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Old 11-01-2012, 10:09 AM   #26
Talon87
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Who are your favorite characters so far and why?

Which have been the most memorable or exciting moments for you thus far?
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:17 PM   #27
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Hmm....honestly, I haven't gotten that attached to any of the characters yet. I mean, their problems and all that are well written and all, but other than maybe Tsubaki, I haven't taken a shining to anyone.

I uhh....I think Tsubaki is the older guy who rides the motorcycle. I would say I like him better than everyone else. He actually has a personality that doesn't fully revolve around Go, and his interactions with Hikaru are actually pretty nice. Also, the fact that he's the Kaiji narrator scores him a point or two.

For most memorable moment...hmmm...I would probably say the motorcycle ride with Tsubaki. Sure it's only a cheap line that's almost always said by older characters to younger ones, but I liked it.

Second would probably be the match with the Korean kid.

Isumi's scenes after the Pro exams are also pretty nice.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:46 AM   #28
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Phew, after about 5 days, I've burned through the Hikaru no Go anime. I can say I've really enjoyed the show, which is pretty surprising, since this is SJ. Like I've said before, this is a well-written and solid show. Though the filler was kinda painful to watch. While I can't say I was really attached to any of the characters, I still liked them, and even some small scenes with some of them excited me. Actually I couldn't be more satisfied with the "world of go" created by the writer.

Episode 58 spoiler
Spoiler: show
The match between Sai and Tohya Meijin was probably the peak of the series for me. The lead-up, the match, and how it all ended were great. Actually I especially liked how it ended with Tohya actually being freed from professional Go. His expression softens and his playing style is more playful.


End spoiler
Spoiler: show
When the match between Hikaru and Tohya started, I actually liked the scene where they went in the elevator together more than the match. I couldn't help but think they're finally lovers friends.

I also got kinda excited when Hikaru bought the fan to take with him during matches. It was a nice message saying that Sai is always with him.

Though I never really sympathized with Sai. I mean, if he killed himself in life, then I kinda don't think he wanted to obtain the divine move as much as he let on. He was lucky as hell to gain an attempt at it with Torajirou, and even moreso for a chance to pass on his techniques to Hikaru. Also I'm not complaining. Just throwing in my 2 cents.


It's not very often I blow through 75 episodes in less than a week, so that should say quite a bit for this show. I would probably say this show deserves a 9.5. Surprisingly, despite there being a few loose ends, I'm still satisfied with how everything turned out.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:08 AM   #29
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For not being that attached to the characters, you sure have given the series a high overall score! Not that I'm complaining! I just wasn't expecting such a score from you given your posts.

I'm an old windbag but if you're looking for more HnG to read or discuss, now you can go back to the first page and read all of those spoiler-boxed miniature essays of mine. I know I would be interested to hear your thoughts (given your repeated mentions of lack of attachment to the main characters), but whether you'd be interested to read all those is a different matter.

From now on if I ever say "SHINDOU! " you will immediately have Touya Akira's voice in your head.

You should look for the OAV now. Sadly it ends in the middle of the story arc -_-; but I think you should still check it out if you really liked the show so much. Just be prepared for it to end not where you want it to end.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:20 PM   #30
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9.5 might be too much, but I had difficulty deciding what to give it, so I went with the optimistic rating. Afterall, despite a few things to pick on, I couldn't find many actual flaws. It didn't strike any deep emotions in me, but I was interested and excited enough to plow through it, which is rare (though admittedly I did need a comedy break every now and then).

Also I read those when I finished. Though due to youtube being assholes, the videos you linked were removed, so I didn't watch them. Admittedly, that might have swayed me a little bit in my overall score. Though I guess I do have a question.

End of series spoiler, I guess:
Spoiler: show
Did they ever say why Sai possessed Torajirou? I guess after he possessed Hikaru, I was under the impression that he possessed both of them for a purpose. I always thought the whole purpose of him possessing Hikaru was just so he could pass on his skills to him, so Hikaru could obtain the divine move/hand of god (whatever is the better translation) through Sai's teaching, and improve on it. Then Hikaru could pass on those skills to another student/his child. Other than an attempt at obtaining the hand of god, was there anything else?
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:01 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big bad birtha View Post
Though I guess I do have a question.

End of series spoiler, I guess:
Spoiler: show
Did they ever say why Sai possessed Torajirou? I guess after he possessed Hikaru, I was under the impression that he possessed both of them for a purpose. I always thought the whole purpose of him possessing Hikaru was just so he could pass on his skills to him, so Hikaru could obtain the divine move/hand of god (whatever is the better translation) through Sai's teaching, and improve on it. Then Hikaru could pass on those skills to another student/his child. Other than an attempt at obtaining the hand of god, was there anything else?
In answer to that question:

Spoiler: show
If you come at things from the end (and the benefit of hindsight bias), I think the fatalistic answer would be that Sai was destined to haunt Torajirou because had he not done so then he would not have refined his own game of Go and thus been ready to teach Hikaru a better game of Go, Hikaru who will one day perhaps be the one to obtain the Hand of God. In other words, say we skip over Torajirou completely and have Sai go directly to Hikaru. First of all, the state of the Go world itself would've been quite different. (See below paragraph.) So it's questionable whether there would have even been a quality world for Hikaru to partake in in order to find the Hand of God. Second of all, Sai himself would've been teaching the boy Heian-kyo-era techniques instead of 19th century techniques. The argument might be made that while 19th century techniques have their own charm and work well but have fallen out of favor, the techniques used in the 1000s A.D. are way too primitive to be of any use against men like Touya Meijin.

