Saki Zenkoku Episode 11 – Threat

Wait. Episode 11? Aren’t you supposed to be writing Episode 10?

I am. I tried. But, sadly the awesomeness of Saki defied petty thing such as causality and you are seeing my review of Episode 11 before 10. ^^

Before I begin, I want you guys to take a look at the main shrine (of Jindai’s family?). I would like to repeat my earlier observation. They are ridiculously loaded. Seriously.

Anyway, in this flashback we learned that Kasumi is the most closely related to Komaki and due to that she was supposed to act as a living “amagatsu” doll.

But, what is an “Amagatsu” doll that Kasumi is supposed to act as a living version of?

This is a quote from its origin myth regarding its function,

If she were to bear another’s jealousy, the doll would come to her rescue.

If anyone bore her a grudge, the doll would protect her from its power.

Murderous resentment would be absorbed by the doll’s body in place of its owner.”

That is what Kasumi was supposed to be for Jindai.

Heh… Quite an illuminating view of Eisui’s dynamic. Well, not surprising, they are the team that has branch families on it after all. ^^

And would you guys believe me, this isn’t just because Ritz-sensei likes boobs?

You see guys, Amagatsu dolls were of simple construction. Just a two sticks made in a T-shape and with a stuffed white silk cloth serving as its head. It is thought that that a child’s clothes would be hung on the T-form to take the evil impurities from the cloth.

Now look at Kasumi’s posture.

  • Arms out-retched to her side in a T-form. Check. 
  • Clothes hanging on her arms. Check.

Quite amazing that Ritz managed to make that lewdness symbolic. Or should it be the other way around? ^^

Anyway, let’s see what a living Amagatsu doll can do.

Turns out.

Quite a lot.

Take note that there is no bamboo tiles in Kyouko’s hand nor are there any on Saki and Toyone’s discard pool. Normally that would be a sign that they are hoarding bamboo tiles. But, Kyouko knew from experience in her own hand. That the reason why there is no bamboo tiles in her discard pool was simply because she didn’t get any.

She wonders if that is true for Saki and Toyone…

Worse….

The fact that Eisui discard pool has bamboo in it is quite ominous.

And then, Kasumi wins with this. lol.

Notice that it is all bamboo. (Now everyone knows where the bamboo have gone)

That hand is also very nearly a suu-ankou. ^^

The anime even gave as a snapshot of her opponent’s hands, see no bamboo on any of them. ^^

Its also interesting to note that while Kyouko and Toyone’s hand is no where near tenpai. Saki already is.  If my mahjong-fu is correct, Saki is waiting for the six and nine of characters for a cheap 1 han 30 fu hand. But, you guys probably have watched this show enough to know that probably wasn’t what Saki is aiming for, considering the  presence of nine of circle triplet in her hand. (bet that is kan material). ^^

Next round starts soon enough and now Kasumi’s opponents are missing character tiles. lol.  Kyouko realizing the nature of her power decided that Kasumi is the most dangerous player in Eisui.

To that superlative. I could only answer ‘probably yes.’.

Undoubtedly, of the powers displayed by Eisui on this match, Kasumi’s is probably the best. (Yes. I count loli Miko’s gates of evil as well). I’ve already discussed it’s advantages at length on this post. (Warning spoilers).

But, to reiterate,  Kasumi’s power allows her get high scoring hands (she has a guaranteed honitsu/chinitsu and a menzen tsumo ) and she will get it very very fast. Plus, she is virtually unassailable with rons except for honor tiles.

If that wasn’t enough by power interaction, she also nerfs any ability that has something to do with calling tiles which Toyone’s Tomobiki falls on.

And what’s worse, Kasumi can do it for every round. This is what I believe her greatest advantage against Hatsumi’s powers. Hatsumi’s lowers her defense a bit (calling) and she can do it 2 times per hanchan and no more. Hatsumi’s power also needs to meet certain conditions, namely needing an open pon of east and north tiles at the northeast corner of the table .Kasumi’s power isn’t so restricted.

I suppose one can argue that Hatsumi has a higher value hand. But, I would like to note that Kasumi’s ability makes it easy to get a yakuman as well. That near Suu-ankou lol. And if she gets the bamboo magnet, the all green yakuman is within her reach.

As for against Jindai… to be honest we haven’t seen much so I can’t say. But, at least Kasumi can activate her powers at will. Even if it doesn’t have an off switch. lol.

This doesn’t meant that Kasumi’s power makes her invincible. It does have several weaknesses as well.

Which you’ll find in the next sequence.

The anime isn’t even trying to be subtle about this. lol

One of the weakness of Kasumi and really most powers in general. You can’t do anything if someone wins before you do. ^^

And though, Kasumi has buffed herself on this point (drawing from one suit and honors). Taking one suit from other players have also buffed them as well even on a lesser degree.

Thus, a player like Kyouko going for a cheap fast hand using calls can probably catch up to Kasumi. Especially, if someone on the table is cooperating and feeding the said player useful tiles like Saki here. ^^

Now the question is why did Saki want to help Kyouko?

There is a blink and miss it moment where they showed Saki’s hand. Now, I know this is earlier and we are talking about freaking Saki, but judging from her discard pool, she might not be able to win before Kasumi for this round.

Thus, the help for Kyouko.

Remember Saki is the dealer for this round and have to pay twice the amount the other players will for Kasumi’s valuable hand win. Getting Kyouko to win cheaply and paying the measly 2,000 points instead of something larger is good for her.

That and for Saki err…  let’s call it “strategy” for the moment and really common sense in general, making the 4th player win cheaply would be infinitely better than making the 1st player win large and widening the gap even more.

