The possibility of Sai's time getting shorter has moved to Hikaru's mind after discovering the Go table.
What They Say
Hikaru gets invited to a Go seminar and gets an unavoidable request from Ogata to play Sai...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Similar to the way Hikaru has changed since the start of the series, going back to his family's home and up in the attic to rediscover the Go table has been interesting. Just like Hikaru, you can't be a hundred percent sure that the stain is less, though Sai is definitely sure of it, and to Sai that means there's something definitely in the wind. Hikaru's able to blow it off a fair bit because he doesn't think it's really changed, that it may just be his imagination, but Sai's becoming desperate in tone and action with Hikaru, going so far as to actually call out to him that he's going to disappear soon.
The two have had some defining moments in their relationship recently and this turns into another one, where Hikaru doesn't take into consideration how Sai is feeling. Hikaru does have some justification in saying that Sai has been around for a thousand years so it's unlikely he'll disappear soon, but he's not seeing the signs that Sai is. And Sai may be reading too much into it at times, but we know that his time is definitely growing shorter, it's just that he can't seem to get it across to Hikaru without it turn into an argument or just generally being unheard. After all this time together, it's definitely become a difficult relationship in some ways. Each feels held down by the other to some extent, subconsciously at least, and for a lot of it they both needed each other. But now that Hikaru is really progressing along, Hikaru's growing and changing and wants to do all sorts of things with Go but is still trapped by the presence of Sai when it comes to others.
Because of the feelings that Sai has, he instructs Hikaru to give in to Ogata's continual requests for a match against Sai. Sai has become increasingly gloomy as this has progressed and his mindset is that his time is incredibly short now, so he just wants to try and get certain things over with. Because Ogata is so drunk, he's able to convince him to play against him instead, though it's going to be Sai playing. Hikaru and Ogata have had a long relationship over the course of the series and there's been a certain adversarial feeling to them, but having the two of them play a game with Sai playing through Hikaru is something beautiful. It's the kind of game you wish took much longer than we saw, something that was savored more. But Ogata is unable to, though he played well even drunk, and starts to grasp everything that's happened. The somber feeling to the episode permeates this particular game heavily, especially with the music.
With an episode titled, 'Farewell Hikaru,' you know things just won't go well overall. After so much time together, you can sense that there's a sort of acceptance of Sai that's bordering on lazy in a way, where Sai is such a common thing in his life now that he's become immune to the real potential and enjoyment that can come from it. As it all winds down here after several Go related events, you can't help but to feel profoundly affected by the way the game between Sai and Hikaru goes as Sai talks about the meaning of everything both of them has gone through. It's a simple yet powerful scene that changes the show in a way that you knew must happen, but didn't expect so soon.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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.