Quick aside: as you doubtless saw for yourself when watching the Search for Sai episodes, Honinbo Shuusaku was a real person considered by many to be the greatest Go player of the 19th century and by some to be the greatest Go player to have ever lived. IRL, the mangaka obviously wanted Sai to have a connection with Shuusaku because it would be cool. But in-universe, we can appreciate that had Sai never haunted Torajirou (i.e. had there never been a Honinbo Shuusaku) that the game of Go might've very well stagnated. One of the greatest Go players in history, Go Seigen, was so passionate about Go in part because he rejected the notion that Shuusaku's joseki were unquestionably the best. Had there never been a Shuusaku, we might thus say there'd never have been a Go Seigen. And had there never been a Go Seigen, some would question if we'd even be playing Go today since they attribute to him the game's 20th century renaissance.

This stated, obviously you could reject all of this as circular reasoning / hindsight justification for why Sai would've ever haunted Torajirou. We come back to your question then: was a reason ever presented for why he haunted him? Going in the forward direction, no, I'm not sure that any reason was presented other than what you heard in the show: Sai really, really wanted to play Go and the boy known as Torajirou agreed to let Sai play. I don't know that there was any more to it than that. Why did Sai not appear until the early mid-19th century when he had died no later than the 1180s? Why did he appear again so soon afterward in the late 20th century? Why that particular boy? No clue. There might be more details given in the manga but afaik it just boils down to "It was his first time back since he'd died and he really, really wanted to play Go. ^^;"
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:30 PM   #32
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Not a bad reason at all. I remember Sai saying "God allowed me to haunt Torajirou to allow me to play go again.", but I wasn't completely satisfied with that. Afterall, it seemed that Sai was destined to haunt Hikaru for the better of the Go world, so just "I really wanted to play go." for Torajiro didn't cut it for me. Sai destroyed his own chances at Go during his life, so there had to be a better reason behind him possessing the first person.

However, the reasons you gave would have actually been really good explanations for it. I'm not sure if that's what the writers had in mind, but it certainly wouldn't have been bad if they did.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:42 PM   #33
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Cross-posting this here so it's not lost in the Suggestion Box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisap112 View Post
Started watching Hikaru no Go. Already hooked after one episode: I don't understand a thing about the game itself yet but darn is Sai fun to watch. Though one question:

WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE PURPLE LIPSTICK?! WHY DOES HE HAVE IT?! It's literally THE ONE AND ONLY THING I am bothered by while watching this show.
I speculate it has to do with one or more of the following.

Heian-kyo Feminity: around the time of the Genpei War (circa 1180), there were two major classes of emerging "proto-samurai". The first, the Taira, were a clan who primarily resided in the capital, Heian-kyo (today's Kyoto). The second, the Minamoto, were a clan who primarily resided outside the capital. Amongst many stereotypes each clan had of the other, one stereotype was that the Taira were more effeminate than their Minamoto cousins. This doesn't mean that they were more involved in same-sex relationships or things of that sort. It just means that Taira men, stereotypically, were seen as "girly men" compared with Minamoto men. They talked more politely / less gruffly. They cared more about "girly" hobbies like song, dance, art, and poetry. (This is not to say that Minamoto men didn't care for those things too! Just listing off the stereotypes.) Their women were generally considered to be far fairer and ladylike, the women of the Minamoto considered more "rough 'n' tumble" like the boys. You get the picture. For these reasons, I suspect, the artist may have elected to give Sai purple lipstick as it really, really clearly stands out to modern viewers as something which is effeminate (lipstick) without necessarily being too much so (it's purple, which is a pretty exotic color; it's not like it's lip gloss or red lipstick).

Now, you may be wondering, "Taira? But I thought Sai was a Fujiwara?" Indeed he was. The Fujiwara were the Taira's political predecessors. (In fact, they were the clan that Taira no Kiyomori more or less wrested power from in the 12th century.) But the thing is, they were even MORE notorious for their femininity, not less! Indeed, like I said, the Taira were basically a clan of "proto-samurai" (before there was technically such a thing as samurai in Japan), as were their Minamoto cousins. The Fujiwara were no such thing. The Fujiwara were court nobles through and through. Indeed, the Taira and the Minamoto both were originally branch families who were assigned to be the court's protectors. Why them? Because the Fujiwara were much too busy with courtly matters to be chipping their fingernails.

