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Old 03-06-2015, 05:12 PM   #51
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That's good to see indeed, although going into the comments section for an HnG music track is kinda cheating because die hard fans tend to congregate in there! I'm sure that if you looked up some Naruto soundtrack videos you'd see a bunch of people raving, "OMG, NARUTO! NARUTO IS THE BEE'S KNEES!"
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:45 PM   #52
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Haha, true, true! But! The point still stands that we aren't the only ones who use the M word when discussing Hikaru no Go -- or vice versa that we aren't the only ones who identify Hikaru no Go when asked to name the greatest animes of all time.

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

It's not flawless though. I think it's important to recognize that. Nothing/Few things in life are perfect, and Hikaru no Go isn't one of them. (Spoilers follow in every spoiler box.)

Spoiler: show
One thing specific to the anime that is particularly disappointing is the ending: while the television series does end in an acceptable place, it's not an ideal place. The ending feels premature, sudden, "Wait a minute, done already?" You really want to see Hikaru interact with Akira more now that he's back from his tour around the country looking for Sai, but you only get the bare bones necessary for "closure."

While the OAV should've patched that hole, it ends prematurely too! We're told of a big tournament, get to see all of the calm-before-the-storm plot points ... and then that's it, poof, gone, an unceremoniously abrupt end to the anime project.

There's no denying the existence of filler episodes in Season 3. (The water-magic porcelain one at the very least ...) That's another strike against the series' claim to perfection.

The story never (or, if I'm forgetting, rarely):

Spoiler: show
touches on Go Seigen. If we were to point to one man and claim, "Him! He's the one who rendered Shuusaku's moves obsolete!" then Go Seigen would be that man. The story is so focused on 19th Century meets late 20th Century that it completely misses the major players of the early 20th Century, the very men who inherited Shuusaku's Go and revolutionized it.

I'm not asking for Go Seigen to show up as a ghost haunting another boy. (Kind of hard to do when he's still alive! ^^; ) And I appreciate the sensitive nature of Go Seigen's retirement, how it was easier for Hotta Yumi to invent the character of Touya Meijin rather than borrow Go Seigen's likeness while having him still be a title-holding active player. But I do think it's an arguable failing of the story to never have Sai, on screen, question who it was exactly who concluded that 3-4 was too weak and that 4-4 was not too bold, that the center held value neglected by players in centuries past, etc.

It's not perfect ... but it's definitely a masterpiece.

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

Currently only halfway through Episode 25. Probably won't get to watch much more today. But that doesn't mean I don't want to! Rediscovering this tale is such a pleasure.
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:53 PM   #53
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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 think one of the Drama AMVs at Animé Boston last year was from Hajime no Ippo (although it definitely seemed more like Action). ...Now I'm imagining if someone tried to make a Hikaru no Go AMV and submitted it. Like Mcsweeney said it's probably harder to sell since it's about children playing board games. (Although there was a Chihayafuru AMV in the Romance category... Which wasn't really Romance either but still well done.) Honestly one of the things I do like about Animé/AMVs is that they can make interesting stories out of the most mundane subjects. Still impressed by that Princess Tutu video that made ballet look freakin' epic.

...I should probably finish this show sometime, shouldn't I. *shot*
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:04 PM   #54
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Did you read the manga? It goes past the TV series and OAV. Hikaru and Touya play in a Japan vs China vs Korea tournament. It's okay but nothing special. There's also some other stuff in the manga like Nase (minor character in insei school) going on a date with some dude. The manga is decent enough but it's just not the same without the WOOOOOSH sound effects when people slam down stones with lines flying in the background and epic music playing.

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I'm not asking for Go Seigen to show up as a ghost haunting another boy. (Kind of hard to do when he's still alive! ^^; )
Unfortunately Go Seigen died a few months ago at the age of 100. On the plus side it's the perfect time for a Hikaru no Go sequel!
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:11 PM   #55
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The manga is decent enough but it's just not the same without the WOOOOOSH sound effects when people slam down stones with lines flying in the background and epic music playing.
I'm having a similar sort of experience with School Rumble. The manga reads very swiftly compared with the anime. A gap of seconds between cels in the manga becomes minutes in the anime. And there is much necessary padding in the anime, as in the manga things jump from A to B far too quickly to work in a televised format. From a saving time perspective, you could argue this as a huge boon of the manga over the anime. "The anime is wasting your time with padding!" "The anime takes 25 minutes to convey what the manga does in only 5!" But the truth of the matter is, the anime's presentation is just so much better. The gaps really help, especially because most manga I am accustomed to reading do not read the way that a Kobayashi Jin manga -- ideally -- reads. The way Jin has written School Rumble, you can tell that he wanted the reader -- nay, expected the reader -- to consume every last little crumb. Every tiny italicized comment hanging diagonally over someone's chibi head, every sound effect, every corner of every cel ... he expected you to take it all in before you'd move on. But that's simply not how we read. Or at least, it isn't how I read. Not like that. That's too halting. But with anime, where the halting is not only forced upon you but is done in a very natural sense, with dialogue and bodily motions to fill in the gaps, it just works wonderfully well. Add to it the colors and voices and you just have the perfect upgrade over an otherwise okay manga. (Great potential hidden beneath a veneer of mediocre drawings and cel flow.)

