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Old 2013-03-07, 21:00   Link #3181
Rava
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Shizu's ability might be palatable -- once we get a translation on it.
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Old 2013-03-07, 22:45   Link #3182
The Green One
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Achiga as a whole are gradual grinders. They didn't suddenly just magically become awesome, the entire 20 chapters was the story of them growing from a group of nobodies who liked to play Mahjong in the past to potential championship contenders.

Achiga had plenty of time effort and training devoted to getting better but it seems the common complaint is due to the reduced number of chapters we didn't get the benefits of looking over their shoulders over the main details.

For a long time we didn't see much in the way of matches for half the team and even Harue was held suspect as a terrible coach who never did any coaching. But the truth was later proven that the majority of it was done off screen so to speak.

The main reason why was to make the eventual reveal that much more dramatic. Sure Shizu didn't show much in the way of awesome the only other time we saw her play but both series showed quite clearly that no one is at the top of their game all of the time. Unless your name is Teru.

For the prefecture tournament and the 1st round of the nationals Achiga was able to win easily by coasting off of Kuro's massive offensive power. The others didn't get shown but it could easily be assumed they had stable strong games and didn't have any trouble.

Then they went up against Senriyama and fought a powerful and well experienced team and got their asses utterly handed to them. Sure it established Senriyama's power but also highlighted the Achiga's girls weaknesses and shortcombing so they went out to train to help deal with them. Will this make their weaknesses disappear immediately? Of course not, but now they're better equipped to address them and protect themselves. More importantly it hardened their resolve.

One of the main focuses of this story was Achiga facing the semifinals curse of their predecessors and overcoming it. All of them, except Kuro lol, were able to draw on their past experiences, their training, and Harue's instructions to muster a will and focus they hadn't been able to show before. They began to show their true potential and ability they were capable of and showed once and for all they had what it takes to throw down at the big girl's table.

As for Shizu sure it might seem weird she suddenly has this power, but could she not just finally have developed it? All these abilities that the players throw around have to originate from some where, why can't Shizu do the same? Of course we need context to validate this, but it's not like this suddenly came out of thin air, it received foreshadowing from Koromo, it was only just recently revealed to preserve the drama for this. All of this was to show that Achiga is a worthy contender at the final table and not just a place holder due to their connection with Nodoka.

The Achiga girls worked hard to get to where they are now, even if half of it was stuff we weren't directly privy to due to space and time constraints, and now they're rewarded with their crowning achievement and the increased fame they'll get for their upset of the champions in the semis. They're not champions yet and Shiratodai will certainly never underestimate them again, not to mention they'll have to throw down in the Finals without their main character status anymore, so it's hardly over yet.

Yeah some of the stuff may be a bit hard to swallow from certain points of view, but isn't this part of the charm of the two series? I mean the over the top special powers and skills with Mahjong. Sure it might be hard to see Shindouji and Senriyama lose, they were interesting schools with likeable characters, but I'm sure most of you have to admit it was a fun ride, complaints non withstanding.
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Old 2013-03-07, 23:28   Link #3183
cedec0
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First, congratulation to Shiraitodai for making the finals. I went to bed last night after my last post (right before the results of South4 were leaked) when it looked like my prediction of Shiraitodai coming in last might come true. Congratulation to Awai for managing to grab seond under that situation.

With exception of Takami (who I find boring) and Seiko (who I find pathetic), I like the players of Shiraitodai so I am not heartbroken that the other teams didn't make it. However, I am very surprised, mainly because of how Shiraitodai was presented in the semi-finals (one "awsome" player (Teru) and four, point-losing disappointments) . If Shiraitodai was one of the schools heading to the finals, what the hell was up with their team's perfomance?

The problem wasn't just that all the players after Teru lost points, but the way they lost those points. With good writing, it is possible for a player to lose tons of points while still maintaining their credibility as a powerful mahjong player (for example, Mako in the prefecture tournament finals). That didn't happen with Shiraitodai's point losers (with the exception of Awai who was facing two opponents with ridiculous, near-cheating powers and the monster-slayer Shizu). Sumire performance without her sniping was weak. Takami lost so many points that even her (very boring) "harvest time" couldn't get them back. And Seiko... -59400...

Whatever... This lack of effort to preserve Shiraitodai's credibility as a powerful opponent had me completely fooled into thinking they wouldn't make it to the finals...

