22 December 2009




Around a month ago, I watched the popular moe anime mahjong: Saki. This anime could attract a pretty great popularity and a great number of watcher with just a few episodes after it first aired. This popularity is one of the reason why I watched this anime, but the main reason I put this anime in my watch list is mahjong!


Miyanaga Saki, rinshan kaihou, and plus minus zero.

Saki's story revolves around a 1st year high school girl who is a genius mahjong player. She entered Kiyosumi high school and dragged by her friend, Kyoutaro, to Kiyosumi mahjong club. In that club she played against the other members and managed to surprise one of the member who's also a middle school mahjong champion, Nodoka, with her plus minus zero point.


Scary (or cute) opponents were waiting in the tournament.

It's a pretty interesting story at the first part of the anime, where Saki and Nodoka became friend with mahjong. But the next part story is pretty much typical, the girls enters tournaments, fight with some opponents who have ridiculous skill. I’d say ridiculous, because they were trying to win crazy hand like Rinshan Kaihou, Haitei Raoyue, Chankan (i know it’s simple, but the chances are so slim), Kokushi Musou, stealth attack, bad wait, etc. If you know how to play, then you’ll know this hand will only appears once every 5-10 full games (4 winds with 4 rounds for each wind).


Ryuumonbuchi Touka x Kunihiro Hajime.

Although this anime main theme is mahjong, you don't really have to worry about your mahjong knowledge, because this anime will provide you with more than mahjong. There will be a lot of moe characters with their own unique moe traits and more than 1 yuri pairing, since there are so many girls in this anime.


If you think Fukuji Mihoko is more than enough to get you in the series, then proceed!

Nevertheless, enjoyment level for this anime is still depending on your mahjong knowledge. Let's say there are 4 types of mahjong knowledge:

  • Level 0: Nothing.
  • Level 1: Know how to play just for winning (Ron, Tsumo, Pon, Chi, and Kan).
  • Level 2: Know certain Yaku and yakuman.
  • Level 3: Know scoring rule and mahjong terminology.

You don't have to play a mahjong game, you just have to know the rules and some terms. Pretty helpful if you knew it before you watch this anime.


Who needs mahjong knowledge if this anime has these girls.

At level 0, you’re only in for those moe girls and some yuri scenes. At level 1, you can follow the battle to a basic point. At the level 2, you'll know what were the characters trying to get for their winning, but you don't know how big they scored. And at level 3, you'll get full enjoyment from this anime. I did watch this anime when i was at level 1, so yeah... I didn't know what they were getting and how big they were winning.


Touka’s yuri harem.

However, I did learn to play mahjong around 2 weeks after finished watching Saki, it's pretty late, I know, but better late than never! I do realize that I was starting to understand what were the characters trying to say back there.


Working as a maid in maid mahjong cafe is included in tournament preparation.

Anyway, this anime can be divided into 3 parts. The first part is about how Saki joined the mahjong club and preparing to enter the prefectural tournament. At the first part, you’ll see that Saki started to realize that playing mahjong is fun, decided to enter the tournament with going to national as their final goal, and she also started to realize her feeling with Nodoka. There were not much character shown in this part. It’s pretty fun, but the real fun has yet to begin.


Touka and family.

The 2nd part of the anime is the longest part: Team Prefectural Tournament. In your old anime series, a tournament could took at least 10 episodes. I think Saki too took a lot of episodes just for this team tournament, but the episodes distribution is ridiculously unbalanced. First match ended in 1 episode, no 2nd match, no semifinal, they just directly went up to the final in just 1 episode. But the final sure took a lot of time. Each team member took at least 2 episodes. And the last battle took more than that (forgot to count). This anime used that chance to introduce players' background story and their special skills.


The last team member of finalist teams.

The 2nd part really took a lot of time, but it won’t quickly bore you to death, unlike those old anime. Saki as the main character did have a hard time against the opponent but she managed to show a comeback in the middle of the crisis.


Two of these girls managed to win 2nd and 3rd place in individual tournament.

And the 3rd part, the last part, is pretty short. It’s about individual tournament. It’s short, and that’s it. Most of the characters here were old character Saki met in team tournament, except Nanpo Kazue. But yeah, this tournament ended in 2-3 episodes.


Triple yakuman, you got served.

Saki herself as a mahjong player can be considered as a lucky and skilled player (if we played for real), because she can win her hand by picking Rinshan Kaihou as much as she likes. But that’s anime for you! Ridiculous and nonsense things happens! Amae Koromo has another crazy luck just like Saki has, except for her, she kept winning by Haitei. If you’re in and ready to accept all of these nonsense, then you’re ready for Saki. There are still a lot of crazy skill i didn’t mention here were going on in this anime.


I’m sooooo gonna do you Hisa!!!! XD

Anyway, my favorite character from this anime is Takei Hisa. I mentioned this before.


Bonus: Tsuruga team cosplaying Houkago Teatime, instant epic win!

So yeah… that’s it for Saki. Next post? Just wait and see… So, see you at the next post!

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