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Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 08 »« Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 06

Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 07

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「信念」 (Shinnen)
“Conviction”

Arata and Shizu’s turns were fraught with difficulty, as Senriyama continued to steamroll and the other two teams reminded us of why they deserve to be there. Of the two, Arata’s was the less exciting match (big surprise, since Shizu is last), but it did serve to set up the fun for the final round. This happened with a single hand from Kentani’s Morigaki, where she took 8,000 points from every team and catapulted Kentani into 2nd place. Two more thoughts on this match:

  • During the match we were shown some backstory on Morigaki and Kentani, but once again Studio Gokumi didn’t spend enough time on it to make me much care. It wasn’t like in the original Saki where we got full episodes dedicated to many of Kiyosumi’s opponents. That really enriched the matches and made me like those characters. Here, not so much.
  • These matches leap around a lot. Once again comparing it to the original, in Saki I always felt like I had a firm grasp on the ebb and flow of the matches because we got so much detail. Here, they leap forward so much that I end up depending heavily on those little score updaters to figure out how it’s going. Not ideal.

Other than that, I would have liked to see Arata play some more. All we really saw was that she has a bowling motif when she scores. I’m as interested as Senriyama’s Megane-chan in seeing how she plays, except without the yuri undertones. Go go megane-chan x Arata-chan?

Then it was Shizu’s turn, which was much more entertaining. Heading into the round, I had already written off 4th place Koshigaya, given the massive point deficit they had to deal with. Maybe Shizu did the same thing, because she goofed up and played into a stealth haneman, losing 12,000 points and causing Achiga to fall down into a solid 3rd place. Shit. Fortunately, this gave Shizu a chance to show off her special ability once again. What’s that you say? Shizu doesn’t have a special hax mahjong ability? FALSE!!

Okay, actually it’s true. Shizu doesn’t really have a special ability. If she did though, it would be this – she does not give up. She’s immune to despair. Even in the face of almost certain defeat – or worse yet, Koromo – and she never gives up until it’s over. Even after making a mistake that could have cost her team their chance at advancing, even after getting two different hands that could have brought them back, only to see those chances destroyed in the discards, she didn’t give up. She just kept playing, kept trying, kept opening herself up to luck – until she finally got it. Not even the titular Saki can’t claim that, since she nearly despaired playing against Koromo. That’s why Shizu gets to be the hero of Achiga. Go go Shizu, you’re on fire!

In the end, Shizu pulled off the victory, giving us a good conclusion to what was the first genuinely impressive match of the side story. Yay! The only problem? They still ended up 90,000 points behind Senriyama, and they’ve got them + Teru’s Shiraitodai team to deal with next round (and another team that is probably good too). I don’t blame Akado from raining on their celebration a bit. There’s still work to be done, ladies.

Last but definitely not least, this episode ends with the return of STEALTH MOMO!! I don’t know what wisdom she (or her huggle buddy Yumi) will impart on the Achiga girls, but that + the reappearance of Kazekoshi is making me really look forward to next week. Well, that and Achiga hopefully figuring out how to get 90,000 points better in a few days. Should be fun to see what they come up with.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Shizu’s special power is she’s immune to despair. Achiga for the comeback! (for 2nd place). Next ep, Tsuruga & Kazekoshi return #SakiAchiga

Random thoughts:

  • Pardon me while I take this picture out of context. You’re free to join me.
  • Teru is so two-faced. The cake dere is a lie!
  • As I was saying earlier, Shizu always puts herself into positions where she can get lucky. In the match, that took the form of never giving up even after constant setbacks, while afterwards it took the form of really wanting some ramen. Hey, whatever works for you, Shizu.
  • Stealth boing~

Full-length images: 14, 23, 28, 29.

 

Preview

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End Card

Saki Achiga hen episode of Side A   07   End Card
May 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm
35 comments »
  • May 20, 2012 at 10:20 pmAlec

    I already feel like rewatching the first series xD

    • May 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm†Croos†

      Although this episode was easy to understand to be honest.

