「奪回」 (Dakkai)

Excellent! We’re now seeing some proper crazy mahjong, and what’s more the episode didn’t progress exactly as I expected it would. I initially assumed it would be Yuu-oneechan going into mahjong orgasm mode that would bring about the recovery noted in the episode title (side note: way to give away what’s going to happen in this episode, Studio Gokumi!), but it didn’t turn out like that. Well, it did, but… Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. One thing at a time!

First, Yuu-oneechan. I don’t know about you guys, but I love the relationship between those two. There’s something charming about the reversal in their relationship, with the imouto always protecting the onee-chan. Better than that though, I enjoyed how this episode gave that “useless” onee-chan a chance to show her worth. Awww!

As for how Yuu-oneechan did, I have to say that she seems like a stronger player than Kuro, at least right now. While Kuro racked up huge point totals in previous matches and led Achiga to victory, she’s a one note player – if she can’t win with her dora tactics, she’s pretty much screwed, as Toki so painfully illustrated. Yuu-oneechan, on the other hand, has two tactics – first she starts out collecting only “warm-colored” tiles, and if that doesn’t work, she switches to drawing any tile with red on it. Smart! You can’t depend exclusively on one strategy, so fortunately Yuu-oneechan had another, which allowed her to take back 12K of Achiga’s points.

Next was Ako’s match. This was another match where Senriyama sorely tested my loyalty to Achiga. Seeing the tomboy Sera go into “Otome Modo” – and get all cutely embarrassed about it – was quite amusing. Throw into that the fact that she was Senriyama’s ace last year, and she’s a character to watch.

Fortunately, Ako was better (sort of…they both did really well)! Despite my love for many of the monster characters of the Saki universe, characters like Ako are still the best in my book (at least when we’re talking about how they play). Rather than depending on hax powers, she won because of practice, skill, a good feel for the game, and excellent tutelage from Akado. That enabled her to go toe-to-toe with Senriyama’s old ace, and still put Achiga up by another 16K points. That put them into 2nd place by a full 16K points over the next opponent! For once, I feel like Akado was useful for some reason.

Next week we have Arata-chan, and maybe Shizu. Of the last two, I think Shizu is going to have a rougher time. Though I may soon eat these words, I’m not too worried about Arata going up against megane-chan. Shizu, on the other hand, is going to have to compete against Toki’s yuri buddy Ryuuka, and she worries me. Hopefully Arata-chan can rack up some points to help Shizu out…and something about the way she carries herself makes me think she will. Can’t wait!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Yuu-oneechan & Ako compete! I think I prefer reliable & sharp Ako over the mahjongasming onee-chan, at least when they play =X #SakiAchiga

Random thoughts:

  • Let’s see here…Kuro lost 41K points, Yuu-oneechan earned 12K, and Ako earned another 16K. Looks like overall, Achiga’s monsters have still been a net detriment to their team. Whoops.
  • Another reason I like Sera – doing a running, jumping flip in a skirt. That’s some proper Saki-level stuff right there!

Full-size images: 06, 24



End Card


  1. Not Saki related but RC Mahjong related advertisement below:

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    If you have a niconico account, check out Some moe mahjong game on nico nico!

    An example of the game can be viewed here. (With me stylin 😉

    As a bonus Mr Stilts-sensei will be making an appearance! Ok maybe not, but I hope you do join us too Stilts! We could use more members in the RandomC mahjong club.

    PS: Having IRC greatly helps. Join us today!
    PSS: I blame Saki for getting me into this mess.

    1. So, is it possible to play the game as an non-japanese language understanding person?

      I have played a bit of mahjong, I think i have passed the really beginner stages, but still have some time to go untill I’m decent enough to really play.

      So maybe I can join you for some fun.

      1. Um, you don’t really need to understand Japanese to play the game (or anyone interested for that matter). The most important points are:

        1. Knowing how to play mahjong and understanding the Japanese scoring rules. (so you know what hand to go for, scores are automatically calculated)

        2. Recognize the basic terms like ron; pon; chi; riichi; kang; tsumo. They will appear in Japanese but you should understand what they mean anyway depending on the situation. ie when you have 2,3 and when someone on your left throws a 1 or 4 it is automatically a chi option.

        Creating a niconico account though can be a pain. Google for guides to do so!

