Saki Zenkoku 9 – Captain Match

Before we begin, I want you to know that I’m going to hold back on commenting on the mahjong of this match due to the spoilery nature of it. To those who wish for more of it. Go here. Be careful of spoilers though.

I’ll -probably just comment on the BGM. Though I will put spoiler text on new observations due to the anime presentation of event so there is that.

Anyway, we now go to the climax of the quarterfinals.

Introducing the contestants.

Toyone of Miyamori.

When I first heard her, I’ve always thought that voice doesn’t fit. It should be deeper. Now, I understand that high pitched voice was supposed to make her creepier. Its kinda like looking at mini-Alucard, then hearing a high pitched girly voice. The dissonance moves her into uncanny-ville.



Kasumi of Eisui!

She was mostly seen being motherly and taking care of Jindai during previous matches. Now, she will go center stage. It is interesting to note here what Kasumi said here. “This time, I’ll also… I’ll be counting on you when I do.” 

Its quite an odd phrase, especially coming from a person playing at the captain position. Because there is no one who will play after them,  the last player cannot count on anyone.  Also the sentence structure is weird. Its as if we are hearing a one sided conversation. ^^


As mentioned this is her first match in the Nationals. She looks ready and determined to go. And lol, that Saki-Nodoka moment. Nodoka’s crush is really apparent.

And now, Kyouko of team Himematsu! We have seen her in several flashback giving tips and strategy to her teammates.

And some interesting tidbits. While Hiroe never enters the match considering she will lose (With the way she acted in her match, I can definitely believe that), Kyouko is the opposite and always consider the possibility that she will no matter how much of a loser her opponent is.

And Kinue, definitely have a sister complex.

Extraneous note: Kyouko is short. I never really noticed it. But, with Kinue towering over her, I have a feeling that Saki is taller than her.


Did I mention I like the BGM for this sequences? Well, now I will. The intermittent drum roll really managed preserve the tension even if its just mostly introducing the participants.

It also really drives home, that yes, its finally the taisho match.

On an unrelated note, is it just me or Saki has a tendency to arrive late to her matches? That is interesting for me because the one time we saw Teru in her match, she arrived first, well before the other players.

1st Hanchan  East Round 1

The anime made it obvious that Saki wants to kan. But, was hindered due to Kyouko’s pon. That changed the drawing order resulting in Kasumi keeping the 3 of bamboo.

Considering, Kyouko’s starting hand. The fact that pon was to develop it. I believe that the Kyouko (a self-confessed normal) did not mean to stop Saki’s kan. The fact that she changed the drawing order and stopped Saki’s probable rinshan was an accident. This is also supported by her behavior in the next rounds. Kyouko is aiming for fast hands. A safe and solid tactic considering she’s ahead.

… I have no idea if Saki thinks it was an accident though. (Considering her “optimistic” opinion of her opponent’s capabilities.) ^^

The fact that Kasumi kept the three of bamboo is probably intentional. This is supported by her thoughts. It was implied that she knew that Saki needs it. Probably because of Saki’s dismayed reaction or some supernatural sense (She is a miko).

And the fact that her starting hand suggest that it would be better if she did not keep it. Yeah there are the possible sets of 1-2-3 or 2-3-4 there. But, there is already an open pon of the three of bamboo. If I were her, I would focus on building sets for the circles. The fact that she declined on doing so speaks volume…

Yeah she knew.

Kyouko is on the roll!

The BGM here is the well known “Attouteki na Chikara wo Mokuzen Toshite” or “Overwhelming Power Comes” in English. Quite interesting.

Spoiler:Not on Kyouko’s pov, but on Saki’s pov. Remember that Saki was trying to imagine this match as if she has 1,000 points and get +/- zero from there. But, due to the prevention of her kan on the first round, she is probably contemplating if it was a good idea. And then you have this BGM play in this sequence. Subtle producers subtle^^.

Saki putting a stop to Kyouko’s streak. She wiped Kyouko’s gains in that one daiminkan. The BGM for this one hand is also nice, its Akama ka Kami ka or Devil or God? The producers of the anime have an odd sense of humor .^^

Spoiler:As you can see, Saki rinshans for just enough point to hit her sweet spot. Plus minus zero. I guess that answers that BGM’s question. ^^ 

From here on out, the BGM changes again, Bet, this is Toyone’s leitmotif. It suits her. Nothing much to say here except if you look at Kyouko’s hands, you will notice that they have no yaku hand so she really have to riichi if she wants to continue her fast winning. More than that, her hand has pretty good waits. So this makes things a bit excusable. Though she really should have stopped when she was directly hit for the third time.

I suppose this also shows one of Kyouko’s traits,she relies on “past history” much more than “field information”. After all, Toyone haven’t been doing something like that in the past. Why should she now?

That and she’s a tiny bit stubborn.

Anyway that ends the first hanchan of the captain match.

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4 Responses to Saki Zenkoku 9 – Captain Match

  1. Katreus says:

    I've been rewatching the episode / rereading the manga for this part. Kyouko tried to riichi 5 times this match. It's funny to me because she got hit every time – the 1st doesn't pass because Saki uses it for a daiminkan and the other 4 are chased.

    Saki was a bit vindictive (for her) this match, what with the immediate point wiping of Himematsu's gain followed by an immediate hitback again after Eisui's tsumo. I think you're right that Saki set Kyouko up for her last two riichis. It's the only two riichis where Saki has no comment and it ensures that she keeps her 5500 while also decreasing the point gap from last to first (41900 at the start; 14900 at 1st hanchan end) and gap to 1st (28000 at start balloons to 42100 followed by Saki crit hitting Kyouko to drop to 24100 and then a steady dropping to a bare 900 at the end).

    I don't, however, think that Saki was testing Miyamori's power because I think both she and Eisui figured it out by the 2nd riichi chase. Eisui knows for sure because she explains it then in the anime/manga and I can't imagine Saki not being able to figure it out if Eisui did. While I don't think that Kyouko helped herself with her insistence on testing it (she had the idea after the 3rd), if Saki were nudging the flow to ensure yaku-less hands for Kyouko, Kyouko certainly wasn't helped by other factors!

    It's almost like Saki was a bit put out with Kyouko. (So … we could say Saki tempted Kyouko successfully and was the Devil of the 1st hanchan?) :p

    • Yeah. I think Saki knew that Miyamori's power after the second time Toyone used it. And yeah, Saki may or may not be a bit put out with Kyouko there. lol ^^

      Still, Saki's mood aside, letting Miyamori drain Himematsu is the right choice logically and for her "strategy".

  2. EY says:

    Whenever you see Saki being serious like in that screenshot after hitting Himematsu with the sekinin barai penalty, she looks just like Teru. A devil indeed!

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