Episode 4 – East Wind

I must be the only person happy that Saki gets a break this week, lol. If only because I need to catch up on my blogging. ^^

We begin this episode with a small sneak peak on Himematsu’s strategy session. They were discussing their strategy for the vanguard match and to our surprise their strategist were wary of Yuuki!

That’s a surprise. To both the team and the watchers of the anime. Sometimes, it is quite easy to dismiss Yuuki as the comic relief but this match reminds us that she’s an awesome player on her own right.

The individuals day 1 of the first season gives us enough proof that at East round Yuuki is unmatched by other players in Nagano on point gain. Though, this of course is probably barring Saki who wasn’t trying on this tournament and Koromo who isn’t in the tournament. And I suppose, I should add Cold! Touka on the list as well.

Still, I feel even with those three out of the way. What Yuuki did was a tremendous accomplishment and I’m glad she’s getting acknowledged for it. Just look at the score difference.

1. Kataoka Yuuki – 436 points 

2. Mihoko Fukuji – 298 points 

Quite a big gap isn’t it? A full 138 points from the Individual Champion of Nagano.

Though, the anime also helpfully reminds us that Yuuki even with the boost on East rounds isn’t invincible. She won 14 out of 20 matches.Meaning she lost 6 matches.

Still, I must reiterate, the fact that she got a whooping 400 points even with those losses, highlights  her ridiculous point gathering abilities.

And now is the time to display those abilities!

Dealer Riichi on the third turn!

Yikes!

Yuuki is scary when she’s on a roll. lol

The response of her opponents to this is very interesting.

Jindai discarded the eight of characters. If you guys noticed Yuuki also has that same tile on her discard pool. Thus, the conclusion that Suzu has drawn was Jindai is in the process of bailing. Which truthfully is the proper course of action when faced with a dealer’s richii.

Still a bit of letdown for the much hyped National Class Monster. Until, you look closely at Suzu’s hand.

Quite curious. Especially in regards to Jindai’s discard and purpose.

Take note. Suzu has the two 8  of characters. She also have the 6,7 and 9.

Suzu could easily call a pon and chi on Jindai’s 8 of characters. 

Lol. I think Suzu missed the call there. No wonder Shiro sighed. ^^

Also explains Shiro’s lines,  when her turn came. “I’m tired. How about this?” [Translation: Sigh. The other player missed the call. Now I have to do something] And proceeded to discard the five of bamboo to help Jindai change the drawing order.

Suzu finally got a clue when she got the two of circles. that was supposed to belong to Yuuki without the change in order.  And Yuuki’s winning hand…

A mangan (4,000 all ) for a total of 12,000 points total. But, as Suzu has surmised without the call, Yuuki should rightfully have a baiman (8,000 all).

Its also worth noting the reaction before Yuuki even drew her tile.

Jindai closed her eyes as if admitting defeat for this hand.And Shiro slouched more on her chair.

Yeah. The anime is subtly telling us that this two have some supernatural sense. ^^

 

 

Suzu on the other hand is feeling a bit overwhelmed. Already imagining, her forehead getting branded by the “shame” kanji. After all, its her job to keep the gap between the top place and them to 30,000 points and it looked like it is going to be more than difficult ^^. 

Himematsu’s strategy for the vanguard is interesting to say the least. Considering that the vanguard’s job is to bank points for the team, expecting an automatic point deficit is very counterproductive.

But, as revealed in Episode 5 it is not without some thought. Suzu has an ability. She has some sort of “explosion streak”  wherein it is not rare for her to have 60,000 points and above. <whistles>

And this has a higher chance of triggering the stronger the opponent is. 

And guess what the vanguard match is? Where most teams put their aces guaranteeing strong players which would of course increases the probability of Suzu triggering.

Of course, Himematsu and Kyouko, who I’m assuming is the strategist of the team do know that there is also a chance wherein it won’t trigger hence the ballpark of points that they’re prepared to lose. ^^

Anyway, while Suzu is inwardly panicking.  Yuuki is reflecting on her improvement from the training camp. Normally, all it took to distract and disrupt her is for someone to call tiles. Now, even calling won’t disrupt her.

… Okay, won’t disrupt her completely. She still wins and that’s what counts. ^^

Koromo’s advice is a lol.

