English: Hikaru's Go
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 10, 2001 to Mar 26, 2003
23 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.241 (scored by 19520 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
comedy drama shounen sports
Synopsis12 year old Shindou Hikaru is just your average 6th grader. One day, while searching through his grandfather's attic, he comes across an old Go board. Upon touching the Go board, Hikaru is possessed by the spirit of Fujiwara no Sai, and continues to be haunted by him soon after. Sai was once a great Go player, who committed suicide and continued to stay in the world as a spirit desiring only to play Go once again. Finally bending to Sai's pleas, Hikaru allows Sai to play Go through himself, unknowingly attempting the first game with the young prodigy Touya Akira. Time has finally started moving, as Sai's quest for the perfect game, "The Hand of God", is set underway. Based on the manga by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Hikaru no Go
Sequel: Hikaru no Go: Journey to the North Star Cup
Summary: Hikaru no Go: New Year Special
Alternative version: Hikaru no Go Special
Characters & Voice Actors
How on earth could anyone make a 75 episode anime about a school kid playing a 3000 year old board game? Surely there must be a lot of filler episodes. Those were my initial thoughts but Hikaru No Go had a great rating on Animenfo and I decided to start watching it.
The first thing to do is to collect the entire series of 75 episodes, the special and the Journey to Hokuta Cup before you start. One of the most amazing things about Hikaru No Go is it's ability to capture the viewer from the get go, once you start watching, it's like you don't want to stop. Every episode except for Story Arc endings is a mini-cliffhanger motivating you to start the next episode. This perfection of editing and pacing has not been achieved by many other anime.
The story centers around Shindou Hikaru, a 12 year old school boy. He's just had his allowance cut and was in the midst of rummaging through his grandfather's garage looking for something to sell for money when he picks up a "Go" board inhabited by the ghost of Fujiwara No Sai, a genius Go player from the Heian dynasty. Sai has unfinished business in this world, he wants to achive "The Divine Hand or Hand of God" in go. He possesses then haunts Hikaru ~ all he wants to do is play Go.
Initially Hikaru lets Sai play by moving the stones for him but he starts to fall in love with the game and starts playing himself. The series is a coming-of-age, maturing of new talent, exposure to the competitive world of Go and the beauty of the game. There's a nice large cast of supporting characters, all of which are fascinating in their own right.
The soundtrack is wonderful and fits the scenes well. The animation does have some frame reuse but it's done by the same artist who did Death Note and is good. As the series continues you can physically "see" the characters growing up, they get taller and their faces change.
One of the reasons Hikaru No Go is such a good anime is because Sai is the best anime character ever created (in my opinion). He's very loveable, smart, funny, honorable AND he's a Go genius.He shows amazing patience with Hikaru's moods and childishness, not just being his friend but also teaching and mentoring him from nothing to greatness at Go. Sai is just one of those characters you'll never forget. He has a big heart.
Having dated a nationally ranked chess player in my wild and mis-spent youth, I was amazed at how faithfully the series captures the world of competitive board game sports ~ rivalry, one-up manship, jealousy, excessive obsession with the game, psychological warfare, pushy teachers, they're all there and exist in real life. Even a person who doesn't play Go can understand it as it is presented in the anime.
The series has many layers of philosophy behind it that escape most people the first time around.
* How great is a person's desire for something?
* Can one live, obsessed with a game and winning?
* To achieve greatness there is always a price one must pay, in time, or friendships sacrificed by oneself or others. How far should one go?
* How should one deal with or live with regrets from one's past actions?
* Do people care about legacy and what should one try to leave behind?
* If a goal seems "unreachable / unattainable" is it still worth pursuing?
On surface the plot seems simple but in reality it's very profound, that's one of the reasons I consider this series a masterpiece. It could easily go on for another 75 episodes and I would want them all. Even after it ended, I was still thinking about it and craving more. I even started playing Go online. The manga sparked a resurgence of interest in Go in Japan, wih some message boards featuring posts by Go professionals stating that they wish they could play against Sai. For an anime to arouse this level of interest is amazing. Hikaru No Go deserves to rank much higher than it does, it is truly a masterpiece. read more
Hikaru no Go is, in essence, an anime about the world of Go; about the game, the friendships and rivalries that arise in this world, the challenges, obstacles and feelings. This is a lot to actually live up to, and Hikaru no Go most certainly fills its role well.
