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Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 08

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「修行」 (Shugyou)
“Training”

After a week’s break, Saki Achiga is back with some crazy mahjong…almost. It looks like they’re saving that for next week, while this week we got crazy, uh, character introductions. And reintroductions. And re-reintroductions. There were a lot of characters in this episode, is what I’m trying to say.

I’m reminded of how much the mahjong world truly revolves around Kiyosumi by how tough their prefectural opponents were. Despite making it to nationals and advancing to the semi-finals, Achiga kept getting their clocks cleaned by Tsuruga and Kazekoshi. Add to that Ryuumonbochi, the only prefectural runner-up that Achiga couldn’t beat, and it seems like the Nagano prefecture was just full of badasses this year.

That aside, seeing the old characters was great, even if it once again exposed Saki Achiga for the spin-off that it is. But I’m really feeling the lack of the crazy mahjong! We got a few moves, but we never really got into how the Achiga girls were supposedly getting better – nothing like the math drills, online games, and the introduction of etopen that happened back in the original series’ training arcs. The same goes for when Achiga called up all the players who are only playing in the individual tournament for some practice matches. I would have liked to see what they could do.

But instead of harping on the same stuff, let me switch tacts and say this: I have nothing but respect for Achiga for how they called up all those individual players and asked for practice matches. Of course, it’s silly for them to expect to get radically better inside of a day – though I assume they will anyway – but the fact that they weren’t afraid to reach out to people for help, even people they had never met before, showed how serious they are about winning. Good job, girls! We should all be so proactive.

Moving on, my favorite part of this episode was definitely when Shizu ran down Akado’s old teacher, Kumakura-san, and asked her if Akado was leaving them. Seeing Shizu, the living incarnation of willpower and a girl who is physically incapable of giving up, cry like that was really touching. It’s obvious how much she really cares about and respects Akado. As for Akado’s answer…well, come on, we all knew that’s the choice she would make. Still, seeing the girls all fired up about doing what no one from their prefecture has ever done before – advance to the Top 4 – was nice. I’m just a sucker for a team-all-working-together scene.

Finally, we have the start of the semi-finals, and the long-awaited arrival of Teru! This week was severely lacking in the crazy mahjong, but I have a feeling next week will make up for it. With Teru, Toki, and Kuro all going head-to-head – plus a character voiced by Arai Satomi, which is always a good thing – I’m expecting some good stuff next week. Of course, I’ve said that before, but…I mean, it’s Toki vs Teru! There will be riots in the streets if this isn’t appropriately epic, and nobody wants that.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – #SakiAchiga 8: Character intros galore! Not enough crazy mahjong, but that’ll come soon. Next week, Kuro vs Teru vs Toki vs Arai Satomi

Random thoughts:

  • I like how Momo’s first instinct is to glomp-straddle her beloved sempai. How kawaiisu!
  • I get why Kazekoshi is there – Mihoko is in the individual tournament, and the others are there to support her – but why is Tsuruga in Tokyo right now? I guess since Kanbara’s grandma owns the place they’re staying at, they just decided to take a trip there and cheer on their friends? Kind of convenient.
  • Yuuki continues to be hilariously ridiculous. Hey, if tacos wants to wear a cape on national television, I say let her. Maybe it will weird out the competition. Psychological warfare, baby!
  • Shizu is so hot-blooded, she could star in a shounen battle manga. Or maybe a harem comedy, judging by how readily she breaks into bathrooms for a little peeking :3
  • Those. Camera. Angles. Glorious.

Full-length images: 02, 10, 11, 15, 18, 21.

 

Preview

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End Card

Saki Achiga hen episode of Side A   08   End Card
June 4, 2012 at 2:15 am
30 comments »
  • June 4, 2012 at 2:19 amAnimesetsuna

    This episode is nice.

    (And I just start watching Saki Ep 1 & 2.)

  • June 4, 2012 at 3:00 amnghtmrsrph

    I can no longer listen to Yukiji’s calmed voice without imagining her shouting “TOSHIYUKI-KUUUUUN”. Damn you Nichibros, damn you!

