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Old 2012-07-02, 07:58   Link #1781
Triple_R
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night_sentinel - What I probably found the most interesting in this episode was those humanizing moments for Teru. Her reaction to Kuro discarding a dora, her saying "good game" at the end of the game, and of course her showing even a modicum of concern for Toki. These all made Teru seem a bit more like, well, a normal human being shall we say, lol.

Oh, Teru has very impressive professionalism. She usually has a total poker-face (her show of surprise over Kuro discarding a dora being the only time that poker-face broke). She never says more than what is absolutely necessary. She's obviously very good at PR (as we saw several episodes ago). Truly the consummate professional.

But she no longer seems like an ice queen, or a sadist, or anything even remotely villainous to me. Koromo was more of a 'bad girl', really, given how she trash-talked the competition, lol.

... Meanwhile, Saki is out there scared to death to even watch Teru play a match.


Something doesn't quite add up here, does it? You'd think by Saki's level of trepidation that Teru is a monster away from the mahjong table as well as at it. But Teru seems like, well, at least a decent human being.

So maybe what you, night_sentinel, hinted at half-jokingly a long time ago is actually correct - maybe Saki is the one most responsible for the sister estrangement. Saki wasn't surprised when she heard in Season 1 that Teru proclaimed that she had no sister. Saki looked hurt, of course, but she didn't look angry or resentful really.


So based on this latest episode of Achiga-hen, I'm going to alter my previous theory on why Saki and Teru are estranged from each other. I hope people find it interesting.

Spoiler for Updated Miyanaga Separation Theory:



Well, there you have it. What do people think?
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Last edited by Triple_R; 2012-07-02 at 08:11.
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Old 2012-07-02, 07:59   Link #1782
Klashikari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyl View Post
Actually i liked the matches in Achiga more than the previous serie. Eventhough there were less matches, some of the matches that are shown were more focused on the playing. Not just Teru's match but also in the case of Shizuno's match tthat she won with a Yamagoshi or Yuu's playing style that revolves around red tiles.
It is sort of debatable. Frankly, the matches focused more on the playing were vastly shorter and didn't allow to have a certain flow to it. It just cut short on anything that wasn't really going on extreme ability like Kuro and all.
Quote:
Also because the people in this serie have less over the top powers (well minus Toki and Teru) you can actually see how the matches are played instead of Kan, Kan, Rinshan Kaihou ,win (slightly exaggerated)
Actually, Saki's style was definitely one of the "off marks" for the first series until it actually serves foil for other characters (like Yumi trapping her with that chankan coming from nowhere), and other characters revolving around it (such like Hisa).
Hell, even Saki and Kuro were similar, on the fact they rely way too much on their ability and get ambushed because of that (leading to self pity), but the vast difference between them, aside of the scale of ridiculousness of their respective ability, is that you actually have Saki developping during matches and outside of them, while Kuro had to be lead by Kirame and Toki to finally discard a dora.

Whereas, well, everything was solely based on Toki on the last part, even if we factor Kuro's "passive" hindering ability towards Teru snowballing hand ability. At some point, you really had to wonder why it was called "Achiga hen", when it was just Teru and Toki.
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Old 2012-07-02, 08:21   Link #1783
Peanutbutter
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Originally Posted by Marina2 View Post
Why did Toki say it's very nice that Kuro called Richii?

That's one thing I don't quite understand. It will be bad if she stay quiet? Or She's just glad that Kuro hand will worth more??
Another way to look at it is that by Riichi-ing, Kuro can't change her hand even if she regretted her decision. Toki's pon basically set the target at 100% lock-on.

Comments on the series. The story was very unevenly paced. Even for mahjong, there's really not a lot of real action compared to the original.

But if one thing's good, it's the BGM. I can care less about art and animation quality. If the music's good, I'm in. And this is a prime example.

Honestly, I almost shed tears when Kuro made her decisive move. Everything, music-wise, was perfect.

I waited 3 years to watch Teru in action. I won't say it's a disappointment, but I have this niggling suspicion that we have not seen the real Teru yet.

If Saki's +-0 is the counter-ability to Teru's continuous streak, what's Teru's equivalent of Saki's kan and Rinshan Kaihou? I guessed that answer will keep me going for another 3 years.
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Old 2012-07-02, 08:41   Link #1784
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
I really can't say I completely enjoyed Achiga-hen from start to finish.
Really, while things were a tad more tense than the first series with Teru's rampage, I felt the pacing and all -way- more awkward, due to the pattern of the series putting flashbacks during points that literally break the momentums (particularly Toki's). While the first series was a tad slow in building tension, it could make up for it with ridiculously overdone dramatic effects on the skirmishes and all, while in Achiga, you barely see things going on (the first half of the series barely had any mahjong matches, and you have just clipshot of girls having tile in their hands, instead of short sequences of what they are dealing etc). Heck, besides Teru's match, you really have way too few match perspective, along with discard pool etc.

Of coure, Saki in general wasn't really a real mahjong series (the likes of Akagi), a bit how K-on is to music, but the first series actually had a more balanced content between characters, fanservice and actual mahjong, compared to Achiga.

