After that episode of pointless filler last time around, we finally get down to the real business of the tournament's final qualifying round in episode nine of Saki, with Yuuki once again first up to lead the way.
The trouble is, and in her typical style, Yuuki's lack of preparation means that she doesn't have enough tacos to hand to last through her leg of the match - A potentially disastrous state of affairs made worse by the solitary taco that Yuuki did bring along being snaffled by one of her opponents. Thus, we see a disastrous performance from her for the first half of her leg, and even the appearance of Kyoutarou with fresh tacos doesn't change things much, as Yuuki continues to be thrashed out of sight.
However, at this point an odd thing happens, as Kazekoshi's one-eyed (well, kind of.. I suppose "lazy-eyed" might fit the bill a little better) wonder Mihoko Fukuji steps up to the plate and starts helping Yuuki, clearing the path for her to snag plenty of points from her opponents. Of course, Yuuki is entirely taken in by this act of charity until Mihoko starts turning her wrath against Yuuki as well, simply using her to turn the tide before going all out to claim victory in this opening leg for her school. Impressive stuff by any measure, although come the end of this episode we get a glimpse at some even greater forces about to come into play.
After complaining about the complete lack of Mahjong action in the last episode, I can't really be too harsh on this instalment as it at least managed to sate those desires throughout the vast majority of its running time - I still don't really get what's happening to any great degree, yet watching the game unfold still proves to be a fascinating and rather exciting experience. For such mercies I'm willing to gloss over the "tacos as superpower" stupidity of Yuuki's schtick, not to mention the whole "Sharingan"-esque powers of Mihoko Fukuji - Two aspects of this series that make it utterly, utterly daft, yet oddly still no less fun to watch once they actually break out the Mahjong tiles.