Saki: Zenkoku-hen Episode 2: Support
Kiyosumi have a surprising level of support in Nagano! Even though they were literally unrecognized during the draw last week, they’ve got lots of heartwarming support from everyone back home – and both Ryuumonbuchi and Tsuruga are rooting for them in the auditorium. It’s unfortunate that there wasn’t much covered of Kiyosumi’s first day at the nationals – I was really looking forward to that! And they even got us all hyped up with a little conversation between Jindai Komaki and the rest of Eisui in the bath. As a seeded school, Eisui will play the three winners of the first round matches in their block – and looking at the line-ups, it’s clear who’ll get through. If we assume Kiyosumi’s victory, they’ll be up against Himematsu, Eisui and Miyamori in the quarterfinals… which is a pretty frightful line-up. Eisui managed to make it to the finals last year, while Himematsu just narrowly missed out on a place – both schools will be gunning for victory without holding back. And I don’t think Miyamori will be a pushover, either. But never mind! Kiyosumi have Saki with them after all, and I’m sure she’ll happily teach them what it means to be a national-class monster.
The training camp was a mixed bag, with many comedic moments (LMAO THAT RYUUIISOU XD) and some ominous undertones. They really didn’t hold back on the fanservice, did they? There was another bath scene (complete with flying towels) and Koromo was adorable in a yukata :D I even saw a Hisa x Mihoko moment too! It’s definitely a different atmosphere watching everyone play when there’s nothing at stake – everyone was deadly serious back at the prefecturals, but it’s nice to see them let loose and play mahjong without any worries this time xD
What really interested (and surprised) me was the existence of Cold Touka. According to Hajime and Koromo, Touka changes when she’s around strong people – and if she’s even able to scare off someone from Rinkai, evidently she becomes something of a national-class monster. I don’t think Nodocchi alone was enough to trigger her during the prefectural finals, but it seems like all the strong players at the training camp are – and it’s absolutely terrifying to learn that she destroyed Saki, Koromo and Fujita-pro multiple games in a row, albeit at the cost of her health. While it’s true Koromo isn’t at full strength, we’re still talking about Koromo here, you know. And Saki wasn’t able to call a single kan in any of those games… exactly what sort of playing style does Cold Touka have?
Finally, I think Maho’s appearance has got some sort of significance. Hisa definitely looks like she’s up to no good, and it’s got something to do with Maho’s ability. It’s gotta be a frightful power if she’s pitting her up against Saki and Nodoka, although for now the only thing I’ve noticed is its odd resemblance to Yuuki’s east wind ability…