A last thing that I also found awkward was how little you know about the Achiga girls. Besides Kuro and her sister abilities and all, we hardly know a thing about Shizu, Ako and Arata playing style (save Shizu being just... stubborn, Ako having a quick calling sense (with very little exposure about that) and Arata being an enigma, save "weird" discards).
Hell, Kuro was dominating Achiga's screentime to the point it was shoehorned, and I can't exactly feel satisfied that she had to be "babysit" by Toki and Kirame during this match to finally shine (whereas if it wasn't for Teru domination requiring everyone cooperation, she would be just the lamb to slaughter).

Really, at this point, I admit guilty for enjoying more Teru's carnage than anything else during the series, considering how awkward the other characters felt in contrast to the first series.
Taken as a whole, the Achiga-hen project definitely has to be said to have been held down by pacing issues. It's not that the Achiga-hen storyline in general is any more lacking in "characters", "fanservice", or "actual mahjong" than the original series, it's just that all of these elements had to be compressed for rapid plot development in order to reach the required stage of the story. Taken alone, however, the imbalance between this and the real series is obvious when you consider that Achiga-hen took ~4 episodes to cover what the original series did in 25.

However, there are plenty of obvious reasons for why it had to be this way. For one, from the audience's perspective the fact must be accepted that Achiga cannot be called the main characters. For two, from the author's perspective we have to consider Ritz's writing speed and the necessity of continuing her work on also developing and progressing the main story. From the anime production team's perspective, we also have to consider the necessity of this adaptation in the first place to keep awareness of this series' alive and maintain anticipation for the real second season of the series. So in the end, as fans, I think we should just accept that the only important parts of this adaptation were just this match with Teru (which I think can be rightfully described as masterfully executed, right up there as one of the best matches of the series), and the final expectation that the fourth team which will show up in the Finals of this tournament will be Achiga.

And in any case, although Kuro has received most of the focus (amongst Achiga members) in this adaptation up to now, I think we should certainly wait for the last three episodes and the conclusion of the SemiFinals before making any judgements about the screentime of the other characters.

As for Kuro herself, while I can more or less understand that it is quite easy to be harsh on her, in the end I really have to harshly disagree with any statement to the effect that Kuro had to be "babysat" or did not contribute to the effort against Teru. Really, if you take into account the nature of Kuro's ability and the options available to her, Kuro has already done the best that she conceivably could have done in competing against Teru. In the end, all of the contributions of Kuro, Toki, and Kirame were necessary in specifically this order for them to have managed to stop Teru the way they did this time. Complaining about the way Kuro played during the rest of the battle is pointless, because:

1) If Kuro had discarded a Dora at any point earlier, they would've stopped coming to her and Teru could have gone on an even greater rampage much more easily
2) If Kuro had changed her playstyle at any point earlier, Teru would not have exposed herself to a vulnerability based on her analysis of Kuro's playstyle and thus Kuro, Toki and Kirame would not have been able to end Teru's final consecutive dealership.

In the end, I don't think there's a valid reason to hate any of the characters who took part in this battle.
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Old 2012-07-02, 09:04   Link #1785
Sumeragi
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I saw Achiga-hen for only one reason: Teru! For me, it was of Teru, by Teru, for Teru!

Spoiler for Teru! Teru! Teru!:
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Old 2012-07-02, 09:11   Link #1786
Klashikari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Taken as a whole, the Achiga-hen project definitely has to be said to have been held down by pacing issues. It's not that the Achiga-hen storyline in general is any more lacking in "characters", "fanservice", or "actual mahjong" than the original series, it's just that all of these elements had to be compressed for rapid plot development in order to reach the required stage of the story. Taken alone, however, the imbalance between this and the real series is obvious when you consider that Achiga-hen took ~4 episodes to cover what the original series did in 25.
I already know that much. The problem is how they seem to value so much flashbacks and all that you had to wait Episode 5 to have an actual match (hell, their qualification against Bansei was as a short work as in the manga, with Kuro starting with a strong hand, then everyone else just spam ron one after another). Really, it is more like a direction issue than really the content, considering they could potentially cut things that were really unecessary. The first 2 episodes intro were alright, albeit lacking of some implied skirmishes, but 3 and 4 had barely any content (save Ryuumonbuchi's cameo). Beyond that, the pacing is really going on left and right.

Quote:
However, there are plenty of obvious reasons for why it had to be this way. For one, from the audience's perspective the fact must be accepted that Achiga cannot be called the main characters. For two, from the author's perspective we have to consider Ritz's writing speed and the necessity of continuing her work on also developing and progressing the main story. From the anime production team's perspective, we also have to consider the necessity of this adaptation in the first place to keep awareness of this series' alive and maintain anticipation for the real second season of the series. So in the end, as fans, I think we should just accept that the only important parts of this adaptation were just this match with Teru (which I think can be rightfully described as masterfully executed, right up there as one of the best matches of the series), and the final expectation that the fourth team which will show up in the Finals of this tournament will be Achiga.
The problem I have with that then is thus the choice of adapting the series -now- whereas the manga itself is basically not complete leading to a dead giveaway that things won't go smooth right from the get go. And really, I really cannot consider them as "not main characters" because they are on, well, another side of the picture, so there is really no real hindering factor to set the premise of Shiratodai going on onslaught towards the finals (with Kiyosumi fated to be there), while Achiga girls trying to reach that part as well. The only difference is "how" you do that, which doesn't have to put into something as being overwhelmingly overshadowed this way.
Quote:
And in any case, although Kuro has received most of the focus (amongst Achiga members) in this adaptation up to now, I think we should certainly wait for the last three episodes and the conclusion of the SemiFinals before making any judgements about the screentime of the other characters.
The actual problem is that it isn't even because of the Teru matches, but really all "proper" matches were only shown with Kuro being either dominating people or literally slaughtered, either by Toki or Teru. You barely see other girls having like 2-3 rounds within seconds/minutes at best. That's really more than half to what we were presented to, and having a packed screentime for the other characters in the last episodes will just confirm how unbalanced the series was so far.

