Saki Review

When I started out with this series, I had great fun with taking all those Saki x Nodoka red cheeks, shiny thighs, blushing knees and magnifying the yuri goggles to the max. But this became somewhat redundant as the series progressed, with the yuri subtext – more or less – coming to the fore. Due to time pressures and being somewhat bored with the tournaments, I slacked off in terms of the timeliness of posting and then, when I did catch up, slacked off on the actual content before shifting to incorporate large elements of Kabitzin’s posting style (which I will reflect on in a later post). The slacking off caused readership to suffer, that is, some bailed out and those who stayed didn’t really get what they expected/wanted.

Characters

Within moments of the first episode, I decided that I liked Saki – mainly for her very male gaze as she once-overed Nodoka. But it was also within the next few moments that I became somewhat uneasy with the fanservicey chara-design of the other main heroine. Like Havoc, I love boing too but Nodoka’s is just… too much. Erica hits the nail on the head wrt why OTT fanservice gave an ick factor to Saki x Nodoka which Yumi x Momo was spared and thus ascended to Best Couple position. There were so many interesting side characters who could have used more screentime such as Satomi Wa~ha~ha Kanbara and I would have looked to see more Hisa x Mihoko.

Story

How the power of yuri love gives you mahjong mojo was a LOL theme for great entertainment but sadly the Saki vs. Koromo battle only showed how the series could do great mahjong drama but couldn’t be bothered with most of the time; wrt those who compared it unfavourably to Kaji – well, apples and oranges. A characteristic which also applies to comparing Saki with Hikaru no Go. I would liked to have learnt more about riichi mahjong via this series but as there’s no rookie chara (and by extension no ghostly mentor), it’s not quite possible. Saki’s Oneechan angst clearly underlies her motivations but it’s also buried for most of the middle period; it reminded me somewhat of Angelic Layer where the heroine quests to be reunited with a familial loved one – though wrt to Saki, due to the yuri subtext, I’m wa~ha~ha hoping that Nodoka’s love will allow Saki to let Teru go and, by doing so, re-establish the sisterly relationship but via a revaluation of all values at the great noontide.

Eye/Ear Candy

GONZO has the power to do yuri – the strongest besto impression they left on me was the Burst Angel manga (not the anime) and they certainly delivered lots of yurilific LOL entertainment in this series. Also good job on confining CG to the mahjong mechanics. Casting Kana Ueda in the lead role almost seems obvious especially when there’s oppai play involved. I was rather surprised at Ami Koshimizu’s performance of Nodoka since it’s her shoutier roles like Kallen (Code Geass), Nina Wang (My Otome) and Megumi (Muteki Kanban Musume) that left an impression on me. But now I can’t hear Mio talk without going: Haramura Nonoka!

Judgment

Entertaining but not something I’d rewatch. It helps if you understand mahjong rules but not a major impediment if you don’t – in fact, it would be better not to be too keen on mahjong because the show is really more about yuri blushing (of all the girls, Yuuki is probably the only one who has an active interest in guys – take what you can, Suga-kun!).

Zyl’s Rating: 3/5

5 thoughts on “Saki Review

  1. I actually liked the couple in Kanamemo better in terms of presenting an out-of-the-closet happy lesbian couple. But Saki was a lot of fun between the comedy, “pretty girl moments”, and over-the-top gamesmanship special effects.

    1. I actually gave up on Kanamemo halfway through Ep 6. The premise was ok, the ganbatte ethic was nice but I just couldn’t tolerate Kana’s relative dumbness a second longer.

  2. Aye… Kana was actually my second least favorite character of the series…. her drunken stalker was my least favorite character. I am So Tired Of That Lame Excuse For Humor. The other characters were amusing.
    :)

    But Saki had a fairly huge cast so if you didn’t care for part of it there was usually something else going on that entertained.

  3. Actually I kind of thought the whole Momo thing was kind of creepy. Maybe it was cause she could disappear and how obviously stalkerish she was. I didn’t find her that cute at all either, so it was just really, really creepy.

    My two favorite lines in the series:
    “Wa-haha!”
    “Captain!”

    You do have a good point though about this series not good for learning about mahjong. I mean even Yakitate Japan did have some tasty morsels of bread knowledge (right or wrong I have no idea but it was fun to learn anyway), but this show had nothing really about learning mahjong.

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