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Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side-A – 13

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「混戦」 (Konsen/i>)
“Meele”

Saki: Achiga-hen episode of side-A is back with the rest of the semi-finals! If you’ve forgotten what went on during the original run, I suggest you visit our convenient archives to refresh your memory, because they waste no time launching back into the majhong tanoshii (note: you wouldn’t be the only one…I had to do the same thing :X). As such, I’m going to follow suit, stop with this ridiculous intro paragraph, and start with the ridiculous mahjong instead, woohoo!

Second Round: Matsumi Yuu (Achiga) vs. Hirose Sumire (Shiraitodai) vs. Nijou Izumi (Senriyama) vs. Yasukouchi Yoshiko (Shindouji)

This was the less exciting of today’s two matches, primarily because Shiraitodai’s Hirose Sumire (Saiga Mitsuki) wasn’t a true monster. The sad thing is that she easily could have been – her sharpshooter schtick could have easily been terufying (…okay, that picture was a bad example) if she ruthlessly and unceasingly went after one player…ohandalso, if she didn’t have a tell. I don’t begrudge the story that, though. It would be a bit much if every Shiraitodai player was like the end boss of max level raid dungeon.

There was that tell, though. At first I honestly though it was a trap. Shiraitodai are the best of the best, so I couldn’t imagine one of their top players having something so obvious as a tell. I thought she did it to draw the players who noticed it into a trap – making them evade when she target them, and then revealing that evasion was exactly what she needed to win. Bam! But alas, it was not so. Once again, I don’t begrudge this–just as it’s good for not all Shiraitodai players to be monsters, it’s good for some of them to have weaknesses, lest this turn into a totally unsatisfying curb-stomp battle (trope!). Still…it woulda been awesome!!

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Third Round: Atarashi Ako (Achiga) vs. Shibuya Takami (Shiraitodai) vs. Eguchi Sera (Senriyama) vs. Ezaki Hitomi (Shindouji)

This was the better round by far. First of all was the great frenemy vibe between Sera and Ako. There’s just such a great feeling of mutual respect between those two, with how often Ako is impressed (and a bit disgusted, heh) at Sera’s big wins, while Sera just smirks when Ako manages to thwart her. That’s one of the things that the Saki universe has always done well (aside from yuri and epic tile slams) – making me like all the characters on the field. That’s definitely true of both Sera and Ako.

The other reason this round was better was we had a bonafide threat in the water, in the form of Shiraitodai’s Shibuta Takami’s (Toyoguchi Megumi) lurking yakuman. For those that don’t really understand mahjong…well, you’re in good company because I don’t really either, so I’ll defer to Wikipedia on this one. You know all those 1-2K point winning hands we’ve been seeing, along with the occasional 10K+ one? Well a yakuman is more on the level of 32,000 / 48,000 (non-dealer and dealer respectively). Assuming I’m doing the math right on that (unlikely, but stick with me), that’s a loooot of friggin’ points – almost enough to end the game outright (what with how low Shindouji’s score is by now). Basically, think of drawing a royal flush when everyone has already bet a ton of money. It’s kind of a big deal.

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tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Yuu-nee evades Shiraitodai’s sharpshooter, revealing her tell, while Ako battles Sera…& let’s Shiraitodai’s yakuman monster grow #SakiA

Random thoughts:

  • I’m glad that Akado-sensei is going to take this opportunity to teach Kuro some basic mahjong. I mean come on, Kuro didn’t even notice the other players cooperating with her against Teru! Seriously, you better brush up on that before you go up against Tacos…’cause I’m not sure she’ll notice things like that either, Orz.
  • Yes yes, symmetrical docking for luuuuuuck!! *full on perv mode engage*
  • Speaking of: if Toki is hurt, apparently you have to make Ryuuka eat or else she’ll just stay by her until she collapses. Senriyama are still the only ones really bringing the yuri to Saki Achiga. Keep it up!
  • I got chills when Funakubo was talking to Izumi about the first year monsters. We have confirmation that Shizu (and later Saki) have a monster to fight in Shiraitoday’s first year Oohoshi Awai (Saito Chiwa), but I loved it most when Izumi thought that the other first year monster was Nodoka. No no Izumi-chan, not her. It’s Miyanaga Saki. Beware Rinshan-chan, bwahaha!
  • By the way, this episode made me think of Teru as much less of a demon than she’s usually depicted. I mean, bringing sweets for her teammates? D: They’re even going to make me like the end boss, ahhhh!!
  • Because Shindouji has been mostly useless so far (aside from the glorious Subara), I’d like to note that the ED and the preview seem to indicate that they have some real players coming up. (Uh, I think.) About time! Do justice to Subara’s pain, dammit!
  • The next ep of Saki: Achiga-hen episode of side-A is set to air on Tuesday, January 29th, and yes, I will be blogging it. After that it’s only one more episode…and then Saki Season 2 announcement plx? Need more Tacos, Etopen, Rinshan-chan, bad waits, bad eyes, and all the rest of that Kiyosumi goodness, woohoo!!

