Saki: Zenkoku-hen Episode 5: Gods and Demons
They’re really blitzing through these matches, aren’t they? I’m not sure I can even call it fast pacing (as opposed to skipping) when the vanguard match concluded in the way it did – I literally gaped when East 3 of the first half suddenly became South 4 of the second half. And Suehara Kyouko trolled us all with Suzu’s supposed explosive wins against strong opponents – nothing actually happened at all! As for Jindai Komaki… I’ve got mixed feelings about her. I won’t deny that I got the chills when she suddenly hit Yuuki with a sanbaiman – declaring riichi in the all-last (despite that point lead) was a massive mistake, and Yuuki paid the price for it as she had no choice but to discard her 9-pin. I think all the national-class monsters (from Saki to Awai) felt the presence of Jindai’s goddess descending down to possess her – and it’s also interesting that both times, she put together a closed chinitsu in preparation to dish out some heavy damage. But… is that all? It might just be me hyping up my idealized image of her, but I sort of expected something more from a national-class monster. Hitting someone for 24,000 is great and all, but that’s the only hand she won throughout the match – while she was awake, Jindai actually lost a lot of points. I’m not sure how she’s done in the past (or will do in the future) but it pales in comparison to Koromo or Awai, both of whom are constant heavy hitters. Especially Awai.
The sergeant match came and went pretty rapidly too, and the primary victim was our short-lived moeblob, Aislinn Wishart. She’s adorable, and because of that I really feel sorry for her (and by extension, Miyamori, who had confidence in her abilities). Suehara Kyouko’s analysis of her was spot on – hands that never reach tenpai do happen many times, and having an absurdly high win ratio is enough to trigger alarm bells. The events of the sergeant match were never properly explained, but I think I have a fairly good idea of what happened. Aislinn “materializes” her ideal set of tiles before they’re revealed, and so her wins are predetermined. If everyone keeps drawing tiles one by one, her hand will take the shape she wants it to. But that’s the thing – all someone has to do is call a tile and suddenly the drawing order is changed. Aislinn looked so sad every time Mako disturbed the flow (although I would not be happy about giving up tanyao, pinfu and iipeikou for the sake of a 300/500 trash win). I felt pretty bad for her – she looked like she had no idea why everything was happening like that. Did no-one call any tiles at all during her regionals match?
Well, next week we’re finally going to get some Hiroe time! She’s awesome. Actually, I think Himematsu in general are hilarious – I love how Hiroe is technically the captain, but Kyouko’s the one who’s really in charge. She actually slightly reminds me of Senriyama’s FunaQ with her detailed analysis and everything :D It’ll definitely be interesting seeing Hiroe go up against Hisa, who is an excellent player in her own right – I’m sure she’ll do fine though, given Kiyosumi’s current track record and Hisa’s own renchan in the previous round. We’ll see… after they have lunch, that is.