Archive for August, 2010

This week’s episode is: Each and Everyone’s Dream.

Emily is now in Shrewsbury with her friends to go to high school. That is the good news. The bad news is that as Aunt Ruth lives in Shrewsbury, guess where Emily will be living for the next three years? Let’s just say Aunt Ruth’s decorating style leaves much to be desired as far as Emily is concerned. Aunt Ruth still gets Emily’s name wrong, not unexpected as she never has gotten Emily’s name right. Emily is expected to help with chores, which is only fair. But aside from Aunt Ruth and her decorating, Emily is hardly allowed to have friends over, she has to turn out the lights at 9 pm, and she can’t even open her window at night. Kind of makes you long for New Moon and Aunt Elizabeth. The one redeeming thing about the situation, aside from school itself and friends, is the view. Emily has a magnificent view from her room. Soon after school stars, Emily is confronted by a girl named Evelyn. She is a year ahead, gets regularly published in the school paper, and she is a niece of Emily’s first teacher at New Moon, the former Miss Bromwell. All of Emily’s poems get rejected from the school paper, though that doesn’t stop Emily. She even submits to the local papers and enters a poetry contest. Evelyn wins, though Emily thinks there is something off about her poem. Perry is busy with study and work, and is getting top marks for the year already in English and mathematics. Teddy is busy with the art club. Ilse wants a goal to work towards too. Ilse talks Emily into going through the countryside asking for subscriptions to the local paper to earn money. They meet a variety of people, some friendly, some not so much. At one house, while Emily talks with the mother, Ilse is pulled aside by the children and is asked to tell a story. Ilse stars reciting Emily’s poems to great affect. Later, Ilse and Emily try to take a shortcut but end up far from their intended destination and night is almost upon them. Emily sees some haystacks and decides they should spend the night out there. Aunt Ruth would be horrified, but what she doesn’t know she can’t object to. (Fortunately, it seems the two wanderers are not expected back in Shrewsbury until the next day). Emily tells Ilse that her recital earlier to the children was nothing short of brilliant, and she should become an elocutionist. Ilse immediately loves the idea!


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Hikaru no Go #57

Today’s game is: Let Me Play Sai!

Sai now realizes that he was still around for Hikaru’s sake, not his own, but now that Hikaru isn’t needing him anymore, Sai feels his time quickly running out. Hikaru is happy to have realized something neither Sai or the Meijin realized about their game – how the Meijin could have won. This quickly turns into horror, however, when he remembers the Meijin said he would retire if he lost. Early the next day, Hikaru goes to visit the Meijin and tries to talk him out of retirement. The Meijin, however, is adamant about keeping his word, and he even sees this as for the best. He is not retiring from playing Go, just from being a professional Go player. This will actually free up the Meijin considerably, which will do doubt be beneficial to his health. He plans to announce his retirement after the final match for the Judan title with Ogata the following week. The Meijin does want one thing from Hikaru though – to play Sai again. He won’t even try to find out who Sai is, or tell anyone about Hikaru’s connection to Sai. Hikaru is considering it – when Ogata shows up. Ogata overhears Hikaru mention Sai, and Ogata is immediately after Hikaru to beg him to let him play Sai. Akira then arrives, which is enough of a distraction for Hikaru to escape. The only conclusion that Akira and Ogata have is that there is some connection between Hikaru and Sai. The Mejin refuses to tell them anything about it. After leaving, Hikaru notices how depressed Sai is, and is a bit upset about that. After all, Sai finally played the game he wanted to the day before, and Hikaru is even willing to entertain the possibility of letting Sai play the Meijin again. But Sai feels he doesn’t have enough time for that. At Hikaru’s study group with Morishita-sensei, Waya shows the game between the Meijin and Sai. Hikaru then explains how the Meijin could have won. All Sai can see is people people paying attention to Hikaru on his own merits and Sai becoming invisible.

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Hikaru no Go #56

Today’s episode is: The Thousand Year Answer.

So the Go game between the Meijin and Sai continues, and the internet Go world holds its collective breath. Ogata goes to the hospital to visit the Meijin, only to find he is receiving no visitors. The nurse explains that he is playing Go on the internet and doesn’t want to be disturbed. Ogata rushes home and finds the game. Akira sees that Sai plays the way Hikaru played against him in their first two matches (for good reason – it was really Sai playing there), but he isn’t sure what that means. It is an intense battle, with neither side giving an inch. Every point, every bit of territory is hotly contested. In the endgame, the Meijin reads to the conclusion of the game, and realizes he has fallen half a moku (point) short, and has no way to make it up, so he resigns, much to everyone’s shock. Sai is absolutely thrilled at being able to play is best against an opponent like the Meijin, and have him return the compliment. However, Hikaru sees a way the Meijin could have won. Sai is crushed. The now knows the whole reason for his thousand years of continued existence was to show Hikaru this amazing game with the Meijin.

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This week’s episode is: Mother’s strength.

Perrine’s mother is ill with a cold. I wonder if she caught it from being out in the rain the previous episode. Perrine takes charge of the journey for the day, but when evening comes, the mother insists on being the one to stay on watch as they are between villages. The mother is worse the next day. Once again, there are no villages or travelers. Towards sunset, they do spot a house. A man rushes outside. It seems he is waiting for someone. He agrees to let the travelers park their wagon on his property and use his well. Perrine gets her mother to bed early, then she does some laundry. Late in the evening, the man rushes out and asks Perrine for help. His wife is having contractions. He is going to go for his mother and wants Perrine to stay by his wife while he is gone. At first all is well enough, but then the contractions worsen. The baby is coming, ready or not! Perrine gets her mother. Mother hasn’t delivered a baby before, but she had Perrine and has some idea of what to do. She has Perrine boil water. By the time the man arrives with his mother, the baby has already arrived. The next day, the travelers depart and find some extra food left in the wagon as thanks. It seems the experience has rejuvenated the mother, which makes Perrine very happy. They come to a village and get ready to take more photographs.

