13 Best Manga about Board Game Go and Shogi

Do you know the world of “Go” and “Shogi”?

I think there are many people who know the rules somehow, but to actually know the depth of go and Shogi, you can only do it if you actually play seriously as a club member or a professional. However, if it is in a manga, you may be able to peep into the world of Go and Shogi.

In this article, we will introduce you to manga about “Go” and “Shogi” games! The intense panel, strong drama and easy-to-understand explanations that even beginners can read are one of the charms of these mangas. Why don’t you try to get addicted to Go and Shogi games by using this as a starting point!

So without further ado, here are my board game manga recommendations!

5 recommended manga about “Go”.

The board game Go is said to have originated in China and has been popular in Japan since the Heian period (794-1185). In recent years, there has been a Go boom among young people. Here, we’ll introduce you to five recommended works depicting this historical board game!

1. Hikaru no Go

The masterpiece manga that popularized Go among the younger generation

Volumes23
Chapters198
StatusFinished
PublishedDec 8, 1998 to Jul 14, 2003
AuthorsObata, Takeshi (Art), Hotta, Yumi (Story)

It is a Go manga that was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump (Shueisha) from 1999 to 2003. The original author Yumi Hotta, is actually the pen name of a married couple. Takeshi Obata, who is in charge of drawing, has created masterpieces such as “DEATH NOTE” and “Bakuman. This work has also won several prestigious manga awards and as of May 2022, it has sold over 35 million copies. 

The main character of the story is Hikaru Shindo, an ordinary elementary school student. One day, he finds an old Go board in his grandfather’s storehouse. The board, which has blood stain on it was inhabited by Fujiwara no Sai, a genius Go player in the Heian period. When Hikaru touches the board, he becomes obsessed with Sai and enters the world of Go.

At first, Hikaru was not interested in Go, but gradually he became absorbed in the fun of Go. I feel like adolescence when I see Hikaru gradually becoming more and more serious about Go.

The rivalry between Hikaru and Akira Touya, and between Sadame and Akira’s father (Yukihiro Touya) is another attraction of this work. They are aware of each other and improve each other and play the most passionate games. You will surely be impressed by their serious games in which they put their all on the line.

The explanation of Go is only basic, but the board has been studied a lot. The work itself is also supervised by Yukari Umezawa, a female Go player belonging to Nihon Ki-in. The contents have been checked by experts, so if you read the book after learning Go, you will have a different impression of the game!

🏆 45th Shogakukan Manga Award for the shounen category in 2000.

🏆 The 7th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Award

Crow in the Starry Sky - go manga

2. Crow in the Starry Sky

The first Go manga in the history of shojo manga

Volumes8
Chapters54
StatusFinished
PublishedJun 20, 2012 to Oct 5, 2015
AuthorsMorie, Satoshi (Story & Art)

The main character of the story is a 13-year-old girl, Waka Karasuma. Her grandfather who was a professional Go player taught her how to play Go when she was a child and she became absorbed in the game from a young age. However, Waka’s mother thinks her grandfather is a bastard who prioritizes Go over her grandmother’s life and she cannot tell her that she is playing Go.

Under such circumstances Waka who was playing Go behind her mother’s back happened to meet Soji Sagisaka, a young prodigy Go player. She saw him playing Go and his attitude toward winning and decided to become a professional Go player.

The charm of this work is the characters playing Go. Especially, Waka’s change is remarkable. At first, she played Go purely for the love of the game, but when she saw Soji’s obsession with winning, she started to change her mind. She gets more absorbed in Go and starts to take it seriously, which is very exciting.

Also, the development of the relationship between Waka and Soji is the charm of this work. The two gradually become attracted to each other, but there is actually a big secret in their relationship…? You can’t take your eyes off their relationship until the end.

3. Tenchi Meisatsu

A historical manga about the life of the renowned astronomer Shibukawa Harumi.

Volumes9
Chapters47
StatusFinished
PublishedApr 25, 2011 to Oct 24, 2015
AuthorsUbukata, Tow (Story), Maki, Ebishi (Art)

The story takes place in the early Edo period. The main character, Yasui Santetsu is from Yasui a famous Go playing family and he was serving the Shogunate as a Go player because of his skill.