For what it's worth, this stereotype about Kyoto being an epicenter of femininity in Japan didn't fade away after the Genpei War. In fact, pretty much throughout the remainder of Japanese history -- and into the present day! -- the men and women of Kyoto are considered to be amongst Japan's most feminine. That works very nicely in the ladies' favor! Noooooot so much in the guys'. ^^; By contrast, their neighbors in Osaka are considered the modern stereotype of a gruff, masculine people. This is one reason why girls from Osaka are often depicted as being quite embarrassed by their accent and why they make attempts to hide it. On the flipside, many of modern Japanese's slang elements or corrupted pronunciations derive from the gruff Kansai-ben associated with Osaka. Why? Because teenage boys want to sound cool and macho no matter where they hail from, and what better way to try to sound gruff 'n' tough than to emulate the macho Osakan accent?

Quoting from Wikipedia:
Kyōto-ben (京都弁) or Kyō-kotoba (京言葉) is characterized by softness and an adherence to politeness and indirectness. Kyoto-ben is often regarded as elegant and feminine dialect because of its characters and the image of Gion's geisha (geiko-han and maiko-han in Kyoto-ben), the most conspicuous speakers of traditional Kyoto-ben.
Heian-kyo cosmetic practices: I dunno about lipstick, but I do know that the clans during the Heian-kyo period were known for their unique customs that set them apart from one another, including differences in cosmetics. One of the things the Taira were famous for was staining their teeth black. (This comes up, famously, in one of the chapters of the Tales of the Heike where a Minamoto adult confronts a Taira boy on the beach of a battle near the sea.) Even the Minamoto clansmen back then thought the practice strange, so it's not like this is something that all Japanese men did back then and which only modern people find weird. No, even some of their contemporaries though the practice very strange. ^^; So what does this mean? Well, it means that maybe, just maybe, either:
  1. the Fujiwara were known for purple lipstick and I've just never heard that
  2. the artist is playing on readers' familiarity with these cosmetic differences between the clans and is trying to lend Sai some "Fujiwara flavor" (even if it's not historically accurate) by giving him purple lipstick
Personally, I'd assume it's B. But if it's A, I'm not surprised. I don't claim to be an authority on the habits of Japan's ancient peoples by any means and this is one thing I honestly may have never come across.

One thing to keep in mind, if it is in fact made up by the artist, is that the fuji in Fujiwara represents wisteria, a famously purple flower. That's likely one reason for having the lipstick be purple specifically. Because purple is "a very Fujiwara color" just by name association alone.

Closing comment: You asked about the lipstick, but everything I've written here also applies to Sai's other feminine traits.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:37 PM   #34
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I've forgotten all about HnG. I got pretty damn far in the manga before I stopped picking up Shonen Jump, so I've not only not seen where the plot goes, I've forgotten most of it, too.

Really shocked it has received so much love. I thought it was a splendid manga, but I didn't really see anything "unique" or special about it at the time. I think it's high time I try watching, after all, it's been nearly 8 years since I last laid eyes on the manga...
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:41 AM   #35
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Hikaru no Go is splendid. I've probably read through the manga twice and the anime thrice.

Not likely to do that again anytime soon though...
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:46 PM   #36
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So I finished the anime some time ago and only now get to writing about it. This will be brief.

1. I NEED A SECOND SEASON OF THIS. RIGHT NOW.

2. No reading this one if you haven't finished the show yet!
Spoiler: show
Was disappointed and bored by the last...I think 5-10(?) episodes. Sai was such a big part of the show that when I started seeing episodes without him I was very, very tempted to skip them. HnG without Sai is no HnG to me. *Sai-fangirl*


3. I still can't understand the rules of go. ^^;; Not that that's the main point of the show though, from the looks of it. Think I could get the hang of it if I really paid attention and focused on it, but HnK didn't get me interested in go in the same way as some other sports anime have gotten me interested in the sport (Chihayafuru and karuta, Kuroko no Basuke and basketball, Yowamushi Pedal and cycling, Free! and swimming etc.).

Yeah, that's about it. Sorry, I know you guys were looking forward to my thoughts. But they're just not very much in quantity - Sai makes the show, essentially.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:53 PM   #37
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This is what happens, kids, when you wait three weeks before discussing the 70-episode show you marathoned in just three days. Argh that your post is deceptively short, making it seem like you didn't really care much about the show. Obviously you did since you blazed through it at a rate of like one episode an hour. ^^;

Oh well. Glad you watched it. Gladder you loved it as much as you clearly must have. Thanks for giving us some thoughts, however brief.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:13 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
This is what happens, kids, when you wait three weeks before discussing the 70-episode show you marathoned in just three days. Argh that your post is deceptively short, making it seem like you didn't really care much about the show. Obviously you did since you blazed through it at a rate of like one episode an hour. ^^;

Oh well. Glad you watched it. Gladder you loved it as much as you clearly must have. Thanks for giving us some thoughts, however brief.
Yep, I'm a binger when I find an anime I like. Can't help it! Especially if the show has already aired/has complete seasons.

Oh, there is one episode that kinda weirded me out though! Episode 35.

Spoiler: show
The Korean Go Salon one with tiny Ash Ketchum the Korean little kid go player. The characters go in and immediately look around and start saying something's off about the place. I have no idea what's up, when all of a sudden one of them mentions "they're all Korean ".

What.

