* 2021 Golden Comic Award, Grand Prize
A young woman who works liquidating the stock of manga rental shops has a secret past. A former child prodigy, her career as a tournament go player ended due to unfortunate circumstances. When another elite go player turns up at her door seeking a room to rent, the two begin an unusual friendship that helps each to resolve their conflicted relationship to the game.
A young woman who has made a career out of assisting defunct manga rental shops auction off their wares hides a secret past. In a former life she was a go prodigy who began competing professionally at age 12. Then, for reasons not publicly known, she quit the professional go circuit.
One evening, a stranger shows up at her door asking to rent a room. The young man claims to be a former go professional, and, indeed, he is a remarkably talented player. As the two adjust to life together as roommates, they are surprised to find themselves healing from the burnout they experienced as elite players – but a far more unexpected outcome still awaits them.
In preparation for undertaking this work, artist Xiaodao did extensive research by interviewing competitive go players. The result is a refreshingly original graphic novel that merges a realistic portrait of the professional go community with a tension-filled plot, all the while sprinkling in nostalgia for an era when manga rental shops formed the hub of Taiwanese youth culture. No matter their degree of familiarity with the classic strategy game, readers will love this go-themed story about finding oneself and finding companionship.