Saki Manga 166 – Miyanaga Family Mystery

Every three years or so, we receive some morsel of information regarding the biggest plot of the series and the driving motivation of its titular character.

And every single time, it leaves me wanting for more as it become increasingly clear that whatever happened in the past  is more complicated than, “Teru is definitely still angry at me– Saki’s stated reason [circa chapter 4]. 

*MANGA SPOILERS BELOW THIS*

Saki, really at times, you are such a freaking unreliable narrator. lol

…Although, I’m not taking the possibility that Saki’s initial statement might be true “in a certain point of view” . I mean even as I accuse Saki of being an unreliable narrator, I know that Saki really doesn’t lie.  Saki just have the most convoluted logic ever and   have a habit of omitting information if she doesn’t like the topic.^^

Still, at least, we would finally have some clue about that statement since Saki and Teru after spending sometime avoiding each other  will finally meet for the first time in-series!

…. In December …. as Ritz take two months hiatus!

Yes. I know.

Sigh…

Still, at least the latest chapter is juicy enough and have dropped several bombshells regarding the situation.

  • Its the Miyanaga family house that caught fire and “no one was hurt”. Grandma Arctander decided to pay a visit the night after the fire. 

There has been some speculation on what exactly burned when Saki’s flashback was shown. Whether it was the hospital or whether it was their house? Whether Goldfish  Mysterious girl seen in Saki dream sequence died in said fire or not?

And now we know the answer.

(Unless, there is mass hypnosis involved and the Grandma didn’t remember the event right which at this point might actually happen ^^ ).

No one was hurt”, meant that the mysterious girl didn’t die in said fire.

I once postulated in this post (though some info on that post is outdated) that its very unlikely that mysterious girl is the cause of the sister’s estrangement since it seems that she left before said estrangement happened.

And while I’m not eliminating the possibility of mysterious girl’s death, with the revelation of foreign blood in their family, I think we’ll more likely to meet her in the incoming World championship (if Ritz ever gets there) since mysterious girl more than likely went/returned abroad to cure whatever sickness she has.

Also, there is an increased chance that the fire is no accident.  Simply because of the timing of the visit of Grandma Arctander.

Grandma visited on the evening before the fire happened which is quite a coincidence. Furthermore, only Kai and Saki moved at the house at the other side of the elementary school which meant that Ai-chan and Teru went somewhere else. (Probably Tokyo?)

Which meant the pseudo-divorce happened exactly after the fire.

Considering that Ai-chan either disguised herself or is currently missing after said incident.

….Something is rotten at the state of Norway.

Speaking of that:

 

  • We finally have the names of the whole family (except the extended family which surprise surprise are also looking to be very important.). 

Saki’s dad is called Kai Miyanaga.  Miyanaga’s maiden name is Ai Arctander. More interestingly for our resident conspiracy theorists, there is once a prominent pro player with similar name called Ai Arctandar.

And the chapter itself confirmed that they are both the same person.

The problem for  our dear intrepid reporter and us readers though: Teru’s current mother’s appearance doesn’t match “Ai Arctander”.  

Which is really really fishy.

Either Ai Arctander is somehow disguising herself which would beg the question of why the need for such disguise or drastic change of appearance. Could Ai-chan be hiding from someone or something? Is that the real reason for the pseudo-divorce?

We know from Shinohayu that there is some bad things connected to mahjong considering what happened with Shino’s mom.

The other possibility is the current Mrs. Miyanaga is a fake and Ai-chan is missing or somewhere else. 

Which also opens a ridiculous can of worms.

Because while Saki might not know that someone is pretending to be Mrs. Miyanaga considering Saki avoids electronics and she seemed to have lost contact with that side of the family, except for that one visit to Teru.

Teru would definitely know about said deception. So for that to work, Teru has to be party to the deception.

Somehow that innocuous information from Ritz blog is now very relevant.

Everyone at Shiraitodai has their own rooms, and are free to return to their homes whenever they like.

Could Teru have chosen to enroll in Shiraitodai because of said policy? To get away from home even?  Is Teru even actually angry at Saki or is she driving Saki away because its for her own “good”? What is up with the Arctander side of the family?

… Seriously, how many skeletons does this family even have?! With the ways things are going an actual reconciliation might actually make the family’s situation worse!

The only Miyanaga Family accounted for?

The only member of the Miyanaga Family we can be sure of?

