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
- Pardon me while I take this picture out of context. You’re free to join me.
- Teru is so two-faced. The
cakedere 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~