Was I supposed to figure that out from the characters' eyes being drawn differently than huge anime eyes usually are? And as far as I know, small eyes in anime tend to be something associated with antagonists or pointless side characters...

Just felt a bit racist, as much as Hikaru was all "WELL I DON'T KNOW EVEN JAPAN'S GO SCENE, HOW WOULD I KNOW ABOUT KOREA?!" about it. But then he went straight for a "Japan's go players are better than yours! :3". I was headdesking so hard at that point. ^^;
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:45 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisap112 View Post
Oh, there is one episode that kinda weirded me out though! Episode 35.

Spoiler: show
The Korean Go Salon one with tiny Ash Ketchum the Korean little kid go player. The characters go in and immediately look around and start saying something's off about the place. I have no idea what's up, when all of a sudden one of them mentions "they're all Korean ".

What.

Was I supposed to figure that out from the characters' eyes being drawn differently than huge anime eyes usually are? And as far as I know, small eyes in anime tend to be something associated with antagonists or pointless side characters...

Just felt a bit racist, as much as Hikaru was all "WELL I DON'T KNOW EVEN JAPAN'S GO SCENE, HOW WOULD I KNOW ABOUT KOREA?!" about it. But then he went straight for a "Japan's go players are better than yours! :3". I was headdesking so hard at that point. ^^;
The thing to keep in mind with ... (Episode 35, I guess; thanks, Kaisa!)

Spoiler: show
The thing to keep in mind with the Koreans is, Hikaru no Go is addressing two rather important elephants in the room with them.

The first is that the Koreans are the world champions at Go. Korean players have consistently won more international titles than any other country's players have for the past several decades. So it would be pretty remiss of Hikaru no Go to try and present Japan as being the be all and end all of professional Go. To do their job properly, they kind of sort of have to introduce the Koreans. Leave them out and it just makes Korean Go players (professionals and amateurs alike) furrow their brows at the manga and ask, "What is this jingoist nonsense? They spend all these chapters talking about Go and not once do they mention us?"

The second is that the Japanese used to be the best in the world at Go. For most of the 19th and 20th centuries, Japan was not only the nation which produced the strongest Go players but it was also the nation which was charting unexplored waters within the game and pushing Go theory to its limit. Go Seigen, considered to be one of the greatest Go players who ever lived and largely considered the #1 Go player in Japan in the early 20th century, is the man responsible for shifting us away from many of the plays favored by Shuusaku in the 19th Century, including the famous shift from playing at 3,4 (komoku) to playing at 4,4 (hoshi) when first laying claim to a corner. But it's been a long time since Japan has produced a Go Seigen -- and that's partly what Hikaru no Go is all about. I'm not entirely sure which came first between the chicken and the egg, but the thing with Hikaru no Go's creation is ...
  • the manga duo wanted to tell an interesting story about a boy who plays Go
  • the Japan Go Association wanted the manga to succeed and spark interest amongst the youth in Go
Did the Japan Go Association approach Hotta and Obata (the writer and the illustrator) first? Or did they approach them only after the manga had already taken off? Did Hotta and Obata care from the start about modern Japanese citizens' lack of interest in Go and set out to fix that? Or did that agenda only arise later, once they were contacted by the Kiin? I don't know. But what I do know is, it didn't take long for the two entities' paths to cross and for the manga duo to earnestly want to popularize Go in the hearts and minds of modern Japanese children. And why did the Kiin share that same agenda? Because Go in Japan has been slowly dying over the past fifty years, that's why. ^^;

So when you put those two factors together -- the manga's need to address Korea's status as the world champions and likewise address Japan's status as the world's washed-up has-beens -- that's why we get the Korean episodes. They also set up very nicely for ...

(Season 3 spoilers; safe to click if you're on the final five episodes, I think?)
Spoiler: show
Isumi's trip to China. Because, in introducing the Koreans, Hikaru no Go also subtly introduces the idea that Japan not only isn't in first place internationally but isn't even in second place. Japan is in third place, behind both Korea (1st) and China (2nd). Establishing this fact then allows the writers to maintain viewers' interest as we follow Isumi to China and watch him grow there. To draw a comparison with Pokémon, Isumi's training in China is sort of like Charizard's training in the Charicific Valley in Johto. (^^; @ analogy) We're interested not only because we have some emotional investment in Isumi as a character but also because we'd like to see him adapt Chinese playing styles and tactics into his own game so that, when he returns to Japan, he demolishes the competition.

While this isn't really a hard and fast rule, I have noticed that some anime (including Hikaru no Go) tend to portray adult Korean males with two facial features that distinguish them from other characters:
  • their eyes tend to be slanted (like Brock's in Pokémon ... not that Brock is Korean ^^; )
  • their faces tend to be sort of long
I think you can see it pretty easily in HnG with Yun-sensei, the coach for Kaioh Junior High's Go Club. Obviously not all of the men in the parlor look like him, but many do. This is something I've seen in a few other places over the years in anime (specifically that they were features given to an ethnically Korean character) but I can't honestly recall any of those cases off the top of my head.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:56 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
The thing to keep in mind with ... (Episode 35, I guess; thanks, Kaisa!)

