This post is dedicated to Sol Falling and Fantasy Magician regarding their comments on Saki vs. Kyouko.
This tournament gives rise to many interesting dynamics between the teams. This is because a team can fight another team twice. How will the loser feel about the winning team? How will the winning team feel about the team they beat? Simply, put it allows something resembling a relationship to form between the opponents even before they fought. A history to speak. And I actually like the one that potential conflict that managed to form between Saki and Kyouko.
If the Captain Quarterfinals can have a theme, it will be Perspective. There is a sharp divide on the perspective of the combatants on this match as we could see on the post game chapters. This gives them different impression of their opponents. That could or may not be true. But, it also set up the conflict.
First, let’s have a look at Kyouko.
Kyouko is a self admitted “normal.” Someone who does not possess freaky mahjong skills that bend probability. But, if you read between the lines, this is something that forms her self-image and something that she is really defensive about.
On her first appearance, she worries how far can a person like her go against ‘monsters’ (people with power.) But, it was the comments on the battle itself that was most telling. Especially this.
“I guess, she doesn’t worry about me. Taking me lightly. I’ll show you Kiyosumi, you mocked me with that draw. But look at what I have now!
Kyouko has a chip on her shoulder regarding occult players. Its subtle but its there. I have a hunch that she may feel inferior since she has no special skills which is why she has a great thirst to prove herself and probably why she chose herself for the captain position. Due to this subconscious inferiority she may feel that those with occult skills are disregarding her or looking down on her skills.
And then, the captain match happened. Kyouko got second place. But, after some review of the match she found that a player (Saki) was manipulating the score. How do you think that would make her feel?
She would of course be afraid and perhaps freak out which is her initial reaction. But, most importantly regarding her character so far – she’ll feel that Saki is looking down on her. This is just my speculation but, I feel that she will be out in the semifinal for Saki’s blood. She will want Saki to acknowledge her skill, to not look down on her. She wants to show that she can fight evenly with the most powerful of the occult.
But, as I’ve said. This match is about perspective and Saki’s other side of the story is interesting to say the least.
“If I face her again… I might not be able to win.”
The quote says it all. When everyone would have said that the result is a total curbstomp in her favor, Saki has a different idea. I’ve already explained before why Saki said she used her normal +/- 0 instead of the mindscrew +/- 0 version taught to her by Hisa. But, even barring that, Saki acknowledged Kyouko’s prominent strength. Her resiliency.
This is true.
Kyouko never really faltered in the match. She always tried to get back again, trying a different strategy to attack her opponent. Whether a fast hand or using her experience in three-player-mahjong. And Saki should know this very well. She actually made use of Kyouko’s strength extensively.
- When Kasumi activated her one suit magnet, Saki helped Kyouko by throwing something for her to call. But, we must give Kyouko credit for going for fast hands in the first place.
- When Saki was trying to lose some of her points, Saki gave Kyouko the dora and shifted the drawing order. Note that the other two (Kasumi and Toyone is a bit defensive and terrified of Saki’s aura at this point. Kyouko was pumped up thinking that Saki was looking down on her.)
Kyouko may not be the most powerful of her opponents in sheer hax, that honor goes to Kasumi. She may also not have the sheer variety of skills available to her like Toyone. But, what she does have is stubborn resiliency in face of great odds coupled with a strategical mind to find a way to use it.
And that is what Saki acknowledged. She may have been able to use Kyouko’s strength to work for her in this match but there is no telling that she can in the next. Besides, I believe Saki will exactly be the type of person that will put a great value on the strength of not giving up considering how much trouble she had with that in the past and even now.
And that is why Saki is not sure that she might not win next time.
In the next match, each of this very different perspective is going to clash with each other. How will this two very different and contradictory viewpoints collide and be resolved will be interesting to say the least.
And the best part about this is they’re only one half o of the captain semifinal match! Uzusan captain is already building quite a hype. And I’m pretty sure Rinkai will be no slouch either! I say bring on more chapters, I’m dying here of anticipation.