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Unfortunately Go Seigen died a few months ago at the age of 100.
Oh no!

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On the plus side it's the perfect time for a Hikaru no Go sequel!
I think you want this address.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:06 PM   #56
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On the topic of manga vs. anime ... one of my favorite scenes, now in manga form! I've plugged it several times in this thread and others in the form of YouTube links, but this is the very first time I'm seeing it how it originally was in the manga.

Spoiler: show
MAJOR spoilers for the series! Do not click unless you are through, like, I wanna say Episode 64 of the TV show. But because I am too lazy to confirm when the scene happens, best to just sit this one out until you finish the entire TV series.

Spoiler: show







It's great here too , but it's so much better in the show, I feel. The use of sound (and silence!) in the show really elevates the scene to the next level, and Kawakami Tomoko's performance as Hikaru is exceptional. The instinct to read quickly is just too strong, and it ruins the pacing of the scene as a result.
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Old 03-07-2015, 02:48 AM   #57
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Major spoilers for show, including for the end of the manga which goes past the show (not sure if you've read it or have any intention of reading it).

Spoiler: show
I didn't read the entire manga, but I did check out some scenes myself to see how they stacked up to the anime versions. The Touya Meijin vs Sai match in particular. Just like you said about the scene where Hikaru begs for Sai to come back, it was still pretty damn great in manga form, but even better in the anime.

The manga end was a disappointing and anti climactic ending to the story for sure. It had potential too, with Hikaru and Touya going to a big international tournament to represent Japan. I don't remember much of what happened actually. We had better drama with the little middle school tournament where everyone inexplicably started crying at the end of it l0l.

Somebody said that the reason why the author stopped the story so suddenly is because Koreans complained about their portrayal as evil douchebags, but I have my doubts about this being true. Probably just a made up rumour.


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Honestly one of the things I do like about Animé/AMVs is that they can make interesting stories out of the most mundane subjects. Still impressed by that Princess Tutu video that made ballet look freakin' epic.
Make no mistake though, it's not just the AMV, Princess Tutu IS epic! It's a legit 9/10 show.
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...I should probably finish this show sometime, shouldn't I. *shot*
How far did you get? Did it not grab your interest or were you liking it and just never got around to finishing it? Would the prospect of supposed gay yaoi undertones be encouraging or are you not one of those gals?
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Old 03-07-2015, 04:53 PM   #58
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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 hate to be a spoil-sport, but Ippo ended. Fairly recently I might add, and in rather depressing form. If you are a baseball fan, I feel like it's a really sobering ending. But I can just imagine everyone else being crushed by it
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Old 03-07-2015, 09:20 PM   #59
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Two kinds of people.
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:18 AM   #60
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Through Episode 34. But spoilers through the end of the series + OAVs.

Spoiler: show
I always forget how short Part I is and how long Part II is, but it's a pleasant surprise that I get to spend so much time with our Part II friends and so I don't mind. I guess it can be chalked up to the fact that I divide the story up into three parts and that, with the passage of time, it's natural for my memory to just assume/fill in the blanks that the parts are of roughly equal size. To be fair, everything from Hikaru discovering Internet Go on until he becomes an insei is what I consider to be "Part II - Prologue" but that I could see many other people considering either "Intermission" or "Part I - Epilogue." I mean, if you were to go strictly by "trololol, OP credits changes is what decides when we've left one part and entered another" then you wouldn't even consider Part I to be over until Episode 30! (Which, as I'm noting, is laughably ridiculous. We're in the smack dab center of a plot thread when the OP changes and are already knee deep in Insei Arc territory by that point in time as well.)

Nase is ridiculous eye candy. It's easy to understand why fans care (or want to care) about such a relatively minor character. You don't see anyone raising so much fuss over Honda or the tall, thin glasses guy with the dusty gray hair! Fuku is likeable, Ochi is detestable, Waya and Isumi are mains ... and then there's Nase, who's the Token Girl Insei. And she's cute to boot.

