Professional Shogi Player Akira Watanabe Talks About “Ryuuou no Oshigoto!”

In the most recent post on his official blog, professional shogi player and the current Kiou title holder Akira Watanabe talks about Sota Fujii’s recent victory against his own master Masataka Sugimoto and the currently airing anime Ryuuou no Oshigoto! (The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done!).

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This is a translation of an excerpt from his post:

6-dan Sota Fujii’s “repayment” has become a huge topic since yesterday. In the world of shogi, it is said that winning against one’s master is considered an act of “repayment”, but it may have been an excuse to show just how far one’s gotten stronger.

There is also a theory that a master wouldn’t be too happy about losing against their disciple, but someone like me who doesn’t have any disciple wouldn’t understand that. Well, watching the anime “Ryuuou no Oshigoto!” does make me think that having a strong and cute elementary school girl like that as a disciple would be very nice. (lol)

I have never faced my master in an official game, but it feels like a match like this wouldn’t bring as much fighting spirit as compared to the other matches for the master or the disciple, but I wonder about that. But anyway, Fujii is still on his 14 winning streak, isn’t he? With a two-digit large-scale winning streak like this occuring frequently, looks like the 29 winning streak record will be broken in no time.

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Akira Watanabe is a professional shogi player who is currently ranked 9-dan and is also qualified for both the lifetime Ryuuou and lifetime Kiou title. Watanabe has won 19 major title tournaments during his career; among them are Ryuuou tournament (11 times), Kiou tournament (5 times), Oushou tournament (2 times), and Ouza tournament (1 time). Watanabe has finished in the “Top 10” of the JSA’s year-end prize money and game fee rankings each year since 2004, and in the “Top 3” eleven out of the past thirteen years. He was the top money winner in 2013 and 2017. Watanabe is also one of the model used in the creation of Ryuuou no Oshigoto!’s main character Yaichi Kuzuryuu: Yaichi’s character was made based on Tetsuro Itadani’s profile, Takayuki Yamasaki’s playstyle, and Akira Watanabe’s way of thinking according to the official interview with the author in Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! 2017.

In the 61th Oushou tournament match between Sota Fujii and his master Masataka Sugimoto held in Osaka, Fujii brilliantly achieved a victory against his master after the first game ended in a repetition draw and a rematch was held. When asked about his comments regarding the match, Sugimoto commented that he was glad to be able to play against his own disciple; meanwhile, Fujii expressed his gratitude for his master who “has never gotten mad at him even once and only focused on making him stronger in shogi more than anyone else”, and that he was “glad to have become Sugimoto’s discple”.

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