What They Say:
Hikaru and Sai are both scheduled for matches with their greatest rivals - Akira Toya and his father, Toya Meijin. How will Sai play without revealing his secret identity? And will Akira's father stand in the way of Hikaru's long anticipated rematch with his son...? The suspense is getting unbearable!
After stumbling across a haunted Go board, irresponsible Hikaru Shindo discovers that the spirit of a master player has taken up residence in his consciousness. In his pursuit of the "Divine Move," Fujiwara-no-Sai awakens in Hikaru an untapped genius for the game, and soon the schoolboy is chasing his own dream - defeating the famed Go prodigy Akira Toya!
What We Say:
It's time for Hikaru to make his official debut in the professional go world in the Oteai Tournament, and as fate would have it, his very first opponent is none other than his rival Akira Toya! However, before the eagerly anticipated match between the two young go players can take place, the unexpected disrupts their match. However, the unanticipated event happens to provide Hikaru with the perfect opportunity to arrange for a rematch between Sai and Toya Meijin. The two go giants battle it out for real this time -- in virtual reality!
Hotta finally sets up a scenario where Sai and Toya Meijin finally get a chance to fight it out on an even battlefield. In my mind, I realize it’s just a game being played out on a computer, but it’s difficult as a reader not to get caught up in the suspense of just which of the two masters is going to win, especially when Toya Meijin adds his own personal stakes to the game. The author and artist handle the arc very much like a showdown between rival samurai swordsmen, and the reader ends up feeling much like one of the members of the international go community watching the game play out online.
In the midst of the hubbub about the two rival matches, we also get to see Waya and Hikaru grow up a bit in their non-go lives. Though all of their non-go peers are still in high school, Waya and Hikaru have essentially entered the world of adults, and it is interesting to see Waya come home like a weary salaryman to his mother's nagging and wonder if he can make enough to move out of his parents' house. Hikaru still acts very much like a kid, but even he is having to dress up in a suit and think about bank accounts and tax returns.
Volume 13 extras include a story thus far summary, the results of the Second All-Time Greatest Character Contest Survey that took place in Japan, notes about storyboards (in manga form) from the author, pictures of Hikaru no Go merchandise that was designed by the artist, a bonus Bleach sticker that is part of the 40th anniversary poster from the Shonen Jump magazine, and ads for other Viz titles.