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This week’s episode is: Stairway of Youth.

The school is preparing to put on A Midsummer’s Nights Dream and Emily and her friends are in the middle of it. Mr. Carpenter comes to Perry with good news – he has a scholarship to attend Shrewsbury High. Perry is naturally ecstatic. Rhoda doesn’t see what the big deal is. She plans on focusing on learning domestic skills and not continuing with her education. Ilse already has permission to attend Shrewsbury High as well. Teddy and Emily also want to go. Teddy, however, is worried about leaving his mother. And Emily fears that Aunt Elizabeth won’t let her go. Mr. Carpenter goes and visits Mrs. Kent and tells her if she doesn’t let Teddy go she will hold him back. With some reluctance, she agrees. It seems Teddy’s father left a small inheritance – enough for Teddy to go to high school with, and Mrs. Kent never touched it so he is off to Shrewsbury High as well. Aunt Ruth comes to talk with Aunt Elizabeth about Emily. While both feel it would be disgraceful for any Murry lady to have to work, Aunt Ruth feels that more education for Emily would be no bad thing. Aunt Elizabeth disagrees. After all, it is when her beloved Julia left for school that she fell in love with and ran away with Douglas Starr. Cousin Jimmy does help her change her mind. When she calls Emily, Emily is out. Instead, she finds Emily’s journal left out, and she is quite upset by what she finds in it. Emily is quite upset for her part to find that Aunt Elizabeth read her journal. Well, a journal is for venting, and Aunt Elizabeth is one thing Emily often felt the need to vent about. To say her descriptions of Aunt Elizabeth are unflattering would be an understatement.  No wonder Aunt Elizabeth is not happy. Emily for her part feels that Aunt Elizabeth had no right to look at her journal. In the end Aunt Elizabeth storms away, but Emily glimpses tears. Emily realizes that not everything she wrote about Aunt Elizabeth is entirely fair – after all, while one might question some of the specifics, Aunt Elizabeth is providing very well for Emily and raising her as best as she knows how. Cousin Jimmy encourages Emily to apologize to Aunt Elizabeth and Aunt Elizabeth apologizes as well. As Emily says, she never knew Aunt Elizabeth cared for her. Aunt Elizabeth then tells Emily she can go to Shrewsbury on one condition – aside from school assignments, no writing. Emily cannot bring herself to agree to this, but she does want to go to high school badly so she agrees instead to write only the truth while in school. This is enough for Aunt Elizabeth who objects primarily to fiction. Emily doesn’t like this agreement, but Mr. Carpenter thinks it will be an excellent exercise for her. The next fall, Emily, Teddy, Ilse, and Perry get on the train to Shrewsbury to go to high school.

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Hikaru no Go #55

Today’s episode is: Sai vs. Toya Koyo.

Akira goes off to his study group with young pros. His mother tells him how his father doesn’t want any visitors for the day, and Akira does think it is a bit strange.

The Meijin prepares his laptop. Hikaru goes to the internet cafe. The game between Sai and the Meijin begins. Hikaru is worried about the Meijin retiring if he looses, but on the other hand he has a front row seat for the Go game of the century. Word quickly spreads among the internet Go community. The one in the Netherlands is even woken up in the middle of the night. At first Waya wonders if Sai and the Meijin are the real deal. After all, there was a fake Sai, and who would expect the Meijin to play Go on the internet. He is soon convinced otherwise. The Meijin soon acknowledges that Sai is a worthy opponent and if he looses he will keep is promise about retiring, but if he wins he is going to force Sai to reveal who he is. Sai begins an attack, but in the end the Meijin neutralizes it. Even Akira’s study group is drawn into the game. When Akira sees who is playing his father, he is amazed that it is Sai. The fact that he is playing the Meijin and keeping up in an even game means it is the real Sai. Who will win?

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Hikaru no Go #54

Today’s episode is: Excitement.

Ah, the calm before the storm, though calm may not be quite the right word because Toya Meijin is stirring things up in the online Go community. Amateurs from the United States and the Netherlands have taken notice, and yes, they know it really is the Meijin. After he beat a Japanese pro online there is no doubt left of that. Toya Meijn seems to be doing well and plays a great game against Ogata, making the title tournament 2-2 out of five. Ogata is rather upset by this turn of events. Still, after the game the Meijin is taken back to the hospital for more rest and observation. After getting settled, he asks the nurse to turn all visitors away the next day – the day he will play Sai. True to his word, the Meijin is taking this game seriously. The Meijin is a kind man, though with a stern side and he is ruthless when it comes to Go, but seeing his wife, you have to wonder what life is like for her. Oh, if there were a true emergency, I have no doubt that the Meijin would rush to her side and stay as long as necessary, but in some ways he is in a world she isn’t a part of. The Meijin plays more Go online to get ready for the big day, and he handily beats the amateur Go champion from China. Hikaru and Sai, meanwhile, are going over some of the Meijin’s games when they get a visitor – Akari. It seems Go club is canceled for the day, so she wants Hikaru to teach her. Hikaru is at first reluctant, but Sai wants to and promises to play with the utmost propriety, so Hikaru agrees. This is Sai’s way of relaxing before his big match.

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