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Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 05 »« Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 03

Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 04

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「全国」 (Zenkoku)
“Nationals”

As expected, now that we’re at nationals the pace has finally slowed down…though not as much as I expected. I have to say, this show is really making me want to pick up the manga to see how far they’re going to go. Originally, I didn’t think we’d get all the way to the finals, since that seems like something that should be animated in the main Saki storyline first (go go season 2!). Actually, I thought we’d get right to the finals, and then it would cut off there before we see who wins. However, this speed is making me rethink that. It will be very odd if we see the finals play out here, with the spin-off’s protagonists going head-to-head with the original’s. I don’t have another comment there. It would just be odd.

Speaking of the original cast, I enjoyed the detour to see what Kiyosumi was doing. The bath scene was, of course, full of win, but then again with Nodoka there, was there ever any question? The scene with Saki (Ueda Kana) and Kyoutarou (Fukuyama Jun) was more interesting though, even if it brought up that old “so who are the real protagonists again?” question. I’ll stop mentioning that eventually, I swear. Maybe. Almost definitely maybe.

Then there was Kuro’s shellacking of the competition during Round 1. I wish they showed us more crazy mahjong there, but I guess we’re going to have to wait for next episode for that, when Achiga goes up against Senriyama. In the meantime, the revelation that Kuro has a weak defense and a relatively limited play style should make the next matches more fun. Senriyama doesn’t think Achiga can beat them, and if I know anything about the Saki universe, that means that they’ll be a serious threat. Or, you know, pull a Bansei and get steamrolled, but I doubt that will happen. With how their taichou Onjouji Toki (Ogura Yui) was looking at the end there, they’re throwing out “badass” flags all over the place. This should be fun!

Of course, Achiga doesn’t have to win to advance to the next round – two schools will go to the semi-finals, according to the brackets a few of you made last week (thank you!) – but they still have to get at least second. I wonder if this will lead to them placing 2nd in this round, and then coming back from behind to beat Senriyama in the next one…only to probably still place second to Teru’s Shiraitodai. With that kind of competition, it might not be winning that will be Achiga’s problem, but just keeping their spirits from being crushed long enough to reach the finals…

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Kuro uses her Dragon-chan powers to clobber the 1st round competition. Next ep, Senriyama attacks! Ruh roh… #SakiAchiga

Random thoughts:

  • Why does that one girl have swords? Am I the only one that sees that? Am I going insane? Am I on drugs? THAT’S DANGEROUS PEOPLE! WATCH OUT!!
  • On the next episode of Dragon Ball Z
  • An excited Shimizudani Ryuuka (Ishihara Kaori) is a very good thing, though not quite as good as when she has her taichou on her lap. Not sure which one I’m more jealous of…but I think it’s probably both of them.
  • They’re using tablets? Great. Japanese schoolgirls are getting tablets before I have one. Clearly, I’m doing something wrong with my life, Orz.
  • Proof! We have proof! The original cast may have teased us with their nopan, but Shizu one-ups them by going nobra too. Well played, young one. Well played.

Full-size images: 09, 24, 25, 29

 

Preview

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End Card

Saki Achiga hen episode of Side A   04   End Card
April 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm
30 comments »
  • April 29, 2012 at 9:29 pmJ-Luke

    “Proof! We have proof! The original cast may have teased us with their nopan, but Shizu one-ups them by going nobra too. Well played, young one. Well played.”
    http://randomc.net/image/Saki%20Achiga-hen%20episode%20of%20Side-A/Saki%20Achiga-hen%20episode%20of%20Side-A%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2005.jpg
    And Shizuno provides us with even more proof in that regard…

  • April 29, 2012 at 9:31 pmelior1

    @STILTS great episode and you right by the manga achiga will have problem to win against Senriyama koru will have one hard time so you can expect a good match

  • April 29, 2012 at 9:31 pmKamiyaCheap

    Senriyama vs Achiga!!! *Ignore the other 2 school* EPIC!!! Only 2 can proceed to the semi-final and we already know who is going to be. (obvious)

    Final match-up Shiraitodai, Achiga, Kiyosumi, Ensui(Or Rinkai)!!!

    I 3 favorite of Achiga-hen Ako, Toki, and Ryuuka!!!

  • April 29, 2012 at 10:08 pmYalvyn

    Seriously, no girl can surpass that tanned girl of Eisui yet.

  • April 29, 2012 at 10:10 pmCrono

    All your dora are belong to Kuro

    • April 29, 2012 at 10:23 pmStilts

      I have nothing but regret for the fact that I didn’t use that for the tagline. Orz

  • April 29, 2012 at 10:26 pmGing F

    So basically….the only thing she’s wearing is that jacket vest thing? And I can’t believe I only just noticed that the sleeves are detachable -.- Or is that just two different pieces of clothing?

    Senriyama is probably gonna be real difficult to beat. After all, you never mess with the girl with a seemingly weak constitution; they always have superpowers.

  • April 29, 2012 at 10:34 pmjoeshen

    The manga does offer some good insight, but if you haven’t read the manga then it’s nothing to really worry about; the animators for Saki followed the manga script virtually to the letter. Watching the first season of Saki was like reading the manga, except with a ton of graphics during the tsumos’ and what not… lol.

