The story is about a teenage boy who happens to be a shougi master. One day, a nine-year-old girl turns up at his house, requesting to be taken as his disciple. From there, all kinds of wacky hijinks ensue.
There not much to say about the story. The overall plot just following the conventional style of slice of life anime you already seen many many times. The series added a few things based on the premise of the shogi. but in the end it was overshadowed because in general the anime is quite fanservicey with the addition not just the female character but also on the kiddies. There are many leg shots, quite decent amount of bath scene and skins throwed.
Speaking of the shogi stuff. It was more or less to say if you don’t know jack about it. You’ll certainly will
get lost. This isn’t the type of the series that teach you from the most basic rule; you won’t learn shogi just by watching this since the anime assuming its audiences already know the rule and the movement of the pieces. The matches are not that intense because the buildup was very short and it sometimes worsened because there are chuuni or delusional scene as well.
The thing about it that I could give it credit for that while indeed it doesn’t teach you about shogi. It is does show anything that shogi enthusiast would please to. It does show you the type of opening strategy in shogi. The supporting equipment for the play. The training method by analyzing games and solving puzzle. The preparation for big tournament and etc.
The little kiddies in the show are all genius that could beat even an experienced adult. Making it somewhat used to show the terms of ‘prodigy’. This is not surprising since shogi or chess in general have a lot of prodigy in any generation. In early 90s there’s Samuel Reshevsky who did his first simul chess while he was 8 year old and in 00’s Magnus Carlsen became a grandmaster at the age of 13 and later on became world champion at the age of 22. Intentional or not, in all It is quite justifiable to say this is an anime that doing the shougi deeply.
As a Whole. Ryuuo’s work is Never Done is as worthless as it can gets. The show as whole doing nothing diverse from any other CGDCT type of show. And it is worse because the usage and sexualization of nine year old girl. The premise could be so much better handled if it not becomes a show of lolicon bait. At this point it was never being recommended to anyone.
If physical sports are tiring, but you're not motivated because it is not a 2D product, go watch Hikaru no Go is a Go (pun intended) or the video series of Jan Gustaffson and Pepe Cuenca.
This anime. Or rather, this copy-paste formulaic anime adaptation of the light novel that apparently was voted #1 in the Japan’s Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! for 2017 made me wonder if the anime industry even tries anymore. It’s 2018 and here we are, an anime adaptation based on shogi with a cast filled with questionable characters and content. I was cautiously optimistic about this show at first but upon finishing this anime, I can say that without a shadow of a doubt, Ryuunou no Oshigoto left little more than desired.
Sometimes, people say don’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, that statement is hard
to apply for this series. Upon looking at the key visual, you’ll notice an average dull looking male protagonist surrounded by what seems to be a harem of girls. No, I’m not calling this anime a harem but it doesn’t help by the fact that some of them look about half his age. Still, there’s some hope because the show involves shogi, a strategic game of intelligence, right?
The story itself may be focused on shogi but the overall tone of the show will be far distracting than you’ll realize. The first few episodes can easily rub people in the wrong way with the way its characters are introduced. The main culprit is 9-year old Ai Hinatsuru who seems to have an attraction towards shogi master Yaichi. It leaves a controversial impression especially with how she reacts to him when other girls are involved in their lives. After being taken in as disciple, she seems to be even more attached to him to the point where you’ll see “yandere” moments. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. We also meet Ginko Sora, a female prodigy who also happens to be Yaichi’s childhood friend. I think it’s easy to pinpoint her intentions after watching her reactions from just the first episode alone. Nonetheless, the initial beginning will test the audience on whether they should continue or not. For me, I decided to give this show a chance to see if it improves. Sadly, I’m mistaken.