        Knowing 1. is enough, also we do have a non-niconico version to play on, except that I dislike that because they give me bad hands 🙁

      2. For starters and quickie mahjong, I’d recommend Tenhou.
        You can start playing without registration, though registering gives you some feats. Just google up the english guide. After playing awhile and levelup your game, you should look up for more challenges like Niconico’s Pairon above.

    2. Yes tenhou is the alternative, for those who are interested we usually hang around in lobby 36 for pairon/niconico. As for playing times it isn’t really fixed but usually around night time on the eastern side of the world.

  2. Akado is being given more credit and more fleshed out in the anime than the manga, the panels usually just skip over her but the anime shows more of her character… which made me kind of dislike her rather than neutrally useless haha. Agreed that her being the coach improved the team and really showed during Ako’s game where there weren’t any hax powers going on. I mean I almost forgot that they made it into the nationals because Akado was their advisor.

    When you think about Kuro’s style and dragons, aren’t dragons good at both offense and defense? Can’t she like tell the dora to go to someone else as a trap and change up her playing style? Can’t dragons somewhat control the wind(tiles), you know, use some imagination. It’d be way more interesting if Kuro put in variations into her hax power than just waiting for the dora and either slaughter or get slaughtered.

    1. Alas, it doesn’t seem like all of them can be controlled quite so much as that. I assume Kuro will figure something out before the next round, or else they’ll be screwed when they have Shiraitodai to deal with too, but I’ve no idea what she’ll do!

  3. With so much strategy involved from previous rounds, it’s nice to see a ‘pure race’ between Ako and Sera. No hax powers, no over-thinking, no deep plotting, a simple battle of ‘flash speed agility’ vs ‘earth shattering strength’, seeing the girls kinda reminded to Negi vs Lacan’s epic battle, and it’s indeed refreshing.
    Too bad it was so short. Where’s the fillers when you need them. ~_~

    1. Or to put it in Saki’s term, this is like pitting Nodoka against Hisa since Nodoka loves making small hands and winning fast while Hisa loves making big hand and winning with risky wait.

    2. I think the Saki equivalent would be Nodoka vs Touka since both also play for themselves, while Hisa will undoubtedly plot tricks and mind games to screw her opponents. 😀

  4. I’m almost disappointed you don’t mention that it’s clearly become a race for second with Senriyama ridiculously ahead of the other three. But, i’m probably just forgetting that you’ve declared that in previous weeks.

    Comon Achiga! Take that 2nd place >D!

    1. I didn’t mention that because it has been painfully obvious since episodes ago. This match isn’t really a contest between Senriyama and Achiga, it’s just a test to see if Achiga can come back from such a huge deficit. First place was never really in the cards.

      1. And now, if they proceed to the semi-final, they will have to compete for the two out of four places with Senriyama who is trashing them heavily this round (unless Arata and Shizu pull off some miracle stunts and get in the lead…) and the champion Shiraitodai who trashed Senriyama last year. Looks like Achiga’s girls will have to improve a lot in the period of 2-3 days to stand a chance to qualify for the final.

  5. “Looks like overall, Achiga’s monsters have still been a net detriment to their team. Whoops.”

    Kuro is all too easy to abuse, but then again, name one Achiga girl who would not be a “detriment” against Toki.

    1. Ako or maybe Arata-chan (depending on how she plays) would probably have been better. As was mentioned by a commentor in a previous post (sorry, I’m too lazy to go pull up who it was), against a monster like Toki (or Teru, next round), the best bet is to use a skilled but normal player who can protect Achiga’s points. That way, they can save Kuro for the middle where she might be able to run rampant over the less skilled, non-monster players.

  6. I don’t know anything about the game but I still love this series (as I did Saki). Its the characters and the way they are drawn and acted that make me look forward to the series every week. Even the kids at the other schools are interesting. My favorite cast member here is the older sister with the scarf.

    GOOD STUFF!!!!!!

  7. I’m glad they didn’t animate the whole chapter this episode because we’re getting into a decent pace where we can actually see some mahjong played out. Now I’m wondering how the rest of this will play out with only one cour. I’m guessing the manga will stop at a crossover point with the main series since the anime is pretty much following the manga step for step.

    1. The manga is starting to drag out, (Ch10 spoiler)Show Spoiler ▼

      so this Achiga match will probably be the last “arc”, and maybe we get a beach episode.

      Plus it seems that we’ll actually get to see Arata play next episode 😀 the manga skipped over her game iirc.


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