Manao Kagawa shows she can capture hearts just as well as shogi pieces.
Delve into the complex game of Japanese chess (known as shogi), and you will likely come across the name Manao Kagawa. Fans know her as a 25-year-old professional player whose graceful plays on the board charmed the entire nation.
Thanks to her considerable skill and quick mind, Manao emerged victorious at a prestigious shogi tournament called the Joryuo Shosen in 2013, winning the title of Queen for which she held on to until 2015.
▼ She made her professional debut at the young age of 15.
香川愛生 Manao Kagawa (@MNO_shogi) April 16, 2018
Aside from shogi, it’s no secret that the 3-dan player also loves anime, but no one expected Manao to actually appear at this year’s Niconico Chokaigi dressed up as a character from a shogi anime.
▼ “Fellow disciple Ginko Sora from The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done!
My mother made the costume by hand.”
香川愛生 Manao Kagawa (@MNO_shogi) April 28, 2018
▼ Ginko from the anime is also a talented player who holds the Queen title.
別のアニメの話になってしまうんですが、空銀子がめっちゃ好きです( * ॑꒳ ॑* )
アクシス@低浮上 (@Janne_Da_Arc398) April 29, 2018
Fans were blown away by the sheer awesomeness of a real 3-dan professional shogi player cosplaying as the adorable Ginko, complete with steely blue eyes and a cute sailor uniform.
▼ In preparation for backlash that never actually happened,
she wrote a heartfelt letter. (Translation below)
香川愛生 Manao Kagawa (@MNO_shogi) April 29, 2018
“I’m sorry to have caused trouble (kneels). It was a completely private, amateur and unofficial cosplay. I was prepared for people to judge me by my actions, but the startling number of retweets, likes, replies and positive responses from official accounts including Shiratori-sensei (creator of The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done!) have moved me.
I personally feel that the large number of Twitter likes are due to the popularity of the anime, one that is deeply loved by fans and its creators. I consider myself fortunate to not only have watched it myself, but also to have engaged with it through Kansosen (the extra shogi-related section provided at the end of each episode) as a professional female shogi player. It was a brief moment, but I’m lucky I could transform into my beloved Ginko.
I wanted to make great pictures this time, so I relied on my mother for the costume, had the wig cut at a specialist shop, and photos taken by a professional. Even though I was frustrated by my lack of skills, I was able to acquire a Twitter header showing my favorite shogi pose thanks to everyone’s help. I’ll leave it up there for a short while and return to my usual duties. Thank you so much for your encouragements and thoughts.
Looking forward to the new issue in summer!! (Please reserve yours!)
-Professional female shogi player, Manao Kagawa”
▼ Moved by Manao’s message, the creator of Ginko Sora replied
with a shocking shogi cosplay of his own.
白鳥士郎 (@nankagun) April 30, 2018
Although Manao’s amazing cosplay matched Ginko’s outfit perfectly, we think it’s her humble letter that propelled the shogi player to surpass her anime counterpart, and for that she’s just gained a few more loyal fans from SoraNews24.
Source: Twitter/MNO_shogi, Twitter/nankagun via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/MNO_shogi