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24 Responses to Saki Manga 166 – Miyanaga Family Mystery

  1. Alex says:

    Well my previous theory regarding the fire was wrong.
    I had always at some level expected the hospital to have caught on fire and Saki and mysterious (friend???,cousin???) to have jumped out into a nearby body of water, covering both the fire and the unexplained fear of water.
    I guess not.
    That said while unlikely this family just might have enough skeletons to hide the truth about this kind of event.
    On a side note Night do you think it is possible that the fire was somehow or other caused by Saki and Teru leading the other grandmother to take mysterious girl with her and beginning the rift.
    Another possibility is that it had more to do with how they reacted to the pseudo divorce.
    With how Saki and Teru have been shown in the visual novels and parts of flashbacks it is hard to believe it was really a single event that broke them apart.
    Unless of course it was already under strain and then another thing happened.
    After they were away and drifted something that is probably even darker happened
    Why is it that the history in Saki is so dark compared to the events we see?

    • nightsentinel09 says:

      Yeah.I agree, I'm also beginning to think that there is a series of events that broke the family. At least though, we now have a conclusive timeline for something. Even if its just this:

      Grandma Arctander Visit —> Fire —> Pseudo-Divorce with Saki and Kai at Nagano and Teru and Ai at Tokyo

      If we can make some further inference since the old lady haven't mentioned anyone else that got caught up in the fire. Then, the mysterious girl flashback and the girl is long gone even before Grandma Arctander visited. Though, there is a possibility that Grandma Arctander did take goldfish when she visited, I think the person that Nishida is interviewing with would mention it….

      So the timeline is perhaps something like this

      Something happened to Goldfish —> Goldfish Saki Flashback at the Pier —> Timeskip —> Grandma Arctander visit for some reason —> Fire —> Pseudo Divorce

      If the drama CD is still canon, since that is apparently when Teru and Mom (Ai Arctander) is leaving for Tokyo. This would mean our final timeline is something like this:

      Something happened to Goldfish —> Goldfish Saki Flashback —>Timeskip —> Grandma Arctander visit —> Fire —> Rinshan Kaihou Talk –> another bad thing happened —-> Pseudo -Divorce Current Relationship

      …. Ouch. If the drama CD is still canon and the Rinshan Kaihou talk happened directly after Teru and Mom Miyanaga went to Tokyo there must be a THIRD BAD THING that directly happen to sour Teru and Saki's relationship. Since if we use this timeline even after the fire and goldfish leaving, they are still on good terms. This also meant that the two Saki flashback are both farewell talks. Double ouch.

      …. Though, that is if the Drama CD is canon. I remember that its one of the few pieces of Saki media around before the anime even. Ritz may have changed a few details here and there from there. Using only the manga/anime as source since Teru doesn't mention leaving for Tokyo, we can put it freaking anywhere.

      • Alex says:

        Well we have been considering the drama CD as canon for discussion purposes for a long time. And if goldfish did not die then from what we know of these events their is nothing bad enough for the current relationship to form.
        As for telling the news reporter about Goldfishes circumstances well one the question was about the relationship between Saki and Teru and if there was something more going on would you really tell all the details to another person.
        Is Teru protecting Saki maybe but i really doubt it. If one of the news reporters in Saki can find out about the past so can anything or anyone that would call for such drastic measure.
        If you are trying to hide your sister from something the worst thing you could possibly do is become famous.

        • nightsentinel09 says:

          Yeah. There is a disconnect between Teru hiding her relationship with Saki and becoming famous. Reporters would easily pounce on that. Like what is happening now.

          On Goldfish and Grandma…
          I'm mostly on the camp that old lady could have easily said and "Arctander-san visited before the fire to collect their cousin".
          That said, until the exact scene is shown or word of God says it is. This is pretty much still speculation fodder.

          • Alex says:

            Honestly I don't think that goldfish was taken either but it is still a possibility. We have so very little to speculate on for this one, that said if goldfish isn't dead then I am really confused to how Awaii's appearance fits in to the puzzle.

            Other strange happenings when Saki and Teru were young it is indicated that Teru as always went on her absurd streaks and Saki plus minus. If the mom was actually a former prominent pro how did the games turn out like this?

          • nightsentinel09 says:

            Awai could remind the Miyanaga sisters' of Goldfish simply because they miss her. Whether she is dead or not is the question though. I've been rereading the manga once again and you could say that Saki herself has a softspot for Blonde monsters. Koromo is glaringly close to Saki. Though we can excuse that because of how the prefecture team tournament ended….

            As for Teru, I think its been mentioned that Teru changed styles which is why Saki cannot comment? Though, that leaves Saki's +/- zero…

          • Alex says:

            Well rather than saying Saki cannot comment it is more of a doesn't want to comment.

