Hikaru no Go Episode #54 (of 75) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, May 28, 2010
Release Date: Monday, February 26, 2007

The gauntlet has been thrown down as Meijin and Sai are set to have their internet battle.

What They Say
Now that Toya Meijin is playing Internet Go, the world is abuzz with excitements, watching a professional champion play online...

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Hikaru's offering to Sai for a match against Meijin is certainly something he thought would be ideal, but it's turned into something more as Toya has said that he'll retire if he loses to Sai. With some words exchanged and Hikaru saying things that are taken differently by Toya, Hikaru has damaged himself in dealing with the man but has still gotten the match setup for a week from now with a three hour time period for the two to play in. Sai has been aching for this day to come and now it's ever closer for him to finally play against a real master of the game.

With word that Meijin is now playing on the internet, people are talking more about the pro since they're able to see his games more easily. That attention is also drawing attention back on Sai as he hasn't been online in months and months but the time he was there has left a definite impression. Meijin is enjoying his time online but he's still making sure to get out for the match against Ogata and returning to the hospital afterward to continue his recuperation period. This gives him a bit more of an aura for those that follow the world of Go, not that he needed to be thought of even more highly at this point. You can sense some frustration boiling under the surface within Ogata over all of this though as even more attention is being placed on Meijin while he's trying to play his match.

As the match between Meijin and Sai gets closer, there's a lot of practice games being played, especially as Meijin gets out there more on the net as Toyo Koya. There's a lot of obviousness to who it is so it's not exactly a secret and people are anxious and nervous about approaching him online to play. Sai and Hikaru are playing a lot as well to practice both their skills and Hikaru even ends up in a game against Akari when she comes over to visit for a bit and asks for a game. There's a good moment where Sai talks about how even simple games and playing friendly is good for his soul as it's something that helps calm him. Akari's certainly gotten better over time, though obviously not to the level that Hikaru has. Sai's playing a teaching game again and something like that proves to be very enjoyable for him, which is wonderful to see.

In Summary:
Hikaru no Go moves right along with this episode as it starts to set up expectations and tension for the match between Sai and Meijin. The two are certainly near the top of their game as there's always room to grow and Sai gets to cut loose against someone very strong with no real handicap this time either. There's not a really going on here but some of the subplot pieces are interesting to watch, whether it's the familial relations that Meijin has with his wife and son or the way Ogata is starting to resent how Meijin's issues are dominating his matches with him. Add in the fun with Hikaru and Sai and there's a lot to like, but very little real progress to be had.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Viz Media
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Hikaru no Go