Full-length images: 13, 34, 35.

 

ED3 Sequence

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ED3: 「TSUBASA」 by StylipS

Preview

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December 25, 2012 at 10:02 pm
39 comments »
  • December 25, 2012 at 10:11 pmfencedude

    The real show starts next time, when Mairu brings out BONDAGE MAHJONG.

    Shindouji-hen is about to begin.

  • December 25, 2012 at 10:18 pmShizuka the Cat

    When will a Winter preview go up?

    • December 26, 2012 at 12:06 amStilts

      Soon, young padawan, soon.

      (For the record, asking doesn’t help. We try to avoid giving out specific dates, and for major posts like that, we never forget. Ergo, the answer is always “soon” or “around when it came out this time last year.” Just FYI ^^)

  • December 25, 2012 at 10:37 pmWave-Master

    A yakuman scores 48,000 points if the winner is dealer (16,000 from all) or 32,000 points if the winner is not dealer (16,000 from the dealer and 8,000 from the other two).

    • December 25, 2012 at 10:42 pmCorin

      Or all of that 32000/48000 points from one person if that person deals the winning tile.

  • December 25, 2012 at 10:42 pmCarillus

    A Yakuman hand is worth a TOTAL of 32,000 (non-dealer)/48,000 (dealer), which is a lot less scary.
    Still, a direct hit on any player will almost always mean a direct upset, since a 32,000/48,000 hit means it can reset a difference of up to 64,000/96,000.
    Just FYI, might want to correct the statement.

    • December 26, 2012 at 12:08 amStilts

      This is why I try to avoid getting into specifics, heh. Fixed though!

  • December 25, 2012 at 10:45 pmRava

    The numbers for Yakuman are how much that one side gains, not how much everyone pays. The reason why you see big numbers sometimes are because if you get hit by Ron, you pay all of the points. If it’s a Tsumo, it’s split between the other players. So something that’s 4000/8000 means the dealer paid 8000 and the other two paid 4000, for a total of 16000 points to the winner.

  • December 25, 2012 at 11:03 pmAnimesetsuna

    Can’t wait for next episode. @_@

  • December 25, 2012 at 11:14 pmBuzzsaw

    Saki Zenkoku-hen, which will consist of the Kiyosumi High side of the Interhigh (National Tournament) was announced in October. It’s likely to be released in the Spring/Summer season of 2013.

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-10-28/saki-national-tournament-arc-gets-tv-anime

    • December 26, 2012 at 12:10 amStilts

      I should probably pay more attention to the (anime) news! But this is great news. Thank you for pretty much making my night :D

  • December 25, 2012 at 11:15 pmCrazyguy

    To be exact, A Yakuman score is…. oh wait, the above posters already summed it up. You really should read up on Mahjong Yaku Stilts.

    Anyways, Funakubo’s new VA is something to be paid attention as well, considering that she will take the spotlight next episode. Her Kansai-ben is actually more evident than her previous VA.

