Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Saki - Episode of Side-A - Episode 15

It's very much crunch time in Episode of Side-A as we reach the show's penultimate episode, and its final round of matches to decide who reaches the national team final.  Can Shizuno really hope to hold her own against the "monsters" she's been pitted against?

Certainly, things don't look like they'll be easy for Achiga, and right off the bat Awai Oohoshi makes life difficult by effectively slowing down all of her opponents hands - add in Shindouji school's Himeko Tsurata and her double-act with previous match-up star Mairu Shirouzu and it's no surprising which individuals dominate the early play.  However, don't underestimate Ryuuka's part in proceedings, as it seems that some of Toki's abilities have finally rubbed off on her - or more precisely, they've rubbed off on her thighs.  Stop looking at me like that, I don't come up with this stuff.

Things only get worse still when Awai demonstrates what you could call her "real" power - the ability to produce a double Riichi, which she duly does while in the dealers seat, first to create a bonus round, and then to try and win that round.  While nobody else seems to have sufficient data to really know how to handle this turn of events, it's finally Shizuno's time to shine thanks to some handy hints and top coaching by Harue.  There's still something of a mountain to climb during the second half of this match however.

After once again suffering simply from the huge gap in time between episodes, which again has left me taking quite some time to acclimatise to this show's rarefied air, the second half of this episode in particular came along nicely.  Yes, its special powers and abilities are becoming ever-more ludicrous by the episode, but somehow it never reaches the point of imbalancing the match in progress too far or draining the unfolding events of their tension.  It's perhaps this ability to list the sensational and the mundane which is Saki's own superpower, and even though it would be enjoyable in a more concentrated form without months between episodes, it still has quite a lot to offer.  Then again, surely the fact that we only have one episode left to go with the semi-final unfinished is in itself something of a spoiler for how things are going to end in Achiga's case....

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