Hikaru versus Akira in their first official match!
Writer/Artist: Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata
Translation: Naoko Amemiya
Adaptation: Naoko Amemiya
What They Say
An ancient ghost possesses Hikaru and unleashes his hidden genius! R to L (Japanese Style). A Familiar FaceFrom the moment he began playing go, Hikaru relied on Sai's supernatural support. Now that his mentor has vanished into thin air, will he be able to handle the demands of life as a pro? Meanwhile, Hikaru's archrival Akira is playing so well even veteran players tremble at the mention of his name. And now, at long last, the two boys will play each other... After stumbling across a haunted Go board, irresponsible Hikaru Shindo discovers that the spirit of a master player has taken up residence in his consciousness. In his pursuit of the "Divine Move," Fujiwara-no-Sai awakens in Hikaru an untapped genius for the game, and soon the schoolboy is chasing his own dream--defeating the famed Go prodigy Akira Toya!
Hikaru's back! Having discovered that he is able to connect to Sai on a spiritual level through his game, Hikaru returns to the go world with a vengeance. While I was disappointed not to see the ultimate outcome of that pivotal game with Isumi, it's good to see Hikaru back to his noisy, energetic self.
He'll have a lot of catching up to do though. While he was laid low by Sai's disappearance, Akira's been on the rise, taking down veteran players and sending ripples through the go community. Akira's seen as the start of a new wave, and it's not about to stop in Japan. Rumors abound about a Japan-China-Korea Junior Cup. If the competition becomes a reality, Akira is a definite shoo-in to represent the Japanese, but will Hikaru make the cut?
A new arc begins with Hikaru's professional career taking off in earnest and without the guidance of his mentor. The plot also hints at a change in the dynamic between Hikaru and Akira, who have been rivals from the very beginning. The mangaka would not have introduced a junior cup competition if the main character wasn't going to ultimately take part in it, and it will be interesting to see how their relationship changes when they become teammates.
Having come to terms with Sai's disappearance, Hikaru returns to the go world with renewed passion -- and none too soon. Hikaru and Akira finally have their long-awaited match, marking the beginning of what old man Kuwabara predicts to be a lifelong rivalry that will take them to the divine move. However, this rivalry looks like its about to take on an interesting new dimension as rumors of a Japanese go team for an international Junior Cup mark the start of a new story arc.
Volume 17 extras include a story thus far summary, anecdotes about the creators, and ads for other Viz titles.