After three episodes of Nodoka getting annoyed with Saki and walking out in every instalment, the end of the last episode at least found some common ground between the pairing, meaning that episode four begins with this duo of leading characters on proper, friendly terms at last. Mind you, I can't help but think that Nodoka is getting a little too... well, "excited", about this new-found friendship.
Anyhow, that aside the club president announces that the Mahjon club have now officially been entered into the prefectural qualifying round of the national championships, an exciting prospect tempered with some words of warning regarding one of their prospective opponents. With that done, the president sends Nodoka and Saki off to help at a nearby cafe... A maid cafe of course, for this series would surely crumble without its weekly dose of "oh look, Nodoka has huge mammaries"-based fan service. Never mind the maid outfits though, because equally as unsurprising is the fact that this particular cafe has a Mahjong table.
After beating a couple of customers easily, Saki and Nodoka suddenly come across a ridiculous skillful opponent, who they later find is a professional Mahjong player called in as a favour by the club president to motivate the pair. Despite Saki almost going to pieces over the affair, this somehow works, leaving us with the prospect of a training camp episode next time around.
As always with this show, you can't help but laugh at Saki sometimes - Again we have the lightning bolts and sparks from the Mahjong tiles, but perhaps more amusingly this time around was Saki's ability to "sense" her opponents skill as soon as she walked into the cafe like some kind of Mahjong ninja. It also appears that professional Mahjon players have pretty oddball dress sense too, but oh well.... Despite being both patently ridiculous at times and entirely transparent at others (as soon as a cafe was mentioned I could see exactly where we were going with that particular plot device), it really is quite easy to get swept up in the Mahojng action despite the fact that I continue to have not a clue as to what is going on. Only the Japanese could make a board game seem so damn exciting, and to be honest this series really needs more Mahjong action not less, as this is the bread and butter that really works well for the series once you get past the fact that certainly aspects of it are entirely daft.