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You know,  a week ago I would not have believed that Hikaru no… - Opalish's Evil Lair [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
opalish

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[Sep. 22nd, 2009|08:26 am]
opalish
You know,  a week ago I would not have believed that Hikaru no Go could break my heart.  Boy, did I underestimate the writers.  I can't remember the last time any work of fiction made me cry that copiously.  And during the last few episodes, I just felt this kind of raw ache the entire time, which only got worse when I went scrambling to read the story arcs that weren't in the anime.

I just found Hikaru no Go uncommonly realistic when it came to the characters and their interactions.  There's no unbreakable core group of friends, even the likable characters all have some unattractive flaws, sometimes the hero fails even when it really matters, and while there are a couple of unsavory guys walking around, very rarely is an episode set up in a good vs. evil format--the two episodes with shopkeepers cheating their customers are the only ones I can think of right now.  I don't think Hikaru was unreasonable to want to play his own games and I don't think Sai was selfish to want the same, which just made the whole problem with Sai and Hikaru essentially sharing a life more complex and painful.

And weirdly, I'm not sure whether or not in the end, I hurt more for Hikaru or Touya Meijin.  That shot of the elder Touya sitting by the board, waiting for an opponent who's never going to show up--man, for a three-second scene in the credits, that really got me.

But mostly, I just want to know why the hell Akira's mom addresses him with an honorific suffix.  Seriously, what the hell.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ontogenesis
2009-09-24 06:57 am (UTC)
This is why a lot of people like HnG. There are no villains (except for maybe Sai's long-dead rival), just flawed and very real characters. What's more, the style of the art matures to reflect the growing maturity of the characters.

And weirdly, I'm not sure whether or not in the end, I hurt more for Hikaru or Touya Meijin.

:smiles: That reminds me of the old question, "Is it better to have loved or not loved?" Hikaru knew Sai and mourns Sai, but Touya Meijin will never have that chance. (Except perhaps in the afterlife.)


The shopkeeper episodes are in the manga, but they're "side" stories, basically filler. Cute but not particularly meaningful.

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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-24 07:12 am (UTC)
Ah, just got your review on ff.net! Thanks for taking the time to comment, and I'm glad you liked the story. I always get a little nervous about writing in a new fandom, so it's good to hear that my characterizations weren't wildly off-base. I'll definitely look into posting on LJ, once I get over my weird cybershyness.

Secretly, I desperately want to believe that Hikaru got good enough to occasionally play Touya Meijin as an equal before too very long--I think it'd be a comfort to both of them. I mean, Akira's Hikaru's eternal rival, but it'd be a fitting memorial, Hikaru playing Sai's rival with his own heavily Sai-influenced style.

Heh. To be perfectly honest, I watched so many of the episodes all that once that when I got to the flower pot one with the toad-salesman, all I could do was stare and be all, "Uh. Just saw this. Only there was a convention and a fake signature involved and Sai had gotten over his skipping phase." And then I remembered that SAI WILL NEVER SKIP AGAIN and had to go cry into my shirt sleeve for a while.
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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-24 07:13 am (UTC)
ALSO. Your icon, it brings me sadness. God, some of the images in HnG are just beautiful.
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-25 02:10 am (UTC)
I KNOW. Isn't it amazing? I can't even begin to describe how much I love it. (PS: Phantom of the Pie was me on ff.net!)
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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-25 02:34 am (UTC)
Hey, thanks for the review! I'm glad you mentioned the Ochi segment, actually--that and the one with Hikaru's grandpa are rather more serious than the others, so I was kind of more nervous about the reaction they'd get, if any.

Hikago's SO AMAZING. I, uh, actually went and bought the entire set on ebay. Man, do I ever wish there were actual fic archives out there for HnG--I've been pretty unlucky in finding anything off ff.net. Any recs?
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-25 03:11 am (UTC)
FF.net is kind of a grab bag - a lot of mediocre fics, and a couple good ones. Check my LJ memories - the label Fic: HnGo - I have probably around a hundred fics memory-d. LJ has a TON of really good authors. Most of it's public. One of my favorite fics that's only on ff.net is http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4810210/1/Stepping_Stones
I really like the humor and the spin on Hikaru's character. issen4 has about a billion hikargo recs - click her hikago fic tag.
I also recommend the Answer Key community. It's where all the blind_go fics are posted (plus others, I'm not sure on the details).
There's also some meta floating around somewhere with tons of links to fic outside of LJ. Check me Hikago: Meta and Resources tab.

