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Shion no Ō (しおんの王?, lit. Shion's King), subtitled The Flowers of Hard Blood, is a Japanese mystery manga written by Katori Masaru and illustrated by Jiro Ando. It is published by Kodansha in the seinen manga magazine Afternoon, and is collected in eight bound volumes.[1] It has been adapted as a twenty-two episode anime television series by Studio Deen, which aired in Japan between October 2007 and March 2008.[2] A video game for the Nintendo DS was released on April 10, 2008 by Mainichi Communications.


Shion no Ō centers around a young junior-high school girl named Shion Yasuoka who witnesses the murder of her parents as a child. At the time of the murder, the killer takes the king piece from her father's shogi board (a Japanese strategy board game similar to chess). This leads her to believe that the murderer may be a shogi player. The shock of the incident renders Shion unable to speak, forcing her to communicate by writing on a pad. After being adopted by her neighbors, the Yasuoka family (where the husband is also a shogi player), Shion takes up the game herself, both for the love of the game and to possibly learn who killed her parents.


Shion Yasuoka (安岡 紫音 Yasuoka Shion?)
Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi
Shion Yasuoka, formerly Shion Ishiwatari (石渡 紫音 Ishiwatari Shion?) before adoption, is the main protagonist of the story. When she was five years old, Shion's parents were slaughtered in their own home, though the murderer was never found. Shion, being a young girl at the time, was tramuatized by bearing witness to the aftermath and since then has been mute. To communicate, she writes down everything on a notepad. At the murder scene, Shion found a king shogi piece and later comes to suspect that the culprit plays the game.
When the story begins, Shion is thirteen and is in junior-high school. She loves sweets, though chocolate is her favorite. Due to her foster father's influence, Shion eventually starts to play shogi which she hopes will give her clues about the murder of her parents.
Makoto Hani (羽仁 真 Hani Makoto?)
Voiced by: Hozumi Gōda
Makoto is a professional shogi player and is referred to by many as Meijin (名人?), the highest and most prestigious professional shogi rank in Japan (similar to a World Chess Champion). A keen and perceptive man who abandoned his brother after their mother's death to become a professional player himself.
Satoru Hani (羽仁 悟 Hani Satoru?)
Voiced by: Masaya Matsukaze
Satoru is Makoto's younger brother and works as a businessman. Aside from that, he is also a gifted shogi player himself, who dreams to one day defeat his brother in an official match. His girlfriend was working with Shion's dead parents, and mysteriously died one day after them.
Ayumi Saitō (斉藤 歩 Saitō Ayumi?)
Voiced by: Romi Park
Ayumi is a fifteen-year-old male shogi player. Due to his sickly mother, he had to leave high school to take care of her and pay for her hospital bills. When playing shogi, he pretends to be a girl in order to earn money for competing; due to the male league taking two years to qualify. In the anime, after episode sixteen, he plays as a boy. Progressively through the series, he seems to care very much about Shion, saying that he wants to protect her. When he plays against Satoru, Meijin's younger brother, he reveals that his father was once a shogi player.
Saori Nikaidō (二階堂 沙織 Nikaidō Saori?)
Voiced by: Risa Mizuno
Saori is a female shogi player and apprentice to Makoto. She is eighteen years old, and a fan of Shion. As befitting the daughter of a high-class family, her type of shougi is usually dignified. She deeply seeks recognition from Makoto, who she looks up to.[3]
Shinji Yasuoka (安岡 信次 Yasuoka Shinji?)
Voiced by: Yasunori Matsumoto
Shinji is Shion's foster father and is a professional shogi player. His rank is 8 dan.
Sachiko Yasuoka (安岡 幸子 Yasuoka Sachiko?)
Voiced by: Mariko Kouda
Sachiko is Shion's foster mother. A strict but caring woman who ever supports her daughter and husband, despite not always agreeing with them.
Osamu Kamizono (神園 修 Kamizono Osamu?)
Voiced by: Ryusei Nakao
A secluded 9-dan shogi player. Despite his grumpy exterior earning him the nickname "demon," Kamizono seems to have a kind spirit, as he not only accepted Ayumi as his apprentice, even after discovering his secret, but also lent some money to Shinji when he decided to adopt Shion.



The manga of Shion no Ō is written by Katori Masaru and illustrated by Jiro Ando. It was serialized between the May 2004 and June 2008 issues of the Japanese seinen manga magazine Afternoon published by Kodansha.[1] Eight bound volumes were published in Japan.

No.Release date ISBN
1 October 22, 2004ISBN 978-4-06-314360-7
2 May 23, 2005ISBN 978-4-06-314378-2
3 January 23, 2006ISBN 978-4-06-314403-1
4 July 21, 2006ISBN 978-4-06-314418-5
5 May 23, 2007ISBN 978-4-06-314445-1
6 October 23, 2007ISBN 978-4-06-314472-7
7 January 23, 2008ISBN 978-4-06-314485-7
8 May 23, 2008ISBN 978-4-06-314505-2


The anime adaptation of Shion no Ō, produced by Studio Deen, started airing in Japan on October 13, 2007 on the Fuji TV television network.[2] The anime's opening theme is "Lady Love" by Rize, and the ending theme is "My Dear Friend" by Thelma Aoyama.