;--------------------------------

Quote:
I think it's more of a problem with how Shizu NOW compares to the Shizu who we saw raped hard by Koromo
Actually, that part of the manga/anime (when Shizu was "saw raped hard by Koromo") was very weird, and it is the thing that first made me think Shizu was a monster.

You see, if they had shown Koromo AT THE END of the training trip having crushed Shizu, then we would have known for sure that Shizu was a normal mahjong player. However that didn't happen. Instead, Koromo is shown haven beaten Shizu in the first half of the training, Shizu gets up full of spirit to challenge Koromo again, then nothing (not even a hint of what happened). Why didn't they show what happenned in round two of Kuromo VS Shizu? Given this purposeful omission, I suspected things did not go well for Kuromo. It felt like the author was trolling the reader into thinking Shizu was weak.

Last edited by cedec0; 2013-03-08 at 10:59.
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Old 2013-03-08, 01:39   Link #3184
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The last chapter especially is a disaster of epic proportion for Shizuno's character. In my opinion, she went from my second favorite Achiga to the last. Well, hopefully, the last chapter will look/read better when the translations come. But, at the moment I have to agree with those that are saying that this feels like an "Asspull."
Shizu was always a strong, but Ritz-sensai went out of her way to omit any evidence of this strenght so that she could pul a "dramatic reveal". The clear lack of warning about Shizu's abilities was intentional.

On the other hand, there were many SUBTLE hints about Shizu's true strenght throughthout the manga. Why do think it was Shizuno that was chosen for vanguard captain position (where teams usually place their aces)? Why do you think it was Shizuno (not Kuro, Yuu, Ako, or Arata) that was shown playing Koromo? UNTIL CONFIRMED OTHERWISE, you should assume that the main character will turn out to be monstrously stong. Shizu was the main character of Achiga-hen.

Also, the expression asspull should be used for something like "taking off your socks and magically getting stronger".

;--------------------------------

Quote:
Meta-narrative-wise, I am no longer as much hyped for finals, since I get this feeling that power levels aren't balanced anymore and anything can be changed by the author's wish. (Of course, this is true in reality, but to see it actually happen inside the narrative shatters the reliability and verisimilitude of the narrative itself) And I'm no longer scared by the prospect of facing Shiraitodai - Rinkai seems scarier, but then they might not be able to go to finals since they're a seeded and hyped school just like Eisui and Shiraitodai. And I feel less and less respect for the characters of Achiga, who seem to be frolicking around under the pretext of meeting their childhood friend and beating up the hardworking schools with plot armor.
For those of you who didn't understand why Achiga-hen ended the way it did, you might like what happens in the main manga even less.

When I heard about Achiga-hen, I was excited for two reasons:

1) I suspected Shizuno would turn out to be saki-level monster, and I was looking forwards to finding out what her powers/abilities were.
2) I suspected that the whole purpose of the side story might be to create a team that would defeat Kiyosumi in the finals (I always find manga's more interesting when the main characters lose every once in a while)

I don't know for what plot-reasons Ritz-sensai might want Kiyosumi to lose, but a side story like Achiga-hen would be the pre-requisite to accomplishing it. For an author to go to such lenght (20 chapter distraction from main manga) to create the possibility of Kiyosumi losing... That was something I found/find really interesting and exciting.

Think about it:

Shiraitodai's chance of winning the final is zero. Rinkai's chance of winning the final is zero. In this type of manga, only main characters can defeat main characters. Now Achiga-hen has created a team of main characters to face Kiyosumi in the finals.

Unlike Shiraitodai and Rinkai, Achiga's chance of winning the final is not zero (since the whole purpose of the 20 chapter side story Achiga-hen may have been to create a team that defeats Kiyosumi in the finals)...

So if you didn't like Achiga winning the semi-finals... you should at least prepare yourself for the possibility of them winning the finals also.

;--------------------------------

Don't worry about it too much though, I have been wrong about other things (like Shiraitodai making the finals). However, I will be Achiga I will be watching carefully in the finals. Did Ritz-sensai waste 20 chapters just to have Achiga defeated like Shiraitodai/Rinkai? Or will it be...

