I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
It's the final volume, and time for the final Hokuto Cup matches.(show spoiler)
The volume ends with seven bonus sketches of prominent characters in the series, a short flashback manga called "Fujiwara no Sai vs. Akira Toya" (Sai and Akira's second game? Akira bites back and surprises Sai, even though Sai wins in the end), and a short manga that takes place after the end of the series, "Shoji! Oka!" (Young Lions, two insei characters play matches against Hikaru and Akira and are inspired).
The artwork is beautiful, but I really, really missed Sai. I think Hotta must have too, or Sai wouldn't have kept appearing in dreams, flashback manga, etc.
While this certainly wrapped up the series and gave it a proper ending, I still can't help but feel a bit disappointed. I wanted
I both liked and felt sad about Akira's dad's theory that, if Shusaku came back in the form of Sai, then he came back to face him. And this is certainly the closest any characters have come to guessing, on-page, what really happened to catapult Hikaru into the world of Go.
Well, that's that, I'm finally done with this series. Now I kind of want to rewatch the anime...
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)