      • May 21, 2012 at 7:55 amAlec

        I just want to rewatch it just for the sake of rewatching it.
        Lol, no need to make me into a guy who has to rewatch it inorder to understand what Saki is all about

    • May 21, 2012 at 10:40 amCybersteel

      You should check out RC’s IRC’s weekly mahjong game this week. Man it was kinda… -_-
      Here’s the video! As usual we’ll be at Lobby 36, Room 1. If you need help find Reverry at IRC. If he’s not there, use Mizore to leave him a message.

  • May 20, 2012 at 10:41 pmFencedude

    STEALTH MOMO decloaking behind you in a dark alley would be pretty terrifying, especially with WA~HA~HA~ there with her.

    Teru’s fake smile though, thats the thing true nightmares are made of.

    • May 20, 2012 at 10:52 pmdene323

      Teru’s fake smile reminds me her CV did Ryugu Rena from Higurashi…

      • May 20, 2012 at 11:29 pmFencedude

        My first reaction when she put on that smile and started talking was “lol Nakahara Mai”

        Such a perfect choice for Teru.

  • May 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm†Croos†

    GO Shizu!!
    Even if you can’t win just go with Unlimited Tenpai of hell.

    • May 21, 2012 at 5:18 amCybersteel

      oh geez anything but endless tenpai DX sooo draggy I hate it!!!

  • May 20, 2012 at 11:15 pmKumakaori

    Oh gods. All I see in Kanbaru is Rin’s Expression and Misha’s Laugh. [/Katawa Shoujo] Wahaha. :V. orz.

    SQUEE~ yay for Kazekoshi and Tsuruga in next ep ^^. Although, enh. I guess it kinda sucks storytelling wise, if they’re having to use the more solidly developed first season as a crutch :/. But, enh. CAMEOS~ whoo~~

    $5 that pattern Senriyama’s Scientist/Engineer wants to figure out is Bowling related for Arata…

  • May 21, 2012 at 12:14 amZaku Fan

    Shizu should make a wish and be a mahou shojo. She’s born for it

  • May 21, 2012 at 12:25 amZhinvu

    Yay to more returning characters. Satomi’s wa~ha~ha is one of the cute things I enjoy from the first season.

  • May 21, 2012 at 12:26 amAn

    GJ Shizu!! I loled on how she specifically target Kentani’s player while letting others passed, Shizu you’re sooo evil! But it’s completely understandable given the situation.

    We’ll be meeting a lot of original Saki characters next ep, can’t wait! (`・ω・´)=3

  • May 21, 2012 at 1:39 amAnimesetsuna

    I haven’t read Saki Manga but find out that Episode of Side A is really interesting. But maybe won’t bother reading Saki Manga.

    • May 21, 2012 at 12:28 pmStilts

      This would be a mistake. If you like this show, that’s great – but the original is better, so you owe it to yourself to watch it!

      • May 21, 2012 at 4:04 pmAnimesetsuna

        I don’t want to read Original Saki because it’s so long for me.

  • May 21, 2012 at 2:58 amAnnyms

  • May 21, 2012 at 3:54 am†Croos†

    Playing Shizu’s style is suffering, to be honest. >.<
    Suffering to wait for the win even though the possibility is low as hell.

  • May 21, 2012 at 6:13 amSerapita

    Have to wait and see how much the girls will improve in such a short amount of time, even with the help from first season’s schools.

  • May 21, 2012 at 7:39 amSteelman

    So at the end they used 3 episodes for the quarter final, next week is a training episode, that leaves what? 4 episodes for the semifinal (this is 12 episodes total, right)? How are they going to finish the semi in 4 episodes, especially considering the pace of the manga?

    Unless… Teru just wipes them all out and ends it in the vanguard match. Now that would be some crazy mahjong.

    • May 21, 2012 at 8:07 amCytrus

      Teru might wipe one of the teams out and end the match right there, true, but I wouldn’t worry about her wiping out ALL of them for… certain reasons… :D

  • May 21, 2012 at 8:02 amCytrus

    Achiga deserved the second place here with Shizu’s desperate finish, but to me Senriyama also established itself as a superior team. It’s not just Toki raping for 40,000+ with time haxx, every member after her plays a solid game to build upon the lead even without obvious superpowers. This is indeed a team I can see getting 2nd place nationally.

