Hikaru no Go Vol. #08 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 7.99
  • Pages: 204
  • ISBN: 1-4215-0642-4
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Hikaru no Go Vol. #08

By Eduardo M. Chavez     December 27, 2006
Release Date: November 07, 2006

Hikaru no Go Vol.#08
© Viz Media

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

What They Say
Hikaru faces the preliminary rounds of the pro test, during which he must eliminate not only his classmates at the insei school but also any outsiders who want to take the test. One of them in particular appears to know how to exploit Hikaru's weaknesses, and poor Hikaru seems powerless to stop him.

The Review
Some of you might not even consider go a sport. There is no contact in this game. When dealing with professional level matches the game does not translate well on TV or radio. The action might be there but it is strictly mental, metaphorical even. A well placed king move might be as significant for a match as an interception or double play but the impact is not immediate. Everything about the game of go takes time and that does not translate well to manga. Furthermore, in the world of shonen manga, where story lines are already thin and action is key, the methodical strategic pacing of a go match might end up boring the tween that read these magazines.

Hikaru no Go not only makes the game of go accessible to younger readers, it also opens up the world of go to "professional" manga readers. In volume eight, readers are allowed to witness the insides of the making of a professional. Actually, we get to see four friends now rivals matched up against each other for the three spots that will be available this year. Each match has tremendous significance. Win three matches and advance to the next round of qualifiers; lose three matches and you wait out another year. Matches are longer, obviously have more pressure on them and are being scrutinized even more than before. Little mistakes will cost Hikaru and Hotta makes sure to change him enough that he learns to take risks that could create those mistakes.

As expected in a shonen manga the heroes always win; so, all your favorite characters end up doing fine. However, Hotta exposes some weaknesses in character that should prove interesting in future matches. The potential for friends to run into each other is now also greatly increased. We only got to see that once in this book but it has to happen in the next one. And that should be worth the wait, despite the lack of pre-game hype.

Volume eight of HnG was really a teaser. I wouldn't call it filler because we finally got to see Hikaru under pressure. He didn't take to it very well. Obata-sensei didn't either as there were too few match moments drawn in this volume for my taste. I really could not feel the relevance of each match. At the same time learning the process of becoming a pro through Obata's detailed art was at least somewhat educational. This manga needed more action. It needed more excitement. Maybe some better announcers and a cheerleader or two would have done it. Maybe more game action and less broding over bad lunch dates would have helped also.


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