Last edited by cedec0; 2013-03-08 at 02:24.
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Old 2013-03-08, 02:12   Link #3185
Von Himmel
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Why do think it was Shizuno that was chosen for vanguard position (where teams usually place their aces)?
Non non, she's in the captain position. Many aces are supposed to be in that position though.
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Old 2013-03-08, 02:20   Link #3186
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Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post
Why do think it was Shizuno that was chosen for vanguard position (where teams usually place their aces)? Why do you think it was Shizuno (not Kuro, Yuu, Ako, or Arata) that was shown playing Koromo? UNTIL CONFIRMED OTHERWISE, you should assume that the main character will turn out to be monstrously stong. Shizu was the main character of Achiga-hen.
Shizuno isn't the vanguard, she's the captain. And according to what's said in the manga, at least, teams don't "usually" place aces in the captain position. Koromo was rather said to be the exception. (Although I do agree that there seems to be a disproportionate amount of strong players in that position...) And there's no reason to assume that a main character should be monstrously strong. Shizuno was presented as a shonen-manga-protagonist-like character, always aspiring to be better but not monstrously strong from the beginning due to some innate powers. It was natural for readers to accept her that as she was presented.

I actually agree that the prospect of having Achiga as a threatening opponent for Kiyosumi is much more exciting than having an utterly weak, hanging-by-a-thread Achiga in the finals. But I care little about any ulterior motives Ritz-sensei might have for ending Achiga the way she did - it isn't possible for me to predict what will happen in the finals for now as I unfortunately don't possess any clairvoyant powers. What I do care about is whether the narrative was coherent for Achiga-hen itself, and my impression of it as of now is that it wasn't.



Now, if Achiga was presented coherently as a powerful opponent, that would have been much, much more exciting, wouldn't it? If Shiraitodai had been presented as nearly powerful as it was assumed to be, and even then was defeated by Achiga, now that would have been something to look forward to. To me, presentation is quite important in any narrative - readers aren't gods, and they can only take information from what they see. If you hide information from readers just for the sake of surprise, then it's only bewildering, not impressive and awe-inspiring. Surprise for the sake of surprise may satisfy some readers who are fond of plot twists, but in general is likely to weaken the integrity of the narrative itself, by bending some parts of the story too hard to fit the surprises.

Also, although we might have seen twenty long episodes of Achiga, they haven't really trained that long in actual time (for themselves, that is). I'm pretty sure the other powerhouses trained much more than they did in terms of time. So you can't simply explain it away as a result of cumulative effort - in terms of pure effort resulting from in-school competition and all, the other schools most likely exceeded Achiga.

And as I said, Shizuno is the least of my problems. I might actually accept her development once I read the translation, I allow that much. But Achiga-hen itself overall, how it treated its schools, was quite underwhelming. Of course I enjoyed it, of course I fell in love with a lot - actually most - of its characters. But that's a different story. I didn't even want Senriyama or Shindouji to proceed to finals, I thought it decided for sure that it would be Shiraitodai and Achiga. It's the presentation, flow, and structure of the overall narrative that I've been disappointed with, although I had been overlooking many of the problems I had before in anticipation of an excellent finale. Well... we'll have to see about that.
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Old 2013-03-08, 02:42   Link #3187
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Now, if Achiga was presented coherently as a powerful opponent, that would have been much, much more exciting, wouldn't it?
It fundamentally depends on what purpose the author has planned for Achiga.

If Achiga's purpose is to be defeated in the finals, then you are absolutely right: overcoming someone "presented coherently as a powerful opponent" like Koromo makes the manga more interested. If Achiga is fated to lose the final, then there has been a failure in how they were presented.

If Achiga's purpose is to win the finals, then it is an entirely differant story. The main character (Achiga/Shizu) is supposed to be the underdog compared to the opponent they defeat (Kiyosumi/Saki). So if Achiga wins the final, then there has been no mistake on how they have been presented.


Let me put it to you as question: Has Kiyosumi/Saki been successfully "presented coherently as a powerful opponent" for the underdog Achiga/Shizu to defeat in the final? If yes, then the settup of the final is not problematic if we consider Achiga/Shizu as the main character fated to win.
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Old 2013-03-08, 02:50   Link #3188
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Originally Posted by Myssa Rei View Post
I think it's more of a problem with how Shizu NOW compares to the Shizu who we saw raped hard by Koromo, and had to win off a mad scramble in the quarterlies due to her getting terrible hands. It's like we jumped several chapters in between in terms of competency, but now we're supposed to believe that she's always had an ability like this? Some people will have a hard time swallowing that.

