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Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 03 »« Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 01

Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 02

OP1.5 Sequence

Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

「始動」 (Shidou)

I don’t know about you, but to me it felt like the girls got their full team assembled way too easily. After Hisa spent literally years waiting for new members in the original series, the Achiga girls were able to whip together a team in what felt like a day and a half. I know an arduous search for members isn’t really the point of this show, and I can’t honestly say that having one would have improved the story (it probably wouldn’t have), but still…it was way too easy, and thus not very satisfying. In fact, the same was true for how easily they got Akado-sensei. It was all just too “convenient” for everything to drop into the protagonist’s laps so easily. Mind you, this is a pet peeve of mine, so maybe it didn’t bother anyone else all that much…but still, I would have liked to see them make posters, get turned down while by other potential members, or at least try to recruit more than two people. Something!

Past that, the other interesting things that happened this week (plot-wise) all had to do with Akado-sensei. Don’t let my ragging make you think that I didn’t enjoy this episode (I did), but Akado-sensei still being rattled by her inter-high defeat a decade ago struck me as…well, sort of weak. That was a long time ago! It’s not like Kana or Yumi got frightened off when they played against monsters like Saki and Koromo (awww, such a cute monster you are!). Hell, they even went to a training camp together afterwards! Seriously, get over it.

That said, the pumped up Akado-sensei was really nice to see. I might think she’s a bit silly for being unable to get over her epic loss, but the fact that she’s now willing do what she has to in order to banish the demons of her past – even at the expense of turning down an offer from another professional team – is quite admirable. I look forward to her redemption and revival as a player!

Either way, it looks like we’ll be seeing some of that shortly, as sparks are already beginning to fly between Achiga and Bansei. Could not be happier! The original Saki was at its best during the tournament, so the faster we can get there with Achiga – even if it does entail a few “convenient” plot points along the way – the better.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The team is already assembled (that was fast!), & they’ve got their advisor too. Next stop – Bansei’s jugular, GAOWR!! #Saki_Achiga

Random thoughts:

  • Kuro’s onee-chan is so friggin’ cute! D’AWWW!! Though the mask kind of makes her look like the Japanese high school girl version of the Unabomber. Too soon?
  • You’re totally not getting that tie back, Akado-sensei. Your loli fangirl is pretty attached to it, ifyouknowwhatImean.
  • I love this show. Those camera angles, yum!

Full-size images: 01, 12, 25, 29, 30


ED Sequence

ED: 「Square Panic Serenade」 by 悠木碧, 東山奈央, 花澤香菜, MAKO, 内山夕実 (Aoi Yuuki, Touyama Nao, Hanazawa Kana, MAKO, Uchiyama Yumi)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼


End Card

April 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm
  • April 15, 2012 at 9:41 pmLaziness

    I agree, Kuro’s Onee-chan is adorable xD Also, the pacing of the story does seem somewhat…fast?

  • April 15, 2012 at 9:57 pmAn

    Thighs fanboy in me just get its weekly fixed. God I love this show’s chirarism… ^o^
    And I thought Koru is already moe enuogh, we’ve got moe Onee-chan.

  • April 15, 2012 at 10:03 pmJif

    The unadulterated cuteness of this show needs more words of praise. Words of praise! Words of praise!


  • April 15, 2012 at 10:04 pmLightnDark

    I think the main question still is: Is the MC still going commando?

    But man playing mahjong till there are blisters..Sounds as if the tiles are coated with sandpaper.

    Achiga vs Bansei? A vs B?


    • April 16, 2012 at 2:32 amAngelus

      It’s not just the MC – ALL of the female cast in this and the original Saki are going commando. The only possible exception appears to be if they are cosplaying (for example, Saki vol 1 page 193).

      • April 16, 2012 at 2:37 amFencedude

        Well of course, given the excess body heat most females in this universe produce (with some exceptions, such as Kuro), they need to keep the main radiator clear of obstructions.

        Some, like Shizu and Hajime, have to go to further lengths.

      • April 16, 2012 at 3:08 amFencedude

        Yuu, not Kuro. Obviously.

