Shion no Ou

Shogi (Japanese chess) + murder mystery = great entertainment!

This is another anime that will probably not make its way to the US due to the obscure (to the US) subject matter.  This anime does go into nerdy detail about Shogi, but it’s not necessary to understand specifically what’s going with the Shogi games to enjoy the show.  Shogi, rather serves more as a back drop and a metaphor the rest of the show.  The murder mystery is the interesting part of the show.  The story starts with the brutal murder of a little girl’s parents as the little girl looks on.  The little girl, Shion, is left alive and we don’t know why.  She is also unable to speak due to shock from the incident  — or so we are told.  The rest of the story continues to unfold in dramatic fashion with lots of false leads and one shock after another as the characters themselves realize how screwed up things really are.  It’s fun to watch characters who thought they were in control find out that they are just pawns in someone else’s larger scheme.  I’m not sure how many episodes there are, however, there are 18-episodes translated into English and they are available through the usual portals.  At episode 18, the story seems to be at a climax.  We think we know for sure who the murder is.  The question now is why did the person kill all those people, will the person kill again, and will the police catch the criminal before the person kills again.  This is definitely a show for adults despite being animated due to the level of violence and the complexity of the story and the characters.  I highly recommend this anime to anybody who likes a good “whodunnit.”

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