Anime: Hikaru No Go new year special and Journey to the North Star Cup


Okay, so I finally finished off all the Hikaru no Go stuff, after almost 10 years since I watched the original. Wow, it’s been a long time. But as I said previously, it’s fun getting back to old stuff. The Hikaru no go special was a recap episode for the 1st 12 episodes, which was good, because it reminded me to all the wonderful things about Hikaru no go, and the recap was done really well, I think all the most important parts of the first few eps were captures. I’ve never really watched recaps before, but I guess now I realize their value! To be watched some time after the original series, to remind yourself about why you liked the series so much. :)

Journey to the North Star Cup is set after the anime series. It’s a good continuation, the animation is a lot crisper than the original, and the characters have really grown! Hikaru and Toya are still the best rivals for each other and this is perfectly captured at the end of the special. It’s pretty long at 1 h 15 min, but worth watching just to see how Hikaru has been doing and to have a close to the entire series. For someone who doesn’t understand Go at all, it doesn’t really matter, the music does a good job of implying what’s happening. It’s the first time I’ve paid so much attention to the music. The signalling is done really well and the background music really does match what’s happening in the show. We get to see a lot of the original characters from the series and what’s been happening and changing in their lives. Of course to better appreciate all this, it would be best to have watched the original series first. With that said, Hikaru no Go is a shounen anime, but it doesn’t take the normal shounen anime route. Hikaru in the original series may have new-found power that came from Sai, but by the time of the special, all his talent at Go is really through hard work. This process of seeing him mature from someone reliant on power from an external source to relying on his own ability is something not often seen in shounen anime. It’s a good reminder, that we do require hard work and determination to get to where we are. Hikaru used to be a better player with Sai around, I don’t think anyone can deny that, but he’s working hard to live up to those standards, and seeing the potential he has as well as the goal he is aiming at is encouraging to say the least.

It’s a good end to a much beloved series and to see Hikaru growing from just a boy relying on Sai, to a pro living out his potential brings a heartwarming feeling. I’m sure the manga continues from here, because there’s so much more that Hikaru and his friends can do and they’re really only at the beginning of their careers. To meet new opponents, to tackle increasingly difficult challenges head on and to live up to the expectations places on them. It truly is only the beginning.

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