It seems almost every episode along the way wants to showcase shogi but also leaves the impression of underage girls doing what a grown up would do. Is that an overstatement? However, it’s undeniable that the show gives an uncomfortable feeling whenever characters such as Ai, Charlotte, or others tries to get Yaichi’s attention. Yaichi himself is hardly an interesting character either. The show saturates him with a generic personality and gets him often into compromising positions, either with his disciples or Ginko. It doesn’t help that he is dense as a black hole and the show never really develop him as a character. Speaking of development, the show is mostly void of that except on technical improvement of shogi skills. The only character that I respect in this anime would be Keika Kiyotaki. In perhaps one of the more realistic and heartwarming episodes, we see her determination and strive to improve. The storytelling of her past also make us understand Keika as a person and shogi player. Unfortunately, one episode can’t carry the show as altogether as the others are far less welcoming to watch.
Now I’m not an expert on shogi but this anime seems to dedicate a lot of time in the matches themselves. One might think this is a positive but it’s hardly that. The mind games and psychology is hardly felt because of the way dialogue are delivered. It doesn’t help that the show often jumps around between opponents without giving the audience a memorable rivalry. Furthermore, the main cast is just incredibly one dimensional with personalities that are hardly interesting. If you want some actual shogi with integrity and promising story, check out 3-gatsu no Lion.
Project No.9 is an oddball studio. My impression of their work in recent years has quite underwhelming and it seems that they didn’t manage to step up to the plate this time. On paper, the anime quality looks tolerable with the body movements, character designs, and facial expressions. However, there’s not much else that makes this anime’s visual quality stand out. Sure, there’s character reactions that can be comedic at times but it gets tedious fast. You can pretty much open up a light novel and see similarities in almost every series these days. It doesn’t help that the anime pulls out fan service moments that set off red flags. Oh and Yaichi, he has a very punchable face.
On a more positive note, I suppose the anime’s soundtrack and voice mannerism managed to stay its welcome. Younger characters aren’t easy to portray but I got the impression that it was well delivered. Ginko’s voice is perhaps the most noticeable whenever she gets into a bad mood. On the other hand, I wish there was an auto-mute button whenever Yaichi talks in overly long dialogues. The theme songs of the show are rather catchy despite how generic it looks.
If I said it once, I said it a hundred times. This show leaves little to be desired. You can watch this anime for the shogi but in the end, you’ll probably remember more than that. And I don’t mean that as a positive impression. One character I will actually remember for good measure though is Keika. I prayed the show would develop her more but it seems the anime decided to take steps back after that one memorable episode. For what’s worth, watch this anime with caution if you choose. It honestly became a show that gives shogi a bad name.
Please note this review assumes that you have finished watching Ryuuou no Oshigoto and while care has been taken to minimise story related spoilers there may still be spoilers within character analysis. You have been warned.
Learning to value the bonds that a master and disciple make while playing Shogi with Ai and friends
Based off a well-known light novel series of the same name Ryuuou no Oshigoto or its English title which is the Ryuo’s work is never done gives us the opportunity to look into the world of Shogi from not just a player’s perspective but also from a master’s perspective as they train
prospective students to enter the often-overlooked world of competitive shogi. It does this by introducing us to the Osaka Shogi scene and the many people that are connected to it which includes among their number powerful Shogi players as well as prospective shogi players who wish to enter the world of shogi for many varied reasons. The first episode of the series made a pretty impression on me largely due to the demonstration of the main heroine Ai Hinatsuru’s skill at shogi despite her young age. While wary of the many bad impressions that people had on the premise of the show I kept the show on my watch list and looking back at it I'm glad that I did as I really enjoyed this show.
