How Shogi Anime Scratches That Intellectual Itch

Sports anime are usually watched to see someone push their limits. Shogi is different in that it features the same concept, but pits protagonists against players presented as elites. Moreover, shogi is not a sport in the typical sense of the word, but a board game where one uses all his intelligence and tries to lead the other player to victory.

Shogi is a classic Japanese game similar to chess with a few key differences. The rules are quite easy to learn on YouTube and once someone knows them, it makes the anime even better. However, basic knowledge is not required to enjoy Shogi. Quite the contrary, fans often watch these anime to learn about the origins of the characters without ever paying attention to the painting itself.

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The audience is able to decipher the boards, the potential moves, and see how easily a character can turn the game around. Often the characters explain the strategy, and the viewer feels really smart while watching. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching the final match and knowing how it’s going to unfold.

Characters who play Shogi are known for their high intelligence. Like Shikamaru Nara, he is not only good at Shogi, but has also proven himself to be a fine strategist in the Naruto’sseries. It’s good to know the qualities of a Shogi player because then they turn out to be cool and composed. Very intelligent and precise in his thoughts and movements.

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Anime that features Shogi do a great job of showing a character overcoming difficult experiences, much like in Mars is coming like a lion. In Mars is coming like a lion, a young Rei Kiriyama loses his parents at a young age and is taken in by his uncle who is a world famous Shogi player. Things get complicated quickly because his uncle prefers Kiriyama to his own children. Kiriyama earns enough money to move out and take care of himself, and he meets a group of friends who truly support him no matter what. Along with studying Shogi, it’s a great anime that focuses on personal growth and overcoming the struggles attributed to growth.


Unfortunately, well-known Shogi-focused titles are limited. Mars is coming like a lion, Shion No Ou and Ryou’s work is never done are all based on the popular board game. Shion No Ou is a Shogi with a cult. After the murder of the protagonist’s parents, no evidence remains at the crime scene other than a single piece of Shogi. This leads to the protagonist pursuing Shogi, assuming the murderer was also a Shogi player.

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Many complex feelings surround Ryou’s work is never done. Ryuuou’s title means “the dragon king”. It is only awarded to those who can reach the top of the Shogi world. Yaichi Kuzuryuu wins this title, but unfortunately most members of the Shogi world do not recognize it. They don’t think he’s worthy and he sets out to make sense of his name.


Unfortunately, while all of this is going on, he also forgot that he told a little girl named Ai Hinatsuru that if he won the title, he would make her his disciple. Considering the age difference between the two characters, as Hinatsuru obviously has blossoming feelings for him despite his young age. It’s very much a loli fanservice anime, but aside from its controversial elements, the gameplay elements are incredibly well done.

There is another anime that fits the theme of scratching that intellectual itch and called Hikari no go. A Go player’s ghost is stuck inside Hikari’s grandfather’s Go board, and when he touches it, the ghost comes out to haunt him. Now that they’re together, they can play games of Go, alternating between the two as Hikari Shindou hones her diamond in raw abilities.


It’s an amazing thing when a character who’s been through so much can get completely lost in a game. Just focusing on the board in front of them without letting any other intrusive thoughts get in the way. Any board game anime centered around Shogi, Go, or card games like Karuta is a must-watch if viewers love Sports anime.

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