            About Koromo, if Saki's past is even half as bad as we think there are similarities on so many different levels that i really cannot attribute it to the blonde hair.

            Seriously has Ritz ever written a backstory without some kind of trauma?

          • nightsentinel09 says:

            Well, Saki stated directly that "Teru's playstyle is completely different to how it was back when we were little" so she can't help in finding any weakness. While I'm fully aware that Saki does have a tendency to mislead and omit (remain silent) if she doesn't like talking about the subject and Teru and her family is definitely a subject that Saki doesn't like talking about . Saki also has not directly lied in the manga as of yet, so I would like to take her word on this.

            While Saki could be using the "Teru's playstyle is completely different" as an excuse not to talk about about Teru. I'm pretty sure that the information itself is accurate.

            As for Ritz and having a backstory that is free from trauma. Ritz does it sometime. But, most of the prominent players have some problem one way or another lol.

          • Alex says:

            Right i completely forgot about "Teru's playstyle is completely different"

            I swear we have been waiting longer for Saki to meet Teru than Saki has

          • nightsentinel09 says:

            If Ritz has her way with her plan on the World Cup, we will literally grow old reading this manga. ^^

            Joking aside, from the tone of Ritz blog post, the Saki series seems to be something that is near to her heart. I think it would not be out of the possibility that this series is going be Ritz life work. One which she pours everything into.

      • Aaron says:

        From chapter 155 the reporter confirmed that Teru left around Nagano half-way during her 5th year of elementary school. From this we can confirm it has been around a shocking 6 years since they split up. What would be interesting to discover is when the event that really soured their relationship; before they split up or in the six years? From the wiki, " One day, she went to see her sister in Tokyo in order to talk to her, but was only rebuffed by her older sister who became cold and distant. This encounter with her sister crushed Saki." Does this indicate that Saki felt that for their relationship to shatter was out of the blue and unwarranted? I wonder if Saki had visited Teru before this encounter and had done something to upset her?

        • nightsentinel09 says:

          This is a very hard question to answer. Since from the recent flashback, it doesn't look like Teru hated Saki. So we can say that from that point which is Teru's highschool freshman, the siblings relationship isn't soured. The least complicated theory meant something happened on Teru's highschool days (Saki's middleschool era) to sour it. So somewhere between Saki's visit and this flashback.

          On the other hand, despite present!Teru's "I have no sister" spiel and her cold attitude toward Saki when they met, present!Teru appears to be more conflicted than anything else. If you've read the post, I'm leaning on Teru pretending to hate Saki for some *reason*. Its a bit veering into conspiracy theory but I feel like there is something rotten in the state of Norway. Though, if you subscribe to this theory we have no idea when the rift occurs since there is no shift in Teru's attitude to mark when – it could be on the fire, due to goldfish or perhaps something which happened after the split. Who knows?

          • Aaron says:

            I think that the mom is quite suspicious in her influence in the situation. While we have not seen her nor know her ideology, I think we can judge her by her actions. She chose to leave the dad and separate the children despite knowing that it would bring harm to their childhood. I wonder if there was legal disputes or family pressure in the matter. The parents are responsible for raising their kids in a toxic environment.

            I wonder if mom knew of or was causing the distance between the siblings yet may or may not have tried to fix the situation or made it worse. At least the dad let Saki go visit (or she sneaked there without permission) while the mom may have kept Teru away from Saki. What are mom's and Saki feelings toward one another?

            I find it quite ironic that mom's name is Ai (爱 love) yet there developed a big problem in the household. Knowing Ritz, she'll probably throw a curve ball. Evil Step-mother? Evil mom replacement? Brainwashing? Pretty suspicious looking at Shinohayu.

          • nightsentinel09 says:

            Yes. Currently, Ai Arctander is very suspicious in-story. It doesn't help that Nishida brought up the option that the person who is Teru's Mom right now doesn't look like she could be "Ai Arctander". It also doesn't help that Saki DOESN'T MENTION HER MOM AT ALL when she talked about the situation with Teru. While there could be innocent reasons for that like Saki having a tunnel vision regarding Teru, there are also less innocent ones. And considering the confirmation of brainwashing on Shinohayu, I'm more willing to entertain some outlandish theories in this series.

            Also, another suspicious individual is Grandma Arctander. Considering that the house burnt down the moment that day after she visited.

            And I'm glad you brought the etymology of the name up. Considering the naming pattern of Saki (bloom), Teru (shine) and now Ai (love). I'm pretty sure that the name Ai is going to pretty significant in terms of characterization and probably related to her mahjong powers as well. And yeah, there is irony in that name but then again I've always thought that there is a subtle irony in all of the Miyanaga name.

