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
    (Wednesday, Oct 7. 2015 02:43 PM)
    ….Dear God…I have no words in which to describe hidan no aria AA, no words. The original I could take the piss out of. But this is a new low standard set for the light novel medium.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 09:02 PM)
    One-Punch Man’s pilot was almost adapted flawlessly. It straight up uses the manga panels as it’s main storyboard, but added just enough new touches to improve the action instead of ruining it. Now let’s see how they animate the mosquitos and all the lasers for the next episode.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:57 PM)
    And that’s why Madhouse is one of the few respectable studios left. I thought that they will be seriously diminished after Masao Maruyama took some of its key members and funded MAPPA, but One-Punch Man showed that they are still one of the best in the business.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:51 PM)
    @Kaiser The anime industry isn’t advanced enough in CG to make it look good, is all it is.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:51 PM)
    @K-off: Your not wrong, it certainly looks poor but some of the old gonzo animated stuff was far more woeful looking. Stellvia, which was done by xebec was another example of old anime cgi which was quite ugly to look at. Just as I prefer traditional effects in film I also prefer traditional animation techniques to cg.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:42 PM)
    Lately, the use of badly integrated cgi have been making my eyes sore,from the obviously cgi background characters in Asterisk to the overly fluid mech movements in Aldnoah. I still remember the shitty cgi piano hands in Kimi no Uso.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 12:04 AM)
    On the note of good balance between humor and drama- I think BoJack Horseman is an example of a show that executed that almost perfectly in both seasons. You are laughing one minute and amused by the hijinks and silliness and the next minute you are actually moved and shocked by the honest introspection. Too be honest BoJack is more a tragic character then a goofy one, and his struggles are deeper and more existential than they have any business being in a show with anthropomorphic animals.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    The changes in the setting actually made me more excited for season 3 then what I felt the past few weeks, since now the plot needs to move forward from the cliffhanger and hopefully this translates to more cohesion and refocusing on what mad the show great in the first place. I’m pretty sure S3 will also be a blend of episodic and arch story elements tho. Overall a few ups and downs but still a great show.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:52 PM)
    The finale also had some of the most overall arch story elements featured in the season. Earth joining the Galactic Federation is a big deal story-wise from now on. Also the use of a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (not the Nine Inch Nails one clearly) was a nice fitting yet surprising touch. The throwback to Mr. PB after the credits was a good idea, but felt flat in it’s actual execution.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:49 PM)
    I thought R&M had a pretty good finale. The episode achieved what was missing from most of season 2, and that was a balance of randomness and meaningful bits. What made Rick Potion #9 and the previous season’s finale and general tone great was a sense of humor that was combined with more sincere drama and character developments; a sort of sweet melancholy.

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