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Tetsuo Kaga is the head of the Haze Middle School Shogi Club, and was one of Hikaru Shindo's first Go opponents.
Kaga was raised by his father to become a champion Go player. Although he was skilled, however, he was always unable to defeat Akira Toya, and instead wanted to learn how to play Shogi. This caused his father to become impatient with him, and also prompted Akira to ask him if "he wanted to win." Even after winning his final match, 82 and a half to 82 with komi, or extra points, he quit the Go club and took up Shogi, eventually becoming prolific enough to become head of the Haze Shogi Club.
Kaga was conceptualized by Yumi Hotta and illustrated by Takeshi Obata for the manga Hikaru no Go. Initially, Kaga was supposed to have one of three personalities: a cheerful delinquent, a gloomy delinquent, or a Shogi fanatic. She then combined the three personalities into "a cheerful but slightly gloomy delinquent who is also a Shogi fanatic." In the English manga, Kaga originally smoked cigarettes; however, more recent reprintings of the manga have replaced his cigarettes with bubble gum.
In the anime, Kaga is potrayed by Kentaro Ito in the Japanese Language track, and Andrew Toth in the English dub. Also, in the anime, Kaga's signature cigarettes were replaced with Kaga chewing bubble gum in both the Japanese and English versions of the anime.
Kaga has remained consistently, and surprisingly, popular with fans in the manga. Despite his minimal appearances in the manga after the first few volumes, Kaga has retained a high standing in the popularity polls, placing third in the first popularity poll, and within the top ten in the resulting polls.
Major Story ArcsKaga was one of Hikaru Shindo's first challengers at Go. He provoked Hikaru by insulting the school Go club in front of Kimihiro Tsutsui, ruined his Go board, and tore up a copy of Toya Meijin's "Problems of Life and Death", which prompted Hikaru to challenge Kaga. A bet was struck between the two: if Hikaru won, Kaga would apologize for what he had said about Go, and about his previous acts. But if Hikaru lost, he would have to jump into the freezing cold pool.
As the two played against each other, with Sai controlling Hikaru's movements, it was fairly obvious that Sai was the superior player, although he continued to toy with Kaga, interested in his style of play. However, Hikaru became distracted when his friend Akari passed by, causing him to misplace a move, and leaving him open to attack. In the end, Kaga won the battle, but very narrowly. Instead of going through with their bet, Kaga instead decided to recruit Hikaru so that they could play in an official middle school tournament, regardless of the fact that Hikaru was only in middle school.
During the tournament, Kaga proved himself to be a challenging opponent for most of his competitors, beating them within ten minutes. However, during the final round he was defeated by the captain of the Kaio Middle School Go Club, which left it up to Kimihiro Tsutsui and Hikaru to win the competition. Although they did win, their team was disqualified once it was discovered that Hikaru was in elementary school.
Later on, when Hikaru first enters middle school, Kaga attempts to encourage him to join the Shogi club, to no avail.
Kaga made one final appearance in the manga, as Hikaru was leaving school to become an insei. Instead of anger at Hikaru leaving school, Kaga instead proposes a challenge for Hikaru. If he can beat three people whilst playing at the same time, Kaga, Kimihiro, and Yuki Mitani, then he will be good enough to become an insei. It would also be enough for Hikaru to get the three games required as recorded data to be submitted. Although Hikaru has difficulty with the setup at first, he soon grows accustomed to it and wins each game.
After this game, Kaga graduates from Haze Middle School and leaves the manga for good.