Quote:
As for Kuro herself, while I can more or less understand that it is quite easy to be harsh on her, in the end I really have to harshly disagree with any statement to the effect that Kuro had to be "babysat" or did not contribute to the effort against Teru. Really, if you take into account the nature of Kuro's ability and the options available to her, Kuro has already done the best that she conceivably could have done in competing against Teru. In the end, all of the contributions of Kuro, Toki, and Kirame were necessary in specifically this order for them to have managed to stop Teru the way they did this time. Complaining about the way Kuro played during the rest of the battle is pointless, because:
It is more the character concept of Kuro that is flawed, not the character on her own. The author basically cornered themselves by using such "gimmick" and restriction for her, to the point that it leads to huge issues snowballing afterwards. Frankly, it isn't the first time Kuro could be in tenpai by discarding a dora in the series, but the problem is how she came to realize it only after so many things that were basically not under her control. Again, the problem is that if it wasn't for Teru forcing everyone to play coop, there wouldn't be any way for Kuro to progress, to which it definitely cheapens such efforts done by her (hell, NONE of the Achiga girls contributed to such development, aside of aiming together towards the finals. By no means we were shown girls discussing about everyone's weakness...).

Really, it is the whole concept of forcing such situation that doesn't sit well with me: instead of having Kuro cornered and being "guided" by Toki and Kirame, I would have appreciated much more if Kuro would actually had a character development the very moment Toki was dominating her, so having more introspect regarding her dora ability then later a real effort on her own to discard a dora.

Again, it is a huge issue regarding how it was presented and lead to this point, more than really the decision itself.
Quote:
In the end, I don't think there's a valid reason to hate any of the characters who took part in this battle.
Please don't yet again put words in people mouths: I don't particularly hate any character of achiga, but they are barely developed, save perhaps Toki to a certain extent.

Last edited by Klashikari; 2012-07-02 at 12:54.
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Old 2012-07-02, 09:22   Link #1787
Sumeragi
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Something that has been a bit strange for me: Has anyone noticed that the narration keeps mentioning "hundreds of millions of players"? Yes, I know that there are actually hundreds of millions of "casual" players in China, but taking that number out of the picture, it would mean that mahjong is serious business. Seems like we do have something on the level of soccer in Sakiverse.
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Old 2012-07-02, 09:26   Link #1788
Myssa Rei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Something that has been a bit strange for me: Has anyone noticed that the narration keeps mentioning "hundreds of millions of players"? Yes, I know that there are actually hundreds of millions of "casual" players in China, but taking that number out of the picture, it would mean that mahjong is serious business. Seems like we do have something on the level of soccer in Sakiverse.
The same quote happened was spoken at the end of the first series (and the manga too), which does point to mahjong being "serious business". It's why I jokingly comment that the series as a whole can be plugged into The Legend of Koizumi without much effort.

P.S. Who was credited for voicing Mrs. Atago?
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Old 2012-07-02, 09:40   Link #1789
Triple_R
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A few general points:

1. My favorite Saki mahjong match of all time is still Saki vs. Koromo vs. Yumi vs. Kana. That's going to be very hard to beat for me, as I just loved it to pieces. I suspect it'll be my favorite Saki mahjong match until Saki and Teru go head-to-head.

However, I'd now put Teru vs. Toki vs. Kirame vs. Kuro as a solid second favorite Saki mahjong match.

After those two, there's a bunch of interesting matches in both shows, but none stand out to me all that well. Nodoka vs. Touka vs. Stealth Momo vs. Sumiyo had its moments, but it was actually a bit of a letdown for me in how Nodoka vs. Touka had kind of been built up (especially by that flashy OP ) as "the first half of the double main event" (the second half being Saki vs. Koromo, of course). Touka's performance in that match was pretty disappointing for such an important antagonist.

So, on the whole, I would say I like the mahjong matches in both shows about equally well. Maybe a slight advantage to the original Saki.


2. A good friend of mine compared Kuro's handling of the Teru match to Kyon's handling of Haruhi's Endless Eight. I think that's a rather fitting comparison, actually, lol. In both cases, how you view Kyon/Kuro depends on what you think is more important - The epic final episode comeback, or the epic suckitude in the episodes before it.

I do get Sol's points. But for me, the problem with Kuro was less a matter of statistical performance, and more a matter of how she carried herself at the table. Here is where me being a pro hockey fan colors my opinion some, admittedly. This sort of heavy crying and whimpering during competition is a MAJOR turn-off to most pro sports fans (likewise, Teru's professionalism is something I have to tip my hat to, also due in part to my experience as a pro hockey fan). I really hope Kuro shows a bit more spine and composure next time. For me, that's more important than her actual statistical performance.

All of that being said, I'm glad Kuro did get to win a hand, and a big one at that. It would have royally sucked for her character if she came out of this without winning a single hand.


