Episode 3.2 – End of Preparation

I’m seriously behind the Saki episodes. Anyway, here is part 2.

Part 1 is here.

We begin with a short scene between Fujita-pro and our favorite congress President which is very nice.  It really showed the familiarity between the two. It feels like the two are long time friends.

And while, I’m insanely curious about how that came to be. This scene also set-up some foreshadowing of something beyond the Interhigh. They  name-dropped two tournaments – World Junior Championship and the National Tournament. It seemed that Fujita was scouting for the one or both mentioned tournament and asked Hisa to arrange the camp.

I have a feeling that this is connected to the change in the tournament rules as well. As Hisa guessed they are looking for player’s you wouldn’t find in normal qualifying tournaments. Which understandably lead to some  speculation that the tournament is set-up to favor occult style.

I disagree  with the above assumption btw.

Personally, making the rules favorable for one type player irks me. It will also make me want to question the result of the tournament. And I want to assume whoever planned this Interhigh which is probably the Mahjong Association of Japan or something like that has some sort of integrity. Thankfully, its not the case here.

I think that in many ways the tournament rules is a compromise. Its true that the rule set favor some type of occult power. But, it actually nerfs the monsters. Just think of what happens if you allow double yakuman or give Teru/Koromo longer matches. ^^

… If you’re thinking of unmitigated disaster with one player deciding the whole match. You’re probably on the right track. ^^ Anyway, this scenario is bad considering this is supposed to be a TEAM tournament so even though I’m against nerfing in general. I can understand the thought that went to it.

I personally believe that whoever made the tournament rules is aware of both sides and is catering to them. The normal players gets a chance to strike at the monsters while the occult players gets a chance to demonstrate their skills. The monsters get to contribute meaningfully as well but not on the level of singlehandedly deciding a match. ^^

<cough>

I went off tangent….

Let’s go back to the training camp. ^^

We get the results here.

Maho is in last place for the 3 sets of hanchan. That’s to be expected. Outside of her power, Maho was seen to be pretty terrible.

The last three is more interesting and unexpected. ^^

  • As shown, Nodoka is pretty steady, she didn’t get a minus score even if she doesn’t win a match. This is the reason why she does well in the individual. She may not win big but she won’t be getting big loses. Thus, little by little her score adds up.On the other hand, it also shows that Nodoka is capable of getting big scores as well. +42 and +66 is a blowout. ^^
  • I’m actually surprised that Muro won a match. Its a pretty big win too. +41. On the other hand, its also the most suspicious match score wise. -41/ +41/ +10/ -10 really? The numbers match-up a little too well. ^^  … Either I’m underrating Muro or a certain someone did something. Considering this is probably the round that she does that earnestly I feel I have a right to that feeling. ^^
  • I don’t need to mention the third interesting thing right? (Hint: Saki’s score) ^^

And with that done, you might be wondering what is the point of it all.

 

Maho served as some sort of reference for Mako. If you guys remember, she was in trouble with Kaori of Tsuruga because her database doesn’t have much beginner plays stored in there.

With Maho, a eternal beginner around, she can collect and expand her data.

 

And another point of bringing Maho is to “frighten” Saki.

Unlike Mako, this move by Hisa is pretty controversial.

On one hand, I’ve always thought that anything that adds to Saki’s mental instability is automatically a bad thing. Saki being not serious but happy is good.  She actually plays better when on that mood compared when she is a nervous wreak. (See: Nagano Captain Prefecture Match) 

In fact, a friend of mine suggested the best way to prepare Saki for a match is overdose her with Prozac. lol

On the face of this, Hisa’s coaching decision is strange, downright counterproductive. But, as I’ve mentioned in the post before, Hisa’s ability is to feel the significance about a particular tile and I’ve thought that this segues nicely to her high coaching ability.

Thus, I hypothesize that maybe Hisa thought that there is something amiss with Saki’s generally happy mood. After all, Hisa used the word unsteady to describe Saki right now. And considering what little we know about Saki’s past that may fit Saki’s disposition post-prefecture tournament.

After all, Saki’s big goal in this tournament is to “talk” to Teru. Winning the prefecture tournament means one step closer to her goal. Happy Saki is to be expected. But, that is only in the surface.

