Another episode of Saki sees Nodoka remaining as determined as ever to stay at the top of her game in the hope of toppling Saki, even if it means numerous late nights and admonishments from her father. Meanwhile, "training" is much easier for Saki herself, with a quiet snooze under a tree seemingly enough to prepare her for another session of wiping the floor with all and sundry in the school club.
However, once again Saki's old habits appear to die hard, as she racks up another ±0 in an attempt to placate Yuuki - A move which pisses of Nodoka considerably, causing her to walk out, with Saki predictably chasing after her... hasn't this happened every week so far? Anyway, at least this time the relationship between Nodoka and Saki seems to take a more balanced and hopefully long-standing turn for the better after some strong words are spoken, as Saki explains her sudden desire to want to compete in the national championships, stemming from what seems to be a messy divorce within her family. Can mahjong save the day? This is anime, so quite probably.
Speaking of said championships, we also see the club president signing up their school to the prefectural qualifying round, and as the draw for the first round is made we get to see a few of the prospective opponents in the making, taking in the usual cliches of mean opponents or snobby rich kids from private schools - No doubt we'll be seeing plenty of them in competition later on.
I suppose this was a pretty fun episode all in all, although my ability to take it even slightly seriously is being stretched to the limit by Saki herself trying to use mahjong to reunite a split and dysfunctional family, while Nodoka's mood swings and bitchiness are starting to grate at times - The again, when you're being used as the blatant fan service object in a series I suppose you have every right to be a little bitchy. I imagine the competition segments of this series will be what make or break it - It looks ready to descend into high cliche at that point, but then again the actual mahjong sequences have been fun to watch so far even though I don't have much of a clue about what's happening, so it could actually work in its own odd kind of fashion.