Just end the match on East round. 

Good advice. Even if  lacking in perspective. Not everyone is  a National Class Monster, you cute kodomo! ^^

 

East Hand 1 Bonus Round 1 

Good starting hand.

And normally, I won’t fault Suzu for trying to get a fast win to stop Yuuki’s dealer streak. But, really. She should have not relied on data that much especially when Yuuki is being very obvious and telegraphing to anyone that can read a little of body language that she is in tenpai.

See here:

Yuuki really need to work on hiding her facial expressions.  ^^

Though she might have not noticed since “Yuuki always calls riichi whenever she can according to records“. Fortunately, Yuuki got cured of that. ^^

Back on Kiyosumi’s restroom….

Nodoka is surprisingly tsundere about Yuuki. But, then again, Nodoka seemed to be quite the stern type toward her friends. (See: Maho, Achiga girls, etc).

East 1 Bonus Round 3

We get a bit of info about Shiro next turn.

“Whenever she hesitates, her hand becomes expensive.” 

Pretty simplified. But, quite an apt description of her power if a tad incomplete

Unfortunately, before we can explore Shiro’s ability. Jindai decided to wake up.


 The sequence here is quite funny.

Jindai said that she was sorry that she fell asleep, she will try her best from now on. lol

Her opponents understandably have %?! reaction to that. As noted earlier, Jindai is being too quiet. Her opponents probably interpreted that they’re going to see Jindai moving soon.

But, spectators with highly tuned senses like Kainou-pro and heck Saki here feels that something is off. It feels that a power is fading away than growing stronger. 

And speaking of things to work on, Saki needs to work on communicating what she feels to her friends.Not only in the personal sense but what she observes in the game. Even if it sounds like illogical meaningless babbles, it would be really helpful.

…. Remembers upcoming game.

… Ok. Maybe not…. ^^

Back in the game, everyone is apprehensive.

I did take note of Yuuki’s comment here. On the normal manga run, I was also trolled into thinking that Jindai was about to unleash her powers. And after I got the explanation on why, I thought that this was the competitors also reading too much on Jindai’s statement and getting the wrong conclusion.

Yuuki’s sensing statements sounds odd though.

… Until you guys realized that out of the monsters, she’s comparing Jindai to Saki, and not Koromo. Saki who’s presence is out of whack with what she could do at the table.  Yeah, I can believe that Saki gets more dangerous if her presence seems to disaapear <winks> ^^

Anyway back to the game:

Yuuki’s hand.

A probable mangan waiting for four of bamboo, seven of bamboo and eight of bamboo.

 


Shiro on the other hand is waiting for the three of bamboo, six of bamboo and the nine of bamboo. 

At this point, your probably wondering. Wow that’s a lot of bamboo.

Guess who is hoarding them?

Damn that sucks.

Yuuki’s only wait that isn’t on her opponent’s hand is the eight of bamboo. And there is only copy that is unaccounted for.

Shiro is marginally better with the nine of bamboo, I believe there are two copies unaccounted for.

This will be a bad situation to be stuck into for those two. If Jindai was playing with her God mode that is. ^^

(Though truthfully its still bad, since Jindai is unlikely to discard anything that is a set which her bamboos are; unless she’s a really bad player when not possessed.)

Luckily for Suzu, luck seemed to be on her side. She got the only non-bamboo wait. A two of circles, a five of circles and eight of circles. I suppose this is a way of reminding us that if one player is stopped it doesn’t mean it will benefit the strongest.

 

 

And speaking of confidence. Eisui has it in spades. Hopefully they can back it up. Saying that they’ll be okay even with 90,000 point difference.

And Miyamori isn’t lacking on it either. lol

 

 

And now, we move on to East Hand 2. Dealer streaks really makes a match long, doesn’t it?

Now this is interesting. Shiro’s ability is connected to the legend of “Mayoiga”. Which is a nice treat since it isn’t on the manga. In fact, I was so interested, I researched it a bit. ^^

Here is a copy of the legend.

(Not made or translated by me – All credits go to this blog which seemed to be a collection of japanese folk tales) ^^

Anyway here it is “Legend of the House of the Lost” 

Mr. Miura of Oguni is the richest man in the village. 

