Saki: Zenkoku-hen Episode 10: Friends

Impression

Pic822I knew I shouldn’t have worried about last week’s incredibly fast pacing! We went from covering an entire hanchan to covering a couple of hands, and even then we’re still going to be in East 1 for some time if Toyone continues her renchan. Toyone was very much the star of today’s episode, and Saki’s ominous comment over someone “still hiding something” quickly turned out to be true – at any rate, it looks like Toyone’s completely abandoned her tendency to chase after poor Kyouko’s riichis, costing her (and by extension, Himematsu) an overall loss of 21600 in the first hanchan. It’s a pretty painful loss, and it would have been worse had she not won several hands while she was ahead – this is exactly the kind of thing Kyouko’s been trying to avoid. She seems like someone who uses data and evidence to the fullest, and maintains a careful play style – adapting and adjusting herself depending on the opponent she’s up against. So someone she’s got hardly any info about is a terrible match for her, as is the fact that Toyone has a lot of versatility. Kyouko goes and formulates her theory about Toyone’s riichi chasing, coming up with a concrete solution after taking several big hits – and then Toyone goes and changes her play style, rendering all of Kyouko’s efforts pointless.

Pic812Toyone’s current ability, “Tomobiki” seems rather troublesome too. She’s gone from patiently keeping her hand closed to calling tiles and going for speed, which is completely different to what we’ve seen so far – it sorta resembles Seiko’s (Shiraitodai’s “Fisher”) or Ako’s aggressive style of play. But unlike Ako, it’s an occult power, and so it’s naturally bound with several restrictions or conditions – it seems like one of them requires Toyone to make four calls, which means that if she completes a meld by herself, she has to break it up (wow, that sounds inconvenient). Fully opening your hand also leaves you with a hadaka tanki, which is like putting up a giant neon sign saying that you’re in tenpai, listing the exact contents of your hand and therefore what your wait is likely to be. Needing to call four times probably has something to do with her four team-mates at Miyamori, with Toyone herself making up the pair (which would explain why she doesn’t seem to have any problems completing it). Although Miyamori’s backstory did leave me feeling warm and fuzzy, I can’t help but feel like it’s a huge death flag for them – which is unfortunate as I’m slowly warming to them. How does Toyone manage to alternate between being really cute and really creepy all the time?

Pic788We’re into the final hanchan, and Himematsu have been dethroned by Miyamori – I have a feeling that it’s time for the others to get in gear. And I’m mainly talking about Eisui here, who really haven’t been living up to their status as a seeded school, perhaps not entirely by fault of their own (though Senriyama and Shiraitodai managed to wreck havoc just fine). Despite having languished around at the bottom for some time now, it finally looks like Iwato Kasumi will be stepping up her game with an occult power, which may or may not involve calling down a goddess of her own.

And of course, I’m still waiting to see Saki casually dethrone the dethroners – with her socks still on!

Vantage

I love cute things.

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3 Responses

  1. EY says:

    “How does Toyone manage to alternate between being really cute and really creepy all the time?”

    You see it for the first time in ep. 9 when Himematsu hits her with a ron. Toyone gives a cute startled cry, then gets this look on her face… I think Maaya Uchida does a good job as the VA as well.

    • Vantage says:

      She plays a great Toyone – childish, playful and yet ominous! Toyone’s quickly becoming my favourite Miyamori girl, although Sae gives her a good run for her money. It’s pretty unfortunate that only one school other than Kiyosumi goes on to the semifinals, because they’re getting us attached to all these characters who will probably end up losing (which is exactly what happened with Senriyama). And then we’ll never see Toyone again ;_;

  2. Katreus says:

    Re: No Data for Kyouko – I am a fan of the fact that it’s not that it’s not a matter of a school with few records, but it’s because Miyamori worked hard to conceal Toyone’s powers to be pulled out as a trump card when necessary. Good strategy too… Toyone holds off on using Tomobiki until after the break / start of the 2nd hanchan when everyone will have to devise an answer on the spot by themselves. Gives Toyone options as well – open or closed, she has options.

    Re: Toyone’s Powers – Ritz likes her myths.

    Days of Rokuyo – Significance
    Sakigachi (also known as Senkachi or Sensho) – Good luck in the morning, bad luck in the afternoon
    Tomobiki – Good luck all day, except at noon
    Sakimake, (also known as Senmake or Senbu) – Bad luck in the morning, good luck in the afternoon
    Butsumetsu – Unlucky all day, as it is the day Buddha died
    Taian – ‘The day of great peace’, the finest day for ceremonies
    Shakku (also known as Shakko or Jakko) – Bad luck all day, except at noon

    Tomobiki is the single tile wait. Senbu is probably the pursuit riichi. Shakku was mentioned in Toyone’s flashback this episode (Toshi tells her to use it against the other Miyamori players) and the guess is this power allows Toyone to call dora by having the preceding and succeeding tiles.

    Re: Tomobiki – “Draw friends.” In the Japanese calendar, you’d avoid funerals this day because the dead person will draw his friends attending the funeral to death too. That’s why Toyone says that the lone tile (presumably the dead person because the friends had good luck to avoid the funeral) is not lonely since she will “draw a friend” to declare tsumo with.

    Re: Eisui vs. Senriyama and Shiraitodai – Frankly, Eisui has a much harder QF than the other two. Their competition is much better across the board, and their Aces misfired / nerfed due to this better competition (with some fairly strong abilities). Despite that, they’re still in the running. I’m very interested in what you think of Eisui after Ep. 11.

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