This is the continuation of my analysis of Side-B Captain Quarterfinal match.
Anyway, when we ended Saki won with a Rinshan Kaihou and shifted to +/- zero mode.
The above panel is Ritz dropping hints about Saki’s mahjong prowess again. This is nothing new, she’s been doing that since chapter 1. This time, she is saying that Saki has some sort of precognition…which is kinda duh! If we analyze some of Saki’s matches, some of the things she’s doing can’t be done without it. Saki has a sensing power.If you’re following this blog, I took a stab on what sort of precognition it is.
Beside that, if we look at Saki’s hand:
This has no yaku. Saki can’t win with this which makes her rinshan baffling to those who don’t know her.
And as we could see from an outsider’s point of view (which is Kyouko), this is pretty reckless. It can actually be seen as show boating. Saki was not being subtle at all compared to her competitor Toyone and Kasumi who was still hiding their power.
Though personally, I think hiding that Saki can Rinshan is pretty much a lost cause at this point. Everyone who watched her matches or looked at her record knows it by now. Compared to Toyone and Kasumi who doesn’t have game records of their powers yet, Saki will not get anything from hiding her Rinshan.
Beside that look at the point value of her hand:
1 han = Rinshan Kaihou
2 han = 2 dora ( 1 of circles)
1 han =1 Red tiles
For 4 han or 8,000 points all in all. Its a daiminkan that hit only Kyouko and since she took the 1,000 point riichi stick. She got 9,000 points from that.
Kiyosumi : 105,000
Himematsu : 129,100
Miyamori : 79800
Saki : 30,400 —> This is already in the range to get +/- zero.
That kan was pretty much premeditated. It wasn’t to showboat or anything like that. Saki did it to get her +/- zero score. She needs 1 additional han and this is a way to do that easily from her pov.
South Wind – 1st Round
We’re in the beginning of the south round with a glimpse of the outside, so many people watching in the pouring rain. And that camera angle! More proof that Saki reporters are perverts who love breasts. ^^
Kyouko’s hand is pretty good. She has 3 doras and a 4 sided wait (meaning she can win if she got 4 tiles namely – 1 of characters, 4 of characters, 7 of characters and 2 of bamboo). Unfortunately, it has no yaku.
So she chose to call riichi so she can have one.
And promptly got pursued by Toyone. (Meaning after Kyouko called Riichi, Toyone called riichi as well). Calling Riichi signifies that one has a completed hand, thus its now a race for both of them.
Who will complete their hand first?
Answer: Toyone ^^
But, there is something puzzling about it. Take note, all of Toyone’s opponent noticed that there was something amiss with Toyone’s completed hand.
Toyone called a riichi even when she has only one wait (meaning she can only win using one tile – the 7 of circles which Kyouko drew and discarded). A one wait riichi is usually not done. If you’re going to riichi, you need to at least have a many sided wait to increase your chances.
Still, it was just one time. Coincidence do happen in mahjong. So Kyouko let this one go. Saki and Kasumi … is a bit hard to read. But, you can tell that they have some suspicion about it.
So, in this round Kyouko calls riichi again. And once again, Toyone pursues her and wins the riichi battle. Worse, Toyone is the dealer so her hand should be worth more.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get the winning hands this turn. On the other hand, we know that Toyone won just by riichi ippatsu meaning she started with a no yaku hand before she called the riichi. She didn’t even have a dora….
Though, I did say you shouldn’t call riichi on a no yaku hand specially with no dora. I’m aware that this is a playstyle issue. Someone once argued with me that one should call a riichi in that situation instead of improving their hand. Riichi will allow you to have a yaku and a chance for ura-dora.
Although, this is a moot point with Toyone because of her power. ^^
We now go back to the other two players. ^^
Since Toyone won while she was on her dealer turn. We get a dealer repeat round. It won’t last… Kasumi instantly put an end to it with a cheap hand.
I really like this page. This once again highlighted Kasumi’s wonderful defensive play. One of the key traits beside not getting ronned is putting a swift stop on dealer streaks so you won’t take much damage from Tsumo. And she did it. ^^
And we also get Saki being … Saki here.
Since Kasumi went and did a tsumo previously. Kiyosumi scores is shaved:
Kiyosumi : 105,000 – 1,400 = 104,600
But, what is important was Saki’s pov
Saki : 30,400 – 1,400 —> 29,000 (She’s no longer in +/- zero)
Hence, she immediately rectified that and won. (*sweatdrop*)
Saki’s hand is:
+20 base score
+ 8 open kan of 8 bamboo
+ 2 self draw bonus
A total of 30 fu
Her yaku is of course 1 rinshan kaihou
1 han 30 fu as dealer = 500 points all
Saki : 29,000 + 1,500 = 30,500 (+/- zero again ^^)
If you noticed Saki also put her score in the upper limit of the +/- zero boundary. I think this is deliberate. The reason she missed her sweet spot was because she was a few hundred point less. She must have thought it would be best if she can put her score as high as she could and still get +/- zero.
Its Saki’s dealer repeat. But, Saki already is in +/- zero so …. ^^
Anyway on this round, Kyouko drew the 6 of circles. I assume that she threw the 9 of characters and called riichi here for a 3 sided wait. (Namely the 2 of circle, 5 of circle and eight of circle).
Of course, Toyone called riichi as well.
I would like to say that Kyouko should have not called riichi. But, once again she got a no yaku hand. Either she pick her winning tile herself or riichi here. If we don’t take Toyone’s ability in account, I would say go for riichi. If she doesn’t I calculated that she will get a low hand 500/1,000 points. Very very cheap.
But, of course…
Once is luck…
Twice is coincidence…
Thrice is a pattern….
