Hikaru no Go is one of my favourite manga (but I have too many favourites…). In Japan, apparently the number of kids/people who play Go increased significantly after the manga was released. I call it a conspiracy. Like Prince of Tennis, Slam Dunk, Eye Shield 21, and Captain Tsubasa, Hikaru no Go is probably one of those sports manga that is brainwashing the kids in Japan to do things other than reading manga. Considering Shounen Jump is the best-selling manga magazine out there, maybe the Japanese government has a secret contract with Jump that requires the magazine to publish at least one brain-washing, good-for-the-kids’-body-and-mind type manga in every issue…

Okay, maybe not… But Hikaru no Go did a great job promoting Go, even outside of Japan. I still remember that when I was in high school (English boarding school), some local Go club people came and gave a short presentation on Go, showed a few episodes of Hikaru no Go (emphasizing and apologizing for the cussing words fansubbers used), and generated enough interest that a Go club was formed by me and some upper and lower-third form boys. Of course I knew about Hikaru no Go loooong before the presentation. Too bad the club disintegrated when our supervising teacher moved away. Those were some good times.

Anyways, Hikaru and Akira made playing Go look 1000 times more cool than it really is. Just observe your friends play a game of chess. Go might look all exotic and strange to your non-asian/otaku friends, but seriously, you probably look just as cool (lame?) as you are playing a game of chess… Okay, maybe I am just bitter because I fail at playing any RTS game (tear)… Go is actually super cool! Please teach me how to hold the Go stones like a real pro~~~

I rant too much.

Since I am a true otaku, I can’t help but wonder if the games in Hikaru no Go is actually based off anything. I mean, making a basketball game or football game look super exciting is probably much easier than making up Go moves and make a board-game look legit and exciting… But since I am not the only otaku, there is someone who did all my research for me already. Mr Ooijer from My Friday Night Files apparently looked up many of the games from both the manga and anime, found the origin of the games in real life,  and made a database with the game data. If you read Mr Ooijer’s blog, you will see that he is an IT professional and the President of the Dutch Go Association since 1997. And he said:

“Mr Ooijer is the name of the Dutch Go Association’s President in the Manga Hikaru no Go. That is why I blog under that name.”

—Jan van Rongen

The world is an interesting place.

Just a side note: the picture in this post is a screen cap from episode 66 of the anime, and according to Friday Night Files, still does not have an origin yet. And, please don’t go to the games database if you have not read/watch the manga/anime. One of my most painful memories was when I was waiting for the last few chapters of Hikaru no Go, I found My Friday Night Files. Because the last game played by Hikaru and Ko Yongha is relatively new and well-known, the site already found the origin and posted it… So I actually knew the outcome of the game BEFORE the manga was released. It was quite traumatic…. >_>

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