    Gotta love Kobayashi Yuu.

    • June 4, 2012 at 3:02 amnghtmrsrph

      I meant Kajiki… man I always mix up her name and last name. ;_;

  • June 4, 2012 at 3:15 amKamiyaCheap

    It always hits me when I read the manga, did Achiga girls beat Kazekoshi or Tsuruga because it was never putted in detail in the manga.

    After watching this episode when they make the meeting much more detail… I’m starting to wonder if Achiga can advance into the Final… since they can’t even beat Ikeda!!! Or Nagano region player are mostly national class player and Nara region player are not that good… (Being rape by the 4th seeded Senriyama is another thing). Toki vs Teru sure gonna be a highlight u can bet on it!!!

    Oh Omake of the week, Jindai Komaki-hime!!! and Tacos cape!!! and AKO FAN SERVICEEE XD

  • June 4, 2012 at 3:38 amAnnyms

    Stilts. After reading your comment about wondering why Tsuruga is in Tokyo, I just now realized how this series looks like to people who aren’t caught up with the main manga. They kinda pull the curtain over your eyes this way, since it’s assumed that you know why Tsuruga is there from the main manga. Long story short, Tsuruga is there to cheer on Kiyosumi as you guessed, and this show really needs to be an accompaniment to a second season of Saki.

    I’m also disappointed that they didn’t give more time showing off what those individual tourney players could do. They seem to have cut that section short to be able to show the main crew’s quarterfinal intro.

    • June 4, 2012 at 3:46 amKamiyaCheap

      True, if u watch Achiga, you have no idea why Tsuruga is there in Tokyo, I agreed that it’s better to have a second season for those who didn’t read the manga to know about most of the background situation like *cough* Saki Skirt *cough*.

      And the individual tournament player, the manga also doesn’t show the match at all… it’s the same what we saw in the Anime…

  • June 4, 2012 at 4:33 amviss

    Aside from Teru’s onslaught to look forward to, Stilts, you should be more wary of Arai Satomi voiced character. How cruel of you, not even bother mentioning her name in your post. Anyway, without spoiling anything, all I can say is she’s just simply WONDERFUL in various ways. Can’t wait to read your reaction to next week episode.

    • June 4, 2012 at 4:55 amKamiyaCheap

      One word “Subara~” XD

    • June 4, 2012 at 8:19 amCytrus

      Subara will be known for more than just Arai Satomi (as great as she is) soon enough. I don’t expect people to actually remember her name, beautiful as it is, but it’s not like that is necessary, right? ‘Subara’ is wonderful enough.

  • June 4, 2012 at 6:17 amUnajuuphile

    Why’s she going commando??

    • June 4, 2012 at 6:47 amStilts

      First rule of Saki: pantsu are not allowed.

      Second rule of Saki: pantsu are not allowed!

  • June 4, 2012 at 7:09 amRyC

    Wait, is Achiga-Hen 12 or 24 episodes long?

    If it’s 12 like it says here, doesn’t that mean that they only have 4 episodes to animate the semi finals and other stuff?

    Won’t that really leave us hanging?

    • June 4, 2012 at 7:10 amRyC

      • June 4, 2012 at 8:26 amSteelman

        The Achiga manga is not finished yet, so we don’t really know where the story is going to end. However, it seems likely that both the manga and anime would end after the semifinal anyway, since Kiyosumi will surely make it to the final (hence covered in the main manga).

        Fact is…
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • June 4, 2012 at 12:31 pmIX

        There is no guarantee at this point that Achiga will qualify the finals because the anime is rapidly catching up to the manga (currently in vanguard match 2nd half) and the only other player that Saki is deathly afraid of so far other than Koromo is Teru.

        Keep in mind that Achiga never defeated Ryuumonbuchi and failed to put a major dent in Senriyama’s lead throughout the entire quarter finals. Their fate will mainly be decided Teru vs. Toki.

  • June 4, 2012 at 7:47 amZaku Fan

    I love the faces of the Saki girls when they see Yuuki try and pull off looking like Kamina. Still the Achiga girls seem weak compared to everyone else. The author must really like to make new characters and stuff them sith strange looks.

