12-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. – My Anime List
Based on 13 review scores:
A spectacular Anime. One of the best animes I have seen in a while. It even got me interested in playing go. Which made me appreciate it even more.
Anime B & B
HnG excelled in its pacing, pairing each half-year and year of Hikaru’s life since Go with story arcs that spanned several episodes. This also became its weakness. While I enjoyed marathoning each individual arc, the extra time spent on a single tournament or test made the arcs feel like their own mini series. I would often take breaks between the arcs before resuming the anime once again. HnG took me almost a year to finish due to this very reason. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed each mini-story and the greater tale as a whole, it was tempting to just consider myself satisfied with what I had seen and focus solely on currently airing anime. In the end, however, I’m very grateful that I stuck through it and watched it to the end, and it is probably my favorite game anime to date (Chihayafuru may change that!). I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an engrossing story that will have you gripping your chair in anticipation.
Nevertheless, this series still is chock full of interesting twists and tons of well written Go matches that put you to the edge of your seat. It especially sets itself apart with its development, which makes excellent use of its long airtime. At times it takes a bit too long levelling up its lead characters’ Go skills, but it remains a very detailed look in the world of Go, with especially the rivalry between Hikaru and Touya standing out as memorable.
Hikaru no Go is truly an amazing anime, with a unique and original storyline, which captures the hearts of it’s viewers.
For the beginning episodes alone, I have to recommend the show. The first 50 or so episodes are brilliant, a wonderful conglomeration of sharp writing, likeable characters and an addictive premise. However, just like Kare Kano, I would issue a strong warning to anyone who thinks that an anime needs to have a good ending to be worthwhile as a whole. Hikaru no Go is all about the journey, not the destination.
My Anime List
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.
The Nihon Review
Hikaru no Go’s realistic approach contrasts with the flashy superpowers or outrageous caricatures its genre peers rely on. Although the series heavily promotes the game in its namesake, its purpose isn’t to sell something. It’s unorthodox in its genre, but proves that believably developed characters, riveting plot, and great respect of its core subject are storytelling elements that know no bounds in age or country. Hikaru no Go aspires to and maintains surprisingly thorough excellence, claiming status as a landmark series, and remaining the standard all shounen/sports tournament stories should aspire to.
Hikaru no Go is a better than average series that will appeal to a wide range of anime fans, but will specifically be of interest to those that enjoy plot and substance over action. Highly recommended.
“Hikaru no Go” didn’t just leave behind an enormous legacy in the go world, in terms of lasting impressions and impact on my own life, this is right up there with the Crest/Banner of the Stars series.
Overall, this series has astounded me on a story level, and while I think it dipped in quality during it’s middle the ending episodes really pulled through to make it all worth while. Other than the fact that it did get canceled, the only negatives I have for it are an okay middle and some episodes I feel I could skip. The characters themselves are deep and well constructed. The development is better than what’s in most anime, and the overall product is one that I love to revisit time after time.
One thought you’ll certainly walk away with is that these kids are so serious about Go. They will cry over losses (you’d think it’s just a game), and revel over wins. Hikaru was captivated by Akira’s seriousness over Go and I think in part, he wanted to understand how a person could be so serious about anything in life. It certainly made me wish that I was as passionate about my own career and loved it as much. Overall, this is a slow moving anime that creates a great back-drop but just didn’t follow up to its potential. It is certainly recommended though for its wonderful story-telling and character buildup.
Chioky – Deviant Art
I am expecting very few people will even consider picking up this manga to read or even more watch this anime. I did not even have any intrest in the game of Go, however I still went and watched it all because I was personally drawn to the anime because of the character development of the core characters. But of course this anime is riddled with many weaknesses, primarily the great lack in characters of any kind and the pretty poor animation quality. But regardless if you already knew how to play the game of Go then maybe this would be the anime for you, because obviously you can relate to it alot more personally then most people. But regardless it is a anime about kids playing go, what more could you possibly expect?