Sunday, April 6, 2008

Shion no Ou: (Ended) Shougi or Drama?

The murder mystery is solved, and the drama (partially) about Shougi is ended. Come to think of it, I think there are more than half of the series' time is devoted to Shougi. It's surprising how it managed to last all the way to the end for me who do not play or care to play Shougi.

If you look at the plot, even though there are some unpredictability, for the most part, you can still see something coming several episodes ahead. So I think the attraction has more to do with the character then the plot itself. There are many deep, rich, and well developed characteristics in this show. The mystery really isn't a mystery any more two thirds of the way through the series, yet it's still so interesting because you want to see how the character would react to the fact once they discovered them.

On top of that, there are Shougi play to fill in the blanks-in-between. I'm sure people with Shougi experience would be either praising or criticizing the plays. Me? I had no clue what they are doing. Even so, it still provided some necessary intensities for the series.

I really couldn't say which is more technical, Hikaru no Go, or Shion no Ou. Mostly due to the lack of experience of Shougi. But the general expression I got is that Shion no Ou does carry a bit deeper into the technicality of Shougi than Hikaru no Go does with Go.

Overall, I think it's a solid series.

Final Scoreboard (of 5):

Drama: 4.5 (No lack of that)
Comedy: 4 (There are some humors here and there)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 4.5 (Clean, clear, and stylized)
Sound/Music: 3.5 (I don't remember, which means average at best; I do like the opening theme though)
Character: 5 (Well developed)
Plot: 4 (Interesting)
Ending: 4 (Satisfactory)

Re-watch value: 3.5 (Maybe I'll watch it again once I get interested in Shougi)

Overall (not average): 4.2 ~ I think it's a solid series, people knows Shougi might disagree...

Recommendation: Unless you really dislike technical animes (or Shougi), I think this is worth watching.

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