    The announcer and the commentator this time are also interesting. The contrast between the 3 announcer/commentators are amusing.

    I wonder if the other 3 schools can even get into the next round or they will be crushed by having points being reduced to 0 by Teru

  • June 4, 2012 at 7:48 amAn

    lol Arai Satomi… Back when I was reading the manga, Kirame reminds me to Kuroko every time I see her.
    I didn’t know Arai Satomi voiced her until I read this ep’s credit roll, so when I hear her voice, I was like ‘Oh Fuck Yuessh!!’ while ROFLing for a good minute. SUBARA~!

    Now I’m confuse on how will this show ends. Even the latest manga chapter still on this vanguard’s match, and we still has 4 eps to go (it is 12 eps isn’t it?) and impossible to waste them all on this match alone. Yet it is also absurd to compress it into reaching the captain’s match. :(
    Dammit, I demand Saki 2nd season nau.

    • June 4, 2012 at 7:57 amZaku Fan

      Given what happened to the original Saki anima/manga, the anime *may* end up faster than the manga by having the author given an outline on the next few chapters.

    • June 4, 2012 at 8:47 amAn

      Yeah, the anime has that option, but I’m more worried about the show’s pacing with 4 eps left.

      Original Saki went ahead of the manga and get away fine since it has a lot of eps after Saki-Koromo showdown, and they even (forced to?) add filler of individual matches to fill in the 2-cour quota.

      If they intends to finish the captain’s match, I can imagine one heck of compression and we’re sure to lost a lot of epic mahjong moments. C’mon, even Stilts want them so bad. :p

  • June 4, 2012 at 8:04 amKJacket

    Needs more mahjong but it’s all good if we get Teru. Achiga looks so weak after this episode, it wasn’t that apparent in the manga. No competition, or at least we didn’t get to see how they improved anyways.

  • June 4, 2012 at 8:49 amSteelman

    The time is nigh!
    All will fall to the monarch’s mahjong!

    Man, now that Teru is on the scene it’s going to become 10x more exciting. Not to mention my favorite commentator duo, Kouko and Sukoya. Beware of tornados near your local mahjong table! Take shelter!

    It’s a pity that non-manga readers are going to miss so many hilarious details (like Saki’s new shirt and the reason for Yuuki’s badass cape – Kouko and Sukoya even got an extra chapter in the main manga…)

    • June 4, 2012 at 1:01 pmStilts

      But of course, if you have to read the manga to enjoy the anime, that means the anime didn’t do things properly. Or at least, we need a season 2 of the main Saki anime. a 2-cour one, preferably.

      I want that second one.

      • June 4, 2012 at 1:07 pmFreddeh

        /signed

        I’m rewatching the first season of Saki now, because dammit, I need more mahjong action! Ok that sounds slightly wrong, but oh well!

      • June 4, 2012 at 5:49 pmSerapita

        Stilts, Show Spoiler ▼

      • June 4, 2012 at 6:18 pmStilts

        I guess I meant that if the show doesn’t stand up without knowing the little quirks from the main series, it’s not doing it’s job right. Of course, those are optional things for people who have read the manga, so I guess my true complaint is the same one it has always been…that this side-story is lacking in the “story” =X

      • June 5, 2012 at 7:29 pmSerapita

        Yeah, and they’re lacking in Mahjong battle too. Seeing how Kiyozumi’s matches are pretty fun – long matches are long, and short matches are short – whereas every Achiga’s matches are too short to have fun with it, most of the time they just ron 2-3 times and be done with the matches.

  • June 4, 2012 at 5:44 pmSerapita

    I think they’re saving all those crazy strong individual tournament contenders for the main series since both Saki and Nodoka qualified for the individual tournaments as well. Which make me wonder WHEN they are going to make the 2nd season of Saki…

  • June 4, 2012 at 6:09 pmTrombe

    Jindai Komaki!!!
    Second season fking where.

  • June 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm†Croos†

  • June 6, 2012 at 5:17 pmdranon

    After waiting all these years, any episode with Mihoko is good.