Saki Manga: Major High School Tournaments Revealed!

Previously, I’ve taken a stab at guessing what the major tournaments of the manga are here.  It looks like I’m mostly right. Most of my mistake is because I renamed the Spring Tournament to “Winter” due to folding it with the Fall Tournament and picking the season in between. Heh.

I’ve rechecked that post and with just a quick name change, it appears everything is alright again. Yey!

Anyway, the latest chapter of Saki has confirmed that there are at least four! major mahjong tournaments for high school students. Seriously, MAHJONG is SERIOUS BUSINESS in this verse.

…. But, you guys already know that considering the wide screen street viewing and having at least 2 channels covering each one of them. Plus the large crowd and …

You get the picture.

As of now this are the known tournaments.

  • Spring Tournament –  Unnamed still; wherein each school has a  change-up of guards as apparently third years can no longer participate.
  • Interhigh Tournament – is held on Summer. The tournament the anime/manga is covering.
  • National Tournament (Kokuma) – the previously unknown Fall Tournament. First mentioned by Fujita-pro on her conversation with Hisa. And also later mentioned by Kinue in the quarterfinals.

While we can assume that the Spring Tournament and the Interhigh are competition between schools…. Or else comments like Senriyama becoming the 2nd ranking school in the country due to the Spring Tournament will not make any whit of sense.

The National Tournament uses different rules/selection.  According to Uzusan, there is an age segment for the National Tournament. Junior A is for 2nd year and third year high school players and Junior B is for the 1st year of high school and 3rd year of middle school.   Another difference is the fact that this tournament would select the best players from the prefecture and not just the best school….

Heh. The moment that was said my first thought was what would be the line-up of the various team. Nagano being the hellhole that it is has an amazing one.

I’m pretty sure everyone agrees that if I’m going to be optimizing the line-up. It would be something like this. (Note that this assumes that that there are no unknown notables)

Junior A

Vanguard:  Mihoko

Sergeant – Yumi

Lieutenant – Hisa

Vice-Captain – Touka

Captain: Koromo

Junior B isn’t amazing as the above one but its still freaking competitive.

Junior B

Vanguard: Yuuki

Sergeant: Nanpo 

Lieutenant: Momo

Vice-Captain: Nodoka

Captain: Saki

And that’s just in Nagano.

If there is no division between prefecture, Osaka is going to be really amazing. Its probably going to be an unholy combination of Himematsu and Senriyama + Kei.  Though, I don’t think their Junior B is going to very good as of now unless there are a lot of unknown in the middle school 3rd year and other schools.

Kagoshima might have a comeback as well considering one of Kei’s companion appear to be from that region. Rise Fujiwara is a third year and Eisui only have one first year (Haru).  Kagoshima’s team for Junior A is all set as well. But, again their Junior B lacks more data.

As for Tokyo, it would really depend if foreign players are allowed in the “National” Competition. If it is Junior A would have TERU, Satoha, Sumire, Megan and Choe.  As for Junior B, Tokyo would have Awai, Nelly and Hao.

Anyway, as you’ve noticed beside the Nagano players which I did for the lulz, I haven’t arranged some of the other teams. That’s because the Kokumin Tournament has a very different rule mechanic.

A rule mechanic that everyone watching  the current Interhigh was wishing for!

Remember this conversation, when Kyouko and Kinue are talking about the Fall Tournament?

Here is a transcript from the episode:

Kinue: Play in the team tournament? I’m just a first year.

Kyouko: Yes. Its just the fall tournament not the inter-high. So no need to worry too much. In the fall, we can switch around the order more freely. You can experiment a bit in the regional tournament.

I’ve bolded the important bit. But, just to be clear, in the Kokumin – switching the players’ position is possible! I don’t know if substitution is also allowed but the fact that position switching is in the game will make it a very different tounament from the Interhigh.   A lot of schools I imagine will be switching position in every match if they can afford it to have the surprise factor or to get a specific advantage.  ^^

Though, I don’t know what Kyouko meant with the “experiment in the regional tournament” still. From what Uzusan said, I don’t think the  Kokumin have a regional tournament. The representatives are decided with their previous performance….

Which led me to believe that its referring to the Spring tournament which they also talked about.

Perhaps that’s tournament also allowed line-up change?

Which would make Shiraitodai not using their usual line-up (Teru in Vanguard) thus avoiding a battle between Teru vs. Toki in the Spring Tournament more sensible.

 

But, wait! I mentioned in the beginning that there are 4 Major tournaments, right? What is the last one?!

If you look at the screencap above – its the World Junior Championship! (Beside, Hisa. Rinkai keep namedropping this on the manga)  And this is probably going to be held on the Winter by the process of elimination. ^^

It also sets up a nice in-universe logic and story logic.

The Spring tournament goes first, because it signifies a changing of the guard. The 3rd year are gone and with them most of the veteran players on the teams. Thus, the Spring Tournament is like a preview of the remaining strength of the school teams.

The Interhigh is where we are logically are and wherein the line-up is solidified. In Spring (if my hunch is right), teams are allowed to switch position so teams experiment with their line-up to see what works best.

…. Huh…. Perhaps that’s the reason why you’re not allowed to switch position in the Interhigh?

This is just a hunch but if the Spring Tournament’s paradigm is flexibility due to the holes in key position of the team. The Interhigh with its rigid line-up emphasize consistency/determination. After all, you can’t change your choice after submitting the roster and thus that line-up must be able to deal with any situation without fail.

The Interhigh really emphasizes permanent “choice”.  Those course of action that cannot be taken back.

(Hmmmm….I’m beginning to see why this series starts at the Interhigh now. ) ^^

Anyway, the National Tournament is the logical extension of the Interhigh wherein teams are not limited to schools but prefectures; using the performance in the Interhigh as guide, one selects the all-stars for each region. The Kokumin, itself, is probably going to be the prelude for the World Tournament. (which is one of the reason why I don’t think foreign students are going to be allowed in it. )

Considering the story structure, and the fact that we started at the Interhigh. IF we are going to cover all the tournaments, Spring would be the best endpoint. Since its basically an excuse for five minutes into the next generation.

After that Ritz can now time skip and write the pro-leagues. lol

Just kidding.

… Am I? *winks*

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