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Hikaru no Go, Volume 21 by Yumi Hotta
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Hikaru no Go, Volume 21

by Yumi Hotta

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Ochi beats Waya, qualifying for the Hokuto Cup, but when he sees Hikaru and Yashiro's game, he knows it's several levels above his and Waya's. He asks to extend the Hokuto Cup qualifiers so that the can play against Yashiro, who lost against Hikaru, and prove to himself and others that he deserves to be at the Hokuto Cup. Unfortunately for him, Yashiro wins and becomes part of Japan's Hokuto Cup team. Yashiro, Hikaru, and Akira stay at Akira's currently empty home for a while, playing nonstop practice matches against each other until they drop. Meanwhile, Akira's dad is playing as an "amateur" in Korea, attempting to become stronger for a rematch against Sai (that's never going to happen *sob*). Also, one of Korea's professional Go players, Ko Yong Ha, disses Shusaku, resulting in Hikaru seeing him as someone who must be beaten.

Another fun volume, although, again, I deeply miss Sai. It hurt my heart that Akira's dad was working towards a rematch that he didn't know could never happen. I'm not sure that even a match against Hikaru after he's had a few years to acquire some experience would be good enough.

Oh man, Ochi. If it hadn't been for his pride, he'd have gone to the Hokuto Cup. That said, I think Hikaru, Akira, and Yashiro were a more fun group than Hikaru, Akira, and Ochi would have been. I liked that Yashiro's unsupportive parents made Hikaru more aware and appreciative of his supportive mom. She may not understand Go in the slightest, but she does her best to make sure he has the time to concentrate on it.

One quote I liked from this volume: "...it must be lonely to be the God of Go. You'd have no equal, no rival." (Hikaru to Akira and the people at Akira's Go salon) I still wonder about Sai. Did he disappear because he'd finally found his perfect rival (Toya Meijin?), or did he disappear because he'd helped lead Hikaru down the path of playing his own kind of Go? Considering the series title, the latter seems likely, although maybe there's an element of both.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Nov 24, 2018 |
The art is nice as usual (as expected from Obata), but the story and drama is as exciting as a tempest in a teapot, with grudges based on artificial misunderstandings and coincidences. ( )
  timothyl33 | Feb 19, 2011 |
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"The Hokuto Cup, a new tournament for young players from Japan, China and Korea, is looming, and Hikaru's rival Akira has already secured one of the coveted three places on Japan's team. While Hikaru battles his way to one of the two remaining spots, Akira's father baffles the go world with his unexpected retirement!"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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