Sunday, January 17, 2010

At Last! A Comic About Chess: Sort of

"Shion no Ou Manga"
One Manga


"Yasuoka Shion lost her parents, and her voice, when she was a murder.

"She was found amidst a blood-soaked room, and the only hint for the suspect was a Shougi board and one piece: the King. Now, Shion steps into the world of female professional Shougi players. As her popularity and fame slowly rises, so do the questions about her past, particularly the murder case that was never solved."

If you're looking for a Japanese comic (manga, if you like) about chess, except it's not chess, it's 将棋, and has a central character who doesn't speak: しおんの王 is for you. One Manga, mercifully, presents しおんの王 in English translation. With footnotes.

Huh? The Post Title Said "Chess"?!

Shogi isn't chess: but it's close.

The name of that comic/manga, Shion no Ou, or しおんの王, by the way, comes through Google Translate as King Shion.

Where was I? Right. Shougi. Also romanized as shogi. Or shōgi.

It gets translated as "chess," sometimes, but it isn't. Quite.

Both games got started about two and a half millennia back, where India and Afghanistan are now. More or less.

The game, the version that spread north and west, is played with 32 pieces on an 8 by 8 checkered board. The version that went east has a board that isn't checkered, is 9 by 9 squares, and has 40 pieces. An intriguing aspect of Shogi is that captured pieces can be returned to the board - playing for the side that captured them.

The Lemming will be Back in About an Hour

With a post, one can only hope, that isn't quite as rambling.


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