Hikaru is given a phone call asking him to appear in the Japan/China/Korea Junior's Tournament but he finds out he will have to take part in a preliminary tournament to choose Japan's three contestants. Upon discussing this with Akira, he discovers that Akira has already been chosen for the tournament and will not be taking place in the preliminaries. Hikaru then decides not to visit Akira's Go Salon until he takes his place on the team with Akira. That may be tougher than originally planned, as not only does Hikaru have to battle with old friends for one of two coveted spots, but he may have a new challenger, in a promising player from the Kansai Go Institute.
Hannah's comments: First of all, it is a must that you have seen the actual tv-series of "Hikaru no Go". Otherwise it is quite pointless to follow the story and the characters themselves. All of the teenageboys know each other from the prel. school. The young Toya is the one who have biggest expectation on him and very high pressure on his shoulders, since he is the son of the famous Go-master. In this film the main story is, who of all these Japanese young Go-masters go through this pre-tournament to be the Japanese team against China and Korea later on, in the "North Star Cup". It will only be three who can take the places. There is a young guy from the Kansai Go Institute, all Hikaru´s classmates don´t know anything about. The rumor is that (of course) he is so good, that he even can beat Toya.
It is hard to make just one film, so it can have any excitement before a big tournament. The creator of this film, has done it quite bad. Yes, you can see all the kids have grown up a bit, but the voices are the same, which irritates me a little. I think they could have more manly voices. I also thought that the film would take the oppertunity to show how it goes for the Japanese team in the actual tournament. There was some "ah", and "oh" and "nah" and "big eyes", depending on who were playing, and what kind of moves they did. Othere than that, the film was quite boring. Even in the actual tv-series it happens more in one episode of it, than in this long film of approx 77 minutes. The final comment, why have the headline to "New Years Special", when it actually is about taking part of the Japanese team for a 3-nations-cup? As a reminder, watch the tv-series first: Hikaru-no-Go. I know the tv-series is long, but then you definitely understands what this film is all about. Much more fun as well.