The day has finally come that I’ve waited so LONG for: the arrival of Hikaru no Go in the US on an officially released version! It is without a doubt my all-time favorite anime, and I’m so excited!
This anime changed my life. Yeah, yeah—you’re probably thinking ‘this guy’s just another nutcase otaku’. But just watching fansubs and poorly subtitled Chinese bootlegs got me so into the story and the characters that I actually took up playing the game. In fact, this evening I’m playing an online tournament game as third ‘board’ for my Go club. It has helped me appreciate this amazing game and deepened my understanding of just what it takes to be so good (which I’m definitely NOT—currently only a 22 kyu, US Go rating). Sadly, I’m not at all possessed by a 1,000-year-old Go Master like Fujiwara no Sai!
I only have one fear: will Viz Entertainment persevere with producing this title? There are 75 episodes, and the full power of the story can’t be appreciated until you see them all. I was absolutely amazed at an animated series where you actually see the characters grow up, mature and change over time. It sounds pretty goofy, but I practically consider them real people who I’d like to meet and be friends with (well, yeah, I do tend to get a bit carried away). The other thing about this series is that they’re ‘real’ people doing ‘real’ things—struggling to be the best at what they do, play Go. Not to knock giant robot anime or fantastical settings, but it’s nice to watch the characters doing something YOU yourself could do (well, yeah, except for the ghostly possession of Hikaru by Sai). I hope I’m just being paranoid and that the huge population of Otaku in the US will descend upon their local shops and buy up every single copy they can find. PLEASE: go out and purchase this anime and all the manga too. In fact, you can click on the link I’ve provided, go to Amazon.com and order it right now. You won’t be disappointed!