Spoiler: show
The thing to keep in mind with the Koreans is, Hikaru no Go is addressing two rather important elephants in the room with them.

The first is that the Koreans are the world champions at Go. Korean players have consistently won more international titles than any other country's players have for the past several decades. So it would be pretty remiss of Hikaru no Go to try and present Japan as being the be all and end all of professional Go. To do their job properly, they kind of sort of have to introduce the Koreans. Leave them out and it just makes Korean Go players (professionals and amateurs alike) furrow their brows at the manga and ask, "What is this jingoist nonsense? They spend all these chapters talking about Go and not once do they mention us?"

The second is that the Japanese used to be the best in the world at Go. For most of the 19th and 20th centuries, Japan was not only the nation which produced the strongest Go players but it was also the nation which was charting unexplored waters within the game and pushing Go theory to its limit. Go Seigen, considered to be one of the greatest Go players who ever lived and largely considered the #1 Go player in Japan in the early 20th century, is the man responsible for shifting us away from many of the plays favored by Shuusaku in the 19th Century, including the famous shift from playing at 3,4 (komoku) to playing at 4,4 (hoshi) when first laying claim to a corner. But it's been a long time since Japan has produced a Go Seigen -- and that's partly what Hikaru no Go is all about. I'm not entirely sure which came first between the chicken and the egg, but the thing with Hikaru no Go's creation is ...
  • the manga duo wanted to tell an interesting story about a boy who plays Go
  • the Japan Go Association wanted the manga to succeed and spark interest amongst the youth in Go
Did the Japan Go Association approach Hotta and Obata (the writer and the illustrator) first? Or did they approach them only after the manga had already taken off? Did Hotta and Obata care about modern Japanese citizens' lack of interest in Go and set out to fix that? Or did that agenda only arise later, once they were contacted by the Kiin? I don't know. But what I do know is, it didn't take long for the two entities' paths to cross and for the manga duo to earnestly want to popularize Go in the hearts and minds of modern Japanese children. And why did the Kiin share that same agenda? Because Go in Japan has been slowly dying over the past fifty years, that's why. ^^;

So when you put those two factors together -- the manga's need to address Korea's status as the world champions and likewise address Japan's status as the world's washed-up has-beens -- that's why we get the Korean episodes. They also set up very nicely for ...

(Season 3 spoilers; safe to click if you're on the final five episodes, I think?)
Spoiler: show
Isumi's trip to China. Because, in introducing the Koreans, Hikaru no Go also subtly introduces the idea that Japan not only isn't in first place internationally but isn't even in second place. Japan is in third place, behind both Korea (1st) and China (2nd). Establishing this fact then allows the writers to maintain viewers' interest as we follow Isumi to China and watch him grow there. To draw a comparison with Pokémon, Isumi's training in China is sort of like Charizard's training in the Charicific Valley in Johto. (^^; @ analogy) We're interested not only because we have some emotional investment in Isumi as a character but also because we'd like to see him adapt Chinese playing styles and tactics into his own game so that, when he returns to Japan, he demolishes the competition.

While this isn't really a hard and fast rule, I have noticed that some anime (including Hikaru no Go) tend to portray adult Korean males with two facial features that distinguish them from other characters:
  • their eyes tend to be slanted (like Brock's in Pokémon ... not that Brock is Korean ^^; )
  • their faces tend to be sort of long
I think you can see it pretty easily in HnG with Yun-sensei, the coach for Kaioh Junior High's Go Club. Obviously not all of the men in the parlor look like him, but many do. This is something I've seen in a few other places over the years in anime (specifically that they were features given to an ethnically Korean character) but I can't honestly recall any of those cases off the top of my head.
Spoiler: show
Yes, I understood why the Koreans and Chinese were there. No problem there. ^^; Just strikes a nerve when a Y-character enters a room full of X-type people and goes "I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS " with no other explanation or context to it. I don't know if they could've gone any other way about introducing the Koreans, or maybe I was just the uncultured one and jumped to conclusions too fast, but that part of the scene just irked me to no end.


I'm very hung up on tiny details like that, even if I can completely miss a mediocre animation or "this character looks different in this frame than in the last one". ^^;
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:20 PM   #41
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The cultural equivalent in the United States would have been ...

Spoiler: show
If this were a story about professional billiards, and if some young white boys wandered into a bar in a different part of town than they're used to -- because they heard it on good authority that the bar has awesome billiards players -- only to discover upon arrival that the bar is filled with nothing but blacks.

Is it a bit racist of the boys to go "Uh oh ... " and feel uncomfortable? Sure, you could say that. But you could just as well say, "Uh, no. That's not racist: that's called being smart and applying common sense. -_-;" Because even if the white boys themselves are polite and friendly, there is no guarantee that the black patrons of the bar might not be racist and might not feel like some white fawns just walked into the lion's den. Racism is a sad and ugly part of life but acting like it isn't there or that it's only in our own heads is a bit naive. So like, I can 100% appreciate the boys' reaction in that situation: because if the American analog were to happen to me, I'd be nervous too. Despite having friends of all ethnicities, including a number of best friends for life who have African ancestry.

