Hikaru Shindou had just settled into the life of being a professional Go player when he received news of the North Star Cup – a special team competition between the young pros of Japan, China, and Korea. With his rival Akira Touya having already been guaranteed one of the three Japanese spots, Hikaru must battle his way through a qualifying tournament to become one of the other two representatives. But fellow young guns Waya and Ochi, along with a mysterious youth from the Kansai region, aren't backing down without a fight. With both familiar faces and new rivals standing in his way, this may be Hikaru's toughest test yet!
Story: This Special episode is a continuation from the original series and is in the manga so its not separate from the series and if you are a fan of the series its a must! After finishing the original series I was distraught by them not showing anything about the Hokudo Cup. I desperately wanted to know who would be picked and if Shindou was among the three that would be chosen to represent Japan. So, of course, I immediately went to the manga, and, of course, read it to its entirety right to the very end. . . It has been several months since I completed Hikaru no Go and so while browsing for something to watch I was overjoyed to find this special episode and upon starting said episode was immediately pulled into the story where I stayed happily occupied for the entire 77 minutes! It was a joy to be able to revisit this wonderful anime! The preliminary matches to decide who would be on team Japan was simply perfect and I LOVED the match between Shindou and Yashiro! It was one of the highlights of the series and honestly one of the best matches in the entire series! Fantastic! Animation: The animation style is like that of the animation style at the end of the original series. Very nicely done. Sound: The voice acting hasn't changed so i retain my opinion that it was very well done! The soundrack also fit the episode quite admirably. Characters: Again, I retain my opinion that the characters were well done and added much to the storyline. I really quite liked Yashiro and, of course, simply love the rivalry between Touya and Shindou! xD Overall: This special was a solid 9 in my book! Highly recommended to all fans of Hikaru no Go! I simply couldn't pull myself away!