However, he seems to be more interested in arithmetic than Go. When he got involved with Seki Takakazu an arithmetician who could be called a monster, he became more and more absorbed in arithmetic. This work describes the life of a go player who was bored with his everyday life until he achieved greatness.

To be frank, it doesn’t seem to be mainly about Go, but it also describes the origin of the Go title game called “Tengen”. It is a manga that is perfect to feel the history of the Go game rather than the development of Go.

The main character is “Yasui Santetsu” a Go player, but as an arithmetician and astronomer he takes the name of “Shibukawa Harumi”. You will definitely be drawn into the story of how “Yasui Santsetsu” becomes “Shibukawa Harumi” through the game of arithmetic with Seki Takakazu and the subordinate mission of surveying.

4. Hibi Chouchou

Volumes12
Chapters83
StatusFinished
PublishedFeb 20, 2012 to Aug 5, 2015
AuthorsMorishita, Suu (Story & Art)

The story is set in a Go hall “◯” in a certain place. This is a human drama describing stories of various people who visit there to play Go.

This is a work that describes memories and relations of people who come to the Go hall rather than a work that describes the game itself. It is not suitable for those who want to learn Go! but you can enjoy various stories of people who are connected through Go, so it is heart-warming. It is very interesting that you can glimpse various human characters in each game.

The author Mr. Morishita is an actual Go player and he became a 6-dan in only 5 years by his own study method. The game records that appear in the book are all very convincing, so it might be even more interesting to read it if you know Go!

5 recommended manga about Shogi game

5 recommended manga about “Shogi”

Shogi is a board game in which players read each other’s moves many times before they make them. Recently, Shogi has become more and more popular due to the success of Sota Fujii. Here, we’ll introduce you to five recommended manga works about Shogi!

3-gatsu no Lion - Shogi game manga

1. 3-gatsu no Lion

A shogi manga with a delicate depiction of emotions

Volumes
Chapters
StatusFinished
PublishedJul 13, 2007 to ?
AuthorsUmino, Chika (Story & Art)

It is a manga about Shogi that has been serialized in Young Animal (Hakusensha) since 2007. The author is Umino Chika who drew the popular manga Hachimitsu to Clover which has also been adapted into anime. This work also had a TV anime broadcast in 2016 and 2017, and a live-action movie starring Ryûnosuke Kamiki was released in March and April 2017. It has won several prestigious manga awards and has sold over 4 million copies as of July 2022. Like its predecessor, this work has received extremely high acclaim.

The main character of the story is Kiriyama Rei, who became a professional Go player at the age of 15. He lost his parents when he was very young and was taken in as an apprentice by Koda, a professional Go player who was a friend of his father.

However, he started to live alone in Rokugi Town when he entered high school one year later because of the bad relationship with Koda’s son. Being older than his peers, he didn’t fit in at school and led a solitary life. Then, by chance, he becomes involved with the three sisters of the Kawamoto family who live in Sangatsu-cho across the river. Through his encounters with these sisters, Zero gradually grows as a person.

As expected from the author of “Hachimitsu to Clover”, he is very good at depicting the emotional trauma of each character. Not only the main character’s feelings but also the feelings of the sisters of the Kawamoto family.

Also, there is a scene in the work where they teach Shogi to Hinata Kawamoto (the second daughter of the Kawamoto family) who doesn’t know Shogi, and it is very zany and easy to understand. Manabu Saezaki, who is a 9-dan Shogi player supervises the game, so people who know Shogi can also enjoy the game.

🏆 Won the 4th Manga Taisho Award

🏆 35th Kodansha Manga Award in the general category

🏆 Grand Award of the 18th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize.

2. Moonlight Shogi

A prodigy creates a whirlwind in the Shogi world!

Volumes32
Chapters351
StatusFinished
Published1993 to Apr 2, 2001
AuthorsNoujou, Junichi (Story & Art)

It is a manga about Shogi that was serialized in Big Comic Spirits (Shogakukan) from 1993 to 2001.

The main character of the story is a young man Shosuke Himuro, whose grandfather is a legendary player Sankichi Goshin. Himuro was born in Kochi and has played Shogi with his grandfather since he was a child, so his Shogi skills are great. He moved to Tokyo to become a professional Shogi player in accordance with his grandfather’s will. This is the story of his overwhelming Shogi ability and how he creates a new whirlwind in the world of Shogi.