Not sure if you're aware of this, but Koreans living in Japan are practically second-class citizens. The Japanese people are pretty goddamn racist (a sad, ugly fact I wish weren't true but it is and that's life), and they're the ones who have single-handedly reduced Koreans living in Japan to such a low status in life. So like, it's no small wonder then that some Korean-Japanese might harbor a resentment of ethnic Japanese or that some ethnic Japanese might worry that this would be the case.

Long story short, if worrying that others might be racist against your race in turn makes you a racist, then yes, the scene was racist. But like, seriously ... I would have had the exact same reaction in Hikaru's shoes were it me walking into an all-black bar in a strange part of town I've never been to.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:23 PM   #42
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The first time I ever watched Hikaru no Go, I watched the first fourteen episodes in one 24-hour period of time. (And it was during finals week, to boot. ^^;; ) In what may soon promise to be the fourth time I watch this beloved tale, I've gone and watched the first eleven episodes in one 24-hour period of time.

14. 11. Yep: show's still a 10/10. There aren't many shows that you can watch for the third time less than two years ago, therefore still fresh in memory, and that will still suck you in like a whirlpool like this when you sneak a peek at the first episode after recommending it to someone else.

Part of it, though, I definitely blame on the format in which the story is told: shameless use of hugely effective cliffhangers nearly every single episode.

So yeah. I may or may not be re-watching this series in its entirety. We'll see what happens once I reach the end of Part I.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Today in HnG gushing about the soundtrack: "Kokoro". First plays when Sai gets to play Go for the first time since his previous host passed away. Plays many, many more emotional times after that. As well as (briefly) opening every single episode for an entire season.

Previously gushed about "Mae wo Muite" here and have gushed many, many times about "Tomadoi".

As always, be mindful not to read the comments section on YouTube if you've clicked any of my YouTube links without having watched all of Hikaru no Go first. Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers.
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:01 AM   #43
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You know what scene is actually hilarious?

Spoiler: show
When Hikaru is trying to get into insei school, and he starts playing the academy instructor with a 3 stone handicap. The music and atmosphere is very tense and scary, with Sai lamenting the fact that Hikaru has thrown away his 3 stone advantage, and Hikaru starts beating himself up over the mistakes he's made when it starts to look impossible for him to win the game. He thinks about how he'll never be able to catch up to Touya now that he can't get into the school. When he realizes that he can't win anymore, he hangs his head and looks like he's on the verge of tears ...

Then the instructor says, "Hey, don't get so nervous. You don't actually have to beat me, I'm just assessing your strength."
Hikaru does a facefault and says, "WHAT?! Why didn't you tell me sooner, man?!"
"M-man?!"

What a complete 180 on such an intense and tragic situation LMAO. The show is filled with scenes that I just love, and they aren't even famous moments by any means. I'm sure that most people forgot all about them a few months after completing the show. Another great one is the "black coffee" revelation, where Hikaru finds out that the first board who annihilated him in a Go tournament a little while ago was a laughing stock among the students in the insei school, and Hikaru comes to the realization that he may be in way over his head ...


Is Hikaru no Go the most underrated anime ever? I NEVER hear people give it high praise like we do. Sure, you can argue that something like Kaiji is underrated, and it is, but at least it has a strong cult following, and the few people that HAVE seen it tend to have very good things to say about it. HnG on the other hand? Never talked about or listed on people's all time favourite lists outside of this board. The only reason why I checked it out at all was because of a joint recommendation from Talon and another guy at another message board I go to. Come to think of it, I would describe this other guy as being very "Talon-like." Intellectual, math nerd, lover of long winded debates, vocal atheist, anime fan, Nodame Cantabile fan, Three Kingdoms fan, Go fan. In fact I played him in Go a few times over Yahoo and I would assess his strength as being exactly the same as Talon's.
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Old 03-05-2015, 06:05 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcsweeney View Post
You know what scene is actually hilarious?

Spoiler: show
When Hikaru is trying to get into insei school, and he starts playing the academy instructor with a 3 stone handicap. The music and atmosphere is very tense and scary, with Sai lamenting the fact that Hikaru has thrown away his 3 stone advantage, and Hikaru starts beating himself up over the mistakes he's made when it starts to look impossible for him to win the game. He thinks about how he'll never be able to catch up to Touya now that he can't get into the school. When he realizes that he can't win anymore, he hangs his head and looks like he's on the verge of tears ...

Then the instructor says, "Hey, don't get so nervous. You don't actually have to beat me, I'm just assessing your strength."
Hikaru does a facefault and says, "WHAT?! Why didn't you tell me sooner, man?!"
"M-man?!"

What a complete 180 on such an intense and tragic situation LMAO. The show is filled with scenes that I just love, and they aren't even famous moments by any means. I'm sure that most people forgot all about them a few months after completing the show. Another great one is the "black coffee" revelation, where Hikaru finds out that the first board who annihilated him in a Go tournament a little while ago was a laughing stock among the students in the insei school, and Hikaru comes to the realization that he may be in way over his head ...
Glad I just so happened to watch that very episode (22 or 23) this morning before heading out! Because this was indeed one of the scenes you've described -- good but not commonly talked about -- and I had forgotten it as a result. Obviously I couldn't forget the final outcome for Hikaru in that scene -- to forget that would be to forget the entirety of Season 2! -- but I did forget the specific bits you've so perfectly summarized, and so it was fun -- even if only modest, small fun -- to get to rediscover that scene as though watching it for the first time.