We now know that Teru is… err… not welcoming of her sister to put it mildly. And Saki is aware of that. To put it bluntly, Saki’s current happy state may be a result in Saki ignoring/repressing this tiny detail.

Thus, unsteady. 

In light of this, Hisa’s decision make more sense. Hisa may be able to feel significance of that tile that comes to her. But, acting on that feeling almost always put her in a bad position than if she ignored it.

Thus, even if Hisa metaphorically popped Saki’s happy bubble causing her to play worse  initially than if Hisa didn’t do so. It might pay off in the end. After all, better pop that bubble now when in a controlled environment than in a life and death match. This has the added bonus of making Saki ready if someone pulled a rinshan on her or something similar to it.

Anyway, this sort of coaching fits Hisa’s character. She is really the type to pick the worst odds that have a potential large pay-off a the end. ^^ 

 

 

As for Saki, as we could see she’s thinking of what happened.

I’ve thought that while this move is necessary, Saki seeing someone else use Rinshan Kaihou other than her  is perhaps more than a bit painful.

Rinshan Kaihou is undoubtedly something precious to Saki. And I’m 90% sure that its related to Teru.

Imagine then, Saki seeing such a move replicated, copied effortlessly. Made worse, that Maho used the same exact way that Saki does. Imagine what could she be feeling then. That something she considered unique isn’t so. That it can copied That it might have no special meaning.

And consider the implications that it will have on what it mean regarding Teru and Saki’s relationship with her.

As I’ve said.

Ouch.  

But, its probably something that Saki will need to face in the future.

 

 

We have here Yuuki and Nodoka clowning around. lol

I really liked this sequence because though Yuuki and Nodoka will probably stronger just by facing stronger opponents. Hisa hasn’t forgotten them and is brainstorming a method to help them.

As for Hisa herself, she prepared by fighting the strongest opponents she could.

On the list is of course:

Koromo 

It just warms my heart how happy Koromo is compared to before the prefecture tournament. Right now, in the training camp a lot of people are happy to play with her. ^^

 

 

 

Yumi 

Momo’s jealousy is amusing. lol

And I swear Hisa is a troll. Did she have to say it that way. ^^

 

 

And of course, Mihoko.

The BGM change on this part is a nice touch. Subtle in shipping this anime is not.

And I’m sure that there have been many speculation on Kana pushing Mihoko to Hisa. From the romantic to the pragmatic. I say its both. lol

As a romantic speculation, I think Kana’s motion is trying to make Mihoko happy. I’m pretty sure Mihoko’s obvious *crush* on Hisa is hard to miss especially by Kana.

For practical purposes, I’m with Cytrus. Mihoko need all the experience she can get to succeed in the individual

 

 


 Pretty nice scene here.

Hisa is showing her tsundereness at the direct support. Once again. ^^

 

And this one is a nice touch showing that this is truly a 4 team training camp. Its true that Kiyosumi was the host. But the other  schools have mingled and interacted as well. ^^

And with this scene ends the training camp flashback.

Tune in for part III.

Hisa is awesome! Click to buy!

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3 Responses to Episode 3.2 – End of Preparation

  1. Pingback: Episode 3.1 – The Meaning behind the Shape | Random Wall of Text

  2. Katreus says:

    Unsteady also can imply having an unsound foundation (false or weak assumptions), which would play into your idea that Saki is repressing the idea that she may not be able to talk to Teru through mahjong (the possibility of failure). The idea that she may not be the only one who can pull off kans or rinshans should also be introduced early where she can adjust to it in training camp. We already know (now) that Awai will be using kans if she can and Saki freaking out in the finals over kans would be problematic. We've also seen Saki's reaction to Awai and Shizu and she seems pretty calm actually, which is interesting.

    • I've always wondered about Saki's general apathy or calmness regarding Shizu and Awai considering that their ability is tailor-made to counter hers.

      But, then again, training camp or the bits we have seen for Saki is foreshadowing that she would reasonably prepared for something like that considering the opponents that she faced. (ie. Cold Touka and Maho) ^^

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