Saki Zenkoku-hen Episode 2: Now That’s More Like It.

W-What?

W-What?

… Except it’s not really. While episode 2 is a vast improvement from the horrors of episode 1, the anime is still stuck with its character introductions, both old and new. There is enough character interactions and story development for it to be a very entertaining watch, but this episode mostly felt like a rerun of the first series’ ending episodes.

That’s not to say that this is an entirely bad episode. It’s most certainly enjoyable for the nostalgia and the characters being cute. I’m kind of worried though, given that this is only 12-13 episodes long, that they will somehow mess this up if they keep going at this current pace. This episode touches on things that were already mentioned in the first season and a few pieces of new information for anime only viewers.

When you think about it, she's not a very plausible powerhouse.

When you think about it, she’s not a very plausible powerhouse.

I think this is the first time in the anime that Maho showcased her broken yet impractical mahjong hax ability. I won’t go into details to what her ability really is, though I’m guessing by the clues that this episode left that you guys probably already know what it is. This episode also showed a glimpse of “Cold Touka”, who uses a dangerous high-risk-high-reward flow-manipulating  (turns out that this is wrong) a very rushed playstyle compared to normal Touka’s Nodoka-inspired gameplan. It’s portrayed as strong enough to take down Saki, Koromo and Fujita combined, but I’m sure that she’ll somehow get nerfed come tournament time.

Saki2-2-6The scene where Kiyosumi gets encouraged by practically the entire town was very touching, albeit being somewhat poorly animated. This provides Hisa’s character more development – which kind of confuses me since I think only Hisa gets significant personality development in Kiyosumi. They still keep Saki’s deal mostly under wraps save for her determination to take down everyone between her and her sister, and the other three act more like background characters. Mako does get some spotlight later on, but as for ambitions and other important aspects of sports anime character personalities are mostly blank. I would really appreciate some backstory about Nodoka in middle school, or how she and Yuuki met. Anytime now.

Saki2-2-2We get more background to what makes Eisui tick. Their mahjong team is composed of shrine maidens from a big clan of Shinto practitioners, and as you would expect, they are quite formidable. As to why they are formidable, well, you’ll just have to wait and see some of the most ridiculous mahjong plays ever conceived in fiction.

This episode had a good chunk of its time dedicated to yet another bath scene where nothing much of note really happens besides providing fanservice. The conversations during that time were mostly along the lines of breast size jokes and other shenanigans. I’m seriously getting tired of these segments, so much that I’m finding the development between Kyoutarou and Hagiyoshi to be more exciting.

Saki2-2-4Overall, this episode of Saki did little to advance much of anything, save for maybe the introduction of Maho, “Cold Touka” and the Eisui girls. I’m crossing by fingers that this series doesn’t end up collapsing on itself. But on the positive side, the episode did end in a positive note, so I’m hoping for better episodes to come our way.

Notes: I will only be covering Saki and Skura Trick this season, true to this blog’s objectives. That, and the fact that these are the only two anime left that I haven’t dropped yet, except Chuu2Koi.

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3 thoughts on “Saki Zenkoku-hen Episode 2: Now That’s More Like It.

  1. Actually, Cold Touka is the very opposite of high-risk, high-reward. As you can glimpse from her play records in this episode, she makes no attempt to go for sanshoku with her hand and goes out for (probably) 1300/all instead. Hajime also remarks that Touka’s wins in that state are nothing impressive. It’s just that she wins. Again and again and again and again…

    • I figured that since she manipulates the flow of the game through open melds, she’s actually more exposed to getting hit. It’s just that she goes too fast for any of them to keep up. I think I kinda misinterpreted that as “high-risk” since I don’t like to play that way myself.

      • I know Jun manipulates the flow through calls, but does Touka do the same? I don’t remember that part of the manga too well, but the anime didn’t imply a call-heavy style with Touka. I’m thinking her version of flow control might not be reliant on actual game mechanics, just manipulating luck/probability directly like Saki and Koromo do.

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