Himuro is a brash character and his attitude is anything but flattering. He often plays in an egregious manner that makes his opponents despair. Nevertheless, his passion for Shogi is genuine. It’s exciting to see him try to win the game by pushing his mental strength to the limit.

Also, the rivalry with the genius Koji Takigawa is the charm of this work. Both players aim to win each other’s games, and they are passionate about each game.

The game scenes in the work are based on professional game records and supervised by Toshihiko Kawaguchi 6-dan. The work is very informative as it is well supported by theoretical knowledge!

When Will Ayumu Make His Move	 - shogi manga

3. When Will Ayumu Make His Move?

Battle of love unfolds in the Shogi Club!

Volumes
Chapters
StatusPublishing
PublishedMar 6, 2019 to ?
AuthorsYamamoto, Souichirou (Story & Art)

This is a romantic comedy manga based on shogi that has been serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine since 2019. The author is Soichiro Yamamoto, who also draws the manga “Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san”, and this work also depicts grin-inducing male-female interactions. It has sold over 1 million copies, and a TV anime adaptation is planned for 2022.

The main character is a high school student, Ayumi Tanaka. He belongs to the Shogi club even though he is a beginner. Tanaka is in love with Urushi Yaotome the head of the Shogi club and he teases her every day with his bold words and actions. This work describes the daily interaction between these two.

Tanaka says and does things to Urushi as if he likes her, but he never admits his love for her in front of her. On the other hand, Urushi tries to make Tanaka admit that he is in love with her, but Tanaka who has a poker face and makes bold statements makes her blush every time. I can’t stop grinning at their student life.

4. 81 Diver

Volumes30
Chapters375
StatusFinished
PublishedSep 7, 2006 to Jul 17, 2014
AuthorsShibata, Yokusaru (Story & Art)

It is a Shogi manga that was serialized in Weekly Young Jump (published by Shueisha) from 2006 to 2014. It was adapted into a TV drama in 2088. Junpei Mizobata and Riisa Naka starred in it and it became very popular. In addition to the TV drama, a wide range of media mixes has been developed, including video games and pachinko games.

The hero of the story is Kentaro Sugata, a young man who gave up the road to become a professional shogi player. Sugata who had never lost a game of Shogi betting won so much that he started avoiding the game. Then he hears a rumor about the strongest Shogi player called “Akiba’s Ukeishi”.

Sugata then went to Akihabara and challenged him to a game, but he was defeated in a spectacular manner. Sugata’s passion for Shogi was rekindled but his room was in disarray so he decided to ask for a cleaning service first. And what came to him was an “Akiba’s Ukeishi” dressed as a maid.

The charm of this work is the flashy game scenes. It exudes vigor and power that is not typical of a Shogi manga. It is interesting to see the development of the heated battles over various things.

Also, the relationship between the main character Sugata, and Soyo Nakashizu a maid-suited Shogi player is also an interesting one. Can they overcome the obstacles that stand in their way?

It is a serious Shogi manga, so it is recommended for those who like works that depict betting.

Shougi Meshi

5. Shougi Meshi

Volumes
Chapters
StatusPublishing
PublishedJul 5, 2016 to ?
AuthorsMatsumoto, Nagisa (Story & Art)

The main character of the story is a female professional shogi player, Nayuta Toge. She thinks that eating is very important for Shogi, a game in which you have to work hard for a long time. So she takes eating during the game very seriously. This is a slightly different work that focuses on eating during breaks in the game.

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Sometimes Nayuta doesn’t like to have the same meal as her opponent or tries to order a more expensive menu than what her opponent ordered. This is based on the actual experience of Akito Hirose who supervises the game record, and it is interesting that we can feel such particularities of the professionals from the meal scene of this work.

It is also interesting to see the influence of the menu on the subsequent games. Hats off to the idea and the point of view of combining two seemingly unrelated things, Shogi and food, so well.

The restaurant that appears in the manga is real, so it also has a gourmet manga aspect to it. This is a must-read for Shogi lovers and gourmet food lovers!