小国(をぐに)の三浦某といふは村一番の金持なり。

Two or three generations earlier, the household was poor and the master’s wife rather stupid.
今より二、三代前の主人、未だ家は貧しくして、妻は少しく魯鈍(ろどん)なりき。


One day the wife went gathering butterbur along the small stream that flowed in front of the gate.
この妻ある日門の前を流るる小さき川に沿ひて蕗(ふき)を採りに入りしに、


Because there were not many good plants there, she gradually went back deeper into the valley.
よき物少なければしだいに谷奥深く登りたり。


All of a sudden she looked up, and there was a house with a fine black gate.
さてふと見れば立派なる黒き門の家あり。


She entered the gate hesitantly.
いぶかしけれど門の中に入りて見るに、


She saw a large garden with red and white flowers blooming and many hens running about.
大なる庭にて紅白の花一面に咲き鶏多く遊べり。


In the back of the garden there was a shed with many cows and a stable with many horses. There were no people anywhere.
牛小屋ありて牛多くをり、馬舎ありて馬多くをれども、いつかうに人はをらず。

Finally she entered the house through the main entrance.
つひに玄関より上りたるに、


In the adjoining room she found many red and black serving trays and bowls.
その次の間には朱と黒との膳椀をあまた取り出したり。


A charcoal brazier and a tea kettle, with the water boiling briskly, could be seen in the inner room. Nevertheless, there was not a trace of anyone.
奥の座敷には火鉢ありて鉄瓶(てつびん)の湯のたぎれるを見たり。されどつひに人影はなければ、


Suddenly she became frightened. Thinking that this might be the home of a mountain man she ran off and returned home. もしや山男の家ではないかと急に恐ろしくなり、掛けだして家に帰りたり。


She told people about what she had seen, but no one would believe it.
この事を人に語れども実(まこと)と思ふ者もなかりしが、

Again, another day while she was washing things at the bank of the stream in front of the gate, a red bowl came floating down from up-stream.
またある日わが家のカドに出でて物を洗ひてありしに、川上より赤き椀一つ流れて来たり。


Because it was so beautiful she lifted it out of the water.
あまり美しければ拾ひ上げたれど、


Since she thought she would be scolded if she used this unclean bowl as tableware she put into the grain box and used it to measure rice.
これを食器に用ゐたらば汚しと人に叱られんかと思ひ、ケセネギツの中に置きてケセネを量る器となしたり。


As soon as she began to measure grain with this bowl, the grain never decrease in volume.
しかるにこの器にて量り始めてより、いつまで経ちてもケセネ尽きず。


The family thought this phenomenon strange, and when they asked her the reason, she told them for the first time how she picked the bowl out of the stream.
家の者もこれを怪しみて女に問ひたるとき、始めて川より拾い上げし由をば語りぬ。


From then on the household had good fortune and it became the Miura household of today.
この家はこれより幸福に向かひ、つひに今の三浦家となれり。

In Tono a strange house in the mountain is called a mayoi-ga (a house hound when one loses his way).  遠野にては山中の不思議なる家をマヨヒガといふ。

Anyone who finds a mayoi-ga is to take anything he likes from among the household objects and domestic animals. 
マヨヒガに行き当たりたる者は、必ずその家の内の什器家畜何にてもあれ持ち出でて来るべきものなり。


The house is shown to the person only in order to give him fortune.
その人に授けんがためにかかる家をば見するなり。

It is believe that because the woman was not greedy and did not steal anything from the house, the bowl came floating to her of its own accord.
女が無欲にて何物をも盗み来ざりしがゆゑに、この椀みづから流れ来たりしなるべしといへり。

Tale #63, from “Tono Monogatari (The Legends of Tono)”.

Nice huh? Anyway, tune in for next episode review. Where we are going to watch the Mako smackdown!

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Episode 3.3 – First Impressions

And now flashback time is over. Time to get on with the mahjong.

Btw, wow on the guy announcer. He sounds  GAR. ^^

We begin by Hiroe calling a kan and failing to get a rinshan kaihou. lol. (Subtle reminder that despite Saki making it look easy, Rinshan is a really really rare yaku.)

