I’ve had this theory for quite sometime now. I’m just saving it here for posterity.
For those who are wondering what this is about, this will contain spoiler for Side-B Quarterfinals Block C so those who want to watch Saki Season 2 with unspoiled eyes; stay away from this post.
Remember, Saki said that she started the round by using the mental trick that Hisa taught her back in the first chapter. So this would be the beginning score :
Saki : 25,000 – 24,000 = 1000
Kyouko : 25,000 + 8,000 = 33,000
Kasumi :25,000 + 8,000 = 33,0000
Toyone: 25,000 + 8,000 = 33,000
East 1st round
Kyouko accidentally stopped Saki’s kan. Kyouko called something allowing Kasumi to get the tile Saki needs and since Kasumi is a really good defender she kept it. Anyway the round ends with Kyouko ronning Toyone. Thus the score for this is:
Saki : 1,000
Kyouko : 33,000 + 3,900 = 36,900
Kasumi : 33,000
Toyone: 33,000 – 3,900 = 29,100
East 2nd round
This round ends with Kyouko doing another quick tsumo. (2,000/1000) . Saki looks a bit surprised but she should be, in her perspective she is at zero points.
Saki : 1,000 – 1,000 = 0
Kyouko : 36,900 + 4,000 = 40,900
Kasumi : 33,000 – 1,000 = 32,000
Toyone : 29,100 – 2,000 = 27,100
East 3rd round
I think Saki is still a bit shaken in this round, remember from her perspective she is exactly at zero points. Unfortunately, this is Saki’s dealership and she got hit by a ron. Ouch. And consequently if we follow her perspective, she is also below zero. Double ouch. Notably, it was Kyouko who did this by directly hitting Saki.
Saki : 0 – 2,600 = -2,600
Kyouko : 40,900 + 2,600 = 43,500
Kasumi : 32,000
I hypothesize that this is the time wherein Saki decides to switch out of Hisa’s mental trick and go for the easier and more comfortable (for her, anyway) +/-zero route. If you check the manga page, we get Toyone and Kasumi’s reaction to this win which is in the variation of easy going comments about how Kyouko seems to be rushing her win. Saki doesn’t have any comment and now we know why.
East 4th round (Saki is already in the +/-zero mode)
This is Kyouko’s dealership. She is once again rushing to get a quick win. But, the moment she did a riichi, Saki called a kan on Kyouko’s discards and won.
Rinshan Kaihou for 8,000 points + 1,000 for the riichi stick. That was some quick revenge – she got all the points she lost and more. 😀
I am not surprised that Hisa’s mental trick didn’t work. In this match. that trick is more like a mental handicap. The reason why this worked in the early episode was because Saki has no idea there was a trick involved. She really thought that it was the situation back then, not so much here, where she is essentially trying to trick herself and probably causing cognition dissonance/ unnecessary mental stress on herself at the process.
To give you guys a rough idea of what Saki is trying to accomplish. A comparable analogy using a fighting game would be trying to do fight your opponents without getting hit even once and then trying to finish with a predetermined exact score. That’s is to say almost impossible to accomplish even if your opponents are total mooks.
At least, Saki realized the futility of it here. She dropped the condition of not getting hit. On the other hand, we know she still finished with the exact score she wants while still winning in the process. Against powerful opponents at that. Oh wait, I forgot she also has socks on at this match. What does that translates to, tying her hand behind her back? Lol! Mahjong is fun! But, you guys already know that.
Credits go for Felyndiira for the pics with comments.
Anyway, stay tuned for Part 2 where I will continue to analyze the Quarterfinal Side-B match.