Anyway, we now move on to the next round.

Uh. oh. Saki seemed to have shifted gears.

Its odd though. Saki’s expression I mean. I wonder if its the art shift or there is something deeper involved. But, I feel that Saki isn’t smiling. In the previous season, this sort of ‘expression’ has an accompanied quirk of lips that seemed to denote that Saki is having fun.

Here its absence is a bit jarring.

Anyway, Saki made her move. Calling a kan.

Everyone panic! ^^

But, not for long since instead of getting a rinshan kaihou like normal she called a riichi. Which triggered Toyone’s ability.

I really liked the BGM on this sequence. It has a nice foreboding tone to it. The piano keys really add to the tension as well.

Pretty nice hand there for Toyone. It will be very bad if Saki got hit by this.

But, ha!

Saki didn’t lose her mind in declaring that riichi after all. If you take a look at Toyone’s waits, you’ll see that Saki used them.

1 of bamboo –  Saki called a kan on it

5 of characters – Saki used it to declare riichi

8 of characters – tile that Saki drew after the riichi. She also called a kan on it.

2 of characters- the tile Saki drew on the dead wall.

4 of bamboo – the kan dora. Incidentally, 3 are already sitting on Toyone’s hand. lol.

I really like Toshi’s description of Saki’s action here. Saki didn’t nullify, she “accepted”  Toyone’s senpou and made it work for her. ^^

I also kinda like Toyone’s reaction as well. Going all fangirl like. So in character and adorable. lol

And here we have Saki winning… semi-normally. lol

Quite nice display of using her rinshan to its full potential.

As said by her opponents she used the draw to shift the drawing order to her favor and then used their discards to call kans which gives Saki useful tiles making her handbuilding speed faster.

You know for the past rounds Saki has been winning but its not really her normal modus operandi. First time, she used Toyone’s riichi in conjunction with her ability. Second, she just used her kans to get useful draws but completed the hand…  semi-normally. ^^

Third, Saki wins by rinshan.

Just like that.

Proving that yes she can just do that if she wants to.

Kyouko neatly sums it up. lol

Anyway we are now on Saki’s dealership. And we could see the other players are noticeably nervous.

Still, I kinda like that their thoughts match with their disposition and their place in the game. Kasumi being second is avoiding to get directly hit. Since Saki is the dealer, her tsumo’s will evenly damage everyone. And as long as Kasumi doesn’t get directly hit she’ll keep her second place.

Its in line with a defender mindset as well which is Kasumi’s normal style when she’s not using her power.

Toyone who is in third place want to overtake Eisui, the second.

Though I do wonder if Saki is doing a good job of pressuring them since they don’t seemed to be planning on overtaking her anytime soon. lol. Though, I suppose that could be pragmatism talking.^^

Kyouko has noticed that Kasumi’s one suit magnet is making it easier for Saki to get a kan.

… Those eyes.

…. And I thought Saki is scary enough with her normal ones.

R.I.P. Monocle. We hardly knew you.

But, still, you just fogged when Hatsumi is summoning the freaking gates of evil. What the hell… Seriously.

Its over 9000!

(On extraneous note: I’m glad Sae isn’t the one who fought Saki.)

Hey, this isn’t in the manga. Wait… the kan is open? I seemed to remember Kyouko discarding a different tile. Hmmm… so Saki did do something about the drawing order.

Saki’s hand. Blink and you’ll miss this.

… Actually its very hard to catch even if you stare at the screen. Its there for like a fraction of a second.

… Animators. ^^

And wow, Saki has a triplet of the six of bamboo. And guess what she drew from the wall? The last six of bamboo. I’m now intensely curious what is Saki’s other tiles. But, assuming that her hand is tenpai, did she pass on getting a rinshan?

… lol.

Back to everyone’s collective thought.

You’re not even going to use that tile?!!

PANIC! 

<Just kidding>  ^^

Anyway tune in next time for the end of this confusing and wonderful captain match.

Let me leave you a related picture though.

In my defense there are a lot of these shots.

And all I can say is… heh. Animators. ^^

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8 Responses to Saki Zenkoku Episode 11 – Threat

  1. AllForAn says:

    Hell…Saki has not take off her shoes yet, lol

  2. Cytrus says:

    That last hand seems to have 5-7 wan on the left, so I don't think she's in tenpai. But they really made sure that hand was difficult to see…

    • Cytrus. you're here! I missed you so! ^^

      Hmmm… I think you're right. And yeah, this hand is ridiculously difficult to see. Though, if Saki is not in tenpai, she really did it to change the drawing order.

      …. Still I want to see the rest of that hand. Maybe the animators will throw us a bone and show it to us next episode?

      • Though, if that is 7 of characters… isn't there a chance for another potential kan material?

      • Cytrus says:

        I'm always around, but I've been in lurker mode because of several good but time-consuming things going on in my life. A week left to go before things slow down again.

        Even if Saki knows the next rinshan tile is not an effective tile for her, throwing away a kan is somewhat unusual for her, as she could just keep that 6-sou concealed and use it to shift the drawing order again in a just-in-case scenario.

        That discard would make most sense in case she were going for a simple open tanyao, but you know what happens next episode, so yeah. There is some chance we'll get a better glimpse of the hand next episode, so let's wait and see.

        • That's nice. I hope you have fun irl.

          And yeah. You're right. And as you've said we already know what will happen from the manga. But, I think its fun speculating all the same. ^^ Truthfully, its times like this I wish to "unknow" things from the manga. Especially with all the extra little details that the animators put in this episode. I absolutely lol'ed at the extensive shots of the character's feet. 😀

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