Taking place within the modern era within the city of Osaka and the surrounding areas Ryuuou no Oshigoto’s overall story follows the life of Yaichi Kuzuryuu a 16 year old teenager that despite his young age is already an accomplished shogi player who had just won the coveted shogi title of Ryuo and his encounter with Ai Hinatsuru a 9 year old elementary school girl a prodigy at shogi who had come seeking to become his disciple. As Yachi and Ai becomes master and apprentice and enter the Osaka shogi scene he soon begins to appreciate the unique skills that Ai has and how they can be used to both introduce new talent to the Osaka shogi scene while at the same time improve his own skills as they both confront the unique challenges that both title holders and beginners in the world of competitive shogi face. Along the way, Yachi and Ai would encounter many varied and interesting characters in their journey to improve their skills in Shogi. These include Ginko Sora Yaichi’s fellow apprentice who is as beautiful as she is skilled in Shogi, Ai Yashajin a rich and arrogant girl from Kobe that possesses skills equal to his disciple, Keika Yaichi’s fellow apprentice and his masters daughter who is determined to break into the league before time runs out and Ika a title holder that approaches Shogi with arrogance and seeks only to beat opponents relentlessly to satisfy her ego.
Yaichi Kuzuryuu voiced by veteran voice actor Yuuma Uchida of Classroom Crisis fame is one of the main characters of the series and is the main protagonist of the series. Despite his young age, Yaichi is already a veteran shogi player and a newly christened title holder having managed to secure the coveted title of Ryuo and becoming the youngest player to achieve that title in history. A 16-year-old teenager Yaichi is a kind, polite and considerate person that on first impression did not really fit the image of a pro shogi player and indeed more like a normal teenager. While kind and polite in the beginning Yaichi was also seen to be someone that was also understanding and patient and treated everyone with respect and dignity whether they are surprise gatecrashers or fellow shogi players. Having played shogi since childhood it can be seen that Yachi is someone that views the sport as something sacred and treats it with the utmost respect and as a result dislikes people that either dismiss it as a game or those players that treat their matches badly as he feels that they are not respecting the sport if they don’t play it seriously. While appearing indecisive in the beginning Yaichi was also someone that was noted to be intelligent and fast thinking and was the type of person that researched his opponents seriously to come up with countermeasures that show his determination to pay respect to both the game and to his opponents. While noted to have a great deal of pride at the beginning Yaichi true to his kind nature was also noted to be someone that was not just perceptive but also intelligent enough to realise the error of his ways and admit to the mistakes that he had made.
As the series goes on and as events allow him to meet both Ai Hinatsuru as well as Ai Yashajin Yaichi’s personality gradually starts to change as the series progresses. At the beginning of the series as a result of his slump, Yaichi was noted to be someone that had low self-esteem that was only held back by his positive attitude and passion for the sport and worked only to secure a victory to silence his many detractors. This however changed after his encounter with Ai Hinatsuru. While initially sceptical of Ai given how she just suddenly appeared in front of him this opinion of her gradually changed after seeing the level of skill that she had skills that were every bit as equal to his own despite the lack of training and actual playing experience that she had. As a result of seeing the level of skill that she had as well as seeing her earnest desire to become his disciple Yaichi’s core focus soon changed to one that revolved around the training of Ai as his disciple and raise her as a pro shogi player that will be able to make full use of the talent that she had. While somewhat reluctant at the beginning due to the many opinions that people had about him and Ai as the series goes on this reluctance gradually disappears and is replaced by his desire to teach her carefully and calmly showing his determination to fulfil this promise. While somewhat reluctant and embarrassed to be associated with Ai at first this feeling gradually transforms to that of pride at having someone as skilled as her as his disciple and is something that Yaichi makes use of as his main source of motivation as the series goes on. While positive and calm on the surface Yaichi in the series also faced a number of problems that were unique to him. At the beginning of the series while Yachi had great skill he was also rather unimaginative with his tactics and as such was looked down by many people and his victory over the previous Ryuo was widely seen as a fluke. While dismissing them as harmless it can be seen that beneath the surface these sentiments affected him greatly. As the series progresses and Yaichi encounters first Ai Hinatsuru and later Ai Yashajin this feeling of inferiority starts to decrease as he upon seeing both their skills at shogi develops a motivation to improve his skills not just to improve his standing within the shogi world but also to be a good master to them. Yaichi’s most prominent trait is without a doubt his desire to not see Shogi as just another competitive sport but also a sport where his disciples can be good at and enjoy while respecting other players. This aspect of him I particularly liked as it showed how much he loved and respected the sport.