On that note, status update: currently through 22 or 23, whichever of the two it is that has that scene in it.

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Originally Posted by Mcsweeney View Post
Is Hikaru no Go the most underrated anime ever? I NEVER hear people give it high praise like we do. Sure, you can argue that something like Kaiji is underrated, and it is, but at least it has a strong cult following, and the few people that HAVE seen it tend to have very good things to say about it. HnG on the other hand? Never talked about or listed on people's all time favourite lists outside of this board. The only reason why I checked it out at all was because of a joint recommendation from Talon and another guy at another message board I go to. Come to think of it, I would describe this other guy as being very "Talon-like." Intellectual, math nerd, lover of long winded debates, vocal atheist, anime fan, Nodame Cantabile fan, Three Kingdoms fan, Go fan. In fact I played him in Go a few times over Yahoo and I would assess his strength as being exactly the same as Talon's.
Maybe this is a sai moment. ;o (Referring to Episode 15's development.)

I don't think Hikaru no Go is underrated. I do think it's underviewed though. (Semantics! ^^; ) Everyone who's seen it, minus maybe Yuki (I forget if she ever even started this one), has devoured it in a matter of days and rated it an 8, 9, or 10. Yeah, there might be something to be said for UPN-Anime being a nucleus of individuals predisposed to loving HnG, but I actually discovered HnG myself from one of AnimeNewsNetwork's editors. He'd indicated it as one of the best animes of all time, I was interested, and I kept hearing other people in unrelated spheres (college friends, college clubmates, people on other forums) mention how good it was too. So I ended up finally checking it out December of (iirc) 2005. And man oh man did I love it.

There are several reasons I can think of why Hikaru no Go is less read/viewed than its Shounen Jump brethren like Naruto, Bleach, and DragonBall.

1. For starters, HnG is a spectacular drama set in the real world. With the exception of Sai, nothing supernatural takes place whatsoever. So for children wowed by Hunter x Hunter's and Naruto's flashy fare, HnG might seem dull. There is no chakra here, no Rasengans or Chidoris. There's no Nen, no Jajankens or Bungee Gums. There are no talking animals, no cursed weapons, no threats against all life on Earth as we know it. Oh, there's tons of drama, to be sure! But it's all within the confines of reality. Minus the ghost, of course. Minus the ghost so core to the story.

2. And I did say it's a drama -- most shounen stories that become playground popular are action stories. Naruto, Bleach, One Piece ... Sure, they have dramatic elements too, but at the end of the day they are action series with karate chops and energy-infused punches. Hikaru no Go's protagonist is a boy who wants to master "Othello-Chess." Its antagonists are all children and adults who are "really, really good at Othello-Chess." The drama is so much richer, but the action is only as exciting as a game of Go. Granted, we might find games of Go exciting, but that's only because we know what we're looking at and we respect, even revere the legends of Go.

3. The anime's animation is super old-looking and low budget-looking. Studio Pierrot did a marvelous job with the project, but it's hard to deny that superficially it looks like it bears more in common with the '90s than with the '00s.

4. It's old and therefore not hot. This wouldn't explain the lack of a larger fanbase back in the day, but you have to keep in mind that getting kids today to watch Hikaru no Go is getting them to agree to watch an anime that is fourteen years old. We have members on UPN not even that old. A lot of kids only watch what's hot. And the hot animes of the day, the Narutos excepted, are usually either currently airing or else less than two years old. SAO, Log Horizon, Attack on Titan, kids are watching shows like these. They're no more watching HnG than they are Tenchi Muyo, The Twelve Kingdoms, or Princess Tutu.
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:13 PM   #45
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The anime reminds me that my last opportunity to take the Pro Exam either:

1) was last summer at age 29. This summer at age 30, I'll no longer be eligible. :')

2) is this summer at age 30. But seeing as how I'm nowhere near good enough at Go right now to make it in time for summer ... :')

Either way, the door's closed on my chance at being a Japanese government-paid Go player. If I want to play with the pros, I'll just have to settle for becoming a really renowned amateur.

...

... That moment when you realize you are older than Tsubaki-kun. orz Goddamn. It's been ten years since I first saw this anime, how the time flies ...
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:26 PM   #46
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It's true that the story enjoyed some popularity about ten years ago; it was popular enough to warrant an official English localization after all. I should rephrase it as HnG being the worst victim of being forgotten by time. Compare it to another sports anime, Hajime no Ippo, which is roughly the same age but still enjoys a lot of popularity and buzz today. It's a much easier sell since it's about boxing, fighting, COMBAT!! A show about a kid playing some ancient board game that they've never heard of? Ain't nobody got time for that!

