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