Ai Hinatsuru voiced by veteran seiyuu Rina Hidaka of SAO and Accel world fame is one of the main characters of the series and is the series main heroine. A 9-year-old girl that’s still in elementary school Ai is on first appearance a quiet and nervous girl that nonetheless tries to project a cheerful attitude to mask it. After overcoming this it can be seen that Ai is also someone that is polite and well mannered and is also someone that is intelligent and fast thinking while also having a strong spirit that refuses to admit defeat. These three latter traits however can be said to be the ones that truly define her as they help form the foundation of Ai’s most prominent skill which is her skills as a shogi player. From the beginning of the series, it can be seen that despite her young age Ai was noted to have an unusual amount of skill when it came to shogi and indeed can be seen to be a prodigy at that sport that is shown best in the first match that she had with Yaichi. In this, it can be seen that while only adept at the basic moves at first Ai’s real skill that continues to improve as the series goes on is her ability to enter into a focused state where she can focus her concentration on reading the shogi board and plan out her moves before they can be made. This type of ability while far from being non-existent is usually possessed by veteran players of the game who have had hundreds of matches under their belt and as a result, seeing a 9-year-old girl have this same ability is indeed something that can be said to be most unusual indeed. In line with this ability is another of Ai’s impressive traits which is her flawless memory which is her ability to remember every move and shogi problem that she had made or solved. When combined with her ability to enter into a focused state the level of ability that Ai has while certainly unrefined at first is nothing short of astounding and ensures that the title of shogi prodigy is an apt title for her.
While Ai and Yaichi had the most unusual of first encounters as the series goes on it can be seen that Ai views her master with both admiration and respect and it can be seen that being his disciple is something that she had aspired to do since their first meeting. As a result of this level of admiration for her, master Ai is someone that is noted to have a great deal of pride on being recognised as his disciple and dislikes it when she has competition for this important role. True to this act Ai is shown to be very loyal to her master and will come to his defence at once if someone slanders him something that I felt was admirable of her. As the series goes on it can be seen that Ai’s feelings towards her master is something that easily exceeds that of a normal master-disciple relationship that can be seen in her attempts to please her master and her reactions when she see’s him with other girls. In this side of her, it can be seen that Ai is very conscious of her master’s actions and she can easily tell if he’s hiding something from her through her boosted perception skills something that I find quite hilarious as nothing beats seeing Yaichi being pinned to the wall by Ai’s glare. As the series goes on and as Ai and Yachi’s relationship improves it can be seen that Ai has begun to be more perceptive of the feelings and moods that Yachi projects as a result of the bond that they share and as a result she can feel both joy at seeing her master when he’s happy as well as feel disheartened when she see’s him in pain. This level of perception, however, is a doubled edged sword as while the former can make Ai’s determination to win and fight tenaciously to the end it can also have the opposite effort of affecting her morale and concentration when she senses the bond between her and her master weakening. The character of Ai Hinatsuru I felt was an interesting one as though she’s off a relatively young age the level of maturity that she has as well as the level of skill that she has in Shogi was very impressive. Despite the level of players that she has to face in her journey to become a pro player her determination to face them head on to both prove her skills and his masters trust in her was very admirable. I felt that her seiyuu Rina Hidaka really did a fantastic job at portraying the character of Ai Hinatsuru.
