Oohoshi Awai – Powering the Fading Supernova

Oohoshi Awai has been  a great source of speculation ever since she aired. This is mostly because she has long been suspected to be the “heavy” of the upcoming match in the long awaited finals of the team tournament. The one who will function as the Koromo for Saki in the Nationals. She was to be the second coming of Teru and Saki’s Final boss.

And as we look onto Side-A’s semifinal captain match with expectant eyes. We find that our hopes were sadly betrayed.

Even as much as I love the Saki franchise. Warts and all. I find the Side-A captain match to be an unmitigated disaster.Every single captain came out worse than they went in.  I sometimes imagine that Ritz took too much pain killers in the hospital since the writing in this particular part took a sharp nosedive. But, I digress. This is about Awai.

We could only speculate what went on with Ritz mind. Perhaps, Awai wasn’t supposed to look like a moronic idiot. But, it was written and we have to deal with the fallout. Namely the perception that Awai has been sidelined for Shizu and no longer the final boss or even dangerous. And the one wherein Awai will be getting a power-up. I think there was a popular speculation about Daichisei.

To both, I say NO! NO! and NO! 

Aspersions to  Awai’s IQ level aside, which to be fair is consistent to her characterization. Awai was shown to have a pretty powerful ability. Even now, I don’t think Shizu beating Awai is set in stone. Shizu’s ability isn’t really something that will allow her to gain points. The ones who managed to damage Awai’s points is actually Ryuuka and Himeko. On the other hand, Awai’s ability by its nature allows her to get a lot of points and she can spam it as much as she wants.  If they fight again, I think the result is still in the air with the advantage on Awai. 

The other issue, Awai getting a power up for the next match. One of the popular theory that she’ll get Daichisei because stars connection.

Even though, I made a similar theory before Awai’s playstyle was introduced. Right now, I sincerely wish that this will not happen. 

For one this will be another example of one of the things that bugged me in the Side-A captain match with Shizu and Ryuuka. Awai getting Daichisei meant another spontaneous power up.  And really after examining Awai’s motiffs, its not really something that is covered by her power. Besides, objectively speaking Awai doesn’t need a power up. Her abilities should make her a monster. 

Awai is the “Fading Supernova”. All her abilities say that she is impossibly strong at the beginning but fades as the match goes on. Her 5-6 shanten gives her a headstart and she even  starts in the beginning at tenpai.  Beside that, she gets the 4 ura dora making her hand high scoring.  Taken all together, her abilities gives a very good synergy and it should rightfully make her untouchable by normal players.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. And that is because Awai used it very very stupidly.Its actually painful  for me seeing her throw the advantages she has in the captain match. And this the crux of this post. Awai doesn’t need a power up, her abilities are plenty powerful.  What she needs is tactics 101. She doesn’t even need to get smarter, all she needs is someone to point this really really simple tactic to her. 

  • First tactic: Don’t Double Riichi EVER. 

There are many who have said that one of Awai’s many mistakes is calling a riichi every single time she can. I will like to go further and say that Awai shouldn’t have called a single double riichi. In fact, she is better served by never calling it.

I admit that saying never is a strong qualifier. But, I will make this tactic as a guideline that Awai will follow if I will give her advice. The only way I can see a double riichi being feasible in her situation. is if she wants to scare or intimidate her opponents. It really doesn’t have any more benefits except perhaps looking cool.

Just think. If Awai never calls a double riichi, her defense will improve significantly since she can now discard safe tiles. Beside that, we know that even if Awai starts in tenpai; she has a no yaku starting hand. If she doesn’t call double riichi. She can  improve her hand, try to get the easier yaku like a tanyao or something depending on the  starting composition.

The han she lost in getting the double riichi can be remedied by another tactic.



  • Second tactic: If you must call a riichi, do it in the turn just before you win, 

Awai has a set pattern to her win. She always wins after she rounds the corner. Thus, if Awai calls the riichi just before she wins. She’ll be getting the same number of han that she would get if she called it at the beginning.


Double Riichi = 2 han

If Awai does this tactic she will get:

Riichi = 1 han

Ippatsu = 1 han

The same amount of han. But, using this two tactics she will also get all the possible yaku she might have from improving her hand.. Plus, her defense will not be so paper thin. ^^

As you guys can see, most of Awai’s problems is solved by this.  Seriously, it boggles my mind  why none of her teammates or her coach (if Shiraitodai has one) hasn’t mentioned this. I have a hard time time thinking that TERU of all people have not noticed this tactic. (which makes me wonder if Teru actually cares about the tournament.)

Oh well. Hopefully, someone will give Awai the heads-up just before her next match.

