Hikaru no Go
Mi Nukareta Kyuushou
(Discovering a Weak Point)
Copyright: © 2001, Hotta Yumi, Shueisha, TV Tokyo, Avex Mode, Studio Pierot
Length: 25 minutes
Rating: NR, Suitable for Family Viewing
Format: Original Japanese Dialogue (VHS, DVD)
Following his win over Akira, Hikaru has started taking Go lessons in order to learn a little about the game that he's playing on Sai's behalf. However, as a rank beginner, lessons prove to be incomprehensible and decidedly dull. Sai on the otherhand has little difficulty following the class, but more importantly has much to gawk over in the current era having been "in limbo" for over a century.
As Hikaru tries to learn basic gameplay, Akira on the otherhand struggles to come to grips with his defeat. Akira, a near pro level Go player, can't understand how another person who'd never played a match before, could play a skill determining round as Hikaru seemingly did. And so, Akira sits at his table re-playing the moves from the match he'd lost to Hikaru trying to work out what strategies he could have used instead. And Akira also waits, refusing to play others in the hopes that Hikaru will return to the Go Salon...
Some interesting character development in both Hikaru and Akira's characters keeps viewers interested in this episode amidst the Go lessons. While those who are more familiar with the game may be able to appreciate game play more than the uninitiated, again, viewers need not have knowledge of the game to enjoy this episode. Rather, as with any serious game, hobby or interest, the intense concentration and focus of interest in the subject is more important and clearly communicated to the viewer.
This second episode builds on the first episode expanding on the characters personalities, Akira's in particular. Having lost to Hikaru, viewers watch as Akira's character struggles to learn from his defeat and works towards furthering his skills at Go. The fleshing out of Akira's character is of particular interest in what would otherwise be an okay episode with some interesting flashes of humour. Likewise, there is more information given regarding the game of Go as we watch Hikaru try to learn the basics in an i-Go class.
The background music in this episode is notable for the introduction of a number of new melodies including a nice melancholic piano piece reflecting Akira's inner struggles and feelings. While some melodies are recycled with differing key and tempo, overall, the music track is proving to be rather intriguing. Working to intensify the various scenes, I'm rather curious to see how the soundtrack does on its own.
From portraying scenes of character development to i-Go play, there is a good mix of serious scenes combined with brief moments of humour to add some comic relief. All in all, the pacing of the episode keeps viewers attention firmly focussed without getting too dull and focussed on gameplay. The acting also continues to be very good with the seiyuu all strongly in character. Thus far, this series is proving to be most intriguing particularly regarding the serious approach of the participants in the tournament towards the game and especially Akira's inner struggles.
- JYN, 2002.07.02
café rating (original japanese):
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