I like Achiga's team of misfits, but I can see why this won't sit well with people. It feels like Shizu's been given an ability for the simple reason as to be a hard counter to Saki herself, as much as Awai is a hard counter to Saki.
Some powers activate only in the right circumstances.
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Old 2013-03-08, 02:52   Link #3189
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Huh, something I've forgotten somewhat but noticed again after rereading some chapters:

The Achiga Team actually took time outside their normal practice time and snuck in extra practice against the top individual tourney players like Arawaka Kei and her group of friends before the game. This is on top of the extra practice they got against Kazekoshi and Tsuruga. Taking a look, I'm leaning more towards the thought that Achiga always had the potential to be a strong team, but lacked the experience the other teams had, but the repeated matches against some monster players help quicken that process. Shizuno in particular ran through quite a gauntlet of monsters in the practice matches, starting from Koromo (perhaps this is where her special ability first began to develop, as noticed by Koromo), after the quarter-final matches she (likely) ran up against Yumi (Tsuruga's ace), Mihoko (Nagano ranked 1 individuals and kazekoshi's ace), and Arakawa Kei (Individuals finalist last year). This is during the time that in theory they should have been relaxing/going over the other team's records and match history.

ALSO RITZ, WHY YOU MAKE SUCH COLORFUL CHARACTER DESIGNS TO ONE-SCENE WONDERS.
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Old 2013-03-08, 02:54   Link #3190
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Since I'm Achiga-fan. I'm totally welcome this ending. I do understand why some people don't like it, though.

Now that Achiga has ended, Two schools that will advance to final round are Shiratodai and Achiga.

On Side-B, it still hard to predict who will advance to final round with Kiyosumi

If Ritz stay true to fan expectation, Rinkai will advance with Kiyosumi

If Ritz what to surprise us, Uzusan will advance. We don't know much about them yet

If Ritz what to continue trolling us, Himematsu will advance because Kiyosumi......no...Saki allow it.

Somehow I feel that Saki will get raped by one the fifth player in Semi-final and Kiyosumi will advance as second (Calling it now.) The 1st and 2nd advance rule is made so that main character can lose. Ritz already used it on Side-A so it's time to use on Side-B. It will also create a tension for Saki.

I start to see the goal that Ritz is planning for the final. Ritz doesn't want it to be a battle between two very strong schools. She wants it to be a match where all 4 schools are vulnerable to each other.
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Old 2013-03-08, 02:58   Link #3191
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I wonder who the captain of Rinkai is. Hoping it's Myeonghwa.
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Old 2013-03-08, 03:06   Link #3192
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I was going to let it slide and just accept the results. But this...

I apologize in advance to Cedec0 But, there are several statements and justification that your post is filled that literally kills me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post
Shizu was always a strong, but Ritz-sensai went out of her way to omit any evidence of this strenght so that she could pul a "dramatic reveal". The clear lack of warning about Shizu's abilities was intentional.

On the other hand, there were many SUBTLE hints about Shizu's true strenght throughthout the manga. Why do think it was Shizuno that was chosen for vanguard position (where teams usually place their aces)? Why do you think it was Shizuno (not Kuro, Yuu, Ako, or Arata) that was shown playing Koromo? UNTIL CONFIRMED OTHERWISE, you should assume that the main character will turn out to be monstrously stong. Shizu was the main character of Achiga-hen.
So the main character is automatically monstrously strong even if all the signs point to the other direction? I don't know even know when to start with this.

Okay. First, there are several main characters who are not monstrously strong you know? Even in a sport manga which I assume is the genre that you are talking about. For example. Baby steps, one of the manga that I'm reading right now has a main character that lost several tournaments already. He is also far from the most 'powerful' character in the series.

Second, you should not use meta knowledge as some sort of evidence to justify why something happened in the narrative. Even if, its clear from the get go that the heroes should win, its the authors onus to make that victory seems as probable as possible.



Quote:
Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post
Also, the expression asspull should be used for something like "taking off your socks and magically getting stronger".

I really don't know why you used this. This is easily explained. The mechanics are the same with Nodoka's penguin and Arata's glove. They feel more comfortable when playing with them on. Its psychological thing that has even been observed in real life. I know someone who takes all her major exam using the same type of pen and claims that it helps her concentrate. She also has good track record for claiming this too.

Anyway, Saki's greatest weakness is her mind which has the stability of nitroglyceride. Is it really that hard to imagine that making her more comfortable and allowing her remember the situation when she was happy would increase her mahjong ability? Especially at this point, when the manga has been dropping hints left and right that one thing that holds Saki back is herself.