Rewatching the show older than all of the students taking the Pro Exam sure does feel different from when I was only 20 years old and watching it. Back then I could relate more to Isumi; now, I can't even relate to Tsubaki, I'm so old. Kadowaki (the red-haired expert amateur with the enormous nose; the one who returns next year and becomes a licensed pro alongside Isumi) and the gross-looking, nameless otaku dude who Hikaru spies on Day 1 of the preliminaries ... both of them are pushing the envelope of eligibility, with Kadowaki iirc being confirmed to be 28 and the wota looking like he's 45 but clearly having to be sub-30 or he couldn't sit the exam. I can't really relate to either, though, since the wota just no thanks ^^; and Kadowaki I'm obviously not anywhere near as good at Go as he is. (Then again, I'm not nearly good enough to pass the prelims either, so I guess it's a moot point that Tsubaki is years younger than me now ... )


I've just learned that in 2012 the American Go Association (AGA) teamed up with the Korea Baduk Association to promote an official American professional system. :o Apparently it's open to both Americans and Canadians (w007) but, in addition to having to be really really good at the game , you've also got to be recognized in the community -- so much so that you earn the special invite to take the licensing test. That's right: it's by invitation only.

Here are the details for the 2014 AGA Pro Exam. From what I can see in the rules, there aren't any limits on age like there are in East Asian countries. This may change after a few decades; they may simply feel bad for all of the 30+ Americans right now who had dreamed of becoming pro but couldn't justify relocating to East Asia to do it. Nonetheless, for right now all I see as requirements are that 1) you have US or Canadian citizenship and 2) you qualify for invitation. (And yes, I realize that within that qualification could be the age thing. But I don't see any mention of that anywhere, so ... :o )

Looks like last year it was a Canadian, Ryan Li, who won 1st place and thus became an AGA-certified professional. Also looks like only one person can become a pro in this fashion each year: they've set it up as a tournament, and the grand prize is getting your pro license.

Since they are doing this in cooperation with the KBA, I do wonder if Korea's professional circuit recognizes AGA pro certificates as legitimate and would allow our pros to play in any Korean-hosted international events intended for pros only.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:21 AM   #61
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Another underrated moment that I really like:

Spoiler: show
After the old guy in the Go parlour hustles Mitani out of 1,000 yen, Hikaru challenges him to a game to get the money back. When he asks Hikaru how strong he is, he replies, "As strong as Honinbo Shuusaku!" the guy laughs uproariously and they begin the game. After resigning soon afterward, the dude is just left staring at the board with jaw agape, stuttering, "H-H-HONINBO ... SHUUSAKU!"

Similarly, in insei school when Hikaru lets Sai play the big nose strong amateur player. After big nose loses, Hikaru tries to scurry out of there but he demands to know, "How long have you been playing?!" Hikaru stops, then he and Sai turn around, give the thumbs up and say, "A thousand years!"


Man, so good! I could watch an unlimited amount of scenes of Sai beating the crap out of unsuspecting people. The inclusion of Sai is such a fascinating aspect of the show, because it changes the standard sports anime premise of, "Young kid takes up new sport and attempts to climb his way to the top." Sure, the real Hikaru is trying to learn the game and get good at it, but with Sai he already IS at the top and he gets to go around blowing people's minds. It's also a premise that takes unique advantage of Go, because it wouldn't work with any other sport. It would be all well and good for some aspiring boxer in junior high to be possessed by the ghost of Muhammad Ali, but he still wouldn't be some 6'3" 215 pound man.

Although he'd still be able to pull some pretty sweet moves ...



On the subject of Nase, I actually got curious a long time ago and looked up Hikaru no Go hentai (NSFW). As you'd expect, the ratio is similar to Free!: ten yaoi doujins for every one hetero doujin.