Ginko Sora voiced by veteran seiyuu Hisako Kanemoto of Food Wars and Gunslinger Strato’s fame is one of the main characters of the series and is both Yaichi’s fellow shogi apprentice and fellow shogi title holder. A 14-year-old Junior high school student Ginko despite her young age is like Yaichi a fellow title holder in Shogi that also commands a lot of respect within the community due to her impressive win record against her fellow female pro shogi players. Unlike Yaichi no one denies the skills that Ginko has in Shogi and while she has many titles to her name it is the nickname that her fans gave her that truly make her stand out over her other titles this being the Snow White of Naniwa which is a somewhat ominous nickname. A childhood friend and fellow shogi disciple of Yaichi Ginko has the unique position of being both a childhood friend and a senior disciple of Yaichi which also makes her somewhat of a mentor to Yaichi as well. As a result of this, it can be seen that Yaichi pays her a lot of respect in deference to this role. A quiet, blunt and confident young woman by nature Ginko is someone that’s shown to be a very determined and highly motivated person that has a strong will to succeed in everything that she does. While quiet by nature and indeed not one for small talk Ginko is shown to be someone that prefers a more direct approach to things seen both in her matches in shogi as well as in life. While conscious of the fame that she has managed to achieve within the shogi world Ginko is shown to be a modest person by nature and will respect those that have played the best they can against her whether she likes them or not.
As the series goes on however Ginko’s personality starts to gradually change. At the beginning of the series, Ginko was noted to have a very icy personality especially when she deals with Yaichi and in which she’s noted to treat him rather harshly irrespective of the actions that he may or may not have done. This is especially true when she interrogates him for information when she determines that he’s hiding things from her. In this however we can see that the relationship between the two of is not as simple as it sounds as more than anything its obvious that Ginko sees Yaichi as more than a friend and fellow disciple and instead see’s him as something of a rival that can be relied upon to help each other when one needs help in shogi as well as let off steam by playing each other relentlessly. In this, despite the disparity between them in terms of titles, it can be seen that Ginko see’s Yaichi as a rival that’s superior to her in shogi and it is this desire to match Yaichi that truly acts as her core motivation to do well in Shogi. While Ginko, in the beginning, was quiet and somewhat blunt she was also shown to be rather assertive with her demands on Yachi but at the same time, she was also shown to have a rather mischievous side to her personality as well a contrast that I felt was interesting. While shown to be near expressionless in the beginning as the series goes on It can be seen that Ginko was someone that was also very loyal to her friends and was someone that easily got upset if their actions caused them distress a side of her personality that I particularly liked as it contrasted well with her Tsundere personality. This is best shown in her attempts to help Yaichi face his problems during his crisis during the Ryuo title match and her subsequent reaction when she was rebuffed by him. As the series goes on it can be seen that Ginko has a rather interesting complex in which she dislikes being seen and treated as a girl by others and can easily get embarrassed if she has to wear clothing that is typically associated with girls. This side of her personality was an interesting one as her behaviour when she’s in this mode is very much like a cute girl as she acts embarrassed and blushes openly rather than her usual icy Tsundere look. While harsh and violent towards Yaichi most of the time it’s interesting to note that even she has a softer side to her that she will show when she tries to help friends that are in a tight spot. The character of Ginko I felt was an interesting one as though she was Yaichi’s fellow disciple she was also his mentor and it can be seen that both rely on each other to improve their skills at shogi. The contrast between her personality with that of Ai and Yaichi I felt was interesting as it highlighted the fact that while they may have different personalities and approaches to shogi they are all united in their determination to play shogi and respect both the game and their opponents in doing so. I felt that her seiyuu Hisako Kanemoto really did an excellent job in portraying the character of Ginko.
Ai Yashajin voiced by veteran seiyuu Ayane Sakura is one of the main characters of the series. A 9-year-old girl from a rich family that lives in Kobe Ai Yashajin on initial appearance is an arrogant and self-confident young girl that in the beginning tended to look down on others and was the complete opposite to Ai in terms of personality. While arrogant and possessing boundless confidence in herself Ai Yashajin was also noted to be a cynical person that had a lot of pride in her skills as a shogi player despite her lack of actual combat experience in the beginning and was also fiercely competitive regardless of who her opponent was. Despite that Ai Yashajin was also noted to have a teasing and malicious side to her that she makes use off when she feels the situation calls for it a side that I felt complemented her arrogant personality pretty well. Indeed, from the onset it can be seen that while Ai Hinatsuru has the image of a cute angel Ai Yashajin was the opposite and instead having the aura of a demon as in the beginning she got angry very easily and fought with great tenacity in her matches even when the tide has turned against her.
