Saki Nationals:Fifth Place Match Predictions Part II: Final School Ranking Bet

The “Fifth Match” is ongoing in the manga. I’ve already made some match-up breakdown here. 

If there is one good thing about being this deep in the tournament, its the fact that I can try to guess who is going to win without feeling like I’m throwing my bets blindly. While having unknown teams is fun and all, there is something to be said about knowing all of the teams deeply and watching them clash.

Its a feeling that all sports fans know so well.

And of course, as any sports fan, there is the “bets” to add spice to the  matches is a must. That said:

TO ANY ANIME ONLY WATCHERS PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THIS POST UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE SPOILED ROTTEN.

Before making my bets, let’s have a look at the current match. Right now, the Vanguard match has ended and it appears to have been in line with my prediction.

I predicted that Toki would dominate and she did. +20,800 might not seem amazing, considering there are players that get 50,000 above *cough* Teru *cough*.

Still, Toki did this in a single hanchan which makes it a bit comparable.

As for my other prediction regarding this match, I thought that Suzu’s explosion would generate enough threat for her to take second. And judging from the flow of the match, she almost did. I just didn’t expect the Toki-Hanada cooperation play.  It seems that Senriyama has determined Himematsu as their number 1 opponent for this match and is taking any advantage against them – whether its cooperative play with Shindouji or using Naruka as  a patsy.

While, I agree that Himematsu is the biggest threat there, I just hope that doesn’t backfire in the end (like in the semifinal).

 But, enough with the match commentary. Now that we are updated …

LET THE BETTING BEGIN!

For 100,000 pokedollars  my Fifth Match Final Ranking is:

1st – Senriyama

2nd – Himematsu 

3rd – Shindouji

4th – Uzusan 

You might be wondering why I ranked Senriyama as the winner of the 5th match?

Well, Senriyama have strong players in every position. Toki their ace, dominated the vanguard match which would make it easier for their other players from them on. While, I don’t think that Izumi is particularly strong against the reliable seniors from the other schools  or that Sera is stronger than Hiroe (quite the opposite in fact), I think that they could reasonably hold their own or at the very least not lose terribly, to ensure that Toki’s lead would be protected.

As for the last two position last match, Funaq was dominated by Mairu.  But, I believe the presence of Maya could prove to be a mitigating factor

…. To be honest, Shindouji and Uzusan’s strategy kinda clash with each other. The two teams bet most of their chips on their last two players which  is a perfectly fine strategy as seen in the semifinals. The problem is now they are fighting another school using the same strategy. Basically, their players [Mairu, Himeko, Maya and Sawaya] cannot dominate since they would be opposing and nullifying each other. Which is the main reason that, I put Shindouji and Uzusan in the last place.

As for the captain match, since, I believe Mairu would not be as dominating, that takes care of Himeko. Uzusan’s captain Sawaya used most of her kamuy in the semifinals so she would also be weaker than before.

So that leaves Ryuuka and Kyouko.

And I’m leaning toward Ryouka showing why the announcer said, “on a per-game basis, her average point is the highest in Kansai.” That and she might still have the Toki Tulpa TM and its a shiny new power that I don’t think Kyouko has developed a counter yet.

Beside that, I believe that this ranking order would sell the “story-line” that the manga is peddling. You know how the incoming opponents in Side-A is so much stronger than those we saw in Side-B?

 If you look at this order, you can see that in my prediction while there is parity, Side-A topped Side B all the way.   Senriyama > Himematsu and Shindouji> Uzusan.

Thus, it might lead to a perception that Side-A>Side-B.

Even if its not necessarily true; you know the Saki-verse idiot media will eat it up which  in turn would help Kiyosumi’s “underdog” position more.

On that note,  I personally believe Side-A isn’t that stronger than Side-B.  My pick for the strongest team in the tournament is RINKAI. And even if the above, Senriyama > Himematsu and Shindouji > Uzusan became true; Himematsu and Uzusan is arguably the weaker pair compared to Miyamori and Eisui.

…The chips just kinda fell that way. lol ^^

That said, I’m also willing to play devil advocate and bet on this:

For another 90,000 pokedollars,  my devil advocate ranking for the Fifth-Place Match is

1st Himematsu

2nd Senriyama 

3rd Shindouji 

4th Uzusan 

Yeah, I just changed the placement between Himematsu and Senriyama. ^^

Yeah. The only difference is 10,000 pokedollars. Its honestly very hard to choose between them.

After all, I personally think that Himematsu and Senriyama have almost the same power level. Like Senriyama, Himematsu also have competent players in every position. And while Himematsu don’t really have an answer to Toki, the vanguard match showed a difference in points that can be overcome if the dice fell in favor of Himematsu

If Himematsu sergeant Yuuko could close the gap against Izumi. Which is a pretty fair expectation, Yuuko had been posting positive points in her matches even if she doesn’t dominate. And if Hiroe could win the clash against Sera, there is a very good chance that Himematsu would clinch the win.

As for Ryuuka vs. Kyouko. Despite what I’ve said above, I’m aware that  Kyouko has better showing mahjong-wise in the series. But, I’m also ware that’s mostly because Achiga’s semifinal captain match is such a freaking clusterfuck (perhaps because Ritz rushed it) that everyone came out bad.

That said, Kyouko is no pushover. While I’ve previously said that Kyouko might have no strategy against Ryuuka’s newfound power. Its also an an assumption if Ryuuka still has said tulpa. She did use her all her shots. And we now have examples of powers with long charging time. As we don’t know how the Tulpa refresh,  (Perhaps by Toki lying on Ryuuka’s legs? lol) its anyone’s guess if she would have the power next match.

Also considering Himematsu and Senriyama’s long association, Kyouko might have an strategy against Ryouko sans tulpa already. That said,  considering how Kyouko noticed Saki’s tell I wouldn’t put past Kyouko noticing a “tell” like Ryouka staring at the thin air on her shoulders to know if the tulpa will activate or something. ^^

Also thematically, a Himematsu win is good as well. In the sense, that since Himematsu is an all normal team, it shows that you can come far using only non-power users. Also, since this is the main manga, we are following Himematsu’s progress more than Senriyama. Thus, a win for them brings their storyline some closure.

Also, it would put the Side-A and Side-B on par with each other like so Himematsu > Senriyama and Shindouji > Uzusan which is also a nice narrative to play around in the finals. Its like giving everyone almost the same starting ground.  Like its anyone’s game at this point kinda feeling. ^^

Final note:

So, my final bets is a Senriyama or a Himematsu win. I slightly favor Senriyama right now mostly because the “narrative” of the finals is building Kiyosumi as an underdog.

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised and perhaps even pleased if Himematsu took the win. ^^

So those are my bets, what about you guys?

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