The "black coffee" scene reminded me of an incident that I myself experienced, and talked about in the Starcraft II thread. My ultimate goal was to make the Master League so that I could finally retire and quit wasting so much time playing the game. I was really close to making it when Master League was first introduced, but when I stopped playing for a year and then started again, the game had experienced an inflation in the level of skill relative to each league. Diamond League was now as hard to make as Master League was a year ago. This fact was made very apparent when it took me about a month of struggling just to make Diamond League again, despite my skill level being way higher than it was a year ago.

After beating one guy who was in Diamond, I took a look at his profile and saw that he was an ex GRANDMASTER LEAGUE (the highest level) player a year ago! This meant that even an ex Grandmaster League player was now struggling to make Master League. At that moment I said to myself: What will I have to do in order to make Master League, and am I willing to do that? The answer was, no, so I said ... I'm done. I quit SC2 on that very day. I wasn't willing to put in the effort and time necessary just so I could say I made Master League. After having my black coffee revelation, instead of electing to stay in insei school like Hikaru did, I chose to drop out.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:39 PM   #47
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Did a Tumblr search for hikaru no go for amusement's sake. The best finds sorted by category:

Akira and Hikaru are gay: funny comic, sweet comic, funny thing I saw on Imgur once before, Touya Meijin weighs in

New fans bummed out they missed the hype train: Akira x Hikaru shipping fanart, shoutout into the vacuum of space

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It's true that the story enjoyed some popularity about ten years ago; it was popular enough to warrant an official English localization after all. I should rephrase it as HnG being the worst victim of being forgotten by time. Compare it to another sports anime, Hajime no Ippo, which is roughly the same age but still enjoys a lot of popularity and buzz today. It's a much easier sell since it's about boxing, fighting, COMBAT!! A show about a kid playing some ancient board game that they've never heard of? Ain't nobody got time for that!
Wait, what? Do people ten years younger than us really still watch and discuss Hajime no Ippo? O_o I mean, I've not seen it so I can't fairly judge it too harshly, but like ... that to me feels like the archetypal example of a sports anime that's been completely forgotten. That or the basketball one whose name I always forget. (Slam Dunk, was it?)

Quote:
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The "black coffee" scene reminded me of an incident that I myself experienced, and talked about in the Starcraft II thread. My ultimate goal was to make the Master League so that I could finally retire and quit wasting so much time playing the game. I was really close to making it when Master League was first introduced, but when I stopped playing for a year and then started again, the game had experienced an inflation in the level of skill relative to each league. Diamond League was now as hard to make as Master League was a year ago. This fact was made very apparent when it took me about a month of struggling just to make Diamond League again, despite my skill level being way higher than it was a year ago.

After beating one guy who was in Diamond, I took a look at his profile and saw that he was an ex GRANDMASTER LEAGUE (the highest level) player a year ago! This meant that even an ex Grandmaster League player was now struggling to make Master League. At that moment I said to myself: What will I have to do in order to make Master League, and am I willing to do that? The answer was, no, so I said ... I'm done. I quit SC2 on that very day. I wasn't willing to put in the effort and time necessary just so I could say I made Master League. After having my black coffee revelation, instead of electing to stay in insei school like Hikaru did, I chose to drop out.
I think we all have moments in our lives where we made the Hikaru choice and that we all have moments where we made the Kishimoto choice. (Kishimoto iirc is the name of Kaiou's Go Club president.) We simply do not have enough time in out lives to make the Hikaru choice for every last one of our interests.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:46 PM   #48
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Wait, what? Do people ten years younger than us really still watch and discuss Hajime no Ippo? O_o I mean, I've not seen it so I can't fairly judge it too harshly, but like ... that to me feels like the archetypal example of a sports anime that's been completely forgotten. That or the basketball one whose name I always forget. (Slam Dunk, was it?)
I've heard of it, and I know Apollo's only a year or so older than me and is a fan of Hajime no Ippo. And yeah, fairly confident the basketball one's name is Slam Dunk or something close to it.
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:06 AM   #49
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Yep, I still see people talking about Ippo all the time, although it might have something to do with the fact that the manga is still ongoing and there have been some new anime series recently released as well (by the sounds of it though the original series was the best one. It's still on my list of things I want to watch). I also see Slam Dunk mentioned from time to time. You can see how it really helps for a show to be about a sport that people in the West are familiar with. "Hey an anime about basketball, I gotta check this out!" That simply can't happen with Go.

I'm sure that a number of people downloaded Akagi just because they're curious to see how they made a show about "That computer game where you match two identical tiles on the ends until you've gotten rid of the whole pile."
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:38 PM   #50
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Is Hikaru no Go the most underrated anime ever? I NEVER hear people give it high praise like we do. Sure, you can argue that something like Kaiji is underrated, and it is, but at least it has a strong cult following, and the few people that HAVE seen it tend to have very good things to say about it. HnG on the other hand? Never talked about or listed on people's all time favourite lists outside of this board.











Screencaps from the comments sections of several HnG soundtrack uploads on YouTube. I think it's safe to say that it isn't only UPN that rates HnG highly.



If this doesn't motivate folks lurking this thread to go and watch Hikaru no Go, I don't know what will!
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