3. I think Sol is right about the format issues here. The way this anime series went was largely unavoidable, baring the creation of anime original material, and that can be risky. So I don't fault it much for that.
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Old 2012-07-02, 09:49   Link #1790
hyl
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Originally Posted by Myssa Rei View Post
The same quote happened was spoken at the end of the first series (and the manga too), which does point to mahjong being "serious business". It's why I jokingly comment that the series as a whole can be plugged into The Legend of Koizumi without much effort.
It was said at the end of the chapter 3 of the original manga that 100 million people played mahjong tournaments worldwide . So it's serious bussiness there
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Old 2012-07-02, 09:57   Link #1791
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Something that has been a bit strange for me: Has anyone noticed that the narration keeps mentioning "hundreds of millions of players"? Yes, I know that there are actually hundreds of millions of "casual" players in China, but taking that number out of the picture, it would mean that mahjong is serious business. Seems like we do have something on the level of soccer in Sakiverse.
I am actually surprise people don't think Mahjong is football equivalent in Saki universe...
It has been pointed so many times that I thought everyone know or at least notice this...

@Triple_R
Spoiler for Theory:


Overall I don't actually satisfied with Achiga-hen...
The flaw actually come from the fact that it is a 1-cour anime instead of 2-cour anime like the original...
Flashback is typical of Saki (or most shounen) that a 12 episode won't do justice not even counting those Mahjong plays before national that I believe have potential...
I like a faithful adaptation, but when it is too faithful the anime will have flaw that manga has and that rise a question: Why we watch anime then when manga is faster? (It is debatable for Saki though :P )

Achiga however still has everything I love about Saki: It has developed side character, ridiculous mahjong, fantastic atmosphere, moe girl fighting desperately, minimal male, and yuri subtext (or text). These things actually what make me able to see it from beginning to its finale and later on end...

Hopefully, the real 2nd season can come soon enough and doesn't have the flaw this side story has...
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Old 2012-07-02, 10:02   Link #1792
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Originally Posted by MarkS00N View Post
I am actually surprise people don't think Mahjong is football equivalent in Saki universe...
It has been pointed so many times that I thought everyone know or at least notice this...
More like I was pointing out the obvious in connection to Triple_R's theory
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Old 2012-07-02, 10:15   Link #1793
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
So based on this latest episode of Achiga-hen, I'm going to alter my previous theory on why Saki and Teru are estranged from each other. I hope people find it interesting.

Spoiler for Updated Miyanaga Separation Theory:



Well, there you have it. What do people think?
I do think the scenario that you've painted here is probably more or less accurate. On the other hand, I actually still wouldn't go so far yet as to say that Teru is a normal girl, or that she isn't a monster. Although in mahjong terms, Teru did get caught off guard here, and ended up conceding some points to Kuro, I think Teru's moderate response to it came from a combination of the fact that it was the last hand of the game (i.e. thus everything was over after that) and that the change in point totals, in terms of the reduction in Teru's lead over everyone else, was still almost miniscule.

The other aspect is somewhat related to the suggestion Peanutbutter made below: that I do think its likely, that we haven't even seen Teru's full power/potential yet.

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Originally Posted by Peanutbutter View Post
I waited 3 years to watch Teru in action. I won't say it's a disappointment, but I have this niggling suspicion that we have not seen the real Teru yet.

If Saki's +-0 is the counter-ability to Teru's continuous streak, what's Teru's equivalent of Saki's kan and Rinshan Kaihou? I guessed that answer will keep me going for another 3 years.
I also share your suspicion, but not really because I think Teru has a "special move" like Saki's kan/rinshan or anything. Moreso I'd say it's based on the conditions in this match that Teru was playing under.

Basically, I think what Teru's real power is is her mirror ability, which lets her completely analyze a person's core and playstyle. After analyzing her opponents playstyles, I think what Teru does is use pure skill to completely dominate/crush their abilities and continue winning consecutively. Two further aspects apply here: on top of her skill in avoiding/defending against her opponents' abilities, Teru does get a boost in terms of unnatural luck/fate which helps her get the tiles/yaku she requires quickly. However, as a cost/requirement for either that luck or her mirror ability, Teru has to build up her wins in an order of increasing value.

So, by these conditions, I think Teru's play in this match was limited by two factors:

1) Of course, the fact that Kuro was hoarding all the dora, meaning Teru had to search for more complicated hand formations to keep increasing her winnings
2) Kirame's pons. Teru's ability to advance her hand obviously depends on having the opportunity to draw in the first place. Because Kirame kept ponning tiles from the others, sometimes cooperatively even just to let the other players have a chance at winning, Teru often lost her turn. Although Kirame was the best example of this throughout this match, in essence you could just say that Teru was held back by the cooperation of her opponents.

In essence, what I think is the true characteristic of Teru's playstyle is her ability to completely avoid and target your playstyle. By seeing completely through her opponents' abilities, not only was Teru able, for example, to ignore Toki's interference by winning even when Toki made a call and disrupted the winning tile she was going to draw, she was also able to force Kuro to deal into her hand by filling Kuro's hand with too many dora. Because Teru is able to completely see through you and your abilities, individually she is basically unstoppable.