            Huh inspiration, I'll probably make a post about it sometime this week.

          • Aaron says:

            Parents making 6 year old Saki cry playing mahjong. That's some poor parenting right there. 🙁
            Pretty hard to imagine only Saki kicking their asses with frequent yakumans was enough to make them yell at her for winning. Must mean that family problems already pretty bad at that time. 🙁
            They should have been already married at least 8 years considering the age of their children. Makes me wonder what could break apart such a marriage.

            Wish that we can can more information on the Dad. There should be something special about him that made a popular pro mahjong player fall in love with him.

          • nightsentinel09 says:

            We kinda don't know much. Saki's Dad doesn't look like much. On the other hand, its not like appearance matter much when thinking about mahjong skills. Saki also doesn't look intimidating.

          • Aaron says:

            Also regarding the dad's name 界, 世界 (Sekai, the world, Shìjiè in mandarin). In chinese 界, means something like a sector, boundary, especially combined in a phrase.

          • nightsentinel09 says:

            界 かい
            According to Jisho, this meant
            1. Kingdom (in biological terms)
            2. erathem ( corresponding to the era it was deposited)
            3. Partition of land
            You can also use it as suffix which would give it the meaning
            4. world of *something*

            If Kai Miyanaga isn't more than he look like. The way that his name as written might just imply that he's a part or head of the Miyanaga family since its written as the Kingdom used in biology. If its important and its related to an ability, I wonder if its related to classifying things, sort of a boundary probably?

  2. Fragment off says:

    There is something else that is fishy,if no one was hurt, why is there some one being brought away in a stretcher with a drip in Saki's flashback.
    It could be from an other time but then When? And who is on that stretcher ?

    • nightsentinel09 says:

      If we take the old lady on face value that no one is hurt in the fire. Then, there is another unknown incident wherein someone did get hurt. As for who and when? If our final timeline isn't off, it could be BEFORE THE FIRE and its the hypothetical goldfish incident or it could be AFTER THE FIRE and said incident is the direct cause of the bad relationship between Saki and Teru.

  3. Habanero says:

    I thought the reporter lady showed obasan Ai's picture on her phone, and she confirmed it was Ai-chan? So, how can Teru's mother not look like Ai? Other than that, fairly insightful post.

    • nightsentinel09 says:

      Sorry about the late reply. Your message got flagged as spam and didn't notice it. T_T
      But, yeah. You're right that is fairly fishy. So either we have a case of evil twin sister here for the Miyanaga mother (which would frankly not surprise me) or Ai-chan changed her looks naturally or unnaturally.

      • Habanero says:

        *It's okay :D*

        But anyway, what I meant before was that, unless I've missed something in the manga, how can you say that Teru and Saki's mom does not look like Ai Arctandar, when Arctandar's appearance hasn't actually been shown? I mean, other than a black silhouette in the image from the manga above, we the readers do not actually know what Arctandar physically looks like, so we can't actually say their mother does not look like this mysterious pro player Ai Arctandar. Also, keep in mind, the photo the reporter lady shows obasan is of Ai in her "mahjong-player-form" and yet was easily recognizable to obasan and so that form and her "mother" form can't be that much different. She was just a lot younger in her mahjong-playing days, and may have ooked a little different is all.

        • nightsentinel09 says:

          Ah. So that's what you mean.

          While present! "Ai Arctander" or Teru's Mom hasn't been implicitly shown, the reporter – Nishida – thought bubble makes it clear that she doesn't think that Ai Arctander – the past pro can be the same person. I also assume that Nishida has seen current Teru's Mom or at least a photo since Teru is somewhat famous for being the reigning champion of Highschool Japanese Mahjong to have the basis of comparison.

          The photo that Nishida showed is Ai Arctandar in her past pro days This is not outright stated but heavily implied in the chapter. Note that Nishida said "Arctandar", the one Ai supposedly used in the pro-circuit to denote this. Considering that Nishida doesn't think Teru's Mom could look like "Ai Arctandar", the confirmation that past!Ai-chan(who grandma knew as Teru and Saki's Mom) is Ai Arctandar is shocking.

          And yeah, I know that appearance can change when aging. But, there are still some congruity involved. And Nishida's confusion make it seems that current Teru's Mom appearance is far from Ai Arctandar.

          Meta-wise, this chapter is made to seed suspicion on the Miyanaga family. Though, whether this is red herring or a sign that is something is foul in Norway (probably a plot hook to the World Mahjong Stage that Ritz is planning on) is yet to be seen.

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