    On that note, it’s nice to see the pace finally slow down a bit. lolol

  • April 29, 2012 at 10:59 pmAn

    Not much of Yuu-nee this ep. ~_~
    Ryuuka cheering for Achiga was funny tho

    Actually Nodoka had already taken the nobra campaign way ahead of Shizu. But DFC and DAT ARMPIT scores better in my book. *drools*

    • April 29, 2012 at 11:46 pmStilts

      Yeah, the lack of onee-chan was sad. I had to go back and watch some cute parts from past eps to get my fix. Need more shivering onee-chwan~

      And true, I had forgotten about Nodoka back there. I was also thinking of mentioning something about the armpits, but demurred. Now you get to look like the perv, nyahaha~! :3

    • April 29, 2012 at 11:51 pmFencedude

      Bah. Hajime had them all beat back in season 1 with her “illegal in 20 states and at least 30 countries” outfit.

    • April 30, 2012 at 12:04 amStilts

      I think 20 states and 30 countries is a pretty conservative guess, if you ask me. Dat Hajime O.O

    • April 30, 2012 at 3:29 amAn

      Stilts : Now you get to look like the perv, nyahaha~! :3
      A picture worth a thousand words, so my words means nothing when you actually capped them. :p

      When you includes season 1 on the maths, of course Hajime and Hatsumi (Eisui’s loli miko) would win this contest of outfit (or lack thereof).

      Yay for increase of Achiga-hen’s fan illustrations. \(^o^)/

  • April 29, 2012 at 11:28 pmKumakaori

    Oh bother. Our Master of Maru is back with the quarter/semi-final rival and seeded team?

    ~w~… happeh fanboi.

  • April 29, 2012 at 11:30 pmFencedude

    I think that the next 3~4 episodes will be spent on round 2, then the remaining 4~5 on round three, which takes us to the finals. Not that its particularly hard to figure out who is going to end up at the finals table from Side A, just how much punishment our heroines will suffer in the process.

    And consider, they don’t have to beat Senriyama to advance to round three, but Senriyama will still be at the table, and then they’ll face Senriyama AND Shiraitodai…

    Also, Ryuuka likes Kuro.

    Toki does not like that Ryuuka likes Kuro.

    Kuro now faces Toki.

    Kuro’d better hope her Doras love her a lot…

    • April 29, 2012 at 11:47 pmStilts

      Dragon-chan vs a sickly girl who is feeling yuri-scorned?

      Kuro is in trooooouble…

  • April 30, 2012 at 12:09 amtaiakun

    “Proof! We have proof! The original cast may have teased us with their nopan, but Shizu one-ups them by going nobra too. Well played, young one. Well played.”

    Does Shizu need one considering she doesn’t have any? ^_-

  • April 30, 2012 at 12:10 amKJacket

    Mihorogi-pro is awesome even more than in the manga, made me laugh so hard, I guess actually hearing voicing helped.

    Anyone explain why Kuro discards her tiles facing outwards? Just cuz? or is that a way of playing? for lulz? who cares? lol.

    • April 30, 2012 at 12:11 amKJacket

      Inwards relative to table but outwards from herself. I wish there was an edit function.

  • April 30, 2012 at 12:38 amLightnDark

    What? No shoutouts to the male l-wait who is that guy again? Oh damn, Stilts beat me to it. :(

    On a sidenote can’t wait to see Ryuuka play..Ishihara Kaori aside her name corresponds to dragon too, might be the real dragon tiles though (red green white). Definitely needs more characters with uber h4x skills, in fact I would say that dora-chans skills are one of the weaker ones out there (even her opponents know that).

  • April 30, 2012 at 12:56 amunderMebius

    I’ve read the manga ahead and lol, I was wondering how are they going to animate the super ridiculous character designs for the 2 unnamed teams but here, it looks kinda normal.

    Aside from the Matsumi sisters, the other remaining three doesn’t seem to have any haxxing power.

  • April 30, 2012 at 4:11 am†Croos†

    I can’t wait for the next episode ^^
    I have fun watching doragon road :3

    • April 30, 2012 at 5:12 amDynellen

      It’s supposed to be Achiga’s Dragon Lord (it was so in the manga), seems to be a case of misheard engrish.

      • April 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm†Croos†

        Well either of them sounds awesome:
        Dragon road – sounds cool for having a meaning “pursuing the path of dragon”.
        or
        Dragon Lord – sounds hot for having a meaning “Owning all the dragon with power”.

  • April 30, 2012 at 7:08 amThundershock81

    Kuro!!! HHHNNNNGGGGHHHH!!!

    Impossible to not love this show =)

  • April 30, 2012 at 10:27 amFiShar

    Why are there no mahjong scenes of Onee-chan. =(

  • April 30, 2012 at 12:49 pmZaku Fan

    I like the silly pro that was providing the expert commentary. Her character design was pretty cute and her expert commentary kept sunding like “don’t know” though given the types of monsters she’d met in the Saki universe, trying to understand some people like Hisa and Kuro just won’t work (while Nodoka is an open book)

  • April 30, 2012 at 3:25 pmTararan

    I don’t like that much Ryuuka’s VA, I was imagine something different, but Ryuuka still a pure win.
    Whaaaa Kuro, as lovely as ever!

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • April 30, 2012 at 7:44 pmsaki fan

    Can someone remind mangaka not to name the next manga/anime “Shizuno Kiyosume Episode of side B” I want Saki and Nodoka to be the main protagonists.

    • April 30, 2012 at 9:37 pmFencedude

      Uhh…the main Saki manga is currently following Kiyosumi on side B, so I’m not sure what your point is.

      Achiga-hen is actually ahead of the main manga, and will probably conclude with the end of the Side A matches roughly simultaneously with the end of the anime, thus leaving the final team match for the main manga.