Well, if you’re a fan of Saki. You know that we are in the National Tournament and will probably stay in this arc for some years to come. *sweatdrop* In this tournament, there are 4 seeded teams. These teams has a free pass for the first round of the tournament and they are chosen from the finalist in the previous interhigh. In order, the seeded teams are Shiraitodai, Rinkai, Eisui and Senriyama.
See this nice chart fencedude made:
That’s right. Senriyama despite the media touting them as second ranked school in the country is the 4th seed. (But, then again, I’m pretty sure you guys already know to take whatever the saki-verse media says especially if they are non-pro commentator with a grain of salt). Meaning the last interhigh ended like this:
1st – Shiraitodai
2nd – Rinkai
3rd – Eisui
4th – Senriyama
This is consistent on how normal tournaments are made. You put the 1st seed and the 4th seed on one side. On the other hand, you put the 2nd seed and the 3rd seed on the other side. This is to give a more balanced competition on both side of the bracket and assuming no dark horses show up – it would allow the climax of the tournament to be reserved where it should be – the finals.
Then, you are probably wondering, what is the hell is the comment about Senriyama being the 2nd ranked team about?! More media delusion?
Not really, the thing about is, teams have a high member replacement with this being set in high school. It meant that a team could be really strong in one tournament and fell down to the bottom in the next depending on who among its members will graduate.
To show this, I made a nice chart of the seeded schools. Tracking their membership change.
The one where we have the most information on is Senriyama. In the previous interhigh, only Sera and Ryuuka participated. We know that Sera is the last year’s ace so there should no one in the previous team stronger than her.
If I make an assumption that the other seeded team members are also negligible. (I know bad assumption but I can’t make any guesses without it. ) Then just by looking at the chart, we could see how the level of each team are and it roughly correspond with their seeded rank.
Shiraitodai has Teru and Sumire. Teru is ridiculous. Seriously, I somehow feel that she can win a match singlehandedly if you don’t prepare adequately for her. And with Sumire around, Shiraitodai can knock out whoever was left after Teru’s rampage. In any case, they deserve first.
Senriyama will be of course without Toki. Ryuuka will not have her Toki tulpa and the last 3 players will be weaker than Sera so I could see why they got 4th place in the last interhigh.
The problem is the 2nd and 3rd place, Rinkai and Eisui. We only know 1 representative for each team Megan and Jindai respectively. Since, the only thing that we know about Megan is she was able to hold off Cold Touka and Jindai is supposedly a monster on par with Koromo on her debut. This is hard to decide.
On the other hand, I would perhaps give Rinkai the 2nd place. Just because they seemed to be actively using skilled mahjong players that they actively look for all around the world and the miko brigade was still not formed in Jindai’s 1st year.
This tournament has been hinted many times in the manga. This is also the tournament wherein Senriyama got the their “2nd school on the country.” This happened because of the addition of Toki. With Ryuuka, Sera, Toki combo, Senriyama will probably prevail against Rinkai and Eisui who only has Megan and Jindai. (And technically, we don’t know if Eisui and Rinkai actually participated in this tournament. Eisui, especially, since last interhigh seemed to have tired Jindai out very much. )
But, probably not enough to prevail against Shiraitodai. Seriously, Teru. ><
Anyway, the one thing we know in this tournament is Teru isn’t in the vanguard position. That probably helped Senriyama a lot since this allowed Toki to get a lot of points in the beginning.
Then, we have an influx of freshman into the seeded teams. If you look at the chart, Senriyama power level with the addition of Izumi and Hiroko have not changed that much.
Shiraitodai got Takami, Seiko and Awai. If we assume that the last year’s players are ordinary then Shiraitodai will get an increase in power to go with their formidable Teru+Sumire combo. So from all outside observers, it looks like Shiraitodai has the tournament in the bag.
Unfortunately, Eisui and Rinkai went into a wild recruiting spree. Due to Jindai’s delicate condition, the branch families sent members to support her which resulted in the current Eisui team. Eisui’s combined power went through the roof. Hatsumi spams a wind yakuman in the north seat. Kasumi’s one tile magnet is also ridiculous. And then, Jindai is supposedly a monster on par with Koromo.
We still haven’t seen all of Rinkai yet, but apparently they made an all star team. Seriously, their credential is bordering on ridiculous.
Satoha – 3rd ranked in the individual
Hao – silver medal in Asian under-15 tournament
Nelly – did well in the WORLD championship
Megan – held her ground against COLD! Touka
Fa – pro in the European league. Venter – “God of Wind.”
And remember the silhouette of monster players in the original season of Saki. Guess what, there are 2 Rinkai players there (Nelly and Fa).
Taken all into account, the rankings of the seeded team is a bit jumbled. But, if we do take Senriyama as our baseline. Remember their team composition hasn’t changed much from the previous tournament. I have a feeling that the current tournament has a higher level than the previous tournaments. ^^
And now who wants to rank the seeded teams for me?