Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 05
“Thus it is said that one who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangerd in a hundred engagements. One who does not know the enemy but knows himself will sometimes be victorious, sometimes meet with defeat. One who knows neither the enemy nor himself will invariably be defeated in every engagement.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Before I go on, yes, I’m the kind of nerd who reads books like The Art of War. You caught me! Now, this episode reminded me of that quote because one of the teams understands the lesson behind it, while the other does not. In the first match, Kuro certainly understood herself. She knows that she gets all the dora, and that if she ever discards a dora, they will abandon her for the next few games. The problem is that while Senriyama’s Toki also knew herself, she understood Kuro as well. That’s the reason for Kuro’s defeat – when your enemy knows exactly what you are going to do, your advantage becomes a weakness. Yes, in a truly military sense there is a certain level of power against which no tactics can overcome – no matter how well its defenders fought, the Alamo still fell, and Pyrrhus was defeated by Rome even though he kept winning – but this is not the case in mahjong. Without a plan to thwart Toki, Kuro was doomed to defeat from the start, because Toki certainly knew how to thwart her.
I must admit, this show is doing weird things to my loyalties. I still like the Achiga girls and hope they win (at least until they face Kiyosumi), but I really like how Senriyama operates. Instead of depending on their special abilities and charging in blind, they’re doing research, using statistics, and developing strategies to bolster their already impressive skills. I have a soft spot for honest idiots like Shizu, but at the end of the day I most love those who use their brains to triumph over life’s challenges. Fortunately, I don’t have to pick just one to root for quite yet – two teams can advance from this round, so go Achiga and Senriyama! If nothing else, Kuro definitely deserves a chance to learn from this defeat and come back swinging, though what she can do against Toki’s limited prescience, I have no idea.
Next up is Yuu-oneechan’s match. Once again, it looks like Senriyama’s megane-chan has done the number crunching and figured out what Yuu-oneechan’s special ability is. It may have been harder to see, but the numbers do not lie, and now that Senriyama’s Nijou Izumi (Matsunaga Maho) knows what to expect, Yuu-oneechan is just as vulnerable as her imouto was. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether she knows Izumi and the others well enough to thwart them in return…or whether she can bring so much force to bear that their tactics won’t matter. You guys wanted crazy mahjong? Here it is! Bring on the next episode!!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Know thyself & know thy enemy, or a sickly girl voiced by #OguraYui is going to hand you your ass on a platter. Politely, though #SakiAchiga
- Ryuuka asked Toki to go to the finals with her. That’s the ultimate Saki yuri flag! Ohandbytheway, check out Ishihara Kaori’s myanimelist profile. One of her favorites is Ogura Yui. *dramatically puts on yuri goggles* Ohoho!
- Toki’s sickliness is going to be a problem later on. It looked like she was seriously flagging towards the end of that match, so put her into a tougher one and her body might not be able to handle it.
- Why didn’t Akado tell Kuro about her weakness? She had to have known, or she’s not nearly as good as people make her out to be.
- I like how Achiga’s monster are actually turning out to be liabilities. This just means that if Yuu-oneechan can’t get their points back, it’s going to be up the normal players to finish the job – unless they turn out to not be so normal after all. I hope they’re completely normal. It’s more fun to see Batman sucker punch Cthulu than it is to see Superman do the same, if you know what I mean.