Anyway, we were given some background information on the match. Namely the scores:

Karouta High School : 168,800

Himematsu High School : 111,300

Hida Business School : 47,900

Kuratsuki High School : 71, 000

When I first saw this,  I was taken aback. I expected Himematsu who was being touted as the top school to be leading. And yet, they were down by 57,500 points.

This coupled with the announcer’s helpful exposition. That Karouta High School gained those points at the vanguard match already hints that the vanguard of Himematsu is less stellar.

The dealer (Hida High school) has called a riichi. Thus, the situation demands some caution.

Pretty nice hand.

She just needs to discard the nine of bamboo and she’ll get an expensive hand. To those who want to know, her yaku is menzen tsumo, honitsu and yakuhai for a total of 5 han. She’s ridiculously lucky with the dora as well. Beside the obvious red five of bamboo on her hand. A brief glimpse of the table shows that the the eight of bamboo (which she has three) and red dragon (she has two). Thus, at the minimum her hand should net her a a sanbaiman (6,000/12,000 points).

She’s also waiting on a white dragon or a red dragon. Which are pretty good waits in my experience. People usually drop honor tiles after all. ^^

All in all. The reward for going for her hand and dropping the nine of bamboo is high.

As for the risks. If you look at the dealer’s discard pictured above. The nine of bamboo is in her discard pool meaning its safe.

The only problem is Himematsu. But, you could see in Hiroe’s discard pile, the eight of bamboo. Usually this is an indicator that the nine of bamboo is safe as the sequence 7-8-9 is out. Though, there is still toitoi (2 han)  and open chanta (1 han).

Really. Even as I look around this. I see that discarding the nine of bamboo is the right choice. Ichigo played well.

No one expects a freaking yakuman.

Chinroutou (A hand composed entirely of terminal tiles) 

I swear Hiroe is really brilliant here.

That rinshan bluff. (Unless, you’re  name is Saki) You simply do not call a rinshan on a yakuman hand. Kan will open doras but due to the fact you have the highest possible hand, it can only benefit your opponents.

Thus, her rinshan declaration at the start was really a bluff/bait. Remember, to her opponent eyes Hiroe’s open pon shows that there are only three yakus she could reasonably aim for toitoi, chanta and chinrouto. 

With her Rinshan, Hiroe managed to mentally eliminate chinrouto (the yaku that she was aiming for) in the equation. You just have to listen to Ichigo’s monologue to see how effective it is. Ichigo did not even consider chinrouto. After all, not only is it a rare hand, Hiroe called a kan and no one does that when they have a yakuman. Even further, Ichigo thought that Hiroe might not be in tenpai. Remember calling kan recklessly can wreck a hand as shown ala Maho in the trainng camp. ^^

 

We get some characterization for Hiroe at the end of it.

For one, Hiroe… let’s just say that she isn’t lacking in confidence. ^^

I do like her teammates response to her antics. They just nod and says welcome back. lol. Sounds like they’re pretty used to their captain eccentricities.

And I guess, my guess that Suzu dropped the ball on the vanguard match was right. As you can see by the writing on her forehead. ^^

We also get some update on Kiyosumi.

“Nagano is amazing” 

“The dealer is on a renchan streak with crazy wins.”

It seemed like they’re doing really well. ^^

Eisui is also watching Kiyosumi’s matches.

… I am now insanely curious of what shenanigans the first three player of Kiyosumi  namely – Hisa, Mako and Yuuki- were up to in their first interhigh match. Two of their rivals schools are watching them play.  Okay, it may be because they will be their opponents but this is a live match. Shouldn’t Eisui be concerned about Himematsu first?

Of course judging by Eisui’s ensuing conversation. They might be concerned about the school that beat Ryuumonbuuchi. ^^

Especially Amae Koromo. As a recent poster has reminded me, its a bit ridiculous that she managed to put two schools down to zero on her opening match. And then put three schools meaning all her opponents in negative points on the second. Then, you factor that she did this without the full moon. Yeah… Koromo is a pretty badass moon rabbit. ^^

 

Komaki really shined in her scene here. There is this aura of quiet nobility around her.

Jindai: Even if another region has twenty school, that means they won just as many games as the team we played at the Kagoshima finals. And among those three finals schools in the prefecture tournament, were there any we could afford to underestimate?

Pretty quotable too.