However, in Kuro/Toki/Kirame's case not only were they able to circumvent this via cooperation (i.e. Kirame calling pon a lot in order to skip Teru's turn), but Toki and Kuro were also able to surpass Teru's analysis ability somewhat by evolving their abilities. So I think, in any other match where there isn't a player like Kirame who from the start had devoted herself to cooperation, Teru has the potential to much more completely crush people's individual playstyles, and go on bigger rampages.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
The problem I have with that then is thus the choice of adapting the series -now- whereas the manga itself is basically not complete leading to a dead giveaway that things won't go smooth right from the get go. And really, I really cannot consider them as "not main characters" because they are on, well, another side of the picture, so there is really no real hindering factor to set the premise of Shiratodai going on onslaught towards the finals (with Kiyosumi fated to be there), while Achiga girls trying to reach that part as well. The only difference is "how" you do that, which doesn't have to put into something as being overwhelmingly overshadowed this way.
Regarding the adaptation of Achiga now, like I said this is basically appropriate because the anime studios have to do something to make sure the series stays popular, after already almost 3 years from the first series. In terms of the main manga that Ritz is writing the Finals arc may not even be ready/finished 2 years from now, so that's why it was best for her to take a short diversion to create this sidestory while also showing us a bit of information about the A-side of the tournament. I think it's very clear and correct to say that Achiga has certain huge problems, resulting from the inability of Ritz to truly focus on and develop Achiga and their side's mahjong matches, but I think in terms of the job/function that it does which is necessary for the series it accomplishes that more or less competently.

Quote:
The actual problem is that it isn't even because of the Teru matches, but really all "proper" matches were only shown with Kuro being either dominating people or literally slaughtered, either by Toki or Teru. You barely see other girls having like 2-3 rounds within seconds/minutes at best. That's really more than half to what we were presented to, and having a packed screentime for the other characters in the last episodes will just confirm how unbalanced the series was so far.
The only point I have to say here is ironically that even Kuro didn't get much focus in this Teru match except in the last episode. So overall, including the last three episodes which will be focused on the other four Achiga characters, instead of Kuro, in the end I don't think it will be true that Achiga-hen is completely imbalanced in screentime towards Kuro. Actually, the real problem of Achiga-hen will be the lack of focus on Achiga in general (including Kuro). :P

Quote:
It is more the character concept of Kuro that is flawed, not the character on her own. The author basically cornered themselves by using such "gimmick" and restriction for her, to the point that it leads to huge issues snowballing afterwards. Frankly, it isn't the first time Kuro could be in tenpai by discarding a dora in the series, but the problem is how she came to realize it only after so many things that were basically not under her control. Again, the problem is that if it wasn't for Teru forcing everyone to play coop, there wouldn't be any way for Kuro to progress, to which it definitely cheapens such efforts done by her (hell, NONE of the Achiga girls contributed to such development, aside of aiming together towards the finals. By no means we were shown girls discussing about everyone's weakness... hell, Ako -still- didn't get why Kuro didn't discard a safe tile dora during the match against Teru, despite she knows full well Kuro's ability)

Really, it is the whole concept of forcing such situation that doesn't sit well with me: instead of having Kuro cornered and being "guided" by Toki and Kirame, I would have appreciated much more if Kuro would actually had a character development the very moment Toki was dominating her, so having more introspect regarding her dora ability then later a real effort on her own to discard a dora..
I don't think it is really that Kuro didn't "realize" that she should discard a dora earlier, because if Kuro did discard a dora earlier in this match against Teru, the results would actually have been terrible. The suggestion throughout the series actually isn't that Kuro's teammates or Kuro herself aren't aware of her weaknesses but that Kuro's weakness has no real solution, because if Kuro discards a dora then she will stop drawing them. There are/were strong negative consequences for Kuro changing her playstyle, whereas (at least for this Teru battle) the disadvantages were not that huge for continuing it.

Beyond that, I don't think it could be truly said that Toki or Kirame "guided" Kuro to discard her dora. In the end the decision and emotional development for Kuro was her own. The only thing which Toki actually did was to show Kuro that it was safe to do it. Even if Toki didn't do that, Kuro might have had her emotional development (and just discarded her dora, without knowing it was safe); alternatively, if Kuro didn't have her emotional development, she wouldn't have done it despite Toki's actions anyway. It is not like Toki or Kirame could ever really have "guided" or "predicted" Kuro's emotional development, itself, so I think in this regard, Kuro deserves her own credit.
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Last edited by Sol Falling; 2012-07-02 at 10:43.
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Old 2012-07-02, 10:29   Link #1794
Myssa Rei
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Just for the curious, it used to be theorized that Teru's equivalent to Rinshan Kaihou was Nine Gates or Nine Lanterns, which is essentially a hand whose chance to get is absolutely minuscule, even compared to Saki's rinshan (which people say is just a 2% chance in any normal game). However, Achiga has shown us the truth of the matter, which is the "devil's mirror" that Teru uses to analyze her opponent's play styles, after which she goes after them like a freight train without any breaks.
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Old 2012-07-02, 10:30   Link #1795
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
I do think the scenario that you've painted here is probably more or less accurate. On the other hand, I actually still wouldn't go so far yet as to say that Teru is a normal girl, or that she isn't a monster.
I don't mean that Teru isn't a monster at mahjong. Of course she is. She's monstrously good at it.

My point was more of a rhetorical, somewhat punny one, that perhaps was a bit too colorful for its own good.

By "You'd think by Saki's level of trepidation that Teru is a monster away from the mahjong table as well as at it." what I meant was "You'd think by Saki's level of trepidation that Teru is a really harsh/nasty person."

