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Old 2013-03-13, 23:21   Link #3301
ahelo
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I'm a bit disappointed with Awai not being as dominatingly strong but damn Monkey Girl = Buddha. I really wonder how Saki will overcome this.
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Old 2013-03-14, 03:09   Link #3302
sandhy88
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Saki is a person that has no direction + Shizu power (lost in the mountain) = Completely Lost In The Mountain

But unfortunately, when Saki get lost, her power unconsciously get loose that even normal person can sense it (we already saw it twice).

So, who knows?
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Old 2013-03-14, 03:13   Link #3303
Marina2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandhy88 View Post
Saki is a person that has no direction + Shizu power (lost in the mountain) = Completely Lost In The Mountain

But unfortunately, when Saki get lost, her power unconsciously get loose that even normal person can sense it (we already saw it twice).

So, who knows?
I thought that was because she really want to go to toilet and she won't be able to hold it for too long.
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Old 2013-03-14, 04:00   Link #3304
cedec0
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It has taken a while to write this, but I wanted to clear some things up about Shizuno and Achiga-hen.

The anger over Chapter 20 of Achiga-hen is not the result of bad storytelling by Ritz. The arguments being made as to why this last chapter was poorly written do not stand up to logic. Rather, the anger is, more simply, the irrational/emotional responce to an "unacceptable" character, Shizuno.

In the first section, I will go over the major criticisms of Achiga-hen's ending and show that they don't make sense. In the second section, I will go over why Shizuno's character generated such an angry responce.

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

ARGUMENT #1: "There was no foreshadowing"

Quote:
I'm seriously amazed at how people can justify Shizu suddenly having supernatural powers even when they can't find solid foreshadowing of it.
One of the most common tropes (plot devices) used in mangas is the "spontaneous power up" that happens when a main character is fighting a superior opponent: After it becomes obvious that the hero is losing, he suddently gets a Heroic Second Wind and then either reaveals a yet-unseen ability, devolops a brand new power on the spot, or simply experiences a massive boost in strenght. These "spontaneous power ups" allow the protagonist to become as "Strong as They Need to Be" (see http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...TheyNeedToBe):

Quote:
Every so often, the villain is just too powerful. ... It seems all hope is lost...

Then, suddenly, the hero will ... whip out some until now unforeseen strength, ... usually demolishing the bad guy so completely that it prevents them from ever pulling that world threatening crap again...

this trope is only really in effect when a character suddenly displays a level of power that has not even been hinted at up until its point of use. There have been no scenes depicting the character practicing towards this level, and no dialogue has given any indication that the character is aware that they are capable of it, or indeed, that they even know this level of power to be possible. They simply find themselves in need, and are subsequently capable of defeating their enemy, with no outside help whatsoever.
These "spontaneous power ups" are EXTREMELLY common (you can find multiple examples of them in virtually any mangas where fighting takes place), and they are NEVER foreshadowed. Below are just a few examples off the top of my head:


---In the LATEST chapter of Beelzebub, faced for the first time with a sorcerer using powerful magic, Oga is suddently able to use spell magic himself. No training, no foreshadowing, not even an explanation. Oga himself has "no clue" how it happened. (See [removed link due to warning__Beelzebub-ch_194_page_2])
---In bleach, Orihime and Chad suddently manifest powers when they are threatened by Hollows. No training or foreshadowing. (See [removed link due to warning__Bleach_ch_42_page_17])
---Ichigo (from bleach) himself wins virtually every single battle through "spontaneous powered ups".
---In Naruto, when he is about to lose his battle with the Kyubi and die, Naruto experiencing a massive, unforeshadowed power up. (See [removed link due to warning__Naruto_ch_497_page_15])
---In One Piece, Zoro comes up against an adversary whose body is made of steel. With no option to retreat, it becomes a "cut steel or die" scenario. No points for guessing the outcome.
---A staple of every major fight in Fairy Tail is for Natsu to get a special magic power boost after being trashed by the villain he's been working up to all arc.
---Rurouni Kenshin is full of these heroic powerups.
etc...

The reason these "spontaneous power up" are never foreshadowed is because they don't need to be. They are so common that they are expected/accepted by default, and any foreshadowing would be redundant. Can you imagine someone saying "Wow, Saki, you are so much stronger without your socks" in the training camp before the prefectural tournament? It would be weird and unnecessary. The same goes for Shizuno's "spontaneous power up" in Achiga-hen.

WHY ARGUMENT #1 IS BEING USED: Many readers have rejected Shizuno as a main character, thinking of her as a "monkey" (an incompetant side character). "spontaneuous power-ups" by incompetant side characters are not common and would, in fact, need to be foreshadowed. However, despite how badly some people would wish otherwise, Shizuno is undeniably the main character of Achiga-hen, and her "spontaneuous power-up" did not need to be foreshadowed.

