Hikaru no Go Vol. #11 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Release Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2007



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Hotta Yumi / Obata Takeshi
Translated by:Andy Nakatani
Adapted by:Andy Nakatani

What They Say
Hikaru's classmate Ochi has won enough games to guarantee his place among the top three players who will pass the pro test. Hikaru, on the other hand, still needs to win more games, and he'll soon face his friend Waya and Ochi himself, who has been preparing for their match with Akira's help! When the dust clears, who will be left standing?

The Review
Sports manga are the ultimate in shounen manga. The competitive nature of sports allows for shounen concepts of personal growth through rivalry and camaraderie to develop without the need for clich?s. Competition is always present and with an individual game like go the fights on the board are personal. Hotta-sensei not only understands that, she enhanced that by making these battles mental.

In Hikaro no Go the game has become bigger than life itself. Some contestants give up their jobs to participate in the two month go marathon. Dropping out of school to play a board game is common in this industry, however that does not guarantee success or promotion either. Spots are limited to three each year, so if you rely solely on skill to get you through this round-robin your doomed. This is a marathon. Everyone races against everyone else; guys versus gals, young versus old, every other day in a mental battle to keep up with the best. And as go is an individual sport there is no way to hide from the pressure.

HnG sets itself apart from the other SJ battle manga on a number of levels. Obata's art is so engrossing with its hyper-active layout and detailed backgrounds. Obata gives life and energy to a passive sport (cough board game). But it is Hotta's writing that gives life to Hikaru's uphill battle to catch up to his professional rival. When Hikaru seems to be a lock for promotion, Hotta reveals his weakness. With a cast of 28 Hotta increases the competition's involvement bringing in new perspectives on the game as well as new views on Hikaru. And most importantly we see the real rivalries, Hikaru v Akira and Hikaru v Sai, return to point where all three are actively looking to play each other in every phase of their game.

Shonen Jump might make its bank on NARUTO and YuGiOh, but Hikaru no Go is currently the only essential from that magazine.



Mania Grade: A+
Art Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: All
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 7.95
Pages: 204
ISBN: 1-4012-1163-1
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Hikaru no Go