Episode 1 – To Tokyo (Team Introductions)

And now the moment that we are waiting for has finally arrived! Saki Zenkoku-hen is here!

And I loved every second of the first episode. Just watching the old cast and the new ones receiving voices and animation is enough to make me satisfied. ^^

Still, though, I’m not blind to its fault. Namely, its a terrible first episode for those who are unfamiliar with the Saki franchise. Heck, judging from comments I read on some forums even anime only viewers would feel lost here.

Don’t worry though.

This is why I’m making this post! Here, I’ll try to give you guys background of the characters as non-spoiler as possible so you’ll enjoy the show better. (Except if you highlight the text which says spoiler of course)  ^^

The episode starts with a short scene.

If you don’t recognize anyone of them anime watchers, don’t feel bad. You’re not supposed to. This is the first time they were shown. *sweatdrop*  Though, from the way this episode is set up, you could easily deduce that they would be future opponents of Kiyosumi in the tournament.^^

Anyway, people with sharp memory would recognize the old lady that served as their coach. Toshi Kumakura was the one who met with Akado Harue of Achiga and the one who previously scouted her for a team.

This little scene shows the team that she was coaching.

Minor spoilers:

The team is Miyamori High. And they are an unknown team like Achiga and Kiyosumi. Breaking into the nationals for the first time like Kiyosumi. That little scene was the official arrival of Toyone, a strong player that their coach personally recruited from far away. 

Next we go to one of the more familiar characters –  Awai! From Shiraitodai!

Extraneous comment: 

Somehow this scene no longer inspires dread in me. Especially, since I know that Awai is making a great mistake.

Really, Awai, did you have to double riichi there? When the announcer helpfully pointed out that your miles ahead in points? Shouldn’t not revealing your secret move and saving it for a tight spot in the nationals the wiser move?

*shakes head*

Anyway moving on: Here is the rest of the team.


Shiraitodai! The Current Reigning Champion for two years consecutive!

 The announcer has some Interesting  tidbit here.

According to her, West Tokyo (the prefecture that Shiraitodai is from) was known for third rate players. But, Shiraitodai or team Tora-Hime (probably from the combination of Teru-Sumire being the tiger and the princess respectively. Or probably from Teru alone. There are some tiger motifs in Teru’s style after all being the aggressive and powerful and most importantly direct player that she is. Plus in Asian mythology, its the tiger that is the King of the animals, not the lion. And really as Kouko, our helpful announcer has pounded in our heads, Teru is the INTERHIGH CHAMPION)

T-E-R-U 

And that’s it for Shiraitodai, we now move on to the Unknown team.

Rinkai of East Tokyo!

As every sport story enthusiast know. One of the staple opponent team is the “rigged team”.  Now, we look at Rinkai’s team composition.

Take note:

Their sole Japanese player is the third ranked in the individual.

That meant coming in third before freaking Teru and just one more person.


Their sergeant happened to be the Champion of Chinese Style Mahjong.

 The middle player has a world-Rank. She actually has a nickname as well. “Goddess of Winds”

Which probably meant she has a power related to the wind. Either the wind tiles or the wind turns.

Megan is the sole remaining player from the previous team.

And while we don’t know if she has a fancy world rank. We do know that Ryuumonbucchi and Rinkai met on the semi-final in the previous tournament.

Guess, who knocked out Ryuumonbucchi while playing against Cold Touka?

 And lastly, Nelly who distinguished herself from the WORLD cup tournament.

 Looks at Rinkai’s line-up? Can you say rigged? lol

Thankfully, they won’t be Kiyosumi’s problem until the semi-final.  Remember, as the drawing lots ended. Kiyosumi is on the same block as Himematsu and Eisui.

Who are they you ask?

As the announcer said, Himematsu is a  veteran school in the interhigh.They’re from Osaka like Senriyama (Toki’s school). This happens because big prefectures are divided into two. The two examples here would be Osaka and Tokyo. Osaka was divided into North (Senriyama) and South (Himematsu). Tokyo into East (Rinkai) and West (Shiraitodai).