:
Quote:
Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post


Shiraitodai's chance of winning the final is zero. Rinkai's chance of winning the final is zero. In this type of manga, only main characters can defeat main characters. Now Achiga-hen has created a team of main characters to face Kiyosumi in the finals.

Shiraitodai's chance of winning is not zero. Rinkai if they are the opponents that will go up with Kiyosumi has the same chance as everybody else.

And now the statement that I have the most trouble with. MAIN CHARACTERS CAN BE BEATEN BY NON-MAIN CHARACTERS.

If for example Shizuno faces Yumi, someone from a non-main character team. It doesn't mean that it is given that Shizuno will win just because she is the main character. IF for example Yumi has all the research done, found the right strategy/tactic to employ with a little bit of luck and skill, she can beat Shizuno.



Quote:
Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post
Let me put it to you as question: Has Kiyosumi/Saki been successfully "presented coherently as a powerful opponent" for the underdog Achiga/Shizu to defeat in the final? If yes, then the settup of the final is not problematic if we consider Achiga/Shizu as the main character fated to win.
I don't understand this. To paraphrase the reason why Achiga will beat Kiyosumi was because Kiyosumi is written well/coherently as a powerful team?

P.S. Cedec0 if you must defend the winning of Achiga, can you use the narrative and not use meta knowledge? I'm now okay with what happened just don't use those arguments please.

Last edited by night_sentinel; 2013-03-08 at 03:51. Reason: take out a statement muddying the issue
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Old 2013-03-08, 03:18   Link #3193
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The problem seems to be to me you're less willing to accept the fact that Achiga's growth is presented as subtle. Winning matches is not the only way to indicate strength. Achiga can get their butts kicked in a match but it's still worthwhile for the experience it gives. Especially if they're playing constantly against powerful opponents.

If you get chucked into a shark pool over and over again you learn to fight the sharks or get torn apart. Achiga has learned through experience and it has begun to unlock the potential talent they have had from the start but lacked the experience to fully use.

Just because the details of the training, the ins and outs of the training, and harue's instructions are not all spelled out in black and white all the time does not make it bad writing. Occasionally frustrating yes, bad writing no. You have to realize that the author is working within time and space constraint, if it was to go into full detail we'd be looking at a much longer series.

Ultimately this is a side story meant to present who the heck these Achiga girls are and why we should give a flying flip about it. It's presented in a concise and brief manner befitting a sidestory. You got to read between the lines in some places to fully appreciate the story.
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Old 2013-03-08, 03:33   Link #3194
night_sentinel
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^
^
^

I think you might have missed the reason for my post. It is not about Achiga winning but the reason Cedec0 is giving for them to win. Unless you agree with the bolded part of his post which meant we have to agree to disagree because I will never accept the statement that its a given that the protagonist or main character to win or the one where only main characters can beat main characters.

As for the Achiga match, I find the senpuu, chuuken and fuku taisho a correct representation of their strength. I still am waiting judgement for the taisho match pending scanlations. As for Yuu's match, I'm really sorry but Sumire's tell is really annoying.
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Old 2013-03-08, 03:47   Link #3195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by night_sentinel View Post
^
^
^

I think you might have missed the reason for my post. It is not about Achiga winning but the reason Cedec0 is giving for them to win. Unless you agree with the bolded part of his post which meant we have to agree to disagree because I will never accept the statement that its a given that the protagonist or main character to win or the one where only main characters can beat main characters.

As for the Achiga match, I find the senpuu, chuuken and fuku taisho a correct representation of their strength. I still am waiting judgement for the taisho match pending scanlations. As for Yuu's match, I'm really sorry but Sumire's tell is really annoying.
The bold statement I have no argument with, if that is one of the main things you post revolves around then perhaps I did misunderstand and I apologize. Clearly I frequent other places that will not be named in search of information about the series and develop a bit of a hair trigger towards more....eccentric behavior.

As for Sumire's tell, well, you're entitled to your opinion and I fully support that even if I do not agree with said opinion.

Jury is still out on the monkey, still we should have an answer in a few days.
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Old 2013-03-08, 06:08   Link #3196
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20 chapters. That's 1.67 years. I somehow remember that I was an Achiga fan back at the start of it, going so far as to defend them as interesting protagonists during the anime. It's kinda strange that the only feeling I have towards their victory now is annoyance.

