Sunday, 22 April 2012

Fast Paced Mahjong!!

 Saki: Achiga-hen
The Achiga Girls' Academy in Nara once defeated regional mahjong powerhouse Bansei High School. It advanced into the national team semifinals but lost to the eventual champion, and the mahjong club was later disbanded. Six years later, elementary school student Shizuno Takakamo befriends transfer student Nodoka Haramura. The two eventually enter Achiga Girls', but Nodoka transfers out of the school in the second year. When Shizuno sees Nodoka on television the following year as the national middle school individual mahjong champion, she decides to revive Achiga's mahjong club.

Saki: Achiga-hen
is a sequel side-story to the 2009 Saki. Because its a side story, watching the original is not necessary.

I picked up this anime because I love competitive card / board game anime, such as the great Hikaru no Go and the recent Chihayafuru. It has the elements of Sport Shounen that I mentioned before, ~ ~, although the last reason doesn't fit in this category.  

I was really looking forward to understanding how Mahjong is played. Three episodes in and so far we've just been thrown a lot of technical terms and no explanations.


We're missing that character. 

You know. The character, who should be our protagonist, who falls in love with the game, and the series becomes a learning process within tournament competitions. Unfortunately, everyone here are already well acquainted with the game. 

Also there is no learning time:

  1. The first episode covers everything the synopsis says.
  2. By the second episode the club fully forms, with a coach, and training for the preliminaries begins.
  3. The third episode, which was quite shocking for me, covered the preliminaries, intense training for the nationals- which involved having away matches with the runners up of each prefecture, and setting off to & reaching the Nationals.

At this pace this series should end by episode 5!! They have stripped off the excitement that comes with competitive anime, and so far, explained NOTHING about Mahjong.

Fear not. According to viewers more familiar with the series, we get all the excitement and Mahjong during the Nationals, which should last till the end of the season.

Also: Although watching the original series Saki is not necessary; Saki her self was introduced at the end of episode 3 as The One To Beat. That alone made me want to watch the original series.

So if you're interested in this series, I advise watching Saki first.

Nevertheless Saki: Achiga-hen gets a recommendation from me. Its interesting, carries the emotion competitive anime should, the animation is good, and its funny where it needs to be. 

Happy watching! Let me know what you think!


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