As the series goes on however Ai Yashajin’s personality gradually changes as a result of not just meeting Yaichi but also seeing what the shogi world really was like. In the beginning of the series as a result of learning to play shogi through both self-taught materials as well as her parents records and notes Ai Yashajin while having the basics of shogi locked down was noted to have no actual combat experience in the real world and as a result of this often fell into traps when faced with opponents that make use of unconventional tactics. This shows that while she has the basics locked down she was lacking in the ability to read people’s moves and intentions which like in all board games is of great importance. As the series goes on this weakness of her’s gradually vanishes. While still tenacious and unwilling to give up Ai Yashajin gradually gets better at both reading the board and of people greatly improving her chances of victory. While Ai Yashajin as the series goes on generally retains her arrogant nature it can be seen that this attitude of her’s gradually softens as she learns to enjoy playing shogi with others and learn that shogi is not just about playing to win against her opponents but also to make connections with like-minded people while enjoying testing your strength against theirs. While Ai Yashajin and Yaichi did not have the best of first encounters and indeed she at first looked down on him at first this gradually changed as the series went as she was able to see the great effort and attentive care that Yaichi put in to help her understand the knowledge that she would need if she wanted to enter the shogi world and make a name for herself. As a result of this Ai Yashajin’s attitude towards Yaichi gradually changed and she soon learned to both respect his skills at shogi as well as the fact that he treated her like a normal person and did not let her status stop him from treating her bluntly if she did not get anything that was taught. The character of Ai Yashajin I felt was an interesting character as in addition to being polar opposites to Ai Hinatsuru in terms of shogi tactics Ai Yashajin was also every bit the opposite in terms of personality. The gradual thawing of Ai Yashajin’s personality from a withdrawn Tsundere that only played shogi to remember to one that had found that playing shogi in the real world while more punishing was actually more fun and challenging I felt was something that was well done and made great use of one of the series main themes which was that only by playing together would one be able to improve their skills while enjoying the game. I felt that her seiyuu Ayane Sakura really did an excellent job at portraying the character of Ai Yashajin.
Keika Kiyotaki voiced by veteran seiyuu Ai Kayano of 3 Gatsu no lion and Anohana fame is one of the main support characters of the series and is both Yaichi’s fellow shogi disciple and the daughter of his master. A young woman in her mid-twenties Keika is a kind, caring and thoughtful person that’s also considerate and understanding of others. In this, it can be seen that Keika fits the very image of a big sister within the shogi family that Yaichi, Ai and Ginko belong too. Unlike Yaichi and Ginko Keika is not a title holder and indeed not a pro player as well and is instead she like Ai is a shogi trainee that hopes to be able to pass the training course and become a pro player.
As the series goes on and as Keika’s personality is gradually revealed to us it can be seen that Keika has her fair share of problems that are worrying her that she tries to hide from her fellow shogi family members. While positive and relaxed on the surface beneath this it can be seen that Keika struggles greatly with the fact that despite the shogi skills that she had inherited from her father as well as through practice with Yachi and Ginko she hasn’t been able to make much headway with her dream of becoming a pro player while her fellow family members Yaichi and Ginko had gradually overtaken her and achieved fame within the world of shogi something that she punishes herself for. As a result of this, it can be seen that Keika is rather desperate to achieve her dream as unlike Yaichi and Ginko Keika also has to contend with the duo pressure of reaching the age limit and being dismissed from the training class due to defeats. As the series goes on Keika’s fortune and luck eventually changes and makes her realise that while having the pride of being from a famous shogi family was a good thing letting that constrain you and force you to punish yourself was not and that one should be able to walk the path that they want too without forgetting their roots. The character of Keika I felt was an interesting one as despite being happy and positive beneath the surface Keika is, in fact, someone that wrestles with a lot of struggles that are unique to her. This contrast in her outer and inner self I felt was especially well done as it allowed us to see the struggles that older shogi players may feel as they struggle to break into the pro players league while having to battle not just opponents that are not just younger than they are but also more skilled that they are.