Anyway, continuing on, its actually weird that Himematsu isn’t seeded. Still, current consensus, says that they are among the top 5.

… And oh the reason why Himematsu isn’t seeded? They lost it to Eisui in the last tournament. Which incidentally is also in the same block. Yey. Rivalry fuel. ^^


Eisui is pretty distinctive. Those Miko outfits!

Anyway, the episode tells us some interesting tidbits about them.

They won the final match of their prefecture tournament without having the captain (5th player) play. 

Due to their Vice-Captain Nopan. 

Who can use some sort of wind yakuman finishing move. (Yakuman = highest hand that you can get in mahjong 32,000 points minimum) 

And they have another notable player.

Jindai 

You may have heard her name namedropped a few times in the series before. Jindai Komaki is one of those “loved by the tiles“. And the monster that debuted last year with KOROMO!

So yeah…. *tough block to start with is an understatement.*

Buchou. Your hell wait luck follows you everywhere. ^^

Hope it helps. ^^

Episode 2 is here. 

Click this pictures for some Saki Merchandise.

     

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7 Responses to Episode 1 – To Tokyo (Team Introductions)

  1. Gobbothegreen says:

    Now i mihjt ne off but i don't see them as being that unlucky, as seeing from how i've understood the school rankings while they have two of the top 5 in their block they don't have too face any of the top 3 until the semifinals. So while it's a tough block i don't really see any of the others being easier really except for a possible free ride. Altough of course Eisui is probably if you only base on the anime the school with biggest scare hype.

    • Its more the way the tournament was organized. In the Nationals, two school gets through. Thus, a block with number 3 and number 5 would be harder to qualify than a block which just have number 1.

      Beside that, the school ranking fluctuate. For example. Senriyama is the nominal number 2. This is because of their performance of the last tournament and is no indication of their current standing against other school. Making the ranking more muddy. Rinkai and Eisui went into a recruiting spree for this tournament. They only have 1 returning member. The rest are new to the team. And as this episode shows they are better than their old members. Thus, while Senriyama kept their old strength with every member being retained barring Izumi. Rinkai and Eisui improved theirs greatly.

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  5. Yumichin says:

    Two little things:

    -West Tokyo producing second-rate players was a scanlator mistranslation. The anime subtitles got it correct. The line is actually talking about Shiraitodai's second team, saying even they are prefectural representative level. Said team's existence was only revealed late into Achiga, so it's not a surprise scanlators got it wrong.

    -In ch63/ep3, when the Eisui girls spectate Kiyosumi, they talk about Amae Koromo's spectacular performance in two separate rounds. These would be followed by the match against Rinkai, who would go into a fourth match against Shiraitodai. Now, if you assume all three previous matches were 1 out of 4 advances, you get 256 teams participating. Thus it's safe to assume the 70th Interhigh used the same format as the current one.

    And by the way, if I'm interpreting the line correctly, the spectacular performance was busting multiple schools at the same time; two in the first round and three in the second. That's an insane achievement, especially when you realise the second round necessarily has a seeded school participating.

    • Thanks for the correction. ^^

      So the anime translation is right? Hmmm… i need to revise my impression of Shiraitodai then. Or not. Still have the same implication just in different way. Still going to edit that part though to be more accurate. ^^

      And, I took note of what you said in the post in my newest and last review for episode 3. (Thank god there is a break next week, I need to catch up badly.) ^^

      Anyway, its quite interesting that most wariness that other teams is feeling for Kiyosumi is precisely because they beat Ryuumonbuuchi. Then again, considering Cold! Touka and Koromo, I'll probably be very wary of any team that beat them.

      Though, it is quite funny. Considering Cold! Touka never materialized in the prefecture tournament but to compensate they got Full Moon! Koromo. I wonder if the estimates of the team will be somehow off. Like say Megan expecting Nodoka as someone who beat Cold! Touka. And some underestimation on Saki's side since the nationals never saw Koromo at her best. ^^

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