Sunday, 12 January 2014

Saki - The Nationals - Episode 2

All of the stars of the national mahjong tournament, from maids to... well, girls who aren't maids, are gathered ready for its start.  The tacos are heated, Kiyosumi have received a video from members of their school wishing them good luck, so it's time to....

...spend an episode or two on a training camp.  Kiyosumi's finest are joined by the teams of a number of other schools, including Ryuumonbuchi, to hone their skills in preparation for the challenges to come.  Indeed, with so many powerful players in one place, it seems that this heady mix of skills is having quite the effect on Touka and her already monstrous powers, leading to her destroying all before her for a few practice games before passing out under the strain.

In-between all of the time spent in the bath and playing mahjong, Saki is certainly hyped up and ready for the tournament itself, and given that her sister is in the other half of the competition's bracket she's going to have to make it all the way to the final to have a hope of meeting her.  That's a story for another day however, as the training camp is also visited by some former middle school team-mates of Nodoka, one of whom in particular is about to prove a fascinating challenge for some of Kiyosumi's number.

By this point in the franchise, I don't think it's any big secret that the quality of any given episode of Saki is directly proportional to the amount of mahjong contained within it - an equation that means this was another not particularly exciting episode of The Nationals that seems Hell-bent on continuing to remind us who a number of the major characters and their traits are rather than simply getting on with the tournament.  Maybe we can hope on some more interesting practice games from next week's episode before diving into the national tournament proper; my fingers are certainly crossed, otherwise it's going to be another long slog before we get to "the good bit".

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