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Since they are doing this in cooperation with the KBA, I do wonder if Korea's professional circuit recognizes AGA pro certificates as legitimate and would allow our pros to play in any Korean-hosted international events intended for pros only.
In some international tournaments, they invite the usual top asian pros to seed some of the spots, and then reserve other spots for winners of tournaments in other regions. Most notably, there was the miraculous case of Argentinian amateur player Fernando Aguilar who entered an international tournament and managed to score shocking upset victories against TWO Japanese 9 dan pros.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:16 AM   #62
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I had never heard of Mr. Aguilar before now. Clicked your link, read the entire article, and found this especially interesting in the context of Hikaru no Go:

Quote:
Arno: I talked to Fernando the other day and he said that the key to his improvement was studying books and playing international tournaments. He said that it is essential to play tournaments in order to become stronger, as only there everyone is trying to give his/her best.
In Hikaru no Go, Touya Akira is forbidden from entering amateur Go tournaments by his father, Touya Meijin. The Meijin explains it like this: if he were to allow Akira, who is already hovering around 1p strength, to enter amateur tournaments, "it would be like cutting off a bud before it blossoms," i.e. they would risk discouraging a really good amateur Go player from continuing to play Go by handing him 2nd place and the unintended message, "You're not good enough to win a children's tournament, so don't even think about trying to go pro." The Meijin, truly a lover of Go, doesn't want to crush anyone's hopes or dreams like this. He wants to cultivate as much talent in the Go world as possible. So he forbids his son from playing in amateur tournaments, even though -- according to Fernando Aguilar -- this in itself might be said to limit Touya's growth as a player.

Likewise, in both Hikaru no Go as well as in real life, inseis are forbidden from taking part in amateur tournaments. Again, this may be being done with the amateurs' interests at heart, but going by Aguilar's philosophy it is theoretically damaging to the inseis who only get to partake in one serious tournament -- the Pro Exam -- each year. (Not counting the Wakajishisen / Young Lions Tournament since the inseis are typically no match for the pros. Even if I do count it, that's two: two tournaments a year.)

Now look at Hikaru. While admittedly he only partakes in one tournament each year himself at the start of the story -- the annual high school Go tournament -- we observe that not only he but Tsutsui and Mitani as well grow as players from the intense experience and the lead-up to it.

So one might say that, curiously, if Aguilar's thinking is correct then the Japan Go Association's policy forbidding serious students from participating in external tournaments hampers their growth.

Rebuttal time though. And this grabs too much from Part II spoilers, so into the spoiler box it goes.

Spoiler: show
In Hikaru no Go's first part, Hikaru only participates in one tournament each year. This is strictly worse than the inseis and even if we only count the Pro Exam it still only ties them in terms of tournament experience count. Hikaru does still display growth during this time period, but the bulk of it comes from:
  • playing games as Sai, which is functionally akin to busting out old kifu of Honinbou Shuusaku's and playing through the games. In both cases, it's like tracing in drawing. You're "tracing over" the expert's moves and trying to understand why he played where he played when he played there.
  • playing against against Tsutsui and Mitani in the Go Club room, which is equivalent to playing casual games with friends
  • going to the Go school and listening to lectures given by Morishita-9p's disciple, which is exactly what it says it is: listening to lectures given by a pro
Then, in Part II, Hikaru displays the greatest growth of his career thus far, catapulting from around 18kyu or so when the second high school tournament starts all the way up to 1p in about a year and a half. And where does the bulk of that growth come from? Not from tournaments! The tournaments are where he gets to demonstrate what he's learned. But it's the following factors which resulted in his greatest growth as a player:
  • playing games at home with Sai, which is akin to becoming a 9p's student and attending study seasons with him. Two better, in fact! As one, Hikaru has the very best pro for his teacher; and two, he gets 24-hour access to him including 1-on-1 games played daily. Waya doesn't have this with Morishita-sensei. He gets to go to class once a week, and there he has to politely sit and observe while Morishita-sensei goes over his pro disciples' games.
  • playing games at the Go salons, which is akin to playing against 1d to 9d amateurs (if we hold that 9d < 1p; otherwise, we can say it's akin to playing against players one to nine ranks below pro)
  • playing games in which he must force ties
  • playing multiple boards at once
Hotta Yumi doesn't really depict Hikaru as having grown from the Wakajishisen; and insofar as she depicts him growing acutely from the Pro Exam, it's only by the one rank separating amateurs from pros.

All of this, if taken to be authoritatively true on how best to grow as a Go player, seems to rebut Mr. Aguilar's position that tournament participation is crucial to growth. It seems to back up the JGA's position that inseis should not participate in amateur tournaments. It suggests a course of study for anyone wanting to go pro which largely requires playing many games, getting a pro sensei, and pushing yourself to the limit.