It starts out very simle, in a way you've probably seen before. The main character, Shindou Hikaru, encounters a paranormal apparition by coincidence while stumbling around in his shed, and only he can see it. Said apparition is, in fact, the ghost of a skilled Go player from the past, Fujiwara no Sai. He really wants to play a game of Go, and as such Hikaru brings him along to a Go salon, where he finds a kid his age which he can play. Since only Hikaru sees Sai, Hikaru must play the pieces for him. Of course, fate throws a twist by letting the opponent be a prodigy almost strong enough to become a professional Go player. Sai, skilled as he is, beats this kid, Touya Akira, to a pulp. From here, a wild goose chase after the illusion of Hikaru starts. Sai of coruse manages to get Hikaru into the game, and he eventually chases after Akira. As such we have Hikaru chasing after Akira, who again is chasing what he thinks is Hikaru. Voilá, the stage is set for an intense anime full of emotions, drama and, of course, Go.
The plot from there is, for the most part, what I said above. Through tournaments, encounters at Go salons, school Go clubs, Inseis (aspiring professionals), and eventually the professional world of Go, we see these two chase after each other, and what remains in their wake. Quite honestly, the plot is very barebones, but that is completely irrelevant, because Hikaru no Go is in each and every way a character-driven series, which makes it in many ways more riveting and inspring than a plot-driven series.
And characters, we lack not. Aside the intense, heart-throbbing rivalry that develops between Akira and Hikaru, there are bucketloads of interesting side characters, who range from Go club members to hardened professionals who gaze as these two young players lead on a new wave of young and skilled Go players. Mostly everyone gets an acceptable amount of development, for example the challengers; why they play and what's at stake for them are usually revealed in a gripping way - I surely don't think I've ever rooted for ten characters when all of them posed as adversaries to the main character. The professionals and newspaper people's reaction to these up-and-coming kids, it all seems so real you kind of experience their surprise and excitement at this.
But of course, I can't get lost in the characters only; even though the characters are so good it's easy to forget the artistic qualities of the show, one must not at all forget the music and animation, which both play an impressive behind-the-scenes role in making this series what it is.
Let me ask you one question: When you were a teen, or if you're one now, have you ever looked at a picture from when you were two-three years younger? If so, the reaction "Holy mother of love, did I look *that* young?" is probably a familiar one. And when you watch this series, you'll probably end up thinking the same. For this is indeed a coming-of-age anime, following Akira and Hikaru from sixth grade through ninth grade, or three years. Their growth, while seen mostly in their Go playing and their personalities, is also very much reflected in the animation. Towards the end of the series, I asked myself: "Did they always look like that?". When they showed us flashbacks to the beginning, I realized, they did not. While you can recognize them, it is actually impressively easy to spot that they were different. Their faces, so much more child-like, and their stature lower. Much lower. I commend Pierrot for doing such a great job of reflecting their growth physically, too. It was so smooth that I couldn't say from one episode to another that, "hey, he looks older!", but on an overall basis, by skipping, say, twenty or so episodes at a time, I see that they gradually change.
Apart from that, the animators did an outstanding job. The next thing on the list is probably how they made the Go matches very interesting to watch. Just pain watching the stones being placed could've been very deterring, at least in the beginning. So instead they throw in a heap of special effects; lights, shadows, camera angles, intense effects when placing stones, even changing the background to make the game more in the center of attention, or even make a symbolic scape, for example the universe itself, symbolizing the "world" that is the Go board, and even the so-called Divine Move.
In general, Pierrot did an awesome job of making the show pretty to look at. Now, even in 2002 you had better-looking series, but it does not change the fact that it looks really nice. And they improve as they go on. It looks only mediocre in the first episode compared to the final episode. Among the stronger points I can mention clothes, backgrounds and effects when playing Go. The weaker parts are a bit annoying, but are mostly fixed upon as they go along, creating a most aesthetically enjoyable series. One problem is faces, which look a bit weird - at times some details are a bit misplaced -, but they do a nice job of expressiions, while not going overboard with them either, keeping a fairly serious tone. And later on, when I saw the sheer intensity in their eyes, I just thought "whoa!" and had to let a drop of sweat run down my cheek. The other problem is that sometimes when they placed stones on the board, the perspective was done entirely wrong, when the rest of the stones already there looked real nice. This, too, improved very much as the series went on, and in the latter stages I noticed very litte to none of this problem.
And now, the soundtrack, which was done quite nicely. No, that's an understatement. It was inspiring and evocative, all the while not taking over the series, doing a nice job behind the scenes to build up and strengthen the emotional impacts of the show. The intense feelings of the games, the sad feelings that happened occasionally between characters, it was all done with music that reinforced those feelings and made it enjoyable to the point where I felt this tingling feeling in my stomach. The opening and ending themes are quite nice, too. The first opening, "Get Over" by Dream, especially; its synth-pop rythms and lyrics are very inspiring, but it doesn't completely outmatch the others; they were all very strong candidates for favoritism and defnitely a worthwhile watch. Not to mention the final ending theme, which is a ten-minute half-instrumental, half-original mix of Get Over. That was a masterful piece of music.
