they're not Yuki I miss Yuki); I appreciate that Hikaru is still like 14 and so is Constantly Putting His Foot In His Mouth. It's difficult to be both moderately crap at Go and also have the Grand Go Master Of All Time living in your head.

Mysterious Blond Adult motivating Akira with Hikaru's slow movement up the (pre-)professional go track is fun; Akira continues to be the best baby pro, calm and a little sassy and also RAGE-FIXATED ON HIKARU, which is how i like my rivalry ships.
" said.

"Yumi Hotta, Hikaru no Go: The Insei Exam (ViZ, 1998)

Hikaru takes the Insei exam, which changes his life forever; as an Insei, he is no longer allowed to compete in his school's Go club, where most of his friends are. At his first Insei gathering, he finds that he is not nearly as strong as he thought, given that he's already beaten Toya. Meanwhile, Toya is about to fight his first pro match, and that takes up three chapters here. Even if you don't know the first thing about Go, it's gripping, Series stays at top level in this one. ****
" said.

"Three of the chapters in this volume cover a single go game. If that sounds boring, it really isn't, and one of the things I like about Hikaru no Go is that you don't have to be a go expert (as I certainly am not) to follow the dialog about go moves. Obviously it helps to know something about basic moves so you kind of know what you're looking at, but the characters describe everything in terms of "strong" and "weak" moves and invading, a dominating presence, a risky strategy, etc. You could be a total go novice and still follow along.

In volume 6, Hikaru Shindo tests to become an Insei, and despite being relatively weaker than other candidates, he passes because the sensei is impressed at how quickly he has improved with so little formal instruction. (Of course, they don't know about the thousand-year-old ghost who's been tutoring him.) Hikaru walks into his first day of lessons at the Insei school and boasts that Akira Toya is his arch-rival. Since child prodigy Akira has just gone pro, everyone assumes this must mean that Hikaru is a scary-good child prodigy himself. When Hikaru gets trounced in pretty much every game, he receives a much-needed dose of humility.

Meanwhile, Akira is still obsessed over Hikaru despite being convinced (correctly) that the other child is nowhere near his level. Thus his first game against another professional as a pro himself. He gets to play the reigning Oza, or top title-holder. The Oza is a patronizing old curmudgeon who decides to crush Akira when he thinks the boy lacks humility. Instead, Akira plays an all-out game, hoping that Hikaru is watching, and it actually makes for a pretty dramatic three chapters, as the story is about the psychology of the players, not the game itself.

I like the way the series demonstrates that there really is no ceiling in go ability; no matter how good you are in whatever circles you play in, you'll always find a bigger pond in which even the mediocre players can trounce you. And when you become the biggest fish in that pond, there are always bigger ponds yet. Hikaru started out barely able to beat his classmates in a middle school go club. Now he's playing against Inseis, who could probably walk into most go clubs in Japan or anywhere else in the world and beat the pants off everyone in the club, but against professional go players they may as well be beginners themselves. And Akira Toya, who is now a professional, someone who terrifies Inseis, is finding that there are entire ponds-within-ponds here that he has yet to conquer.

The bonus chapter at the end was a cute extra: the cast of Hikaru no Go putting on a play, "Assassination at Honnoji Temple," about the death of medieval warlord Oda Nobunaga, which, it turns out, had a game of go in it.
" said.

" あきらとヒカルが全然お互い理解していない。あきらは「ヒカルはここまでくるわけがない!このゲームでその事実はっきりさせていただきます!」。ヒカルは「このゲーム見て!あきらは俺ね『上がて来い』と言っている!」メッセージが全然通じてない。 " said.

"While I continue to enjoy this series over all, and I do realize who the actual audience for this series is, I can't help but continue to be bothered about the treatment of women in this volume in particular. I have said it before and I will say it again, this series would be better served by having no female characters rather then using them as a signal to the reader when Hikaru is up against a weak player. The fact that Hikaru loses to a girl Insei is only to show us just how he really is starting from ROCK BOTTOM.

That said, at least he (and the people around him) do not fall into the same braggadocios crowd as the characters in Bakuman. This seems to be because the author herself is a somewhat overly (IMHO) self-deprecating woman. This could be very well why the female characters are so sub par. Although I'm only the most armchair of psychologists. This strikes me as more tragic then infuriating, which is probably another reason why I continue to read rather then throwing the whole thing down in disgust. IDK we all read and enjoy things we don't 100% agree with or find totally edifying.
" said.

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