# Title Original air date[4]
01 Shion's Path
"Shion no Michi" (しおんの道)
October 13, 2007 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Eight years after witnessing her parents' death, Shion qualifies herself as a professional shogi player. However, her precocious career starts to draw unwanted attention.
02 Secrets
"Himitsu" (秘密)
October 20, 2007 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion is saved in the nick of time from a dangerous stalker. However, her drama continues as she receives a threatening letter before an important match.
03 The Sound of Shogi Pieces
"Koma Oto" (駒音)
October 27, 2007 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
A little relief comes to Shion when the man who attacked her six months before is finally arrested. She also recognizes Ayumi as the boy who saved her at that time.
04 Demon Hand
"Kishu" (鬼手)
November 3, 2007 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion has another fiery match against Ayumi, while the police discovers that the man who killed her parents started to move again.
05 Courageous Move
"Yūki no Itte" (勇気の一手)
November 10, 2007 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion is hospitalized after having a glimpse of the night when she lost her parents. Meanwhile, Nikaido and Ayumi have their first duel.
06 Provocation
"Chōhatsu" (挑発)
November 17, 2007 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
After Shion recovers, she goes on a trip with her family. Upon returning, she and Nikaido receive a sudden request from Hani-Meijin's younger brother, Satoru.
07 Playing Pieces
"Asobi Koma" (遊び駒)
November 24, 2007 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion and Nikaido have their first match as a demonstration of their abilities to Satoru, who wants to create an all new, unrestricted shogi tournament.
08 The Door to Dreams
"Yume e no Tobira" (夢への扉)
December 1, 2007 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion visits Ayumi's mother at the hospital, and later, she and Ayumi start to make plans for the upcoming tournament.
09 Master & Apprentice
"Shitei" (師弟)
December 8, 2007 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Nikaido has a tough match in the tournament against Kamizono who also happens to be Ayumi's master. Kamizono however, is not at the best of his health.
10 Good Luck Charm
"Omajinai" (おまじない)
December 15, 2007 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion's next opponent is a young prodigy who polished his skills in online matches, and learned from an anonymous source a way to leave her mind unstable.
11 Doubt
"Giwaku" (疑惑)
December 22, 2007 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion received a threatening call from the murderer, and Hisatani gets himself in trouble when the police finds out that it was made from his cell phone.
12 Fox's Prediction
"Kitsune no Yomi" (狐の読み)
January 12, 2008 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion, Ayumi and Nikaido prepare themselves as each one has a strong enemy to face in order to gain a place in the finals.
13 Duality
"Hyōriittai" (表裏一体)
January 19, 2008 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
During Shion's match with Satoru, she starts to get a glimpse of his hostility towards her.
14 Timbre of a Challenge
"Chōsen no Fu" (挑戦の譜)
January 26, 2008 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Nikaido discovers Ayumi's secret, but decides to not expose him. Later the tournament's remaining contestants decide their opponents in the finals.
15 Time's Answer
"Toki no Kotae" (時の答え)
February 2, 2008 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion's first opponent in the finals is none other than her foster father. During the long match, she eagerly looks for a way to defeat him, while he reminisces about the time when she became his apprentice.
16 Watching From Heaven
"Tengan" (天眼)
February 9, 2008 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Ayumi is devastated with the death of his mother, and looks for a reason to continue playing shogi before his match with Satoru.
17 Mind Reading
"Dokushinjutsu" (読心)
February 16, 2008 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion's got a chance to play against Satoru once more in the tournament's semi-finals, but during the match, he questions her about the night her parents were murdered, which brings up some memories she had long forgotten.
18 Halted Time
"Todomatta Jikan" (止まった時間)
February 23, 2008 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion and Satoru's match continues, while Hani-Meijin introduces Ayumi as his disciple.
19 Recalling Move
"Yomigaeru itte" (甦る一手)
March 1, 2008 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Sataru and Ayumi meet up and from the evidence figure out who the murderer is but are unsure of motive. In the mean time, the police are looking up Satoru after what he said to Shion after their match.
20 Demon Killer
"Onigoroshi" (鬼殺し)
March 8, 2008 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shion starts remembering more things about the murder incident. Hani-Meijin and Shion play where they had left off 8 years ago.
21 The True Criminal
"Shinhannin" (真犯人)
March 15, 2008 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Purposely goaded by Hani-Meijin, Shion fully remembers the incident. Meanwhile new evidence is found.
22 Towards Tomorrow
"Ashita e" (明日へ)
March 22, 2008 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The evidence is conclusive, Hani-Meijin is the killer of Shion's parent's and his younger brother's girlfriend. Despite this, the match goes on. Hani-Meijin confesses that he killed Shion's parents to raise up a competitor that would be strong enough to take him to new heights and claiming he "raised her", but to do so, he must win the match. However, Shion wins with a perfect defense. She regains her voice to tell Hani-Meijin that she is not a product of him, but her family and friends. Hani-Meijin is arrested and Shion is promoted to a 4-dan professional kishi. Ayumi is shown winning a match and also becoming a professional kishi. Nikaido announces her intentions to become one as well. The final scene shows Shion in a match as a 5-dan and having retained her voice.

Video game

An adventure video game based on the series was released by Mainichi Communications for the Nintendo DS on April 10, 2008.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Shion no Oh (manga)". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Shion no Oh (TV)". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  3. Masaru, Katori. Shion no Ō manga volume 3. Kodansha. p. 2. 
  4. "Shion no Ō unofficial episode listing". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  5. "Game section at Shion no Ō's official website" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-02-18. 

External links