But I don't get the impression that Teru is a really nasty person. She has a somewhat reserved personality, but she doesn't seem uncaring or so arrogant that she sees everybody else as unworthy of her concern. For all the Teru/Gilgamesh comparisons that have been made (and I've made a lot of them myself, of course), her personality appears very different from his, even while her monstrous power is comparable to Gilgamesh's (albeit in very different fields of battle of course).

Basically, I think that Teru might be a normal person when it comes to her degree of caring/concern for other people. She's not a normal girl in general, though. She has an air to her that goes beyond normalcy, of course.
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Old 2012-07-02, 10:37   Link #1796
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Originally Posted by Triple_R
Something doesn't quite add up here, does it? You'd think by Saki's level of trepidation that Teru is a monster away from the mahjong table as well as at it. But Teru seems like, well, at least a decent human being.

.. maybe Saki is the one most responsible for the sister estrangement. Saki wasn't surprised when she heard in Season 1 that Teru proclaimed that she had no sister. Saki looked hurt, of course, but she didn't look angry or resentful really.
I agree with you that from the information we have now it seems that Saki thinks that whatever happened is her fault.

" One time... I went alone to go see them. My sister wouldn't say a single word to me... She's definitely still angry at me."

The quote implies that Saki thinks she did something wrong that caused Teru to be angry. Of course we have to take onto account that this words maybe biased, I have a feeling that if something went wrong and Saki can link herself to it she'll probably blame herself before she blame others.

Quote:
By "You'd think by Saki's level of trepidation that Teru is a monster away from the mahjong table as well as at it." what I meant was "You'd think by Saki's level of trepidation that Teru is a really harsh/nasty person."

But I don't get the impression that Teru is a really nasty person. She has a somewhat reserved personality, but she doesn't seem uncaring or so arrogant that she sees everybody else as unworthy of her concern. For all the Teru/Gilgamesh comparisons that have been made (and I've made a lot of them myself, of course), her personality appears very different from his, even while her monstrous power is comparable to Gilgamesh's (albeit in very different fields of battle of course).

And I think that even if Saki is avoiding her sister right now, its pretty obvious from the brief snippets we have of Teru in Saki's thoughts that Saki still idolize Teru a lot.

Whenever a strong player appears who does Saki compare them to ... Teru.
Which actually kinda backfired on her on many battles ... prominent among them is when Fujita-pro beat her and Nodoka, she was literally paralyzed by fear due to remembrance.
Another prominent example is when Yumi chankan'ed her. After that, she was wary of another chankan and then she thought Yumi can't do it if she calls a hidden kan. But, thought better of it when she remembered her oneechan and Kokushi musou (a ridiculously rare yakuman that can rob a hidden kan)...
From this you can infer what Saki thinks of Teru mahjong skills... (hint: godlike)

Beside this, Flashback version!Teru which is directly taken from Saki's memories is highly idealized which should show us how Saki currently perceive Teru. Its no cold robotic deceiving shell of a human being but a perfect onee-chan figure.

On that dream, it always confused me that Saki is in loli form while Teru looks more like her current self. Since their age gap is probably 2-3 years they should both be loli. Hmm... maybe well get a "true" version of the event from Teru's perspective featuring loli Saki and loli Teru...

Anyway, I think whatever is making Saki not face Teru, it isn't because Saki thinks Teru is a terrible person... its quite the opposite every thought Saki has of Teru is flattering.

About the revised Miyanaga theory... its a good one. I think mahjong is a major sport judging from the coverage alone in the highschool sector. Heck, the matches are even featured in the newspaper and its televised plus shown on the public screens. I'm feeling its "The sport" of the Saki world bigger than soccer irl.

The only fault that I can find in this theory is Saki seems to get along with her mother since she haven't been mentioned having a problem with her. Of course, this isn't proof and Saki did stay with her father...

Beside that Saki was technically punished for both winning and losing. "They" actually get angry if Saki won and well losing sucks.
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Old 2012-07-02, 11:26   Link #1797
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Originally Posted by Peanutbutter

If Saki's +-0 is the counter-ability to Teru's continuous streak, what's Teru's equivalent of Saki's kan and Rinshan Kaihou? I guessed that answer will keep me going for another 3 years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myssa Rei
Just for the curious, it used to be theorized that Teru's equivalent to Rinshan Kaihou was Nine Gates or Nine Lanterns, which is essentially a hand whose chance to get is absolutely minuscule, even compared to Saki's rinshan (which people say is just a 2% chance in any normal game). However, Achiga has shown us the truth of the matter, which is the "devil's mirror" that Teru uses to analyze her opponent's play styles, after which she goes after them like a freight train without any breaks.
I wouldn't discount Teru having nine gates as her finishing yakuman yet. Based on the pv of the original season... there are eight mirrors/eight lanterns behind Teru and one mirror appeared behind Yuuki and then Teru does a weird attack motion where she look like she is going to ron Yuuki...

Awaii-san from MAL has kindly posted a chart. If Teru follows a pattern in her consecutive wins it would look more or less like this...
5th consecutive wins = mangan
6th = haneman
7th= baiman
8th = sanbaiman
9th = would be yakuman

nine gates = nine mirrors = nine consecutive wins
Maybe when Teru is in 9th consecutive winning streak the yakuman that she will get or activated would be nine gates... considering how many waits is possible with that hand it seems to be the ideal yakuman for Teru.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling
So, by these conditions, I think Teru's play in this match was limited by two factors:

1) Of course, the fact that Kuro was hoarding all the dora, meaning Teru had to search for more complicated hand formations to keep increasing her winnings
2) Kirame's pons. Teru's ability to advance her hand obviously depends on having the opportunity to draw in the first place. Because Kirame kept ponning tiles from the others, sometimes cooperatively even just to let the other players have a chance at winning, Teru often lost her turn. Although Kirame was the best example of this throughout this match, in essence you could just say that Teru was held back by the cooperation of her opponents.
I agree with Sol falling's analysis of Teru's playstyle. I also think that the reason Teru was not that "dangerous" is because she is fighting 1 vs. 3 and the other 3 have abilities that are very well suited to fighting Teru.