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

ARGUMENT #2: Shizu's victory over Awai was an asspull

Quote:
Did they just throw Monkey's early characterization out of the window? You know, the one who never gives up in face of trouble and though without hax through willpower and grit managed to win... sigh.... There better be some logical coherent explanation for this that I can swallow. Or else...
Quote:
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."
When Saki beat Koromo, who was hyped up as an absolute monster, no one called it an asspull. It was an acceptable outcome given preconceptions about Saki's and Kuromo's strenght. In contrast, Shizu's victory over heavily-hyped Awai is being called an asspull by some readers because to them, it wasn't an acceptable outcome. For these readers, the strenght level differance between Awai and Shizuno was so great that Shizu's victory could only be explained as an asspull by the author.

So did Ritz create a character with weak mahjong skills and then let her win against a hyped up mahjong monster? No. Reader preconceptions of Shizuno as zero-skilled "monkey" are not supported by anything in the manga (not enought of Shizuno's mahjong playing was shown to be able to gauge her strenght). However, while Ritz did not reveal Shizuno's strenght until the semi-final, she did openly and consistently portrayed Shizuno as Saki's future rival (Saki and Shizuno's shadows in the anime logos, the encounter between Saki and Shizuno, Shizuno interest in Saki as "someone she must defeat", putting Shizuno in the Captain position, etc). Now, it is logical to assume that the mahjong skills of someone portrayed as "Saki's future rival" would turn out to Saki-level when they were revealled. For "Saki's future rival" to defeat Awai is not an "asspull".

WHY ARGUMENT #2 IS BEING USED: Due to the rejection of Shizuno as a character, all foreshadowing of Shizu as Saki's rival was ignored, and an unsupported preconception of her as horribly weak was formed. The difference in power beween heavily-hype Awai and this unsupported opinion of Shizu was so great that Awai's defeat became "an asspull". The problem isn't a storytelling error by Ritz, but the unnaturally, irrationally low opinion of Shizu's abilities formed by many readers.

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

ARGUMENT #3: Achiga's improvement between the quarter- and semi- finals improved ridiculous

Quote:
Achiga's performance. No sign has been shown that Achiga can be this strong. During practice matches they were struggling even with Nagano's second or third place team. Also, in Round 2 they were about 100K behind Senriyama. But now they become able to beat not only Senriyama but also Shiraitodai, which is supposed to be even stronger. It's ridiculous that their performance becomes this much better by only two days.
Quote:
Narrative-wise, it's hard to swallow that a school that had been severely defeated by Senriyama like a day or two before suddenly beats Shiraitodai with some hax explanations. Of course there's that all "stronger as a team" thing, but even that doesn't make sense with players of this much level of difference. Weren't even the weaker players from the other three schools supposed to be strong in terms of regional level? And yet they are picked apart by players with little background in mahjong, albeit with some training with a very hax coach. I'm more disappointed by Achiga vs. Senriyama/Shiraitodai as a whole than, say, the confounding development of Shizuno's individual powers, the explanation of which I await for in the translations.
In the saki universe, mental condition of players has been shown to have a huge effect on power level. Some examples:

---when Nadoka hugs Etopen (improving her mental condition), she experiences a massive power boost.
---when Saki takes off her socks (improving her mental condition), she experiences a massive power boost.
---when Yuuki eats a taco (improving her mental condition through "taco power"), she experiences a massive power boost.
---Etc...

So if there was a reason to believe Achiga's team experienced a big improvement in their mental condition between the quarter- and semi-finals (the equivalent of Nadoka hugging Etopen), then the big improvement would be explained. That reason exists (see [removed link due to warning__saki_achiga_hen_ch_7_page_35-36]). The special meaning of the semi-finals for Achiga (due to Harue) was constantly highlighted throughout the manga. In Arata case, the importance of the semi-finals ("revenge ten years in the making") is directly stated as the reason for her power up. Given how drastic mental condition power ups are (tacot/Etopen/socks/etc), it is not suprising to think that, if the entire Achiga team received such a power up (reaching their "best state"/"true potential"), they would be able to beat Shiraitodai. Achiga improvements from the quarter- to the semi-finals make as much sense as Saki's power up after she takes off her socks...

WHY ARGUMENT #3 IS BEING USED: The reason is for Achiga-hen improvement is not immediatly apparent unless you think about it.

