Saki Episode 8 – Fortress


The episode starts with Hatsumi on the north seat.

Which as explained in the show with Sae and Granny is very very bad news. When she is seated there, Hatsumi gets the north and east tiles very easily. And once, she called a set of those tiles, the south and west is drawn as well.

That means she can trivially aim for Daisuushii (Big Four Winds) and Shousuushi (Little Four Winds).  Yikes.

Btw, in case you guys want to know, this ability is based on the superstition that the North-East direction brings misfortune. The superstition is actually so prevalent that the this direction is called “kimon” or the “devil’s gate” because it was thought that this is where the bad spirits pass through.

If you’re house ever subscribes to fengshui, this is the reason why you can’t have a garage or any door/window in this direction. That’s practically an invitation for evil spirits to come! Some Japanese houses even go the trouble of putting L-shaped indention at the north-east direction to ward demons away. ^^

On the other hand, temples are known to be build facing this direction.To better fight the bad spirits more, I guess.

Anyway, let’s go back to our regularly scheduled comments. ^^

It doesn’t say blocked than a giant flying rock!


 Looking cool there Sae!  I just love that the decoration on her lower half are shinto talismans. ^^

Sae’s power is cool. Once she has marked someone, their hand doesn’t develop anymore. Pretty powerful ability if you ask me.

But, this does raise many questions to some viewers. One of the most contentious part of the match.

Should Sae not have blocked Hatsumi? 

And you must be wondering wah? Is this even the question? Of course she should! Who the hell would allow an opponent get a freaking yakuman.

Well, as this match progress. You’ll see the answer. It depends. ^^

This is the the match gains until now.

As you can see Nodoka is doing her usual stick of maximizing gains and minimizing losses so in the end she gets a net gain.

Still, in the question of should Sae block or not? The important thing to look for is Sae’s pov.

If Sae allows the yakuman to pass (assuming it will be completed, its not 100%):

Nodoka: 105, 8000 – 8,000 = 97,800

Kinue: 127,700 – 16,000 = 111,400 

Sae: 86:000 – 8,000 = 78,000 

Hatsumi: 80,800 + 32,000 = 112,800 

As you can see Hatsumi shoots to first. Sae fall to last place. While the number of points between second and Sae wound’t have changed iota. Its a bad idea for Sae to let the yakuman go through in this case.

So in the answer of Sae blocking, its a resounding she should!

I can’t get enough of the miko summoning evil spirits disbelieving superpowers. lol  Can you say, pot calling the kettle black?

Anyway, Hatsumi purposely played into a ron here to be the North again. That is a contentious decision but I can see some logic there.

Another questionable one is Kinue declaring ron. She is after all the dealer and have more to lose if Hatsumi repeated the round in the north position. Yet, the ron value is 11,900 points, quite hefty. Taking that, she already recouped 74% of her potential loses. Thus, in my eyes its the right decision.

Of course this is will potentially be a burden to Sae who is sealing Hatsumi but then again both of them are her opponents. She has no obligation to be nice.^^


 Thankfully the round ends with Hatsumi not gathering the north wind and east wind sets. (I spotted some on Kinue’s hand, not a confirmation but still.) And as Kinue is also in no-tenpai the round moves to the south round.

There is some skip in this . South 1 and South 2 is not shown and we’re now in South 3 which ended in a draw with Kinue as the sole tenpai.

We also get a flashback of Kyouko giving Kinue the strategy for the round.

If Hatsumi calls on either the North or East wind, don’t discard the counterpart wind. Which meant, if she calls on North don’t discard East. If she calls on East don’t discard North.

Pretty simple huh?

Spoiler:

Actually, I think its taking Hatsumi too lightly. It would probably better to not drop any north or east tiles. But, then again, that might freeze my hand development so I suppose it really depends. 

It would if everybody on the table cooperates.

And this where Nodoka’s weakness rears its ugly head.

Since she disbelieve the existence of superpowers she is sometimes immune to some of them. Most notably debuff or things that affect her. Like Momo’s invisibility and Jun’s flow manipulation.

But, also due to this. She can’t do a cooperative play regarding said superpowers. She can’t exactly prepare something that she believes doesn’t exist. lol

As we can see in here she dropped the east tile even with the pon of north open in the table. It sucks that honor tiles is probably the first thing dropped in digital mahjong and they are the key ingredient of Hatsumi’s powers.^^

Sae to the rescue.

