Saki – 18
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It wouldn’t be called anime if shit made sense – so after Saki donates almost 17k points to the newb, somehow Koromo is so shaken that she can’t control the table anymore.
But before all that, we have some cheesy flashbacks to show how close
Mako-chan Kana is to Cyclops-senpai, and then some more cheesy flashbacks with Momo and Yumi-chin. For someone who got zero screentime before the ep where she showed up, Momo is sure getting a ton of coverage these days.
At any rate, Kana lets out this kitty roar / Rock Lee gate releasing howl (I’d call it Goku charging but this only took 5 seconds, not 5 episodes) that supposedly gives her a rush of adrenaline and now all of a sudden she can see potential hands she couldn’t before. Oh, great, that’s all it took? Girl needs to carry an epi-pen with her for these situations or somethin…
Regardless, she somehow continues to build her hand until she busts out with some mighty “ippatsu riichi tsumo pinfu, terminals in all sets, pure double mixed triple chii” (jesus christ) that nets her 32,000 points.
And the on the next hand, Yumi-chin calls ron with a short hand and grabs 11,600 from Koromo. Ohhhh Koromo is getting annoyed… all her attention is on Saki, and now all of a sudden Kazekoshi and Tsuruga are winning hands. In her frustration, Koromo busts out this epically-translated line: “those knave’s visages holds nary a trace of defeat’s color.” Oh CrunchyRoll, you do us proud. We all know someone of lesser medieval Japanese mastery would’ve translated that as “they don’t look defeated at all!”
So when’s Saki gonna make her move? She can’t figure out why she’s not right yet – turns out her shoes have been cutting off her circulation or her comfort level or those lickably cute feet – so without flinching, asks the judge “hey, can I take it off?” Naturally the judge is already doing his hardest not to have his raging hard on show up cuz of all the short skirts and moe at the table, and he almost loses it when the most bangable chick at the table asks him if she can take it off. The shoes, she means the shoes. He calms down, while some anime foot fetishist named jaalin watching from his room in California screams “YESSSS TAKE IT OFF”. Anime has perfected the art of visual and aural nirvana, and they do quite a good job with touch (read: Nodoka’s boobs), but where they lack in the adjective department is in taste and smell. Yakitate tried and while some may call it a rousing success, I think of it more of a cop-out, by taking taste and smell and reinterpreting them as fanciful visual feasts. Luckily for us, feet usually taste and smell bad, so we can imagine all we want how candy sweet and warm Saki’s feet are.
And just like that, Saki gets rinshian tsumo on some junk hand worth 500/800. And then, 300/500. Basically she is screwing everybody over, because there’s only a few hands left before the end of the match and she’s wasting them on throwaway hands not worth anything, with Koromo still way in the lead. From what I can figure, she’s trying to get to the East turn as soon as she can. Anyways, on the next hand Saki calls a double kan and then calls ron on Koromo for 3600. But is she done yet? Hell no… up next she calls kan, then another kan, and then calls a third kan, and draws a third bamboo in a row… for “all simples, three concealed pons/kans, three kans, all pons/kans!” Baiman! Whatever the hell that means, but it sure looked tight as she was doing it. Only 45,100 left to go!
Wait, there’s still 45,100 left to go? Shit…
Up next on Saki: Yo dawg, I heard you like rinshian kaihou so I put a rinshian in your rinshian…
Dude, this show is awesome. I’ve gotten better at understanding what’s going on with the mahjong side of things, but even without that, this show is like everything I like about sports/game type anime. Take something normally inaccessible and monotonous to the none-consuming casual observer, and turn it into something freakin cool in a way only anime can do it. Oh, and Koromo is kawaii.
Anyways, Kana’s comeback, albeit unlikely and not very convincing, was at least nice to see, cuz now Saki can do the only move she knows how to do over and over again. And boy did she rinshian the hell out of them. It’s a bit weird to me that Saki is such a single-trick player, considering that in most other sports/game anime, the main char is always one of those all-rounders and real good at learning his or her opponents moves. Don’t see Saki sprouting nekomimi or doing any haitei draws, so I guess that possibility is out.
One reader pointed out last week that since Saki is so good at getting plus-minus 0, there’s a good chance that she will just control everyone’s scores until everyone ties at the end, and all 4 teams end up going to the nationals. I mean, after all this, I really can’t see it happening any other way – ok, I can see Kazekoshi and Tsuruga get ousted, but to see Ryuumonbuchi lose will just be weird. If they do, then I guess Koromo will end up being friends with everyone at Kiyosumi, so that works out nicely. Either way, Koromo is probably gonna get spanked next week as she’s thinking about her dead parents, until she mounts one final defense, in which Saki’s optimism will conquer Koromo’s grief with some mighty flower petal tile slams.
There’s still a good amount of eps left to go – perhaps they make it all the way to the nationals and meet Saki’s sister at the table, then we gotta wait until season 2? :(