I think it was probably Yuu's match that started me being not so fond of Achiga. At that time I had expected Achiga to prove themselves by the worth of their players. However, Yuu's victory was completely cheapened by the thing with Harue's bullshit and Sumire's tell.

Anyway, Shizu is a pretty crappy protagonist compared to Toki. Toki is just...I dunno, perfect, she's great in every way possible. Originally I thought Achiga would be able to win me over to some other characters by the time the Captain's match happened, so that I'd be okay with Senriyama losing, but it didn't really happen. I don't really care about the match results anymore, but at this point Ritz had better just continue to feature Toki and Ryuuka as characters.

I do still like Ako, though. And in addition, Ako x Sera. My ID for L7447 in tenhou is Ako555.

lol, I don't care about logical arguments or anything more, really. I simply don't like Achiga. I guess I should just hope Ritz gets better soon so we can get more awesome Yuuki and Rinkai in general.
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Old 2013-03-08, 07:25   Link #3197
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Whoa, long discussion here eh?

I'm not one for long posts, but I'll just say I'm rooting to see how Saki manages her own in the finals against those two. Remember, she's also watching how Shizu got the upper hand against Awai.

And of course, what Shiraitodai and Teru have to say at the captain's match in the finals. Teru watching her little sis in action.

I can wait. I already waited 4 years.
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Old 2013-03-08, 08:23   Link #3198
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It seems people miss what the problem is...
People aren't pissed because Achiga win, aren't pissed because Shiraitodai isn't as strong as they wish it to be, people pissed actually because how the story present it...

For people who say Achiga gave subtle hint, sorry but it is sudden not subtle...
It tries to, but do it badly...

For people who say Achiga didn't gave foreshadowing, sorry but they do...
Why do you think Shizu has that fire eye? And the only time other people in Achiga has this kind of eye is in anime, so I blame that on anime staff...

Problem with Achiga is pacing, it doesn't have good pacing...
It is rushed and many details of explanations aren't given properly...
Example: People aren't pissed at Sumire tell, if they can then they'll be able to tell why Sumire's tell is bs while Yuuki's taco isn't, I mean how exactly someone lose energy because she didn't eat taco but eat breakfast?

People aren't pissed because Harue able to see Sumire tell or Yuu able to spot it in the match without eyeglasses, while other can't. To answer what people pissed about, one must answer how long has Harue and Yuu realize it?

Base on the chapter that gives the explanation, it actually far before the national match.
Why? Because they are in the school garden, instead of onsen, instead of the match with other school, instead training with bansei...
It also should be note, as a person who always wish to win in national, it isn't far fetched to think that Harue also following the national tournament, which mean she has monitored the competitor for quite a bit by now...
This, actually gives a bit more sense to Yuu vs Sumire match, because it means Yuu has trained for quite a long time to counter Sumire...

Another one, Kuro, is become problem not because she didn't throw her dora, but because we didn't know why she can't throw her dora...
We now know that it is the memento of her mother, the one that reminds her of her mother, but we don't know about it, we don't have enough time and moment to sympathize with it...
And now she become the bullied girl...

Why Arata's match the best? Because the manga tell us about Arata and her relationship with Harue for quite sometimes...
The show gives us clues about her ability from early time...
It also gives us clue about Shizu, but the wish to cover it and reveal it as 'surprise!' moment drag TOO long without another hint, which spoil it and now it taste bad...

But I am fine with Achiga...
I like it because I can find what it actually tried to do, though fail quite horribly...
I can understand people who dislike it, but the reason you say Shizu can't have superpower is simply because you don't want Shizu to have superpower, instead of you can't see or understand why Shizu has superpower...

TL;DR
People hate it because they envision the show by what it show instead of what it tell...
And that's what Achiga mostly failed, it doesn't show you enough, thus when it tells you, you feel cheated...

Note: Hey, this is the first time I can think an appropriate TL;DR for my post! Thanks Achiga! :P

Last edited by MarkS00N; 2013-03-08 at 09:59.
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Old 2013-03-08, 09:42   Link #3199
teja208
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Location: Anywhere with anime and anime discussion is fine
After cooling my head down a bit, I decided to reread/watch the whole series all over again and began reviewing my thought and outlook of Shiraitodai and how it changes as the series progress. Iím starting to see why the author deciding to place Shiraitodai second. I have to say that Ritz is a master troll here, but in a good sense at least for me personally.