All in all, Hikaru no Go provides sufficient character-driven, intense and emotional entertainment, which most people would find interesting. And don't let the pretense of a baord game like Go deter you from watching; it is hhgly enjoyable, and though I didn't really care for the Go, it remained interesting throughout the whole series. And the more enjoyable aspects of the show will definitely overshadow it if it comes to that. And for new and seasoned Go players alike, this is a very interesting ashow to watch! read more
Both series centre around a protagonist who becomes aware of and learns to love a classic Japanese game that's faded to 'niche interest' status, aspiring to become the very best and accumulating similarly-minded friends along the way. Although Chihayafuru lacks the mild supernatural element found in Hikaru no Go, Chihaya's motivation of improving to Arata's level of skill function similiarly to Hikaru playing go at Sai's urging and wanting to catch up with Touya.
both feature characters striving to be the best in the world at a fairly niche game
In both, at first the main characters are not interested in the game, and found it boring (Hikaru no Go) until they met(played the game with) someone around their age who is very strong in the game (Go/Kurata). Both of them got inspired by the someone and wanted to keep playing, to improve, to catch up to the someone and to win.
Also, both are rather unpopular traditional Japanese games. There's no club in their schools, they started a club and found it hard to recruit people into their club.
I think Hikaru no Go is the better of the 2. But most likely because Go is much harder to understand, there's more rules, too many strategies and ways to win which bring down the scoring. As there're many people who can't understand a thing after watching several episodes, not getting heated up in the exciting games they played and dropped the series, thus lowering the score ><
Old Japanese game in the center of the plot.
Introduction to a competitive yet uncommon "sport"
Showcases character growth and development both inside and outside of the "arena"
Both contain intensity and bouts of seriousness but manages to incorporate light humor where appropriate.
Chihayafuru although little success maybe is the best anime of this season (winter 2012). Discover the joys of not only an anime very well done and entertaining, with a game unknown but equally interesting. Don't stop at the first episodes, let yourself be carried away by the wonderful episodes! Unknown game, just like Hikaru no Go I do not know if we can call it a common point, but you will also be carried away by this game if you wear a little interest in the anime. Both want us to enter their world and it is successful.
Both have main characters who slowly become good at a niche game,and have intense matches.
If you like intense game anime then they are really alike... both are really good... when i was watching Chihayafuru... it was still ongoing... so i really wanted to find something alike.... and i found Hikaru no Go..... they are sooo alike.... both 10/10!!
Hikaru no Go and Chihayafuru both feature characters wanting to become the best at a competitive game after encountering someone who is really strong and inspiring them to enjoy and love Go/Kurata.
Both series and mostly about the main characters growing and becoming better at the game and the friendships they develop on the way. They are both enjoyable series and each made me become interested and want to know more about GO and Kurata.
Some people don't watch animes like these because they believe the shows will be boring show about a game they don't even understand but they will really regret missing out on amazing shows like these.
All the characters are driven by their love for the sport
Both anime have a time progression and character growth
Both show a competitive side of traditional "boring" sport
Both shows have a naive main character
Both shows could of been longer with no problem
Each series follows a story where the main character is struggling to be the best. Ippo and Hikaru both go through rough times in their conquest to get better. With great character development and comedy thrown in at just the right spots, you don't want to miss this!
Well.. they both are all about sports... :D about goal reaching.. :)
Both are about sports and character development.
Watching Hajime no Ippo immediately reminded me of Hikaru no Go. Both anime are about a person getting stronger to face a specific opponent. And there are also many similarities between the characters of both. so be sure to check one of these great anime out!
First off, both are competition-based anime about persistent and good-hearted protagonists trying to rise through the ranks of their particular sport.
On top of that the rivalry between Hikaru and Akira is incredibly similar to the rivalry between Ippo and MIyata in Hajime no Ippo.
Hajime no Ippo does not have the supernatural element of Hikaru no Go however, and has lots more physical action.
Both are about developing skills
Opening Theme#1: "Get Over" by dream (eps 1-30)
#2: "I'll Be the One" by HAL (eps 31-60)
#3: "Fantasy" by Nana Katase (eps 61-75)
Ending Theme#1: "Bokura no Bouken" by Kids Alive (eps 1-12)
#2: "Hitomi no Chikara" by Mizuki Arisa (eps 13-30)
#3: "Sincerely ~ever dream~" by dream (eps 31-46)
#4: "Days" by shela (eps 47-63)
#5: "Music is My Thing" by Dream (eps 64-74)
#6: "Get Over ~Special Mix~" by dream (ep 75)more
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