Have fun!~ (And write more! Please :) )
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-25 03:15 am (UTC)
Here's a direct link to my memories: http://www.livejournal.com/tools/memories.bml?user=psunym&keyword=Fic:+HnGo&filter=all

I hope you're a fan of Akira/Hikaru. Because if not . . . well. You're in trouble there then.
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-25 03:16 am (UTC)
And THIS is one of the most amazing fics on the planet. Reread it so many times and it makes me cry every time. http://glitterati.talkoncorners.net/fiction/inertia.php
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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-25 03:39 am (UTC)
I don't think you can actually watch Hikaru no Go if some tiny portion of your soul isn't an AkiraHikaru fan. I mean, seriously. WE ARE ETERNAL RIVALS AND WE'RE SO DESPERATE TO PLAY EACH OTHER THAT WE CAN'T HOLD BACK AND MOVE SLOWLY. That is not subtext. That's freaking foreplay.

Inertia! I've actually read all the Hikaru no Go fics on that site--the Ogata/Shindo one cracked me the heck up, and Inertia was so good I saved it to my computer.

Thanks for the link to your memories, too!
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-25 04:10 am (UTC)
I KNOW RITE!? I'm thinking of converting my friends from "eh slash i don't like to read about guys taking it up the ass" to "if on hot guy is good, then two hot guys = best" by introducing them to Hikaru no Go. Seriously, if they deny that Akira/Hikaru is not canon or at least very, very plausible, then they are being dense ON PURPOSE. OH THOSE BOYS.

Creepy Ogata scares me so I avoided the Ogata/Shindou ones. But I love Inertia. I love it so much.
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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-25 06:43 am (UTC)
I started reading a longfic on ff.net, and was STUNNED when I realized it was going to be het. I just kind of stared at the screen for a long moment and was all, "...but this is Hikaru no Go!"

Oh, Creepy!Ogata. I enjoy him when he's drunk and not, you know, slamming minors into walls.
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-25 11:20 pm (UTC)
I know, same here! Besides, all the female characters are underdeveloped (then again this is shonen manga). And what with being ETERNAL RIVALS heck it's practically a marriage vow.

Also, do you mind if I friend you?
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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-26 12:53 am (UTC)
It's totally a marriage vow. Their first official game was the ceremony.

Friend away! Once I remember how to work the friends function, I'll totally reciprocate.
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-26 06:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they hadn't played in so long they did it so quickly.

I'm not the only one seeing the euphemism, right?

Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-25 03:36 am (UTC)
Ooh, Stepping Stones! I actually went through and hunted down every longer story I could find, and I was just totally charmed by that one.

I think I actually stumbled across the Answer_Key community, but got kind of discouraged when I couldn't find any summaries for the fics. I have a mortal fear of being ambushed by deathfics, alas.

Definitely going to scour your memories, and oh my god that's an awkward-sounding sentence. THANK YOU.

Ahaha, I'm actually currently writing a longass AU where Hikaru and Sai are both modern-day flesh-and-blood people. It's, lord, over ten thousand words so far. I may yet scrap it, though, because I'm not actually sure it's any good--sometimes I just gotta write a crappy story to get it out of my head so I can start thinking up decent stories. If that makes any sense.
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-25 04:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, me too. I can't wait until an update!

Ohh, I see. Well, I hope you try it again, because there are a lot of spectacular fics there - although I understand why you didn't want to.

xD You're welcome!

OH YOU ARREEE? Well. Even if you do end up scrapping it, can you post if on LJ? I'd love to read it and I hope I'd be able to give you some feedback on it!
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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-25 06:48 am (UTC)
Would it be immature to post it with a HI GUYS PLEASE DON'T LAUGH SHUT UP written in, like, bold red capslocked letters overhead?

Eh, I'll wind up reading all of the fics on AnswerKey, probably. I'm easy that way. I'll go into a fandom being kind of nitpicky--"Only fics over twenty thousand words that are well-written and completed with a happy ending"--and wind up reading WIPs with barely-comprehensible spelling and grammar wherein everyone dies horribly.
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-25 11:22 pm (UTC)
Totally not. Whoever said such blasphemy? Don't listen to them.

