Sorry for my long absence but unfortunately work is quite soul sucking in the past few months that I barely have any time for myself.
In any case, I’m back and now going to start working on the Zenkoku OST series that I should have finished ages ago. And since the Saki main manga is currently focusing on Himematsu. Might as well get this one out of the way.
That said there are only three tracks in the Zenkoku Quarterfinals track that pertains to Himematsu. And two of it pertains to the team as a while, the other one “bond between sisters” is about the Atago siblings, more obviously Kinue. (But, I won’t be discussing the last one in this post since I planned to make a separate post for it. And its not really a playstyle to be honest. Not to mention a perfect excuse to talk about Saki and Teru ^^ )
Anyway, after listening to Himematsu’s two theme song, once could already see that they are very very different from the OST that we previously tackled.
Eisui is dignified, traditional but more importantly calm. Himematsu two OST is loud and energetic. Its pretty much hotblooded. I also feel that there is a bring it on vibe to the OST as well which fits their members temperaments actually.
And it it just me or the riffs in Himematsu Rockability, gives the, “bring it on!” sort of challenge.
…. Or maybe I heard too many guitar riffs contests. lol Though, the idea itself does have its merit. Just look at their notable members.
Suzu – powers up when opponent is stronger (not to mention her actions on the incoming match with Satoha)
Hiroe – uses her boast/mocks/antics in the table to trick her opponents. Also notice her comment regarding Kiyosumi at the start, “let’s give them a taste of pain.”
Finally freaking Kyouko?
You would think that as the strategist she would be immune to the burning shounen rivalry spirit, but she’s probably the number 1 disciple on the team for this. As I’ve said, on a previous character post. Kyouko has some sort of chip in her shoulder against strong players and the latest chapters in the manga just further confirmed it for me.
…. I don’t think its bad though. It gives Kyouko a lot of her drive to pursue and beat said strong players; but its also getting kinda obvious that there is a lot of projection going on. The previous statement from the quarterfinals such as “You look down at me Kiyosumi, but look at my hand now!” or “She’s underestimating me.” says a lot about Kyouko’s mindset that it ever did about Saki’s.
Not to mention, latest manga chapters have Hiroe and Kyouko meeting and Kyouko’s first thought about Hiroe’s offer is kinda in the negative variety. From the translation, Hiroe is just commenting that Kyouko is good. But, Kyouko’s reply is “A renowned player with good middle school national record is supposed to hang out with other strong fellows of her same school year? I hate that sort of thing.”
To be honest, if I’m feeling particularly uncharitable, I would say that Kyouko has a persecution complex regarding strong mahjong players.
Which is just as well.
I believe that the manga need this sort of thing. Because mahjong in the Saki manga is a sport in the truest sense of the word wherein winning is determined by talent, skill, experience and a little bit of luck. Just like a short person in the word of basketball would have a need to prove themselves, that they can play just as well as the tall people. Kyouko also has a similar motivation.
Of course, its currently mixed with unhealthy amount of projection which in a way is kinda unfair to the strong people. Saki for example hasn’t looked down on Kyouko on my count and has the only fault of being too strong. (which is an interesting metapoke at the quarterfinal match and the +/- zero within it as well as the audience reaction now that I think about it).
…. But, I digress, I’m commenting on the team Himematsu. ^^
In Kyouko’s case, reading between the line shows her need to prove something or perhaps to be more specific her need of validation. But, perhaps Kyouko is not the only one in the team, who has this need?
Kinue and Suzu is pretty much very easy to explain. And since the anime and the manga have not given Yuuko any evidence
or character for me to suppose anything. On the face of it, Hiroe Atago is the one who stuck out. The Captain appears to be the odd man out in this need of approval. After all, surely, arrogant and self assured Hiroe, who presents herself like someone who has “bad manners” on the table surely has no need for people’s petty opinion?
Perhaps in a way, this is the reason why Hiroe is the captain in the first place. Her unending confidence in the team balances out the sea of uncertainty in her teammates who believe in the darkest corner of their mind that they don’t belong “here”.
But, then again, I also think that Hiroe in some way is looking for her own “validation”. After all, one of the few tidbits we have of the Atago family is the fact that Hiroe and Kinue’s mother is the adviser of Senriyama. Perhaps, Hiroe choosing to go to the other school with great mahjong team is a way of avoiding unsavory rumors of favoritism.
But, perhaps, its also a way of proving her own mahjong out of the shadow of her family.
Himematsu as a team that wants to prove themselves.
It does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?