    • December 26, 2012 at 12:11 amStilts

      Or just go back to being vague like I used to. As a marketer, I find that actually understanding what I’m talking about is largely unnecessary. Stories rarely care about specifics after all, provided you’re good enough at telling them ^_^

      • December 26, 2012 at 11:03 pmLightnDark

        I think it is better to do some homework than no homework at all :P Given how fast the games went by, the actual game specifics/details actually don’t really matter that much TBH. But I feel that understanding player’s mentality (such as Ako’s) is kinda important if you want to appreciate the thought-process behind their moves. For Ako’s case:

        She was in a dilemma is because while she is able to win (with whatever measly points), she doesn’t want to extend the game because of Shibuya’s ability. That being said, it is still better for her to win said measly points because

        -As Ako knows about Shibuya’s ability, as long as she doesn’t play into Shibuya’s hands for a direct hit, she’s fine. (She basically knows it is a Daisangen)
        -Even IF the other 2 girls know about said ability or somehow avoid playing into Shibuya, a Tsumo from Shibuya would result in Ako losing 8000, which is already recuperated through her small wins prior.
        -Shiratodai’s lead over everyone else is too huge (realistically speaking in an unrealistic setting), so Achiga has to settle for 2nd. In the end, points are still points. A direct hit on Shindouji and especially Senriyama will be both beneficial for Achiga as long as they are in 2nd place.

        I realize these points were pointed out but I’m just reiterating them.. orz

  • December 26, 2012 at 2:04 am†Croos†

    The best GIF of this episode.

    • December 26, 2012 at 2:53 amName (required)

      cute

    • December 27, 2012 at 1:23 amStilts

      Swiftly approved!

  • December 26, 2012 at 2:19 amYalvyn

    Izumi KIA Yay!!
    Love it when those prestigious school’s snobbish girls get owned.
    Strongest rookie yer ars lol.

    Hope Atago Hiroe got one too.

  • December 26, 2012 at 2:58 amName (required)

    next episode will airs 29 January 2013. so, when zenkoku-hen will be aired?

  • December 26, 2012 at 3:50 amMoomba

    My mental image of Teru is ruined forever! I always imagined her as a demon even away from the table.

    Yuu-nee is still the best Achiga <3

    • December 26, 2012 at 8:58 amviss

      LOL surprised that Teru isn’t much of an Executioner King? Yeah, I got the same impression when reading the manga. This is the first time where Shiraitodai team members were officially given some personality and they aren’t as cold as one might expect. Still, I think it’s a nice development. Did you notice how Awai is pressing her head against Teru’s cheek? Yes, AwaixTeru is delicious.

  • December 26, 2012 at 4:51 amKairoru

    I don’t play mahjong, but watching the series is so much fun!

    • December 26, 2012 at 4:55 amKairoru

      Also, need more Subara!

  • December 26, 2012 at 5:18 amKamiyaCheap

    Awai x Teru sooooooooooooooooo damn Cute! That’s why Awai is my second favorite Saki Character!!! XDDDDD

    Reservation next episode! Let the Er*ticness begin!!!! XD

  • December 26, 2012 at 6:33 amPrimeHector

    No image of rinshan chan. Yeah Shindouji’s powerhouses are coming.

  • December 26, 2012 at 6:40 amPrimeHector

    Which saki yuri couple is better? Saki/Nodoka or Toki/Ryuuka. Saki/Nodoka has points on being the first but Toki is more hilarious than Saki and Ryuuka does caretaker moe better than Nodoka. Decisions decisions.

  • December 26, 2012 at 6:41 amPrimeHector

    Which saki yuri couple is better? Saki/Nodoka or Toki/Ryuuka. Saki/Nodoka has points on being the first but Toki is more hilarious than Saki and Ryuuka does caretaker moe better than Nodoka. Oh decisions decisions.

  • December 26, 2012 at 8:03 amSteelman

    Stilts, you should give more credit to Ako for those hands. There are three important points here:

    - Senriyama’s goal might be to stand on top, but Achiga’s goal is to go to the final. At the moment Shiraitodai is so far ahead that Achiga should focus on staying ahead of Senriyama.

    - Ako knows that Takami will go for a Daisengen (Three Big Dragons, a yakuman hand – triplets of each dragon, plus another triplet/sequence and a pair), so she can easily fold the last hand – the probability that Takami will ron out of her is low.

    - The dealer order is Shindouji – Ako – Takami – Sera. If Takami wins on the last hand with a yakuman, the payment is 8k non dealer / 16k dealer (for a total of 32k). So from Ako’s point of view, she goes -40k on Shiraitodai and +8k on Senriyama – that’s not too bad.