I don't think Aguilar is necessarily wrong. And in fact, I don't think the JGA or Hotta Yumi would say he is wrong either. I think the common threads between his advice and the JGA's prescribed course for aspiring pros are:
  1. Play games with the conviction that they matter.
  2. Play games against strong players.
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:25 PM   #63
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I think that Touya Meijin forbid Akira from playing in amateur tournaments for reasons that were more selfish than he let on. It's because it would have been a complete waste of time for Akira and detrimental to his skill development, not for the sake of protecting the poor egos of the other children. He was better served to play games with his father and other strong pros. What's the point of playing in a tournament where everyone is giving it their best when he's way above all of them in skill level? What could he possibly learn? When I played Go with my old roommate and online friends who were a lot worse than me, I often made moves that I knew I could never get away with if I was playing someone who was of equal skill. I'd invade a section of the board that had tons of enemy stones because I knew that I could just overpower them and win all the fights. I didn't feel like I had to play smart joseki and be on top of things in order to win, so this was detrimental to my skill development. Starcraft II same deal.

I think the other kids in the tournament could benefit from playing Akira, especially if he reviewed the game with them afterwards and said, "You know when you played this move? You should have done this instead." Any time someone has a chance to play someone of superior skill level they should take it. This has its limits though. When I was a complete newb at Go, I went to Yahoo which doesn't have a matchmaking system like KGS, and just wanted to play other newbs in the Beginner's Lounge. For some retarded reason though, strong players constantly hang around the Beginner's Lounge so it was nearly impossible to find a game with another newb, it was so frustating. I couldn't learn anything from these defeats because I was too underdeveloped to understand anything about Go theory, and it's not like they offered to teach me how to play properly. They'd just destroy me, sometimes trash talk my skill and then leave. I truly had to learn the game through the school of hard knocks. Once I found KGS things got so much better.

I found a $100,000 Go board on Amazon. lol, the reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Lifetime-.../dp/B00CQZ8D8I
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:34 PM   #64
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See, I originally thought it was mostly the theory you're advancing, but on this rewatch I was really struck by the analogy he uses of "cutting off a bud before it blossoms." Who is the bud Touya Meijin is referring to? The mind defaults to Akira, since Akira is one half of the topic of conversation, but it doesn't really make that much sense to be him, does it? I mean, Akira's already largely blossomed by this point -- not fully, no, but he'll be taking the exam in the relatively near future, everyone knows it -- and even insofar as he has not yet blossomed and is still a bud, how does letting him gallivant about in amateur tournaments risk damaging his full potential? I get what you're saying, that a strong player thrown into weak waters might form bad habits, but I dunno ... ... it just made a lot more sense to me, once I made the corrected assumption, to assume that the Meijin was referring to the other children in the tournaments as buds waiting to blossom. That makes so much more sense. Especially in the context of ...

Spoiler: show
... Part I of the story, wherein we see Hikaru brandishing Sai willy nilly and either:
  1. crushing people's aspirations of becoming a great Go player (e.g. the Kaze Jr. High student who lost to frickin' 3rd board like that)
  2. reaffirming the decision to abandon a career in Go by those who did so (e.g. Kaga, who specifically remarks in one episode after witnessing great strength displayed by another player that he was right to give up on Go)
While there's something to be said for the argument that "If it hadn't've been Hikaru-Sai, it would've been someone else some tournament down the road who crushed this kid's spirit and shattered his dreams of turning pro," the fact still remains that Hikaru-Sai is the acute culprit. We witness it firsthand. And so it makes sense, in this context, that the Meijin would specifically want to avoid this problem. The series ultimately reveals that the Meijin, while stern, is a kind man with a genuine passion for Go. It makes sense to me that he might not be quite so selfish as you suppose him to be ...

... though, as I opened, it makes sense to me that he might be too. :\ ^^; Who knows.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:21 PM   #65
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Forgot to reply to this:

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Make no mistake though, it's not just the AMV, Princess Tutu IS epic! It's a legit 9/10 show.
I did watch it as a result, it is pretty great.

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How far did you get? Did it not grab your interest or were you liking it and just never got around to finishing it? Would the prospect of supposed gay yaoi undertones be encouraging or are you not one of those gals?
Um, I think I stopped right after they reached high school? I don't remember a lot at this point, think I was enjoying it but it seemed like a good place to take a break and then I just never went back to it lol. I plan to pick it up again at some point. (Not for the yaoi, although it wouldn't hurt.)
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:48 AM   #66
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You know whose bud was actually in danger of being cut off before it blossomed?

Spoiler: show
Big nose dude, when he played Sai in the scene I described a few posts back. Just imagine being a very strong 26 year old Go player who has won several amateur tournaments, then you go and play some random kid in insei school who's more than 10 years younger than yourself and get your ass kicked. Thankfully, it didn't depress him, he just decided to not take the pro exam and rework his game for a year. If that was me I probably would have just said to hell with this and quit Go lol.

