Middle-school protagonist of Hikaru No Go. Hikaru is the host of Sai. He is also an experienced Go player in his own right.
Hikaru Shindo was just an ordinary boy about to enter middle school when he found an old Go board in the attic. He heard a voice speaking to him, which he later found out was the spirit of Fujiwara-no-Sai, an ancient Go player. Alongside Sai, he grew into one of the most promising Go players in all of Japan.
Hikaru Shindo was conceptualized by Yumi Hotta and ilustrated by Takeshi Obata for the manga Hikaru no Go. In the Japanese language track of the anime he is voiced by Tomoko Kawakami, and in English he is voiced by Sam Vincent.
Over the course of the series, Hikaru grows both physically and emotionally. In the beginning, Hikaru is a slightly selfish child of twelve with no interest in Go, and quite small in stature. However, over the course of the series Hikaru has gained a thoughtfulness and skill with Go that he lacked before. He has also grown into a much more mature high school student, whilst still retaining popularity with the readers, as evidenced with his consistent top-ten standing in popularity polls.
Major Story Arcs
In the Beginning
Hikaru Shindo was an ordinary middle schooler until he came across the
haunted goban (Go board) in his grandfather's attic. He saw blood stains on the board that only he could see. The spirit of Fujiwara no Sai became very pleased and revealed himself to Hikaru. Sai then went into Hikaru's concienceness and Hikaru became the second host for Sai.
Hikaru's Journey Begins
After becoming Sai's host, Hikaru was pestered relentlessly by him to play Go. After discovering that Sai's intense emotions could make him sick, Hikaru agreed. The went to a Go salon where Touya Akira was playing. At first, Hikaru just let Sai play and chose not to take the game seriously. It was only after he saw the seriousness of Touya that he began taking Go seriously and began to learn how to play from Sai.
Hikaru's Go Club Days
Hikaru began his training at his school's Go club where he met the only other member Tsutsui. At first Shindo made very little progress, but w ith the help of Sai and Tsutsui, his skill began to improve. Akari joined the Go club with him, and she too began learning how to play Go. When Akira went to Shindo's school and asked for a game, Shindo turned him down. He wanted to defeat Akira with his own strength instead of using Sai. He got even better when he "convinced" (forced) Mitani to join. They then entered a middle school go tournament where Touya Akira was waiting for Shindo. Touya had joined his middle school Go club and had begged his teacher to let him be the third captain for the tournament, knowing Shindo would be there. They played and without Sai helping him, Shindo lost. During the summer break, Hikaru learned about online Go and decided that he would let Sai play online. This way he could hid his real identity and let Sai play as much Go as he wanted against someone other than him. Using Sai's name as the screen name, Hikaru let Sai play people from around the globe, Pros and amateurs alike. Sai became the focus of the Go community and that was when Akira became interested in playing him. He went online and challenged Sai to a game. It was an intense game that Sai won, but Akira felt not only Sai playing, but Hikaru as well. He went looking for Shindo, thinking that he was Sai, or that
Hikaru and the Go club
he knew Sai. Hikaru was able to convince him otherwise and decided to stop playing online in order to avoid attention. After his defeat, Hikaru went back to training in the Go club. When he learned that Akira had taken the pro exam and became a pro, Hikaru was determined to chase after him. So he decided to become an Insei. He signed up for the test and was given three kifus from which he could write down the results of his games. When he told the fellow club members about becoming an Insei, they gave him some bad news. If Hikaru became an Insei, then he wouldn't be allowed to participate in any of the upcoming middle school tournaments and he would have to quit the Go club. At first, he was conflicted about becoming an Insei, but Kaga, the captain of the Shougi club, gave him a way to decide. He had Hikaru play a triple game between Kaga, Tsutsui, and Mitani at once. Hikaru was able to beat Tsutsui and Mitani, but he barely lost to Kaga. Kaga then told him he was good enough to become an Insei and told him to write down the results of the games into the three kifus he was given. Hikaru went to the Insei exam and played the pro who was giving the exam, though Hikaru didn't beat him, the teacher was a little impressed by his strength. He then went over Hikaru's kifus, which he at first didn't think was impressive enough to become an Insei. It wasn't until Hikaru casually said that it was a triple game that the teacher became amazed. He then congradulated Shindo for passing the test and becoming an Insei.
His Insei Days
When he first began as an Insei, Hikaru began at the bottom of the class. He had a hard time playing some of his fellow classmates so he did lose a bit. After he adjusted to the new playing level, he began winning his games and getting better at Go. He met some new friends like Waya and Isumi and
Hikaru as an Insei at the Go Institute
together the began improving on their Go skills. At the mention of the Young Lions Tournament, Shindo learned that Touya was going to be there and that only the top 16 Insei were allowed to enter. Hikaru fought his hardest in order to make the top 16 and succeeded. At the Young Lions Tournament, Hikaru played and lost in the first round against a pro. Hikaru then trained with his friends and Sai until it was time for the pro exam. He signed up and played in the preliminaries. When he played an adult named Tsubaki, he ended up losing that game and the two other games after that due to stress and fear. Even though he suffered those losses, he passed the preliminaries. In the time between the preliminaries and the actual exam, Isumi and Waya took Shindo to Go Salons to help him get over his inexperience with playing adults. He not only played against the adults in team battles with Waya and Isumi, he won them too. They played many games at many other Go Salons until Hikaru encountered a Korean Kenkyuusei (Korean equivalent of a Japanese Insei) named Hon Suyon. He played an intense game against him and won. After his defeat, Suyon asked him for his name so that he could remember it and challenge him again one day.