Though the pair have had their problems, the disappearance of Sai is something that will definitely haunt Hikaru.
What They Say
The time has come for Sai to leave has come, leaving Hikaru angry and frustrated. He goes back to his Grandfather's attic and discovers that the Blood-stained Go board, where Sai's spirit once resided, is now clean...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Hikaru's growth throughout the series has been one of the real highlights to everything as he's taken on a game he knew pretty much nothing about and had it drawn out of him. Through Sai's tutelage and the inherent talent that Hikaru had for the game, tied to his drive of catching up to Akira since he idolizes him, Hikaru has gone through so many changes and exciting events because of Sai. He is who he is now because of that and he knows it, even if it's not a conscious knowledge. Even more importantly, though not clearly stated, is that Sai has become a good father figure to him and helped him grow into the tall and fairly confident man that he is now, even with his rather girlish voice.
Hikaru's search for Sai is in vain for awhile as he does the usual foolish things such as looking in the bathroom, checking under the table and so forth. It's when he returns to his grandparents and sees that the old Go table is now clean of blood that he realizes something has drastically gone wrong here. Thankfully, he's not a complete fool and he uses what he's learned from Sai in the past to track down something from his past that may be of use. With Sai having talked about how he used Torajiro's body before, he makes the decision to head back to where Torajiro once lived in order to see if there's a clue there, or even if something has drawn Sai there against his will. The whole situation is one huge unknown so it's no surprise that Hikaru will try just about anything, including going all the way to Innoshina.
Hikaru's journey to Innoshina is an important one for him as he starts to get a bit more of an idea about Sai's past through Torajiro and the kind of life that he led there. It's confusing to Hikaru at the same time because he can't understand why Sai has gone and why he can't figure out where he went. Taking the journey through the important historical sites of the area leads him to a number of interesting places though and the clues he gets are slowly taking him somewhere important. Watching Hikaru's frustration as well as the way he's becoming genuinely interested in the history of it all is really enjoyable since it paints a bit broader of a picture of the young man that is changing and growing bit by bit over the course of the series.
Hikaru finds himself with a real challenge now of a very different nature than he's faced before. Because of his pro status, he can at least take off for a little bit to try and figure things out and that leads him to learning a bit about himself and Sai's time with Torajiro a hundred and forty years ago. It's a nice little history lesson within the show that does a nice job of building up the mythology of the series a bit while keeping things fairly laid back. Hikaru's reactions to the events happening are pretty good since he's not panicking or freaking out, though he is highly concerned, as he tries his best to deduce where Sai could be and how he can go about finding him. The lack of panic is definitely very welcome since it keeps him focused on the end goal of getting his friend back.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Del 10.1" Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.