Oohoshi Awai has been a great source of speculation ever since she aired. This is mostly because she has long been suspected to be the “heavy” of the upcoming match in the long awaited finals of the team tournament. The one who will function as the Koromo for Saki in the Nationals. She was to be the second coming of Teru and Saki’s Final boss.
And as we look onto Side-A’s semifinal captain match with expectant eyes. We find that our hopes were sadly betrayed.
Even as much as I love the Saki franchise. Warts and all. I find the Side-A captain match to be an unmitigated disaster.Every single captain came out worse than they went in. I sometimes imagine that Ritz took too much pain killers in the hospital since the writing in this particular part took a sharp nosedive. But, I digress. This is about Awai.
We could only speculate what went on with Ritz mind. Perhaps, Awai wasn’t supposed to look like a moronic idiot. But, it was written and we have to deal with the fallout. Namely the perception that Awai has been sidelined for Shizu and no longer the final boss or even dangerous. And the one wherein Awai will be getting a power-up. I think there was a popular speculation about Daichisei.
To both, I say NO! NO! and NO!
Aspersions to Awai’s IQ level aside, which to be fair is consistent to her characterization. Awai was shown to have a pretty powerful ability. Even now, I don’t think Shizu beating Awai is set in stone. Shizu’s ability isn’t really something that will allow her to gain points. The ones who managed to damage Awai’s points is actually Ryuuka and Himeko. On the other hand, Awai’s ability by its nature allows her to get a lot of points and she can spam it as much as she wants. If they fight again, I think the result is still in the air with the advantage on Awai.
The other issue, Awai getting a power up for the next match. One of the popular theory that she’ll get Daichisei because stars connection.
Even though, I made a similar theory before Awai’s playstyle was introduced. Right now, I sincerely wish that this will not happen.
For one this will be another example of one of the things that bugged me in the Side-A captain match with Shizu and Ryuuka. Awai getting Daichisei meant another spontaneous power up. And really after examining Awai’s motiffs, its not really something that is covered by her power. Besides, objectively speaking Awai doesn’t need a power up. Her abilities should make her a monster.
Awai is the “Fading Supernova”. All her abilities say that she is impossibly strong at the beginning but fades as the match goes on. Her 5-6 shanten gives her a headstart and she even starts in the beginning at tenpai. Beside that, she gets the 4 ura dora making her hand high scoring. Taken all together, her abilities gives a very good synergy and it should rightfully make her untouchable by normal players.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. And that is because Awai used it very very stupidly.Its actually painful for me seeing her throw the advantages she has in the captain match. And this the crux of this post. Awai doesn’t need a power up, her abilities are plenty powerful. What she needs is tactics 101. She doesn’t even need to get smarter, all she needs is someone to point this really really simple tactic to her.
- First tactic: Don’t Double Riichi EVER.
There are many who have said that one of Awai’s many mistakes is calling a riichi every single time she can. I will like to go further and say that Awai shouldn’t have called a single double riichi. In fact, she is better served by never calling it.
I admit that saying never is a strong qualifier. But, I will make this tactic as a guideline that Awai will follow if I will give her advice. The only way I can see a double riichi being feasible in her situation. is if she wants to scare or intimidate her opponents. It really doesn’t have any more benefits except perhaps looking cool.
Just think. If Awai never calls a double riichi, her defense will improve significantly since she can now discard safe tiles. Beside that, we know that even if Awai starts in tenpai; she has a no yaku starting hand. If she doesn’t call double riichi. She can improve her hand, try to get the easier yaku like a tanyao or something depending on the starting composition.
The han she lost in getting the double riichi can be remedied by another tactic.
- Second tactic: If you must call a riichi, do it in the turn just before you win,
Awai has a set pattern to her win. She always wins after she rounds the corner. Thus, if Awai calls the riichi just before she wins. She’ll be getting the same number of han that she would get if she called it at the beginning.
Double Riichi = 2 han
If Awai does this tactic she will get:
Riichi = 1 han
Ippatsu = 1 han
The same amount of han. But, using this two tactics she will also get all the possible yaku she might have from improving her hand.. Plus, her defense will not be so paper thin. ^^
As you guys can see, most of Awai’s problems is solved by this. Seriously, it boggles my mind why none of her teammates or her coach (if Shiraitodai has one) hasn’t mentioned this. I have a hard time time thinking that TERU of all people have not noticed this tactic. (which makes me wonder if Teru actually cares about the tournament.)
Oh well. Hopefully, someone will give Awai the heads-up just before her next match.