To add to what Sol have said
1. Kirame's who have probably called the most in the match is seated after Teru meaning she is the perfect person to call since anytime she calls Teru's turn is skipped.
Beside that Kirame has the "not going down below zero ability" which looks useless but its perfect for weathering Teru's onslaught. It also helps that Kirame's personality is just so subara that it even pulled Toki up when she was beginning to despair.

2. Kuro's doras is already explained.

3. Toki is probably the most important component using her mahjong precognition she was able to stop most of Teru's dealer streaks meaning Teru never got to the largest hands.
Beside that she is actively hampering Teru's hands if we assume that Teru must make hands that has many waits so that even if Toki disrupted the drawing order she will still be able to win.

Now, when the finals come only one ability out of the three would be there to limit Teru so her rampage would be more unchecked. And if previous discussions that Teru is purposely not destroying teams at the vanguard match so her team could get experience is true, then the only time we will be sure to see Teru really serious is in the final match.
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Old 2012-07-02, 12:12   Link #1798
Klashikari
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
The only point I have to say here is ironically that even Kuro didn't get much focus in this Teru match except in the last episode. So overall, including the last three episodes which will be focused on the other four Achiga characters, instead of Kuro, in the end I don't think it will be true that Achiga-hen is completely imbalanced in screentime towards Kuro. Actually, the real problem of Achiga-hen will be the lack of focus on Achiga in general (including Kuro). :P
The problem stands there though, while you can say Achiga only get not even half of the spotlight in term of play during their titular series, it was just all about Kuro, with characters like Arata being nothing short of filler to put it bluntly. In a sense, it really felt like the author had no idea how to balance things out (heck, using a ploy to have Shizu managing to get Achiga in second in the previous match, then showing her making a comeback after dealing in a baiman), so instead of having things balanced out, they outright based everything on the 2 "oddities" of Achiga.
But in general, this is the very reason why this series is ironically more like "shiraitodai VS senriyama" than really achiga doing anything.
Quote:
I don't think it is really that Kuro didn't "realize" that she should discard a dora earlier, because if Kuro did discard a dora earlier in this match against Teru, the results would actually have been terrible. The suggestion throughout the series actually isn't that Kuro's teammates or Kuro herself aren't aware of her weaknesses but that Kuro's weakness has no real solution, because if Kuro discards a dora then she will stop drawing them. There are/were strong negative consequences for Kuro changing her playstyle, whereas (at least for this Teru battle) the disadvantages were not that huge for continuing it.
The problem isn't that she keeps dora in order to fend off teru's growing hands, but more like -she can't do anything without dora- prior this episode. Really, Kuro's characterization was grossely revolving on the fact she really doesn't make any hands without a sizable amount of dora (the series never showed a hand below 5 dora), which explains why she was utterly helpless, since she didn't try any alternative (although there were instances she really couldn't, such like Teru's kan leading to 3 9wan dora).

From a general perspective, it could be said that "unlocking" dora would lead to much easier fat score for Teru, but there is one thing to consider: that it would make Kuro -far less- predictable in the whole mess. Kuro was the main "cause" of Teru's rons, because she always dealt incredibly unsafe tiles, until Toki showed her the way in the last episode, Kirame dealt in Teru's hand due to bad luck/impossibility to predict Teru's waits, and Toki got toasted because of either her riichi backfiring at her, or exhaustion.
In a way, Teru would have faster "big hands", but she would rely much more on tsumo if Kuro stopped dora cluttering her hands, while the latter could potentially help Kirame and Toki in calling tiles (Kirame and Toki could sort of keep Teru at bays few turns, but having the 3 of them would definitely affect the flow big time), especially that Kuro knows full well Teru's limitations. Hell, even Teru herself based everything on the fact Kuro wouldn't discard any dora, leading to hands disregarding completely dora as waits. Therefore, her whole strategy would need revision, and not especially fitted with everything going left and right.
Quote:
Beyond that, I don't think it could be truly said that Toki or Kirame "guided" Kuro to discard her dora. In the end the decision and emotional development for Kuro was her own. The only thing which Toki actually did was to show Kuro that it was safe to do it. Even if Toki didn't do that, Kuro might have had her emotional development (and just discarded her dora, without knowing it was safe); alternatively, if Kuro didn't have her emotional development, she wouldn't have done it despite Toki's actions anyway. It is not like Toki or Kirame could ever really have "guided" or "predicted" Kuro's emotional development, itself, so I think in this regard, Kuro deserves her own credit.
It isn't like they directly guided her to discard the tile, but they guided her so the "path" was clear, with their calls and safe tiles.
Whereas Kuro indeed pulled efforts in there, her growth was instigated by her opponents and the desperate situation, instead of really done on her own or with her team. Simply speaking, my problem was that Kuro was plainly shown helpless and passive (sure, it isn't like she can suddenly make stunts like Toki considering her own ability, but that doesn't stop the fact she wasn't really shown trying anything).