    As for Shindouji: during Subara’s flashback they already said that the lineup is arranged in increasing order of strenght, so the last two players should be the most dangerous (as the preview clearly show, the vice-captain has some hax power).

    • December 27, 2012 at 1:20 amStilts

      Good points! I hadn’t considered those. Good to hear…I’ve always liked Ako, so nice to see her getting a little carried away didn’t end up hurting Achiga. Well, unless something goes terribly wrong next episode, heh

  • December 26, 2012 at 10:01 amviss

    @Stilts – About Sumire, I think you might be a bit too harsh on her. Sure she got her tell discovered by Akado of all people which baffles me how come no one else found it before all since she her debut years ago. However, she has proven to be quite formidable herself even without her ability which is something to be reckon with unlike some others who end up relying too much on their ability *coughKurocough*.

    Concerning the way Sumire handled her game, while I agree that instead of stop using her arrows entirely, the best strategy after her arrows failed to work on Achiga is to start targeting other schools – reducing their points to zero, but with how Shiraitodai is leading by a huge margin, I don’t think it would cause much trouble and might even benefit the team just to observe for now and get collect as much data of your opponents for the finals.

    I think that the reason why Shiraitodai is the strongest team is not only because all the players have some kind of mahjong hex superpowers (well that too), but they also take their opponents seriously and don’t look down on them just because they got Teru in their team.

    • December 26, 2012 at 10:49 amunderMebius

      Remember that Sumire says that they were going easy as to gather as much information on their opponents as much as possible. That is why Izumi was baffled. Sumire should have targeted Shindouji so that the match will finish sooner but she didn’t. It’s because they’re gathering data.

      @Stilts: Don’t you count out Shindouji yet. Next episode is one of the most enjoyable matches in the whole Saki franchise. Mairu is BADASS with a capital B-A-D-A-S-S.

    • December 27, 2012 at 1:22 amStilts

      Makes sense. It’s still foolhardy, in a way. It seems like it’d be better to end them quickly and assure their win rather than risking anything. Then again, that’s why Shiraitodai and Senriyama are true champion material…they’ve been planning for the finals since before the tournament even started.

  • December 26, 2012 at 10:54 amunderMebius

    Also, I forgot to mention that Shindouji’s Yasukouchi’s plan was to disallow Sumire from using her Piercing Arrow style. Basically, Shiraitodai’s strategy is to let Teru wreck havoc in the Vanguard match, and if the teams miraculously survives, Sumire shoots the lowest scorer down to zero. Shindouji played against Shiraitodai before so to counteract Sumire, Yasukouchi wins with cheap hands to disable Sumire from even getting her arrows ready.

    Don’t think that Shindouji are a pushover! Their strategy of forming the lineup of players from weakest to strongest will be more apparent next episode.

    • December 27, 2012 at 1:22 amStilts

      Another good point. Man, too long away from mahjong tanoshii dulled my skills!

  • December 26, 2012 at 3:50 pmZhinvu

    Way to go Yuu! She’s been my favorite since her first appearance so kudos to her performance in her game. She should keep her glasses on more often. Oh and she’s simply so adorable when she’s worried.

  • December 26, 2012 at 4:49 pmKJacket

    Teru definitely doesn’t seem to be the evil last boss I was expecting in an epic final battle, then again we’re in the Saki universe so maybe not that unexpected. Was animated to be nicer than in the manga though with that unvoiced thought about Toki, now it’s possible she might have not used her second power because Teru knew Toki’s health wasn’t good.

    > Tacos, Etopen, Rinshan-chan, bad waits, bad eyes
    lol, so true that’s what the show has given them to stand out

  • December 27, 2012 at 1:23 pmAnnyms

    I can’t wait for the next episode so I can hear Ako go “wahuo~” *passes out*

  • December 30, 2012 at 8:32 amdangerism

    If Achiga could figure out Teru’s power requires the start up evaluation thing, then they should enter Teri right before her Dora pulling ability is active. That would throw off Teru’s evaluation and might wreck havoc when they do come back. Though chances of anybody knowing exactly what Teru’s power is pretty slim.

    • December 30, 2012 at 8:33 amdangerism

      Argh, meant to write Kuro, how did it come out as Teri?