Posted by psgels on 10 March 2008 with categories: Shion no Ou


And the finale has begun! This episode mainly builds up for the two final episodes, but we already see some interesting events. Finally the murderer himself shows a bit of himself, and it’s like I guessed: this guy is obsessed with good shougi. His match against Shion has just only started, and he already is giddy with excitement over Shion’s wit.

The question remains, though: why Shion? Did Hani-Meijin already notice the talents of Shion when he first met her, and therefore decided to turn her into some kind of shougi-machine, or is there a deeper reason beneath it? Satoru believes that Kamizono knows more about it, so he decides to go and visit him this episode. Apparently, Hani-meijin held a match with Kamizono at the time of Shion’s death, providing him for an alibi that day.

And Ayumi, you idiot! How dare you listen to Hani-meijin at such a time and stay away from Shion’s match, right when she needs you the most!? Ah well, at least it looks like he’ll arrive before the match is over, but that might as well be too late for her. I must say that the creators have used the tournament extremely well to set up Shion’s encounter with her murderer. It makes perfect sense, and it’s definitely among de best tournament-arcs I’ve seen.

5 Responses

  1. KK says:

    Hi there! I have been reading your reviews on this anime while I am still waiting for the last 2 episodes! And like you, I am also wondering why Shion was picked to be the tragic victim in this story.

    *potential spoiler*
    Since Hani-Meijin had purposefully asked Satoru’s girlfriend to shoot Shion’s home in that Christmas 8 years ago, I am wondering if Shion’s parents were involved in the accident that took the life of Hani-Meijin’s father… and Satoru was the next to be blamed for that accident of course. That accident had resulted in Hani-Meijin’s own tragic childhood, and this could be one way to put the pieces together.

    Another plot I could think of that may not sound so reasonable was that Hani-Meijin could be too obsessed with shougi and was already too good at it 8 years ago, that he would want to “make” himself an opponent as strong as himself to play shougi with in the future, but I think the later Ayumi would be more promising than a baby girl Shion. Therefore, I prefer my previous guess instead of this one.

    I just can’t want to watch the rest of this anime! The news says it is going to have a DS game this coming April. I had watched real shougi matches on NHK before but could not understand a thing about it. Hope the game would not require the player to really play hours of shougi matches.

  2. apexantapex says:

    Hani-meijin had an indirect connection to Shion through Kyotarou, who was the one who discovered her once-in-100-years talent. Remember the episode where he begged Shion’s father to take her on and dump Hisatani as an apprentice? I can imagine that Kyotarou would be raving about his little prodigy to Hani-meijin, who was his great rival (and appeared to be friends, as well).

    In any case, it’s a given that Hani-meijin is psychotically obsessed with shougi — so I would give more credence to your second theory than the first. Shion has been set up to be a really astounding talent, and though Ayumi is one as well, I don’t feel like he eclipses her in ability. I think Hani-meijin is taking on Ayumi both as a worthy apprentice *and* using him as a pawn while he reels in Shion for whatever purpose he has in mind. (He can’t have Shion as an apprentice — she already has a master/father).

    It would make sense to me that he could plot that far in advance… that’s the nature of shougi, after all, and he is the Meijin.

    But who knows? I know about as much as the next uninformed person. The last two episodes should be extremely revelatory.

    I find it interesting that Kyoutarou doesn’t appear in the manga and seems to be an anime-only addition. Thus far the anime has been particularly true to the manga, with the addition of Kyoutarou and the subtraction of another minor character… the intriguing thing is that the manga is ongoing (so says Wikipedia) so I’m unsure if the anime will have a canon ending or if it will be an anime-created ending.

    I was a little disappointed to find out that Kyoutarou wasn’t original to the story, as I was hoping to pick up more story nuance from his character. He was so likeable. ^^ English scanlations are only out through v3, so after the anime ends, at least there’s that to look forward to…

    Sorry for the really long post.

  3. psgels psgels says:

    Don’t worry about the long post. I like it when people post this detailed responses.

    I’m surprised to find out that Kyotarou is an anime-original character. Especially considering how much depth he gave to both Shion and Hani-meijin. If I had to guess, then the creators chose to add him in for exactly these purposes. With this, I do wonder how the manga explained Hani-meijin’s goals, because I must say that your theory sounds pretty solid.

  4. linkuei says:

    I would like to add something:
    Shion used onigoroshi something similar to the chess scholar’s mate so it’s mainly used against amateurs:) I am sure it will become complex but now you understand the rwaction of Saori and the others.

  5. KK says:

    Does anyone know where to find shougi information about onigoroshi? The anime is such a thriller and I wish to know why that match of game is called onigoroshi. What is so ghost-killing in that match?

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 08:38 AM)
    Jesus I never expected that doing a myanimelist/letterboxd account thing would be so hard. I’ve seen a scarily higher amount than I thought, its insanely hard to remember everything to add.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:17 AM)
    It seems then that the future of the franchise’s anime adaptations rests a bit on Schwarzesmarken’s success, which looking at the buzz doesn’t seem favourable at all. I doubt it can regain the lost audiences.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:14 AM)
    That would suggest that the author(s) had the foresight of including seemingly useless stuff that will come into play later. That’d be impressive if they did, as these kinda series are make-it-as-you-go.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:59 AM)
    It’s difficult to put into words but essentially while the first game isn’t good, it does work as a tool for introducing and endearing you to the characters. Then Unlimited sets down the rules of the new world. And finally alternative proceeds to kick your ass into next Tuesday.
    That’s sort of why I don’t think it would have the same effect if it was an anime. VNs allow you to get a more personal connection with the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:55 AM)
    It’s not quite the same. It’s more like there are things in extra which seem insignificant but turn out to play an important role later. It wouldn’t really work the same if you did it in reverse order. Character history is a bit different too as each game is essentially an alternate universe. The character histories in extra are different from those in alternative.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:38 PM)
    And also remember how Darker Than Black had a big jump between the main series and Gemini of the Meteor. They later made a 4 episode OVA that covered the gap, and although you knew the outcome it was still entertaining; or at least more than the Gemini one. There’s merit to non-linear chronology and storytelling, but it is usually very hard to pull. The audience is intrigued by secrets that can later be uncovered, although in anime the pay-off is not always substantial.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:32 PM)
    I don’t know, the audience usually only needs very limited information to figure out dynamics and histories between the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:27 PM)
    A 13 episode series would work for the second title unlimited. But Alternative is a pretty long visual novel. You need at least two cours to give it justice. Making extra an OVA could work but you do need it for alternative. But it’s not an optional part of the trilogy. It needs to be read first, so that events later have a greater impact. Personally I am not even sure Muv Luv can even work in another medium.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:12 PM)
    That might compress things, but I think a good screen-writer can fit pretty much any VN in 12-14 episodes (covering just the main route).
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:07 PM)
    @Aidan: then the best solution would’ve been to make a two cour season covering the 2nd and the 3rd book. Have the cours air two anime seasons apart, and in the middle have an offshoot short OVA that covers the 1st book, but has a more harem comedy feel to it. Think Full Metal Panic and Fumuffu.

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