Anime Review: Shion no Oh

August 1, 2008 at 1:58 pm | Posted in Anime, Music, Recommendations and Reviews | 3 Comments
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Here’s the latest song stuck in my head: My Dear Friend by Teruma Aoyama.
Lyrics can be found here.

Yeah, you guessed it. It’s an ending theme song to a show I recently finished, Shion no Oh. (It should be Shion no Ou because that actually makes more sense but for some reason, most people use Oh, kinda like Yu-gi-Oh would make more sense being Yugi-ou, since ou means king.)

Summary: As a child, Shion Ishiwatari’s parents were murdered in their own home. Shion escaped unharmed, yet the trauma caused her to lose her voice. The only evidence police found was a shougi board and one piece “the King”. Neighbours and close friends of the family, Shinji and Sachiko Yasuoka, adopted Shion and taught Shion how to play shougi. As the years passed, she became known as a genius and quite a famous player. Now, as her fame rises, her past resurfaces and she discovers that being a professional shogi player may just lead to finding her parents’ killer.

I watched this show pretty quickly because, for one thing, it was only 22 episodes (finished it in like 4 days, not my fastest by the way) and because it kept my attention. The story is quite interesting: there’s a murder mystery, right off the bat, as well as aiming to be a kishi, a professional shougi player.

For those of you who don’t know what shougi is, I’ve pretty much thought of it as a more complicated version of chess. One major difference is when you take an opponent’s piece, you can use that piece on your side of the board as you see fit, or just take it off the board. This brings me to one of the things that I wasn’t quite satisfied with Shion no Ou (I prefer it spelled this way). Even though the game was all about shougi, they never really teach you how to play it! They tell you about certain strategies that are important to the plot and the moves they’re making, but they never really explain that much about the game. At least when I was watching Akagi, an anime about mahjong, they taught you some basic rules along the way and some pretty important things about the game. Here, all they tell you is that you are trying to capture your opponent’s king, which I feel is not enough of an explanation. (I’m sorry if I don’t understand!) And maybe it’s because whenever I play chess, it’s not on a board with the letters and numbers (to tell you in which square the move is being made), but these people can imagine the board in their head and play just by calling out their moves! I’m sorry, but I’m a visual person and I don’t have the mental capacity to do that. It’s cool, but isn’t it unrealistic? At least, to me it is. Then again, they are very smart… I dunno lol. It’s just a show, I should really just relax.

I thought it was really well done and they made Shion a very cute mute. Maybe a bit too cute, but I guess that’s part of her image. All of the characters are quite interesting and quite different, which gives the show a lot of variety. The art is very pretty, even the evil-looking parts. But yeah, they really had me going there. And you gotta love those moments after they make a move when the opponent will either go “Heh, not bad.” or “What?” (basically, either they saw that move coming, or they are so surprised they’ll now lose the match) This show was very well done and the plot was unraveled nicely as well. This show has a lot of suspense and some pretty crazy backstories. Overall, very entertaining. Even though it’s a bunch of shogi games, I did not at all feel like it got repetitive (unlike Akagi which I dropped because of this… but I think I might give it another chance when I have the time).

I’ve heard that the manga has a different ending than the anime? Hmm… maybe I’ll look into that. I thought it was a good ending and similar to what I had expected.

Song Rating: 9/10
Still in my head…

Series Rating: 8/10
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10
Character: 8/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Hehe… that was easy. (No, I didn’t press the Easy Button…)

Random Quote: The pleasure of a dream is that it’s a fantasy… If it happens, it was never a dream. – Unnamed soldier, Fullmetal Alchemist

Trope count: 4



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  1. Fantastic post! rad blog

    • Thanks! 🙂

  2. Outstanding share indeed. I’ve been seeking for this content.

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