Ika Sainokami voiced by veteran seiyuu singer Haruka Tomatsu of Sword Art online and Asura crying fame is one of the main support characters of the series and is a fellow female pro shogi player to Ginko. A young teenage girl Ika is an arrogant, self-confident and menacing opponent that has the traits of a classic egotist. True to this personality type Ika is someone that cares little about either her opponent or manners and indeed seems to live only to crush her opponents relentlessly and use this to gain even more power and improve her skills. As a result of this, it can be seen that Ika is someone that hates weak opponents and would slander those that she considers weak as she see’s them as someone that’s not worth her time at all. As the series progresses it can be seen that Ika’s view of Yaichi is an unusual one in that she views him as more like an object than a person one that she only wants to herself and one whose only purpose was to play shogi with her to her heart's content. The character of Ika while introduced rather late in the series I felt was an interesting character as more than ever she represented a strong and fearsome opponent to both Ai and Yaichi in more ways than one that they had to overcome if they wanted to progress in their journey.
Animation wise I felt that the series did a very job at showing the main setting of the series which was the city of Osaka and the various locales that the city had. The character designs for the series I felt were also well done and were faithful to their light novel counterparts to which I'm thankful. The animation for the moves that the characters make during the matches as well as the animation for the matches themselves was something that I felt was well done and it made it easier to see the significance of each move as well as how it impacted on the match as well. In terms of voice acting overall, I felt that the main voice cast did an excellent job of portraying their assigned characters. In particular, I feel that Rina Hidaka, Ayane Sakura, and Hisako Kanemoto deserve special praise as I felt that they did an excellent job of portraying their respective characters. In terms of music, I thought that the series OST did a great job at conveying the various feelings and emotions that lay behind each scene and helped greatly in allowing us to see the types of feelings that the characters were going through at that time.
In overall Ryuuou no Oshigoto was a really fun but also a really interesting anime that I really enjoyed watching this season and is arguably one of this season best anime’s. The series main strong points I thought were the interesting premise, story, characters, animation and strong voice acting and its strong emphasis on having fun while also learning how to play shogi with Ai and her friends. Unlike most countries, a lot of countries in Asia have the belief that if one wants to achieve mastery at something one must start training at an early age. As a result of this seeing, a 9-year-old decide to show up and petition a professional to train her as their disciple is by no means unusual. A lot of people seem to have the impression that this practice is shifty, but this is far from the truth as most martial arts and not to mention board games such as shogi really do start training them from an early age. In fact, as the members of the training class has proven the age of entry is actually between 7 and 9. One of the series main themes is learning to play shogi but as with all learning methods, the disciple would have to while learning how to play also encounter others that have the same goals as them. Humans by their very nature are social creatures and if we encounter people that share our interests its natural that we would want to bond with them. When trying to learn anything its always better if you learn it with friends. While learning shogi is the main theme part of that journey involves forging friendships with your fellow players and playing with them to not only improve your skills at it but also improve theirs as well as without playing with others you will not be able to learn what your flaws are and how you can rid yourself of them to improve yourself. While doing a good job at showing the teaching the basics to both Ai and to us viewers the series also did well to use this theme to teach us that winning in shogi is not everything and that defeat too can be a learning experience and one that can be used to figure out your flaws and correct them. Above all, it stresses that the most important thing is that you are having fun challenging others and learning from that experience and in turn helping both them and you.