Come to think of it, even Hikaru beating Akira at the very start of the show could have crushed his spirit. This child prodigy who is just as good as pro players is suddenly demolished by this other kid who he's never heard of before and holds his stone like a beginner. What's more, he appears to be a complete buffoon who doesn't take Go seriously and just wants to casually win a title or two for the money before quitting. Can you blame him for being totally confused by the situation and developing an obsession with this other kid? This is why I honestly never saw any evidence of gayness in the show, Akira's fixation on Hikaru was totally justified. I didn't even think about gayness until I read about it from the fandom. Maybe I'm just dense because I never saw it in Madoka Magica either.

The one I feel sorry for is Akari. The whole thing with her asking Hikaru to go with her to the cultural festival was so cute, but Hikaru displayed Ash Ketchum levels of density. Sai even said to him, "Hikaru, have you ever thought that maybe she likes you?" the only real evidence I can find of Hikaru being gay is him ignoring that hot piece of ass who clearly wanted him!
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Old 03-12-2015, 03:38 AM   #67
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OH BY THE WAY, what do you think about that MILFy lady who worked the front desk of the Go salon? She seemed to have a ped-on for Akira, always blushing around him and stuff. When she insisted that Hikaru pay before entering, Akira asked her to let him in for free, and she like moaned and said, "Anything for Akira-kun! ^_^" I also recall a scene where she drove him around in her car, and dropped him off at school in front of a bunch of schoolboys, who all had this jealous look on their faces like the two just got finished banging.
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:47 AM   #68
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She definitely fancies Akira. Now whether "fancies" means "has a mild shota crush on him," "has a raging shota crush on him," or "thinks of him as a totes adorbs little boy and wants to dote on him because he's so adorable," I think the story makes unclear. In the manga it's probably a lot easier to argue for that last point of view, but in the anime I think you're right that her vocals suggest something a liiiiiiiiiiiiiittle more shotaconny. She never feels like a scary dangerous child predator or anything, but in hindsight it is pretty funny how her actions occasionally line up with those of a child predator. (Notably the chauffeur scene[s].)
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:14 AM   #69
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Wow, I tracked down the chauffeur scene and it's even more blatant than I remembered. She picks him up in her car and says, "You promised to tutor me today Akira! I'll feed you coffee and cake ^_~ (yes she actually winks at him)." Coffee and cake, more like beer and roofies!

LORD is the dub ever bad, I had to check it out on YouTube. I'm honestly very tolerant of dubs but this is just too much. Akira sounds like a goofy 30 year old man ... which makes sense because that's probably who they got to play him :\
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:48 AM   #70
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Through Episode 46.

Spoiler: show
So ends Part II. With the segue into Part III nestled into the sneak peek for the next episode. Part II concludes with Hikaru's successful defeat of Ochi and imminent inauguration into the world of pro Go players. Part III promises to revisit, in much greater detail than ever before, Sai's frustration that Hikaru is providing him with fewer and fewer opportunities to play quality games against serious, non-Hikaru opponents.

I'd forgotten just how Touya-obsessed Ochi becomes.

Part II was considerably longer than Part I -- 32 episodes vs. 14 if you count episodes 15 to 22 as prologue, 24 episodes vs. 14 if you excise that prologue bit and strictly count as Part II only those episodes where Hikaru is an insei. I remembered it being longer, but paradoxically I both 1) didn't remember it being this long and 2) didn't think Part III would be this long (47 thru 72/3) either.
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:27 AM   #71
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Through 53.

Spoiler: show
This is the part of the story that is both anti-climactic on the one hand (Shindou's already become a pro, tons of filler because of catching up with the manga, and lots of teasing the Hikaru vs. Akira showdown without actually delivering) and that is incredibly climactic on the other (Sai vs. Touya Meijin, exploring the two-souls-one-body conflict, too many people following the breadcrumbs left behind by childhood Hikaru that point to his connection with Sai, etc). It's therefore an odd mixture of simultaneous dis- and satisfaction, a vague "This part isn't as fun to watch as earlier parts were" and "This part has some of the series' greatest moments." I think for first time viewers I am correct to advertise that "the show just keeps getting better," but for returning viewers it's palpable that there's something a little ... I dunno, "foggy" or "airheaded" about the flow of the plot around this point. The precipices we reach are magnificent, but the roads we take to get there are sometimes awkward or less refined than those in earlier parts of the story.