 

 

 

Anyway, while this te-a-te is happening, Hisa is being badass. And managed to unleash a haneman on the sixth bonus turn. Putting a school below to zero. And of course, ending the match.

.I must say that is a pretty bold and eye-catching opening match. Kiyosumi just managed to win their first round in the Interhigh without needing Nodoka and Saki. ^^

 

Hiroe’s reaction here is pretty interesting as well.

Hiroe: Now this is interesting. I’m going to have to teach them a lesson.

It says quite a lot about Hiroe’s personality. The first is her boundless confidence. And the other is well… Hiroe is quite a trash talker. ^^

Its really quite a contrast to Komaki Jindai’s quiet dignity.

Jindai: Let us meet all of our opponents with respect.

Stark difference isn’t it? ^^

 

 

 

Fast forward a little. And we are now on Day 5. Side A Quarter finals are starting. And Kiyosumi is watching Shiraitodai’s match specifically Takami’s.

It also means they are not watching the Achiga and Senriyama showdown that happened at the same time.

You know… I wonder about the comments. Yuuki and Kana mentioned all the other schools that are fighting Shiraitodai and said they are good. There is a conspicuous absence of Shiraitodai on their comment…

 

 

 

Notice that Saki didn’t watch the match. She’s really avoiding Teru. Even cable version of Teru. ^^

Saki looked a bit melancholy in this shot…

 

 

 

 

And Yuuki is really learning her lessons. Take note: she ate Tacos in the waiting room. In the prefectural tournament she took them in the match room which caused it to get eaten by Jun. ^^


Notice the commentators billing of this match. “The compelling match-up of Eisui High School and Himematsu High School.” 

Most probably think the same. That the match would be a showdown between the two schools. Consequently, the two winner is already decided in their mind as well. And the commentator for the match is a surprise as well.

Kainou-pro. 

Interesting choice for the quarterfinals. Though quite worrying considering what will happen next.

But, enough about that.

More factoid. Kainou-pro alma mater is Oujou High School. I took the liberty of checking the tournament brackets for you guys and the team that they lost to.

Remember them?


That’s right. The Tea ceremony/Mahjong club. ^^

Anyway, time to introduce the competitors.


First is of course, Jindai Komaki.

… I’ve gotta say. There is something weird about the bridge there. I know its Shinto maiden thingy but its weird. Why is there something like the in the tournament venue? lol Either Jindai’s family spruce it up (their probably rich enough) or its some sort of prayer room in the tournament, that was probably given since well… Eisui team are shinto maidens.

 

 

Shiro from Miyamori.

Another unknown school like Kiyosumi.

My first impression. Lazy. ^^

 

 

Next is Suzu from Himematsu.

According to the announcer, she used to be the vice-captain but now she is playing the vanguard. Quite a position change. And harder on Suzu in general. The vice-captain is usually easier than the vanguard round right now. The current school of thought is putting your ace as the opening.

 

 

 

And of course, Yuuki!

Notice the cape!

Looking pretty heroic and powerful there, Yuuki!


Exhibit A: Media in Saki-verse are idiots. Take everything especially if it isn’t a pro commentator with a grain of salt.

Just kidding. ^^

To be honest, its probably expected. Though, the amazing performance of Kiyosumi in Nagano leaves no doubt to their strength to those who watched it. I don’t think the media is one of the watchers. After all, there are like 52 simultaneous qualifying tournaments going on. And Nagano being small and less famous is probably not the most covered prefecture.

Thus, Kiyosumi’s fame is probably exclusive in Nagano. And that’s true, we could see they have a lot of fans in the previous part of the episode.

The small memo does show that someone took note of them. Just not the current field reporters. sigh…

Yuuki is understandably upset. Saying that Nagano’s level went down meant that the reporters are looking down on them. Her team and her new friends from the training camp.

… And its something that she can’t allow.

Meta-wise, its also a very absurd statement. Nagano prefecture is a hell hole. The difficulty level there is just insane. Half of the National teams if they decided to transfer in Nagano won’t make it to the final round.

Just remember that Achiga. A team which effortlessly breezed through their prefecture. Which made it to the final round of the interhigh, can’t beat Ryuumonbuuchi. And if anime sequence is right. They also lost to the top tier players of Nagano when they practiced.

So Yuuki! Fighto! Show those stupid reporters whos the boss!

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