Way back when I first saw episode 20 of Saki anime, it became clear as day that Teru AND the rest of her team are the main antagonists of this series. Unconsciously, an assumption formed in my mind: Shiraitodai is unstoppable. A team of antagonist shouldnít be stopped until itís time for the protagonist team steps up and defeat them just like in any other shounen manga i.e. no other team aside from Kiyosumi will be allowed to defeat Shiraitodai. It cannot be any other way because Iíve never seen it done before. This is where I was proven wrong.

Ritz Kobayashi isnít your typical shonen manga writer. She doesnít follow the usual formulas and tropes we mostly expect out of regular shounen manga. Our protagonist Saki, doesnít act like a total outgoing hotblooded idiot type of hero in a typical shounen manga, that role falls to Shizuno, the protagonist of the side story. Then as the national tournament unfolds, some of us began to see that Ritz doesnít follow the algorithm of enemy power line up which we have seen in most fighting manga like Dragonball and Bleach. Now regarding Shiraitodai and how Ritz portrayed them in Achiga is yet another example of this. You think no one can defeat the villain before the hero actually gets there? Not in this series. Shiraitodai first defeat came from the team of protagonist from the side story! How often do you get to see that happen in a shounen manga? Feel free to give me some example.

I remember someone on this thread remarked on how the purpose of Side A is to showcase how terrifying Shiraitodai is before the final. A final boss preview appetizer before the main course so to say. Even if Shiraitodai performed poorly, they are just holding back and there is still Awai at the end to save the day, but is that really it? In the end, it turns out Shizu defeated Awai in points, a hard objective evidence, forcing me to admit that Shiraitodai team members aside from Teru appear less terrifying than what most of us expected or lead to believe before Achiga manga started.

I once toyed with the idea that Achiga can top Shiraitodai, but seeing it actually happen is a completely different experience. On the bright side, it made me want to root for Achiga more than ever before, but I feel like Iíve lost something important. That something is FAITH. Faith in Shiraitodai as the antagonist team. Then came poster cedec0 who presented an unusual idea of Shiraitodai not making it to the final four. While I canít say I ever doubted that Shiraitodai will not advance, I began to question why I view Shiraitodai as superior team compare to the rest.

Is it because of the hype?

No, I donít think thatís the reason.

Itís because I envisioned Shiraitodai as an unstoppable team of antagonist which is why I rationalize that the author can never possibily make them any weaker than other team. How else will they made a good antagonist?

This is where I have to start being more open-minded with regard of how Ritz writes her story. Her writing isnít restricted by usual shonen manga formulas and tropes. She doesnít favor protagonist or antagonist team over any other team. Each and every team she created has its own strengths and weaknesses, and there is no plot-relevant team that can be seen as overpowered or horribly weak compare to the other. Most of the time when a team is defeated, itís due to combination of bad match up, superior strategic play, and not enough guts. To Kobayashi-sensei, there is no such thing as a perfect team, each of them had their flaw and every team, even Shiraitodai, has to struggle and put their best effort to overcome all odds to be placed on the top.
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Old 2013-03-08, 10:10   Link #3200
MarkS00N
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Join Date: Feb 2012
@teja28
Yeah, that's why I don't mind Achiga that much...
In the big picture it is great, it is brilliant like Saki even...
It is just the series has some poor storytelling which if I must say comes from:
1) The series need to stay with anime (I think this is Ritz obsession seen how the first series climax end alongside manga's chapter)...
2) The series has too many pages...

I know, number 2 seems strange but I think that's what happen...
Because each chapter has many pages, it is tempting to gives many info, while trying to keep the original series's feeling...
In original, you have a chapter completely dedicated to how other player feel about Saki, then another chapter of how the superpower work, etc.
This, along side with more time to think about what should come inside each chapter, gives a much more decent pacing...

In Achiga you have many thing yet it feels off...
It felt like you have too many but lacking at the same time...
It felt rushed...
And rushed indeed...

With just so much pages, it try to convey the same emotional feeling of original Saki, but with perfecture match as Mahjong Parlor, Quarterfinal as Single match and Training, and Final as Final...
While it certainly can if managed better, Achiga unfortunately didn't thus the storm that happen now...

I however will blame anime for not 25 episodes, for that is the required amount to make things work, at least I believe so...
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