One of the highlights of the story acutely where I am is when things spiral out of Hikaru's control at the hospital room. In trying to get his friend a game with Touya Meijin, he ends up inadvertently leading the Meijin to stake his professional career on this one match. The more Hikaru tries to take it back / persuade the Meijin to reconsider, the more both Sai and Kouyou get excited and determined to carry this through. The scene very quickly but very naturally evolves from one where Sai bemoans "I didn't wish for a game like this ... " to one where Hikaru does. It's some of Hotta Yumi's writing at her best.

Aboard the "let's all joke about the shotacon Go salon desk girl," I find it amusing that she very well remembers Hikaru whereas he has no memory of her whatsoever.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:29 AM   #72
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Just watched Episode 55.

Spoiler: show
SO GOOD. So good. Even though this is my fourth time watching, this episode is still epic enough to get me excited.

Even though it's a little cheesy, I absolutely love how the sai peanut gallery from a year and a half ago almost all find out about this game in its relatively early stages and form a peanut gallery once more. I doubt that either Hikaru or the Meijin anticipated having an audience but ...

... I love how, given the very real likelihood of their mutual technological ignorance, neither Hikaru nor Touya Meijin make the game private. It's totally believable that either party would want to if he knew how to do it but that neither party knows how.

I love how evenly matched they are. The script and music complement it, making for a superb experience.

I love how the stakes, terrifyingly high as they are, do their job in getting first-time viewers super excited to see how the game plays out. Will Sai win and force Touya Kouyou into early retirement? Will the Meijin win and force Sai to reveal his true identity? There can be no ties in this game -- with no handicap stones and a komi of 5.5, someone must lose.

I love that it wasn't rushed, that the game lasts at least two episodes. Epic proportions for an epic game.

It's a really good episode.
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:02 PM   #73
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I was just talking about this in a conversation a few days ago. Masterpiece.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:49 PM   #74
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Going through my collection of music, adding some things to MP3 player, removing others, and I'm currently looking through my Chopin. Land upon Nocturne Op9 No2 in E flat major. And recognize it instantly.

"This ... this is the song from the end of Hikaru no Go! "

Compare: (spoilers for the end of the show)

Spoiler: show
BORKED

"Sayonara, Hikaru" - the Hikaru no Go track, skip to around 0m12s

BORKED

Nocturne Op9 No2 in E flat major - the original song by Chopin

Before I did the direct comparison, but after my epiphany, I was certain the HnG song was a direct copy-paste of the Chopin piece with only minor touches for differences. After actually listening to the two pieces, I can see that the HnG is technically its own song ... but ... MAN if it's not clearly and heavily inspired by the Chopin piece.

Right!? Anyone else hearing this? Don't tell me it's just me. To me, the similarities are clear as day.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:24 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Fun with Names

One thing the creators of Hikaru no Go had a lot of fun with were the names they thought up for these characters. There are a lot of interconnections which cannot be coincidental, given just how numerous they are. Some of them you may have figured out on your own, others you may not have heard of before now, and others still I'm sure I myself am unaware of or am forgetting. But go ahead and pull up a chair if you like and let's look together at some of the ways that the characters names contain clever clues about their personalities, roles in the story, or goals in life.

Warning! This spoiler box contains actual spoilers! Just to be on the safe side, I would advise against clicking on this until around episode 62, 63.

Spoiler: show
Sai and Hikaru:
Fujiwara no Sai's clan name, Fujiwara, is that of the most powerful clan in the nobility of the Heian-kyou period. If you've ever taken a Japanese history class, you've probably heard the name before. So how is it written and what does it mean? 藤原 literally means "wisteria plains" or "wisteria fields." Wisteria is a famous plant with a long and storied history in Japan. Now is not the place or time to go into those details, but suffice to say, you see the plant in many Japanese stories and (whether because of the plant, the clan, or both) you see the word fuji in many Japanese family names. Now, the thing is, like most Chinese characters, this one isn't always read fuji. Sometimes it's read dou. As in ...

... you guessed it: as in 進藤 Shindou. Hikaru's family name literally means "advance/proceed/progress wisteria". In other words, within the context of this story, we have a very clever word game afoot: Fujiwara no Sai is to pass the torch along to Shindou Hikaru, who in turn is to advance the goals of Sai and to try and find the Hand of God.

Sai:
So how do you write Sai's given name? 佐為. The first character means "assistant, help." The second character means many things but among them are such meanings as "to do" and "to be of use." noun+to do in Japanese means "to [noun]", so Sai's name can literally be taken to mean that he is the person who will help ... whomever it is that he's to help. This meaning thus has several layers to it. One meaning is that he was the court's head instructor in Go and that he helped the Emperor to learn how to play better. But another meaning is that Sai is the one who will help Hikaru on his personal journey towards obtaining the Hand of God. This becomes especially evident in the late episode 50s and early episode 60s of the series.

