Monday, February 28, 2011

Favorite Manga #10: Hikaru no Go

Hikaru was a normal kid, not really exceptional at anything.  Then, he found an old Go board that was inhabited by the ghost of a Go master who was searching for the 'hand of God' (the ultimate game of Go).  At first Hikaru allows the ghost to use him to play go, but eventually it's Hikaru who is playing and wondering just how far he will be able to go.

Hikaru: This is a rarity in manga because it spans many years, rather than weeks or months, and you can really tell.  (Yes there are manga, like Dragon Ball that span a lifetime, but you constantly jump large spans of time)  Hikaru grows up bothy physically and mentally right before your eyes, there are no time gaps here.  At first he really acts like a little kid, but at the end he's so dedicated.  I adore him.

Sai: A master at Go, and dedicated even after his death, Sai was never really worried about himself being the best.  He's more than willing to teach Hikaru, he just wants to see the best.  His relationship with Hikaru and his dedication to Go can often be amusing to watch.

*** This is a 23 volume series. I read the first 18 in scanlations/translations (I currently own the Japanese, but since I can't read Japanese, I read along with the translations) before the series was bought.  I have also read the first few volumes in Shonen Jump and saw no noticeable difference between them and what I had previously read.***

You would think that a manga where one of the main characters is a ghost would be more supernatural, but this is one of the most realistic stories I've ever read.  I knew nothing about Go before I started (and little more now) but ate the story up.  Hikaru's journey from a normal kid to a professional had me eagerly wanting more, but its not without its heartaches.

     at the start:

     at the end:

 One of the best artists I've seen.  I've read manga where the character looks different at the end, but its usually because the artists has improved or gotten board with the series, but here it's because the character aged.  This is a strong 5 out of 5 on its amazing art.  

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