Synonyms: Saki: Nationals
You can watch this series here: http://www.crunchyroll.com/saki
The plot of this episode is split into two theme. The first theme is in the present and shows what Kiyosumi is doing as a team before their first National match. Nothing honestly worth noting takes place during this part except when Hisa received a call from the vice-president of the student council (she is the president) with a video of encouragement from everyone back in their town cheering them on in the school.
I loved the scene above for two reasons and the first is more of a pet-love. The vice-president has rumors that he’s a lolicon and it is practically confirmed in the video when he stands next to the middle school student, Maho. The second reason is far more important and has to deal with Hisa’s character development. Her development over the course of the series is really lacking, it isn’t until the Nationals start that we see some growth.
Hisa is naturally a very confident person; her bad waits prove this and the way she handles herself when playing against the likes of Koromo, Fujita Pro, and other monsters of this caliber. Be she is also very nervous when the reality of the Nationals finally strikes her. If nobody was cheering Kiyosumi and herself on specifically, she would actually play better. Her best friends from the other school placed their hopes on Kiyosumi and the people back home set up huge TVs in the town and in the school itself to watch their games. A lot is riding on them winning and Hisa doesn’t do well with pressure.
The rest of the parts worth noting in this segment of the episode will be addressed in the second segment because the topic of discussion between the Rinkai Team and the Shrine Maiden team is the same thing. The second segment is a more indepth look at the training camp Hisa and Kiyosumi hosted a month before the Nationals. It has all the four teams from the finals from their prefecture and even Fujita Pro attending.
The usual friend bonding takes place and a lot of good funny scenes like when Mako, Tomoki from Ryuumonbuchi, and Yoshitome from Kazekoshi fight Kaori from Tsuruga Academy to get revenge for the yakuman she won back in the tournament and got hit by another yakuman from the beginner. Another funny moment was when Bundo and Ikeda got lost trying to find their room in the inn and found Tsuruga’s room and Bundo went crazy fangirl when she saw pro cards.
Rinkai is the second strongest team in Japan after Shiraitodai (though after the events of Side-A this is probably moot) and in the match against Ryuumonbuchi in last year’s national tournament they ran away from Ryuumonbuchi and knocked out another team to advance. The reason for this is because Touka went into her ‘Cold State’. Touka’s Cold State is dangerous.
She played against Saki, Koromo, and Fujita Pro and easy beat them like it is nothing. Both Koromo and Saki couldn’t pull off any of their signature moves against Cold Touka. Rinkai has someone skilled enough at least to target another player when Touka is in this state. The thought of players this strong excites Saki. Saki vowed earlier in the episode that she will plow her way through every opposing team to reach the finals and play against her sister, Teru.
The scariest person arrives the next day at the training camp. Hisa has been interested in this girl since she read her information back when Nodoka and Yuuki joined the Mahjong Club at Kiyosumi. Hisa was reading their play records from the middle school tournament when she found a new scary player named Maho. Maho is a genius on the level of Saki, Koromo, Teru, that one shrine maiden that looks so beautiful. Maho has the ability to absorb other genius’ or monster’s abilities. At the end of the episode Maho played a very high scoring hand early into the match just like Yuuki after eating some tacos.
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