… 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.
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.
The 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.
We 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.
Overall, 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.