We could see one of Kyouko’s blindspot. Gathering data is well and good but we could see here that data can also blind. Like here, Kyouko cannot believe Toyone’s ability because all her previous data says that it shouldn’t be possible.
I also applaud Miyamori’s preparation. They did their best to hide Toyone’s ability up until the quarterfinals. Though, they probably get mooks in their prefecture compared to Nagano. It is still admirable.
One thing that may also contribute to Kyouko’s disbelief is the fact that acknowledging Toyone’s ability meant no more riichi for the whole match.
That is very bad.
Riichi is probably the most used yaku in the japanese variant of mahjong. Its has so many uses. If you went to tenhou, you will probably see riichi used 50% of the time. Its that good. ^^
Though, circumstance really don’t favor Kyouko in this match. She has a hand without a single yaku again forcing her to riichi. Sigh… bad luck or… perhaps….
With this ends the first half of the captain battle. Its only a few pages but quite a lot of things happened here.
I also like how the captain were presented here: 😀
She’s the most aggressive of all the captain here. From start to finish of this match, she tried to widen their lead. Even though, she mostly failed in her wish, she didn’t make any glaring errors either.
What she lacked is information on Toyone. And well with Miyamori doing their best to hide Toyone’s power, she can’t exactly do anything about that.
And the flow of the match was really against her, those continuous hands without a yaku forced her to riichi again and again.
Toyone is the one who headbutted with Kyouko beginning in the south round. She really showed why she is the ace and the anchor player of Miyamori.
As we already know her ability is based on “rokuyo”. And in this chapter, she showed one of them – Pursuit Riichi. After the opposing player called a riichi, Toyone will reach tenpai and be able to call riichi as well. Beside that, the tile that the opposing player will draw next turn will be the tile that Toyone needs to win.
All in all, a pretty nifty ability. Beside that, the counter – not calling a riichi- can also be considered a drawback for the opponent. ^^
She wasn’t active in this match as the other two. But, she clearly showed what is Eisui’s priority in this captain match. If Toyone was supposed to be the hidden ace of Miyamori; Kasumi was supposed to be the wall for Eisui.
And, she showed it. Kasumi has the best defense of this match. From the way, she help nip Saki’s rinshan at the beginning. To her killing the dealer streak. But, most importantly, she wasn’t directly hit by anyone.
Kasumi, came out pretty solid in the first half.
Last but not the least, Saki.
…..Saki was… Saki. (*Sweatdrop*)
… I swear you need to dissect most of her matches like crazy (*grumbles*)
She started the match trying for Hisa’s trick. When, her opponents proved harder than expected, Kyouko even got her into negative in her imagination. (Not that hard, when she started the game with 1,000 points) She went to normal +/- zero mode which is “easier” for her. (For a given definition of easier)
Then, she immediately called a daiminkan to Kyouko for the exact points she needed to reach her sweet spot. From here, she seemed to be on observation mode, only doing stuff when her score slip out of her +/- zero.
That should be it.
Still, there was something that nagged me throughout this chapter. We know that Saki deliberately want a +/- zero score. She got one, but it looks like it was through “coincidence.”
In the last round, she didn’t do anything. It was “lucky” that Kyouko got a no yaku hand and called riichi causing Toyone to ron her. This allowed Saki to keep her +/- zero score.
But, really what if it isn’t coincidence?
Kyouko has been getting plagued by hand which has no yaku for 3 times in this match. (The other hand which Kyouko called riichi wasn’t shown but if we assume its also a no yaku hand, that meant a continuous four times. )
And guess what?
The only captain player involved in the match that we know who can pull this off is Saki. She is the one with the freaky flow control and its already established that she can mess a bit with the other players hands or influence them like in the Koromo match.
Perhaps the first no yaku hand is coincidence. Saki was surprised as well with Toyone’s ability. We have her thought bubble to prove it.
The second one is a bit iffy. We don’t know if Saki really arranged it. Though, it really wouldn’t surprise me if Saki wanted to use Kyouko as a guinea pig to test Toyone’s ability.
But, the third and fourth one?
Remember the last two was after Kasumi called a tsumo and knocked Saki a bit off her +/- zero. Saki immediately got it back with one hand. But, she has a vested interest on making her points not move an inch. That meant not winning and not losing any points which meant no tsumo must happen.
Besides, its also in Saki’s best interest to lower Himematsu’s points. Not only Kyouko was the one who got her into negative and made her switch tactic but if she wants to win and get +/- zero, she needs Himematsu to lose points to someone else.
Himematsu started the captain round +28,000 points ahead of Kiyosumi. Saki can’t ron them herself or she’s going to go way above her sweet spot. So the logical thing to do is get someone else to damage Himematsu’s points for her.
In fact, what happened to Kyouko’s hand mirrored Toyone’s pursuit riichi. Only we may have not noticed because Toyone’s pursuit riichi is of course flashier. And Ritz isn’t using Saki’s point of view. ^^
Once can be attributed to luck.
Twice can be attributed to coincidence.
Thrice can be attributed to a pattern.
Four times and there is probably something weird going on.
Another thing to note (though this is a bit meta) was in the third and fourth round, Saki’s face was no where to be seen.We can see Toyone, Kyouko and Kasumi and even have their thought bubble. But, no Saki thought bubble or drawing of Saki’s face for us readers….
Ritz used the same technique as well in the Nagano finals when she was trying to conceal Saki’s actions making me doubly suspicious. ^^
Anyway, this is only a theory. We can of course always do the SOA theory. It is just “coincidence” that Saki got +/- zero at the end. She didn’t arrange anything at the last two turns to assure that it will be set in stone. ^^
And remember no matter what theory you subscribe to “Mahjong is fun.”