    Which makes me worried if they can find any way to make Achiga win (as in, survive) the next match without it leaving a bad aftertaste. It’s easy enough to write – Shiraitodai stands to gain much more from eliminating Senriyama than no names like Achiga – but do we really want our protagonists to win by depending on that?

    Subara-girl from the fourth remaining team might be one of the show’s most endearing characters, too. I didn’t care that much for the filler teams in this match, but watching Saki will soon be suffering.

  • May 21, 2012 at 9:41 amrds

    This series is… SUPER LAME.

    They dropped everything what made Saki good: they dropped story, relationship development, yuri, detailed matches, they even dropped “monsters”! Compared to Saki everything feels like a sketch: sketch of story, sketches of characters, sketches of mahjong games, etc.

    This anime is not a story – it’s a storyboard.

    They are already at the fabled “nationals”. So, where the hell are the “national level monsters”?

    I DEMAND MONSTERS – at least. The preview at the end of Saki did show tons of monsters at the national.

    WHERE ARE THE MONSTERS?!

    I WANT MONSTERS!

    • May 21, 2012 at 1:36 pmAnnyms

      Sorry to break it to you, but they are actually even adding extra content to the episodes than just animating the manga chapters. This spin-off actually moves at this fast pace, but you’ll be happy once we get to the semi-finals. It slows down there.

    • May 22, 2012 at 2:52 pmYakuman

      If you want monsters, you won’t be disappointed in the semi-final match. You will see the greatest, look forward to it. Teru is just that awesome!

  • May 21, 2012 at 9:47 amviss

    Sorry to disappoint you Stilts, but I don’t think you’ll be bloging Saki next week because of this:

    http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=443555

    And I really miss YumixMomo pair. They’re one of the more unique couples in Saki.

    Yumi didn’t apply Saki standard universal yuri confession phrese “Let’s go to the National” instead it’s “I want you” lol. So funny yet touching at the same time. Not only that, their confession were known throughout the school. If only SakixNodoka and RyuukaxToki were made public like that.

    • May 21, 2012 at 12:23 pmStilts

      Thanks for the heads up. Without that I probably would have been freaking out for a few hours this next sunday, wondering why it wasn’t released, lol

      And yes, Mom x Yumi is awesome :3 Yumi’s accidental “confession” was just so epic-cute! Though I’m also partial to some KobaYuu, so that doesn’t hurt.

  • May 21, 2012 at 9:48 amrds

    …also: Even the current narrators are ridiculous compared with the magnificent narrating duo from Saki.

    It seems that the whole of Japan is super-lame when compared to the Nagano prefecture.

    • May 21, 2012 at 12:08 pmMarina2

      According to the story itself, Amae Koromo level of skill is not what you see often in national competition , so the chance you’ll see someone as good as Koromo is low. Kiyosumi was just badluck to be in Nagano.

  • May 21, 2012 at 2:00 pmtendo

    I am so saddddddd. There is no ALT Text. I put my mouse over the photos and NO TEXT.
    Nothing!!!! No millenium eye. No foot fetish.
    Nanimo.
    :(

    • May 21, 2012 at 2:07 pmStilts

      Sorry, you’ll have to check out Zanibas’ posts for alt-text. I don’t feel like writing 39+ pictures worth of short comments when few people would remember to read them, heh :P

      • May 22, 2012 at 1:00 amZanibas

        Oh onii-chan, after I fix up your post pictures for you, this is what I see? I am a sad little trap…*brings out the bonesaw* :(

        Btw tendo: I am the only one who does alt-text on this site. I’m glad you’re one of those “few” onii-chan mentioned that read them! <3

  • May 21, 2012 at 4:21 pmtrunkmonkey

    I’m amazed at how dramatic this show is. I know nothing about mahjong and I still find my self on the edge of the seat while watching the game unfold :)

  • May 21, 2012 at 9:33 pmJ-Luke

  • May 22, 2012 at 2:30 amBenigmatica

    Well, I guess next week is gonna be “a calm before the storm” episode. I can’t wait to see those girls from Kazekoshi Girls’ Academ and Tsuruga Academy!