  • April 16, 2012 at 12:26 amFencedude

    After Risa spent literally years waiting for new members in the original series

    Hisa, not Risa. And while she did wait years, we also have covered roughly the same amount of time in these two episodes. Remember, it STARTED with Shizu as a 6th Year elementary student, and now she’s a 1st year in high school. It has to do with what story this show is actually telling, they need to get to the Nationals Post-haste, basically.

    That was a long time ago! It’s not like Kana or Yumi got frightened off when they played against monsters like Saki and Koromo (awww, such a cute monster you are!). Hell, they even went to a training camp together afterwards! Seriously, get over it.

    While I’m not completely certain, I’m pretty sure that what happened to Harue was less Saki’s “befriending through superior Mahjong firepower” and more Teru’s “ripping the soul out of your opponent”. Anyway, I expect Harue’s trauma will be relevant, I’m sure whoever that girl was, she will reappear again, somewhere.

    • April 16, 2012 at 2:06 amSerapita

      The girl who beat Harue appeared already, it’s Kokaji Sukoya back in episode 1. According to the commentator, she’s the youngest player to reach 8 titles and was going to be the first (and by this episode, I’m sure she already has) player ever to win 9 titles. So she’s like the greatest monster in the entire series.

      • April 16, 2012 at 2:12 amFencedude

        Thats basically what I thought, (since there was really no other reason to bring that up…) but I wasn’t completely sure.

      • April 16, 2012 at 5:09 amMaximilian

        Another info that might not be that much spoiler, but best to be on safe side; Show Spoiler ▼

        Also, it seems anime will follow really closely with manga if the preview is any indication. If that is the case, though, I wonder when the cutting point will be considering it is 12 episodes and they animated 2 and 1/4 chapters out of 9 chapters of the manga.

      • April 17, 2012 at 3:36 pmKJacket

        It’s okay, the mahjong games will probably drag it out to 12 episodes or we get a beach/camp episode. There will be 11 chapters of manga -or maybe even 12- out before the anime finishes airing. Chapter 10 comes out May12 in 4 weeks(~monthly).

    • April 16, 2012 at 5:27 amZaku Fan

      My guess is Kana would have ended up with a similar scar if she didn’t have her friend, Koromo was more sadistic and Saki’s position was replaced by Hisa (so no one could stop Koromo) for example. Pushing her to 0 pretty much broke her down and only Saki’s rescue brought her back up a bit.

    • April 16, 2012 at 6:28 amStilts

      Man, I shouldn’t blog when I’m feeling sick. Silly mistakes! *Hisa, fixed.

      And yeah, Kana vs Koromo is a better example than Saki. Kana played her the year before (didn’t she? pretty sure she did), and I’m sure Koromo was no less kind then. Yet she still came back for the next year, raring to go. And Harue had Nozomi and other friends! Though I’m probably just taking things too seriously in a world with mahjong super powers, heh

      • April 16, 2012 at 7:15 amZaku Fan

        IIRC, that was actually explained during in the match. Kana never really played Koromo as their match ended before evening while the matches they were playing then were at night (and she definitely never played on a full moon when Koromo insanity is at its peak), which was why she thought she could have a chance of winning. Koromo told her why she was wrong then proceeded to show and things went downhill for Kana until she hit bottom with 0 and everyone knew it was because Koromo was toying with her.

        Running from memory so some of the above may be off

      • April 16, 2012 at 1:36 pmFencedude

        Speaking of Kana and DESPAIR, its going to absolutely kill her when her CAPTAIN officially gets together with Hisa.

      • April 16, 2012 at 5:01 pmStilts

        Ahhh, I think you’re right. I really shouldn’t write when I’m feeling sick >_< Basic research failure!

    • April 17, 2012 at 11:03 pmlynlyn

      I like your use of words here. Saki’s “befriending through superior Mahjong firepower” reminds me of Nanoha. Should I start calling her “Kan-devil” too?

      Bwt, this series is known for incredible and out-of-this-world mahjong techniques like the dora thing. I hope other characters reveal their kick ass plays soon.

