Sunday, 23 August 2009

Saki - Episode 21

After a week's break from the intense mahjong action after the ending of the team qualifying tournament, it's time to move on to the individual qualifiers for Saki's twenty-first episode, which is enough to leave me pretty excited, not least because I've been learning to play and trying my own hand at Japanese mahjong online over the intervening period. I still suck at it though, in case you're wondering.

With the qualifying round for this part of the tournament spread over two days, this episode largely sees all of the familiar faces from both Kiyosumi and other competing high schools coming up against nameless lightweights - Mere cannon fodder for our favourite girls to blast through like so many of Star Trek extras wearing red shirts. It's Yuuki who really blazes a trail though, making the most of the surfeit of East wind games thanks to the organisation of the individual tournament to storm into an overall lead in the race for the three places up for grabs based on who scores the highest.

The only really juicy game that comes our way (aside from a fantastic bit of beginner's luck on one occasion against Touka - Why do I never get hands like that?!) is between respective team captains Hisa and Mihoko, with the former's habit of choosing weird waits paying dividends until the latter takes an opportunity to pull out all of the stops.

As per usual, I find myself feeling both refreshed and excited having been treated to a hefty dose of mahjong-related excitement by this episode, which perhaps isn't quite as nerve-wracking as the team tournament we've been used to, but it managed to be satisfying nonetheless. Actually understanding what is going on in terms of how the game itself plays is proving to be a big help for me too, which is a relief as I was worried that being grounded in reality might detract from my enjoyment of the show, which it hasn't. Still, with tough times ahead for Saki herself next episode potentially, I'm once again left well and truly looking forward to see what this series serves up for us next.


Krungie said...

I'm not typing out my long responses today because I don't have much to say. Except this: I HATED THIS EPISODE!!!

Reason: Too much new faces(I can't remember names), too much old faces(I'm bored of you guys), too much Yuuki(tacos make you fat, not mahjong demons), and not enough Saki. I didn't see her play a hand or crush anyone AT ALL. Her flowers didn't even come up ONCE.

But I still like this anime, they just better put more Saki in next ep.

Detective Kitty said...

Krungie has a point about the lack of the actual main character in the episode but I can't say that I hated this episode because I love it!

One of the things that I hated the most in early episodes was how long the team tournament lasted and how many side stories that kept popping up. But in this episode, except for the beginning and little snippet in the middle, it was packed with mahjong action.

I think that the reason they didn't show Saki that often in this episode was for the same reason they didn't show her in the episodes with the team tournament. The producers basically want to make us wait so that when Saki does play her moves make a pow that'll stick in our minds. It's because we love Saki so much that we want to see her play and they are using this to force us to keep watching.

It's a very brilliant tatic.

The battle between the captains was very heart-warming I love how in the end the pres remembers who the other girl is. That was really cute and I think that the episode ended perfectly making us want more.

Also that part about kyou was funny and cute and heart-warming too. I exspecially love telling him to buy snacks and tacos.

Overall, I loved this episode there isn't much more to say. After the filler this was an excellent way to bring us back on track and make us keep waiting for more.

Krungie said...

Thank you Kitty. And of course everyone has their own opinions. I just like watching Saki own everyone in every episode.... but of course fillers are tactics that may annoy some people! Sometimes they annoy me, but i love fillers!!!

They just have to time and place 'em right!!!!

Anonymous said...

Honestly, i thought Yuuki was a bit annoying in this ep too. I guess it was to make up for her getting beat up in the finals.

Saki still scares me at the fact that she can Tsumo after a Kong everytime. She seems to have less focus or motivation. Maybe ep 22 can hit on that. :)

I give the ep a good 8/10 though!