REVIEW: Hikaru No Go (Vol.1) by Yumi Hotta

Hikaru No Go, Vol. 1 A six grader with a Go board that’s inhabited by a ghost who was a Go master. It’s a game in Japan. I highly recommend this series as it has great art, great characterization, depth and thus far it is a very intelligent series. I’ve read the first three and after going through my collection, I realized that I was missing volume 5 and 7! Anyway, here is a description of the plot of volume 1 just in case you might want to give this one a try:

Hikaru Shindo is like any sixth-grader in Japan: a pretty normal school boy with a two-tone head of hair and a penchant for antics. One day, he finds an old bloodstained Go board in his grandfather’s attic-and that’s when things get really interesting. Trapped inside the Go board is Fujiwara-no-Sai, the ghost of an ancient Go master who taught the strategically complex board game to the Emperor of Japan many centuries ago. In one fateful moment, Sai becomes a part of Hikaru’s consciousness and together, through thick and thin, they make an unstoppable Go-playing team. Will they be able to defeat Go players who have dedicated their lives to the game? Will Sai achieve the “Divine Move” so he’ll finally be able to rest in peace? Begin your journey with Hikaru and Sai in this first volume of Hikaru no Go.

I have no clue how to play Go but it seems to be a pretty popular game/fad in Japan. Hikaru is clueless at this game until he learns that his grandfather’s old Go game board has a ghost living in it.  Fujiwara-no-Sai, is a master Go player born during the Heian era of Japan. His spirit inhabits the Go board. Sai loves to play Go all the time. His aspiration is to make the “Divine Move”.  Hikaru had never played Go in his life and is fine just going to school everyday and never playing Go ever again. As with all things, his passion to play Go increases day by day. He starts to enter tournaments and such and just about wins them all with assistance from Sai.  Hikaru’s reputation as a Go player spreads and his biggest rival ends up being Akira Toya. Fujiwara-no-Sai is just itching to take on Akira, too. This is a great rivalry with plenty of suspense and drama.

Just some information stuff: This manga reads right to left. The artwork is pretty good and the dialogue, descriptive detail is pretty clear and legible. After reading this first entry, it did intrigue me just a bit to understand how to play Go. The author does go onto explain how the game works but I have no patience for understanding it all. I just love the story. Anyway,  give this title a try next time your in the bookstore especially if you enjoy Deathnote. It’s not horror but the level of complexity is about the same. My grade, A-. This is a series I can see keeping and rereading again and again. I’ll review the rest later. More titles that I am reading this week include Vampire Knight (vol.1), Hellsing vol (3), Blood Alone (Vol.2), Cry Freedom (Vol.1) and Beck (Vol.2,3) and more. I am just in the mood to read manga these days. I probably might dig into a “real” book in a week or so. See “Now Reading” section for more details.


About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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3 Responses to REVIEW: Hikaru No Go (Vol.1) by Yumi Hotta

  1. Dance Chica says:

    I decided to try manga for the very first time last weekend. The first one I read was Vampire Knight. I really enjoyed it! I’m looking foward to seeing what you think of it. I picked up Death Note after seeing your review of it and really enjoyed that too, so I’m definitely going to check this one out. It sounds interesting. 😀

  2. Avid Reader says:

    Hey, welcome to the world of Manga!!!!! I’m still a newbie too and plan to spend all of next week reading a bunch more. I’ll have to make sure to visit your site, too, for some recommendations. Again, welcome aboard!

  3. nath says:

    Hello Avid Reader!

    Isn’t this series awesome? I just love Hikaru no Go and I think it’s one of the best series ever. Definitively in my top 10. I love the fact that you don’t need to understand how to play go to be able to enjoy it and the most amazing thing is the characters developments, both artistically and story-wise. I mean, I’ve been following that series for year and suddenly, I would just realized how much Hikaru and his friends have grown… it’s like seeing a kid growing in front of you… you don’t realize it, because you always see him…. but soon enough, you’re like: hey, he’s taller, more mature, etc… Awesome series, really 😀

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