Hikaru no Go - Reviews

Hikaru no Go
kyochan14's avatar
Mar 6, 2016

Hikaru no go was exciting to read!!! I wont lie on that ... I would stay up reading the manga late at night despite having work in the morning I just wanted to see how Hikaru would overcome everything and reach the hand of GOD. Very exciting and enjoyable to read. The art is very well done too! BUT I HATE THE ENDING!!! Seriously I hate the ending like what happens to Sai!!! I get the whole point towards the end but I wanted to see more! The ending was disappointing.... 

7/10 story
9/10 art
9/10 characters
7/10 overall
0 0 this review is Funny Helpful
BJJShutIn's avatar
Jun 18, 2017


One of my favourite mangas ever. Contains excellent characters. The art isn't anything crazy but I like it and feel that it suits the story and matches with the vibe that the writer was trying to get across. The story was brilliant up until towards the end were it was revealed that despite all the build up Hikaru was just simply a brilliant player and would not be the one to perform the hand of god. The writer also leaves a bunch of loose ends. It feels like she was simply told to wrap it up and wrote the most suitable ending for the part of the story she was at. Despite this I still feel as though this is a brilliant manga as up until the last few chapters it was excellent.

?/10 story
?/10 art
?/10 characters
9/10 overall
0 0 this review is Funny Helpful
nathandouglasdavis's avatar
Nov 18, 2019

Like a million other people, once I read Hikaru no Go, I tried my hand at playing go. It makes a slow and thoughtful strategy game feel intense and passionate. But I can't help but feel that the manga would've been much better without the inclusion of the concepts of the Divine Move, the god of go, or destiny. The Divine Move--the idea that there's an ideal first move in a game--is a stupid hook intended to create a clear goal for those serious about go, when in actuality becoming more skilled has less to do with getting closer to some Divine Move and more to do with getting better at predicting your opponent's moves and understanding the state of the board (which the manga also talks about).

Hikaru encounters Sai, a ghost of a genius go player, who basically forces Hikaru to start playing. At first, Hikaru does so begrudgingly, but fe soon develops an interest in the game. Fe learns go quickly and eventually becomes somewhat of a late-game maestro, being able to come back from nearly impossible board states. I especially enjoy the insei arc. I don't care for feir time in the middle school go club, though I can recognize its necessity storywise. And I don't care for Isumi's time in China. There's also several other overly corny chapters and moments, including the last twenty or so chapters. Though I actually tear up during the saddest part of the manga. That part hits me hard. Y'all know what I'm talking about if you've read it.

The artwork in the beginning is about a 5/10, but as it goes on, the characters start being drawn more naturally.

8/10 story
7/10 art
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
0 0 this review is Funny Helpful
colourmyworld's avatar
Dec 24, 2011

Hikaru No Go is my favourite manga. I've read it again and again and I can't get enough. I love the art style, I love the comments throughout it made by Yumi Hotta. I think it's fantastic that it's based off of a game (that I still wish to learn how to play, but haven't).

The plot is just so original, and it's carried through so nicely. You would think that 23 volumes about go would be boring, but it's definitely not. 

Not to mention the characters in the manga - so fantastically made.

10/10 story
9/10 art
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
0 0 this review is Funny Helpful
Samus's avatar
Jul 14, 2010

STORY: 6.5/10

“How did they make Go so exciting?” is the refrain whenever someone starts talking about “Hikaru no Go.” I was tired of hearing it ages before I started the first volume. But that doesn't mean it's not true; despite being based around a quiet, contemplative game of tactical maneuvering, this is an action-packed series.

Shindo Hikaru is a typical shonen-manga punk kid protagonist with a mother he disrespects and a school career he couldn't care less about. But his life gets a shot in the arm when he discovers an old  goban, or Go board, in his grandfather's attic. The goban is home to the spirit of Fujiwara Sai, history's greatest Go player, who promptly takes up residence in Hikaru's brain. Hikaru doesn't have much interest in the game at first, but after accidentally stirring up a rivalry with the rising star Touya Akira, his entire life begins to change.

What works best in this series is its sense of pacing. It's particularly evident during tournament arcs, but author Hotta Yumi creates a near-perfect sense of constantly rising stakes, and the tension rarely lets up. When it does, it comes exactly where you'd need it, and even the pauses for comedic relief can keep the plot moving and provide a little character-based conflict. My biggest problem was the way in which several arcs are resolved. On multiple occasions, such as the Young Lions Tournament midway through the series, battles that have been built up further and further in the readers' minds are glossed over entirely, and the characters merely discuss the results over ramen hours later. While it doesn't happen terribly often, especially in the latter part of the series, it's terribly jarring when it does happen, and makes me wonder what the importance of the last 10 chapters was after all.

ART: 7/10

There's not all that many ways to draw kids putting stones on a goban, but I'll be damned if Obata Takeshi didn't think of all of them. It gets dull at times, with entire chapters focusing around differently-angled shots of Hikaru and Co. gritting their teeth and sweating, but there is a lot of visual symbolism that would be lost in the hands of a less-competent artist. Takeshi knows exactly when to pull out the chibis, too, and if there's someone out there who doesn't think a fat, short thousand-year-old ghost squeeing over a board game is adorable, I'll eat my hard drive. Plus, his color pages are absolutely gorgeous, and the attention to detail in every page is consistently impressive.


For the most part, there's not a lot to say about the characters in terms of their “traits.” Each player is basically just characterized on whether they are loud- or soft-spoken, a strong or weak player, egotistical or humble. There's not a terrible lot of grey area, and everyone's character arc is predicated completely on becoming a stronger Go player, leaving no room for being a better person in real life (which gets super frustrating when Hikaru continues to treat his mom like dirt, even after becoming a contemplative and mature-sounding person). But “Hikaru no Go” is still a character-driven story because of the way each of them interact with each other and learn from each other. All of the story is derived from throwing characters against other characters and seeing how they interact. Despite how shallow they can sometimes be, this provides for really engaging drama, and seeing everyone's problem play out on the goban is more therapeutic than anything has ever been.


It's hard to write a review of a manga like “Hikaru no Go” by breaking it down into its component parts, because Hotta Yumi's writing and Takeshi Obata's art combine to make something endlessly entertaining. Upon a closer examination, there isn't a lot below the surface here, but even when I was visiting New York City on vacation, I was hard-pressed to tell myself “No! Stop reading!” It's the type of story that the term “page-turner” was created to describe, and in my opinion, it's one of the best contemporary shonen manga in existence. And that's real.

6.5/10 story
7/10 art
6.5/10 characters
7/10 overall
1 0 this review is Funny Helpful