Too bad for you, Hatsumi. Better luck next time.

And here it is. We will answer the question again. Does Sae have to block Hatsumi in this round? 

This is the score card for the first hanchan. A little backtracking of our steps show us


This is end score for South 4 if Sae allowed the yakuman through and if Hatsumi got it.

Nodoka 106,900 – 8,000 = 98,900

Kinue: 138,700 – 16,000 = 122,700 

Sae : 84,100 -8,000 = 76,1000

Hatsumi: 63,600 + 32,000 = 95,600 

Sae will fall to last place, Hatsumi will overtake her. Not good. And like the other one, it woudn’t get her closer to second place.  <blinks> Actually, it would be beneficial to Nodoka if Sae allowed that yakuman through. The gap between second and first place is now shorter by 8,000.   lol.

Though the specter of Hatsumi will close into her as well.

… Just for the lulz, let’s see the score if Hatsumi gets both yakuman in this two rounds. Let’s see. We should start with the score if Hatsumi got the first yakuman then the round scores and the second yakuman breakdown.

Nodoka: 97,800 + 1,000 – 8,000 = 90,800 

Kinue: 111,400 + 600 – 16,000 = 96,000 

Sae: 78,000 -1,900  – 8,000 = 68,100 

Hatsumi: 112,800 +1,400 + 32,000 = 146, 200 

Yup, that’s the score. So really its Sae’s best interest to block them. Followed by Kinue since she lost quite a lot of her lead. She’s barely hanging to second place with a 5,200 lead. That’s just one hand in mahjong terms. Nodoka got moved to third place so she also benefited with Sae’s blocking.

But, the one that would be really happy if Sae is not there would be Hatsumi. ^^

Of course this is the worst case scenario, there is no guarantee that Hatsumi will get her yakuman every single time even if she got called on the  east and north sets.

Its also interesting that Hatsumi went for a honitsu (even if it caused her to get ronned), instead of spamming her power all over again when it didn’t work. Which is progress. Also,  If I work backward according to my scoring board she won either south 1 or south 2.

So she’s not totally helpless when she don’t have her power. ^^

Anyway, I’ll stop here. I’ll review the second hanchan in one go next episode.

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8 Responses to Saki Episode 8 – Fortress

  1. sf says:

    Random note (again!): the announcer said that Sae lost some points after the 1st hanchan, but you can easily see that she actually gained 800 points!
    (I had my friend check the japanese sentence for me – she told me that the English subtitle translated it well. you can also hear the word "minus" in that sentence)

    it's funny how Kinue got free 11900, as she was the one doing nothing (compared to Hatsumi who activated her power, and Sae who blocked it) and got all the nice result.
    and again, lol @Kinue, in South 4 she was the one greedy and dealt the North first, then get angry when Nodoka dealt the East.

    • Wow. I really should start listening to those announcer. On the other hand, maybe not. You'll do it for me. (puppy dog eyes)

      Yeah. This match got me thinking that its nice to be in first place. Its almost like a safe position. ^^

  2. FdRstar says:

    Another one : didn't the announcer say that Hatsumi didn't win any hand before her yakuman ? At the end of South 2 she apparently had 71,300 which make an 2,400 increase… It could be the result of a tenpai 3,000 bonus minus a 600/1200 tsumo by someone else… Or maybe not, it's hard.^^

    • I really need to start listening to the announcers. I mostly tune them out. Old habit from watching sports games.

      Anyway, whatever it is, its Hatsumi's only pointgame for the first hanchan. And it happened off screen. lol

    • sf says:

      well, i believe that the announcer just said something like "she hasn't won any hand in the second hanchan". could you point out exactly where the sentence is?

      • FdRstar says:

        Ah, yeah, you may be right. I'm not sure.
        regalstar > Yes there is : 1 han 70 fu it's not a likely hand (well, except if you are Saki^^) but it exists. But I agree my theory is a bit farfetched.

      • sf says:

        and also, even if she really didn't win, it should be a 3000 tenpai payment minus a 300/500 tsumo, which would become 600/800 because of 3 honba (bonus hand 3)

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