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Old 2012-07-02, 13:17   Link #1799
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The problem isn't that she keeps dora in order to fend off teru's growing hands, but more like -she can't do anything without dora- prior this episode. Really, Kuro's characterization was grossely revolving on the fact she really doesn't make any hands without a sizable amount of dora (the series never showed a hand below 5 dora), which explains why she was utterly helpless, since she didn't try any alternative.
Yes, I do think this is one of the options which Kuro could have explored, which was to become a good player even without her ability, simply as a "normal" player. However, there are two major obstacles to this happening -- namely Kuro's personality (her dora skill is very closely tied to her personality/memories) and a lack of time for training -- and even then when you consider that the most effective "normal" playstyle would be something like Ako's which mostly gets tanyaos for only ~4000 points or so it's clear that it's really a very small gain compared to the ~16000 point hands that Kuro's ability normally gets.

Quote:
From a general perspective, it could be said that "unlocking" dora would lead to much easier fat score for Teru, but there is one thing to consider: that it would make Kuro -far less- predictable in the whole mess. Kuro was the main "cause" of Teru's rons, because she always dealt incredibly unsafe tiles, until Toki showed her the way in the last episode, Kirame dealt in Teru's hand due to bad luck/impossibility to predict Teru's waits, and Toki got toasted because of either her riichi backfiring at her, or exhaustion.
Actually, Kuro only dealt into Teru's hands three times during this game, which were two times for very small values (~1300 points or so) and one time I think a mangan (~8000). The only thing which makes Kuro's hands "predictable" is if she's actively pursuing tempai (i.e. trying to win a hand) which means that she could still avoid pretty well if she was just defending passively. In fact, the person who was ronned most during this game by Teru was Kirame, and most of the points that Teru earned were from herself by tsumo. So while you might be correct about Kuro's hands being predictable during the QuarterFinal match when Kuro lost ~40000 points to Toki and even others, it actually isn't true that that had so much of an effect in this match against Teru.

Quote:
In a way, Teru would have faster "big hands", but she would rely much more on tsumo if Kuro stopped dora cluttering her hands, while she could potentially help Kirame and Toki in calling tiles (Kirame and Toki could sort of keep Teru at bays few turns, but having the 3 of them would definitely affect the flow big time), especially that Kuro knows full well Teru's limitations.
I do think Kuro could have had more potential to actively take part in interfering with Teru if her hand weren't cluttered with dora, but really in terms of calling tiles Kirame was the key position because she sat after Teru. Therefore, only Kirame ponning tiles to take turns from Teru would've been most effective, because nobody else ponning would actually skip Teru's turn (unless it was Toki ponning from Kuro, but then Kirame gets skipped too). From this perspective, Kuro keeping hold of all the dora tiles really was the most effective way for her to contribute to holding back Teru.

Quote:
It isn't like they directly guided her to discard the tile, but they guided her so the "path" was clear: they forced Teru to declare riichi, which in turn lead to a delay with their calls and all.
Whereas Kuro indeed pulled efforts in there, her growth was instigated by her opponents and the desperate situation, instead of really done on her own or with her team. Simply speaking, my problem was that Kuro was plainly shown helpless and passive (sure, it isn't like she can suddenly make stunts like Toki considering her own ability, but that doesn't stop the fact she wasn't really shown trying anything).
Actually I disagree here, Toki did in no way actually force Teru to call riichi, she simply predicted it due to her foresight ability. The reason Teru called riichi was actually due to her own limitation/ability which means that she has to continually raise the value of the hands she gets. Because all of the dora were hoarded by Kuro, once Teru started getting into the higher hand values (i.e. mangan, haneman, etc.) Teru would have to start depending on things like riichis, ippatsus, or rinshans to keep on upgrading her hand values. This fact that Teru's "increasing wins" limitation might force her to put herself in a position where she was vulnerable was actually one of the things which was foreshadowed by Kuro/Ako earlier on in the match.

The thing which Toki actively did in terms of their last win on Teru was only to play some safe tiles from Teru's riichi to show Kuro which tiles were safe to discard (something that she could've done with just her single turn lookahead ability) and to change the draw order so that Kuro's winning tile would be drawn by Teru.

(The thing about Toki's future sight ability is that aside from her own draws, Toki can only see her opponents' discards (and whether they will pon/chi/ron/etc. or not) so it doesn't actually give her very complete information about her opponents' hands. In general, it's a pretty strong power because it would allow Toki to know when somebody was about to win, and thus try to stop/disrupt them, and also to have advance information about how to build her hand, or which tiles are safe to discard; but it doesn't give her complete knowledge of her opponents' hand shapes and doesn't allow her to precisely influence what tiles they draw (she can only act on obvious/general signs like them winning or calling riichi or something). The idea of influencing Teru to riichi, therefore, is actually one of the things which Toki can't do.)
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Last edited by Sol Falling; 2012-07-02 at 13:30.
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Old 2012-07-02, 13:19   Link #1800
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Something that has been a bit strange for me: Has anyone noticed that the narration keeps mentioning "hundreds of millions of players"? Yes, I know that there are actually hundreds of millions of "casual" players in China, but taking that number out of the picture, it would mean that mahjong is serious business. Seems like we do have something on the level of soccer in Sakiverse.
Ritz won't be alive long enough to finish a majong series that covers the world.
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