With Shogi as the main theme, it was important that the series not only featured interesting and entertaining matches but also genuine shogi moves that are used for real. In this I felt that the series did a great job at showing this as not only are each of the matches interesting and well designed but they also featured analysis’s of not just the players moves via simple and easily followed explanations but also looks at the players mental state and the feelings that they may be feeling as well. The look at the feelings that one may be feeling as well as at the issues that may affect a shogi player I felt was a good move as no matter how calm one is they cannot ignore every feeling that they may have and these can have adverse effects on a shogi match if you are unable to maintain your calmness. One other aspect that I thought the series did well in was its showing of the various ages of people that play in the shogi world. While largely unknown outside of Japan shogi is a world that can be said to attract people from all walks of life and the ages of people that enter its world can vary substantially which is best shown in the ages of the characters that are featured in the series from the 9-year-old Ai to the 14-year-old Ginko and the 16-year-old Yaichi. To them, shogi is the world that links all of them together. Apart from teaching us how to play shogi the other main theme that series makes use off that it makes use of as its main premise is the relationship between Yaichi and Ai in the form of the master and disciple relationship. Though increasingly rare such relationships do certainly exist, and they are of a more important nature than normal relationships. The relationship between a master and a disciple can be a complex one as the master is responsible for not just training their disciple but also learn to exist with them and learn how to tease out the skills that they may have while also working to motivate them and keep them focused. As a result of this, the degree of trust that can be formed between a master and disciple can be potent and deep one that can inspire a great sense of loyalty to the two that can be used to motivate them or break them out of a jam when needed. While Ai and Yaichi had the most random of first encounters as the series progresses it can be seen that a strong bond between the two gradually forms bonds that not only serve to motivate Ai so that she will do her best to not lose and let her master down but also serve to motivate Yachi to work hard for Ai by improving his own skills so that he can continue to teach her. This feeling of both master and disciple working together to both learn shogi and improve their skills by relying on and finding strength from each other as they overcome challenges together I thought was well done and illustrated just how strong such a bond can be if both master and disciple learn to rely on each other. Overall Ryuuou no Oshigoto was an anime that I really enjoyed as while being an effective anime in its own right its focus on teaching how to play shogi also did well to give it the additional role of an educational anime and had the effect of introducing the sport of shogi to a larger audience which I feel will make it more popular and hopefully give it some new blood. As a final score, I would give Ryuuou no Oshigoto a final score of 10/10 as while enjoying learning about Shogi I also really enjoyed seeing Yachi forge bonds with the many characters that he meets along the way while having fun playing shogi. Bonds that can be as powerful as any strategy that one can use to motivate oneself when caught in a pinch.
A story about a Shogi master (Yaichi) who begins apprenticing a young girl(Ai-chan) who is a little too fond of him. Along the way we meet a few too many other little girl characters who all seem to have some weird magnetization towards our protagonist and a couple of actual high school/adult aged characters who you'd like to imagine will be actual love interests for Yaichi over the plethora of little girls he has to choose from.
The show, at its core, is about Shogi... and lolis. But supposedly it's mainly about shogi. Yaichi's struggle to figure out how to
deal with apprenticing a young girl as well as balancing his relationships with his fellow shogi friends. The characters are likeable. Ai-chan is your standard cute loli girl who is in love with her master. Yaichi is your typical harem protagonist who seems a little too careless on his words towards his loli fanbase. Ginko is the actually decent aged love interest for Yaichi but her screentime gets smaller and smaller despite that she's supposed to be the only one with a real chance at having a relationship with MC. Ai-chan2.0 is a alright character that ends up getting pushed aside in the end in favor of the OG Ai-chan which is kind of a shame since I thought she should've gotten some more character development.
I really enjoyed watching this show every week and looked forward to it. It's not the end all shogi show but it's also not terrible loli trash like some might suggest... Okay, it might be loli trash but not to the extreme degree some make it out to be.
8/10 overall. 9/10 if you factor in cuteness levels but sadly those don't count in reviews.
TL;DR - A Shogi show with some Loli's on the side. They don't go into that much detail on the Shogi though so if you're new to the game it'll still be fine as a story about a guy trying not to get arrested for his clear lolicon nature.