Hikaru and Akira:
So what about Hikaru's given name? And what about his rival, Touya Akira? Both boys' names are deliberately spelled in katakana by the author. Hikaru's is ヒカル and Akira's is アキラ. However, there are some very common ways that these two very common names are spelled in kanji. In Hikaru's case, there's really only one correct/common possibility, and that's 光. It means "light." Thus, Hikaru is symbolically the light who will illuminate the path towards the Hand of God. He is the guiding light for the future of Japanese Go. In Touya's case though, we have some very clever shenanigans afoot. The two most common ways to spell the name Akira are 晶 and 明. The first one, literally a collection of three suns, means "crystal" or what crystals do, "sparkle." The second one, literally the sun and the moon, means "bright." As you can see, both words have something to do with light. Thus, Touya and Hikaru are like two peas in a pod.

But it gets better, dear readers. Much better. For you see, while Hikaru may only be written one way normally (光), I never told you how many readings the character 光 has. And would you believe it if I told you ... that one of the readings for 光 is, you guessed it, Akira. Because the boys' names are always spelled in katakana and never in kanji, something authors tend to do deliberately and for various reasons, it's impossible to say for certain: but there is a high possibility that the two boys spell their given names the very same way and thus are not just two peas in a pod but are two sides of the very same coin. Destined rivals indeed.

Touya Kouyou and Fujiwara no Sai:
This is one that either hadn't jumped out at me before or else that I had forgotten about until rewatching parts of the show recently. Touya Meijin's given name is 行洋 Kouyou. It's a very uncommon name and the reading is an even rarer one for the way it's spelled. If you were to read it literally, it means something approximating "go Pacific," "go ocean," or "go West." (洋 is a character traditionally used in connection with the Pacific Ocean and all connotations thereof. 行 simply means "go" as in "to go" {opposite of "to come"}.) However, if you consider homophones for Touya Meijin's given name, one obvious one that comes to mind is 紅葉 kouyou. Literally "crimson leaves," this refers to the change of leaves' colors from green to red in the autumn. Such a reading is symbolic for Touya Meijin in a number of ways.

First, it's symbolic because they're saying that Touya Meijin is like the autumnal man of the Japanese Go world. On the one hand, he's getting on in years but he's still not quite elderly or unable to play (winter). In fact, one could even say that he's the best he's ever been (harvest season, in autumn, after all the labors of spring and summer).

But second, and much more likely to have been a deliberate action on the part of the creators, Fujiwara no Sai is often depicted in official artwork (anime or manga, both) with red maple leaves. In other words, Sai and the Meijin are connected to one another, the Meijin by his name and Sai by the literal red leaves he's often shown to have blowing around him. Neat, no?

Akari and Akira:
This is one I know I've told Yuki about before. It's more obvious in English, but even in Japanese it's too obvious to not have been deliberate: the two characters who love Hikaru the most, Akari and Touya, are only one letter swap away from having the other's name. Just swap the positions of the a and the i in Akari's name and you get Touya's, Akira.

Akari and Hikaru:
Like Hikaru, Akari's name has to do with brightness. (Words spelled akari include in them characters like the bright kanji 明 or the character for lamp 灯.) But more obviously, Akari's family name is Fujisaki, 藤崎. Yep, there's that wisteria kanji again. So basically ... Hikaru and Akari are connected by the red string of fate, too. They both have names that have to do with wisteria and light.

These are just some of the name connections I've noticed. I'm sure there are more but looking at the names on Wikipedia there's nothing that really jumps out at me. (I could force theories, sure, but there's little point in that. I'm trying to find things I think the writers did on purpose, not quirky coincidences.)
While studying tonight, I happened upon yet another Hikaru no Go pun.

I've made much of Hikaru's family name, Shindou, and how it ties in to both the Fujiwara and Hikaru's role in the story as Sai's successor. But there's another play-on words afoot here ... There's a word in Japanese that means "prodigy" or "wonder child". It's written 神童, using the characters for "god; deity" 神 and "juvenile; child" 童. When you put these characters together, the word that they form -- "prodigy" -- just happens to be read ...

"Shindou." No funny business here: shin is the standard onyomi of 神, dou is the standard onyomi of 童, and shindou is the standard reading of 神童. "Shindou." "Prodigy".
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