Posted 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 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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  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 03:27 PM)
    Ghibi’s up would certainly be a different beast altogether.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 03:08 PM)
    @Ken no, the ghibli one.
  • Kenjeran
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 01:55 PM)
    @Juno: Up? That Disney-Pixar one?
  • Noel
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 01:39 PM)
    Hi there. I’m currently interning for a small company in London, and they tasked me with creating a video tribute to Howl’s Moving Castle. I came up with this, and I thought you might like it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS-zTTQzgjI Noel
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:23 PM)
    The only time they ever get along seems to be during non-canon alternate universes made for fanservice, official or not.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:21 PM)
    Erm, no. They didn’t “get along” so much as Sayaka at least sympathized nicely with her. At least, until the end, when she basically swore never to sympathize with her again. XDDD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:20 PM)
    Another interesting point is that the character relations are pretty fluid, too. Characters can act differently toward each other in different timelines/potential futures. Rebellion actually solidifies Homura’s consistent feelings toward Mami and also that Sayaka just cannot seem to be on good terms with Homura… but even then, for a while, they got along pretty well until the end. XD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:17 PM)
    Madoka’s characterization seems pretty non-linear and only show up when necessary, so it’s definitely easy to see that they’re “dependent on the plot,” but there’s a ton of stuff there to piece the characters together into something coherent and solid.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:55 AM)
    Madoka’s characters act pretty confusingly? I never got that. I always felt there actions were pretty logical in the first viewing.
    Though a second viewing of anything can help. Mostly because you know the main story so you can focus on the little details.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:27 AM)
    If anyone wants me to ask any specific questions, let me know. Funny enough, people are saying the same thing I’ve been saying for a long time–that multiple viewings help us understand the characters better. Because a lot of characters DO act pretty confusing at first, but upon a second viewing, after we know more about them, those actions make complete sense. Meaning that Madoka’s characterization is not linear.

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