  • April 16, 2012 at 2:33 amunderMebius

    Cute. I loved how the OP is paralled to the Saki OP. (Did I say that already?) I lol’ed when the MC (I can’t for the life of me remember her name. She seems so forgettable without any mahjong power… though if she turns out like she’s like Saki and is just hiding her power then… but probably not.) kept reaching for Nodoka but never held her. (Nodoka chose Saki according to the first Saki OP) Saki and Nodoka pairing is just too cute.

    Finally, we have our first yuri pairing! Can’t wait for the tournament. I hope they atleast meet Saki and the gang.

    • April 16, 2012 at 2:45 amFiShar

      Indeed. Btw in my POV, Saki’s sister in the OP made me LOL.
      It’s like “I’m about to lose” *does a table slam and tiles scatter everywhere*.

  • April 16, 2012 at 2:47 amStormSeeker39

    The ED Show Spoiler ▼

  • April 16, 2012 at 3:16 amelior1

    finally we will se saki herself in the next episode becouse they very close to this scence in this episode

  • April 16, 2012 at 4:35 amricz

    Man I’m really clueless about the world… never thought that mahjong is a serious business XD

    • April 16, 2012 at 11:11 amphm

      mahjong IS a serious business.

      Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A on the contrary is not.

  • April 16, 2012 at 5:21 amZaku Fan

    IMO, Yuu is the best character in the side story (and really the most easily recognizable with her flowing scarf)

  • April 16, 2012 at 8:57 amSteelman

    Well, the anime adaptation has to move fast. They have 12 episodes and they need to cover much more material than in the original show – the Saki anime ended before the nationals and the manga translation is currently up to Show Spoiler ▼

    while the Achiga-hen manga is following Show Spoiler ▼

    I would expect the two stories to join after that, so the anime adaptation will probably finish after the current match in the manga. My main complaint in the grand scheme of things is the player’s positions (in particular Miyanaga Teru plays vanguard, so first rather than fifth), but you’ll see what I mean when we get to the nationals. Also, among the Achiga girls only two seem to have supernatural mahjong powers, so there is going to be less craziness than in the original show… well at least for a while.

  • April 16, 2012 at 10:52 amZreon

    I don’t mind the pace. For a 1-cour anime to spend serveral episodes on recruiting doesn’t sound like a good idea. I’d rather have them go into the actual matches faster, so they have some time to extend on these.

    • April 16, 2012 at 5:06 pmStilts

      True. Like I said, I don’t think an arduous recruiting process would have helped, but paying mind to how hard it is (or should have been) would have been nice. For instance, I was just watching the first episode of Acchi Kocchi (yeah, I’m behind on this season >_<), where you see a quick screen of Io parking his bike. This isn’t important or hilarious or even necessary, but it’s the little attention to detail that makes the story feel more complete.

      Still, I know this is really just a pet peeve of mine, so feel free to ignore me as needlessly whiny on this one :D

  • April 16, 2012 at 6:08 pmxephx

    I actually laughed when they said they had “finally” got five members, because it seemed to take two days too. I still like this show though but I do miss the original girls.

  • April 17, 2012 at 1:48 amBenigmatica

    And the Ending Sequence feels like it’s 2009 Saki all over again…

    “WAI WAI!!!”

  • April 17, 2012 at 2:31 amYalvyn


    In -saki- they’re always spared half of episode for mahjong.

  • April 17, 2012 at 6:03 amAnonymous

    Sure isn’t much mahjong in this mahjong anime…

  • April 17, 2012 at 4:24 pmKJacket

    I have just realized something when re-reading the manga:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    I feel silly for mentioning ^that at all.

  • April 19, 2012 at 3:26 amCytrus

    I love the fact that Kokaji-pro scars the souls of her opponents with a ‘please don’t hurt me’ look on her face. Too bad we probably won’t see her play anytime soon.

    If the pacing gets us to the mahojong table faster, I’m sure most people can forgive it. But they could have directed our expectations differently by pointing out the existence of Arata and Yuu sooner.