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Hikaru no Go Licensor Announced

posted on by George Phillips
Viz has acquired both the anime and manga forms of Hikaru no Go, according to the American Go Association's June 30th E-Journal..

Excerpted from the E-Journal:

vendor of anime and manga, has acquired the English language rights to
the Hikaru no Go manga (graphic novels) and anime (animated videos) that
have captured the imagination of thousands of new go players in Japan.
The first English versions of the anime and manga should appear later
this year, according to AGA President Chris Kirschner. "This is a great
opportunity to introduce go to the American public, and we're going to
work together toward that goal," Kirschner said. Some organizers believe
that the release of the Hikaru series in English could spur many more
American young people's interest in go. The "fansubs" that have been
available on the Internet have already inspired many new young players.
Commercial products will reach an even wider audience. According to the
conventions of the "fansub" world, distribution and use of unauthorized
translations of manga and anime should cease when acquisition of the
license is announced, so it is likely that "fansub" versions of the
series will soon be hard to find. For those unfamiliar with the story,
Hikaru no Go is a coming-of-age story set in modern Japan. Brash young
Hikaru discovers an old go board in his grandfather's attic. Like a
genie in a bottle, the spirit of a great player has been trapped inside
for decades. When Hikaru lets him out, he is eager to continue his
search for the perfect move - "the move of God." Eventually, Hikaru is
drawn inexorably into this quest. Praised for its high production
values, the Hikaru series has single-handedly revived interest in go in
Japan. According to sources there, until recently most Japanese young
people thought of go as "something grandfather plays", with no relevance
to them. Now however, teachers are flooding the Japan Go Association
with requests for demonstrations in their schools. "It's the biggest
thing since Pokémon," they say.
(original article by Roy Laird)

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