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12 Responses to Oohoshi Awai – Powering the Fading Supernova

  1. This is Fantasy-Magician BTW
    Agree… with EVERYTHING you said!
    Awai's biggest weakness is her double riichi, it feels like no one ever tell her riichi is 'one of many' ways to give your hand a yaku but it makes you a sitting duck -.-'
    Judging from her performance with her passive ability (before double rii) Awai does have skill in hand building so she actually didn't need to double rii as you pointed out. Not to mention as crazily strong her combo is, she could only get a Haneman and no more… and as shown in captain's match, Awai is stuck in a position where she can win with haneman but she has to get Tsumo to win, not a position where she should go for combo that would only get her a haneman at best.

    However in Saki's manga in spite of the unrealistic stuff all characters have flaws… Awai just one of them. Some characters even a smart one like Kyouko make mistakes plenty of times before she realize something is off with Toyone's pursuit riichi and Kasumi's one suit magnet…
    Awai sadly didn't try to find way to get around her opponents' ability instead of head-butting it from the front. Even when it's obvious she didn't get tenpai in the first turn, which mean something is really wrong and she 'has' to change strategy, she stubbornly stay on the same course…
    Awai's ability as you said is good enough to make her a monster class player, however it's all comes down to the user…

    At any rate… the captain match better be a good one in final!

    • Glad you liked it.
      Sorry for the late reply.

      Well, I suppose there is that. Sigh…
      Awai is not very smart. In fairness, Shizuno is also an idiot. She just had Harue to do the thinking for her in this match. Which makes me wonder why no one is coaching Shiraitodai. Teru should give useful advice at the very least. Or at least, if freaking Teru can't be bothered, Sumire should specially if we go by her motherhen persona.

      Then again, I really wonder about Shiraitodai. Their team selection method as well … Sigh…

  2. starfire says:

    Actually, in real mahjong you really should call double riichi in 99,99% of possible situation.
    Awai lose because of imba Akado, who pointed out Awai's trick beforehand to Shizu, and because, well, Shizu's ability nullified the riichis.
    (and because of the author, who purposedly made Awai dealt in a haneman and a baiman to Ryuuka)

    • Well, technically that is true though Awai's case is very different.

      . Calling Double Riichi specially when its a no yaku hand is useful since it will allow a player to win quickly. With it, you have an instant yaku and a chance to get the ura dora.

      This advantages is null in Awai's case though. Awai wins right after rounding the corner. Its part and parcel of her power. Calling double riichi at the beginning won't make her win any faster. It would just make her a sitting duck and froze any improvement her hand could have had. And she could have the ura dora still with calling riichi and kan right before the corner.

  3. thenightsshadow says:

    Now that we have the game to base on, we can unfortunately call Awai's power unfortunate.

    If she doesn't call Double Riichi at the beginning she won't ever draw her tile at the corner; it'll be one that doesn't complete her hand. Even though there's a set pattern it requires her to Double Riichi in order for it to be used. That's too bad.

  4. Aoi says:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but… isn't the double riichi required for that ability? Even if avoiding the double-rii is good tactics from a logical standpoint, Awai would be losing the chance to win at the corners. Saying that Awai should time her riichi to do an ippatsu is kind of like saying Teru should go for cheap hands on her renchan… It might seem like a sound tactic but it ignores the limitations these special abilities possess.

    • As I've said above, there is evidence that it isn't so. There was a time that due to Shizuno's ability, Awai isn't in tenpai on the first turn and thus could not declare double riichi. She still got her ability to activate anyway by declaring riichi on the subsequent turns.

      And as nightshadow have said, Awai having such a limitation is …. "unfortunate". Not only in the weakness inherent on it, but the fact that it will become an ability that sucks thinking. Awai could be replaced by a cardboard box with her ability and the result would be the same.

      It would be infinitely better for the finals and Awai's chances if she was just stupid and arrogant on the semi's than having such limitation. At least stupidity and arrogance can be cured. ^^

  5. Alex says:

    Hmm Awai would be much more dangerous in the individuals than a team tournameent

    • That could be true. Captain spot necessitate some holding back to be honest which Awai is not suited for. ^^

      If I am actually making the position. I would put Awai on the vanguard spot. While her abilities make her a good captain, her attitude certainly does not. But, then again, this switch would lead to Teru being the captain. (And I will freely admit that I might be biased on this matter. I want Saki vs. Teru, the moment that I knew Teru existed, 😀 )

      And to be fair, Teru being the captain isn't a very good use of her power. She's actually perfectly fine as a Vanguard. She functions perfectly there.

      • Alex says:

        Not quite what i meant what i mean is that part of the problem with Awai is that her power doesn't score high enough for the risk especially with the captain match somehow almost always ending up with very even points but in a match with only 25000 points a hit from Awai could be crippling

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