3 Recommended Manga Based on “Board Games”

It’s not just Go and Shogi that you use your head to fight on the board. Starting with chess, there are various board games in the world. Here are three recommended mnga based on other board games!

Banjou no Polaris - board game manga

1. Banjou no Polaris

Volumes4
Chapters18
StatusFinished
PublishedJan 6, 2015 to Mar 5, 2016
AuthorsWakamatsu, Takahiro (Art), Kiguchi, Minori (Story)

The main character of the story is Ippei Tsubaki, who lives on an island. Ippei is an extremely energetic fifth grader who dreams of adventure. One day Hime Himizaki, who dreams of becoming a chess grandmaster comes to his class as a transfer student.

Hime has been transferred from one school to another many time and has also spent a long time in the hospital because of her weak body. So she is not very good at making friends or talking well. The first time Hime felt she could make friends was with Ippei.

The two of them decided to play chess together, and Ichibei became very interested in chess. Hime, who was soon to leave for America, tells Ippei that she dreamed of becoming a grand master. She also leaves her precious chessboard with him and vows to become a grandmaster and play together again. Later Ippei goes to a chess school and meets Ren Haidou, who is said to be a genius. He competes with him, and he hones his chess skills to become a grand master.

This is a story about a boy Ippei, who dreams of becoming a legendary hero and going on an adventurous journey, and how he grows up by seriously bumping into the game of chess. Even if you are not familiar with the rules of chess, you can enjoy reading this manga. The story depicts how Ippei becomes more and more absorbed in chess, and makes you feel the elation and immersion you feel when you are absorbed in something.

I didn’t know that there are 700 million people playing chess in the world. This is a work that makes you interested in chess before you know it and makes you want to play chess even though you don’t know the rules.

Chrono Monochrome

2. Chrono Monochrome

A former chess prodigy travels back in time to the 18th century!

Volumes5
Chapters47
StatusFinished
PublishedDec 4, 2013 to Dec 3, 2014
AuthorsIsomi, Jingetsu (Story & Art)

The main character is Kuromu Inubushi, a second-year junior high school student. He has been playing chess since he was a small child, and was the Japanese representative for the Jr. Youth Chess World Championship. However, due to an incident, Kuroroku has not been able to face other people.

One day, while playing chess online against a man named Turk, he is transported back in time to Vienna in the 18th century. Kemperen, an inventor he met there noticed Kuro-roku’s chess ability and selected him to be the pilot of an automatic chess doll, Turk.

Kuromu goes back in time and arrives in Europe, where he enters an automatic chess doll to play chess. The element of time slip is added to the chess manga, which makes the work more versatile. The illustrations are very beautiful and easy to read.

Not only the fascination with chess but also the history of Europe in the 18th century is an aspect of this manga. If you take it together with the world view and historical facts, you will be drawn into the work even more.

It’s not only for those who love chess, but it’s also for history buffs as well.

Houkago Saikoro Club

3. Houkago Saikoro Club

Volumes19
Chapters107
StatusFinished
PublishedMar 12, 2013 to Jun 11, 2021
AuthorsNakamichi, Hiroo (Story & Art)

The main character of the story is Takekasa Miki, a high school girl with a shy personality. One day she meets a high school girl Takayashiki Aya and under her influence, she starts to look for fun things to do.

Then, the class president, Ohno Midori, introduces Mihime to board games. From this point on, the girls gradually grow up as they become absorbed in board games.

A great number of board games appear in the work, and the games progress with simple explanations of the rules. The games are introduced in a wide range of levels, from ones you know the names of to ones you’ve never heard of before.

You can enjoy the feeling of playing along with the characters in the work. It might be a good idea to try the games you’re interested in this manga by yourselves.

Summary

Well, how was it? I think that those who are familiar with Go and Shogi, or even those who don’t even know the rules, can enjoy the world of Go and Shogi. I think you can enjoy the world of Go and Shogi by starting from these mangas. Most of them explain the rules and strategies in such a way that even beginners can easily understand them.

And of course, there are many profound stories like “Hikaru no Go” and “3-gatsu no Lion”. I recommend you take this opportunity to read them! Because, after all, there is always a reason why popular mangas became popular. Both of them are especially recommended by our editorial department because of their strong human dramas involving Go and Shogi.