I find myself doing that myself. It's kind of inevitable, really.
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[User Picture]From: ontogenesis
2009-09-26 07:19 am (UTC)
Man, I was gonna rec you "Overture" by my buddy tristefic, but I guess she decided to delete it. -_-;; It was modern-day Sai / Hikaru. Had some flaws but still beautiful.

Well, instead, have this lovely. <--Akira and Hikaru, although I like it for the Sai and TK parts. Very dream-like.

Or this bittersweet Hikaru & Sai.

If you're looking for recs, I find that Painless_J has tastes that align with mine. She also provides useful mini-summaries.

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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-27 02:58 am (UTC)
Thanks! Haven't had a chance to read either yet, but the words 'bittersweet Hikaru and Sai' fill me with a sort of masochistic glee.

I think I've actually used Painless_J to find Horatio Hornblower recs before. I recall that I liked her system of organizing and summarizing fics. I love it when someone who recs for one obscure fandom recs for another one I enjoy, as well. And I'm now attempting not to sing 'it's a small interwebs after all' like a total spaz.
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-25 03:17 am (UTC)
I thought the serious parts were really well done, actually. For a new Hikago writer - actually, forget new - your characterization is amazing!
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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-25 03:42 am (UTC)
I'm totally blushing now. Again, thanks so much for taking the time to review--here and at le pit.
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-25 04:11 am (UTC)
Aww, no problem! You totally deserve it.
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[User Picture]From: psunym
2009-09-25 03:28 am (UTC)
Um. I made a mistake here - I accidentally replied to myself instead of replying to you (god i'm such an idiot), so to see the links you'll have to look at the whole post. Sorry!
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[User Picture]From: penguin474
2009-09-25 06:02 am (UTC)
Hikaru no Go is an amazingly strong story, and, like ontogenesis says above, there are no villains, but very real people. Who can be nasty at times, sometimes out of sheer thoughtlessness or frustration, not because they're Evil.
And everyone is allowed development through the series - even Sai, who is a ghost, minor characters like Hong Su-Yeong, and characters who would be "set" in other stories, like Touya Kouyou.
I came here via your Five Scenes fic; I hope you don't mind me friending you!




Edited at 2009-09-25 06:02 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: penguin474
2009-09-25 06:03 am (UTC)
Oops, edited for html fail...
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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-25 06:34 am (UTC)
Bwah. Embarrassing confession: I had to edit my Five Stories post three times to get the lj-cut thing to work. Wound up googling 'lj cut how' in a panic.
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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-25 06:32 am (UTC)
I'm honestly still not sure how the writers managed to make most of the characters child prodigies or their brilliant mentors while still keeping them so flawed and human. I'm just so used to shows and books forcing their heroes to be larger-than-life, as if it's impossible to find someone interesting if occasionally they fail or stumble.

I think it's Sai's development I find the most interesting. I mean, just watching him grow more solemn and insecure as the series goes on--I found it genuinely painful.

Please, friend away!
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[User Picture]From: ontogenesis
2009-09-26 07:44 am (UTC)
What impresses me is how individual the characters are. I reread the manga when I'm writing, but it's not one of those stories where I start to spot the seams or rough parts the second go-around. Instead, I notice the little details, like speech or gestures or expressions, all the areas that give subtle nuance to the characters. Perhaps this is what prevents them from becoming boring generic heroes.

The Sai in the beginning is just so happy to be free and to play that he pushes away his darker thoughts (and he's obviously influenced by Hikaru's youth and childishness, too; the influence goes both ways). He wields more sway over Hikaru too, because Hikaru doesn't really know what he wants yet.

The Sai we see near the end -- I think that's a glimpse of the Sai who was capable of suicide.

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[User Picture]From: opalish
2009-09-27 03:04 am (UTC)
I definitely agree. Normally, I'm not much of a secondary character person, because they just tend to be flatter to me--but even tertiary characters in Hikaru no Go feel less like they haven't been developed and more like they're fully-formed characters who just haven't gotten enough screentime yet.

I was honestly surprised when I went ahead and wrote Five Scenes, because I hadn't realized just how much I adored Waya, Asumi, Touya Kouyo, Ochi and the rest until I found myself writing them.
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