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

ARGUMENT #4: Shiraitodai's performance was an unacceptable disapointment which calls into question Ritz's talent as an author
Quote:
I'd swallowed Sumire's tell & Seiko's horrid losses and all (albeit reluctantly), but this - now this is too much. I've always respected Ritz-sensei's ability to deal adeptly with foreshadowing, characterization, and power balance, but in this one chapter all three were shattered quite insensibly. Now, since translations aren't out yet, I can't say this for sure, but even by the raws it's possible to conclude enough to say that this last chapter has taken an incomprehensible turn.
Quote:
Shiraitodai's performance. In both main arc and Side-A arc, I have viewed Shiraitodai as an unstoppable evil all the time. But it seems that aside Teru, the other players aren't even close to what I had expected, and the overall team was also defeated by Achiga. I basically lost faith in them...
Quote:
Official Shiraitodai Power Rankings:

Teru > Takami > Sumire > Seiko > Bag of chips > Awai
While it is true that more could have been done to preserve Shiraitodai's credibility (I have written about this myself), that isn't the fundamental issue here. After Saki beat the much hyped Koromo, no one started calling Koromo weaker than a "Bag of chips". Koromo was still the hyped monster she was before her defeat, while Saki became "an even bigger monster than Koromo". Koromo/Ryuumonbuchi was defeated without their credibility being negatively affected.

Since it is possible for a hyped up school to lose without suffering a loss in credibility, this suggest the problem with Shiraitodai's performance wasn't the fact that they were defeat, but rather that they were defeated by a school whose strenght readers refused to accept.

When Shiraitodai lost to Achiga, it caused two preconceptions to clash: the perceived strenght of Shiraitodai based repeated hype in both Saki and Achiga-hen mangas and the view that "Shizuno's mahjong skill=bag of chips", an arbitrarily assigned power ranking not supported by anything in the manga. One of these preconceptions had to go. However, instead of re-evaluated the strenght of Achiga upwards from "bag of chips" to "stronger that the much-hyped Shiraitodai", readers re-evaluated Shiraitodai's strenght downward to "weaker than a bag of chips". This huge drop in credibility is obviously a disappointment, but not one caused by bad storytelling.

The true cause is that some readers, having rejected Shizuno as "unacceptable", assigned her their own arbitrarily low power rating. Unsurprisingly, this unatural addition to the story caused the storyline to lose coherency and fall apart. (I pretty sure Ritz didn't intend on Shiraitodai being defeated by "a bag of chips")


WHY ARGUMENT #4 IS BEING USED: Readers rejected all the foreshadowing/evidence of Shizuno as "Saki's future rival", ignored all foreshadowing/evidence about the strength of Achiga as team, and dismissed all the hype about Shiraitodai in order this cling to a belief ("Shizuno's mahjong skill=bag of chips") not supported by anything in the manga. This is the best example that the anger over chapter 20 isn't a logical reaction to bad storytelling, but rather the irrational, emotional responce to an "unacceptable character".

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

THE REASON BEHIND THE REJECTION OF SHIZUNO AS A CHARACTER

To see why Shizu was "unacceptable", it is necessary to first look at the type of characters who have specials abilities in the Saki universe. Lets start with the top-tier monster players, who fall into two categories:

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

TOP TIER MAHJONG MONSTERS__Ojou-Type Characters

Quote:
....the key point is that other people treat them as if they were royalty, whether or not they actually are. Some Ojou can actually attain their status simply by personality alone ... by being so heavily idolized that a fanclub springs around her and elevates her to a status far above that of those around her, and level violent reprisals against any who would treat her as a commoner.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Ojou
--Amae Koromo ("Haitei Raoyue")--no explanation necessary
--Ryuumonbuchi Touka ("cold Touka")--no explanation necessary
--Miyanaga Teru--the legion of supporters ready to serve her (see [removed link due to warning__saki_achiga_hen_ch_6_page_79]) make her the princess-type character
--Oohoshi Awai ("5-6 shanten" and "double riichi")--clearly over-arrogant princess-type character ("Based on my ability, I should be in Year 100!")
--Jindai Komaki__(channels gods with wicked mahjong skills)--Her teammates/attendents call her Princess
--Iwato Kasumi__(channels a single god which lets her collect honor tiles and one random suit per hand)--same as Komaki

Ojou characters by their very nature are not independent (They must have servants/followers that constantly pamper them or they aren't an Ojou-sama). The sheltered lives of ojou characters leads them to be out of touch with reality (ridulously arrogant/obnoxious, unaware of how the world works, etc) and ill-prepared to cope with real adversity. Without their servants/followers, they are often shown to be unable to function in the real world (Koromo would have never made it to her match without Hagiyoshi).

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

TOP TIER MAHJONG MONSTERS__Characters with "no will of their own" (to win the nationals)

--Miyanaga Saki ("Rinshan kaihou")---Saki is a shy, bookish girl with several mental issues. She has no personnal drive towards winning at mahjong despite her skill ("Doesn't care about winning at all"), and it is only thanks Nadoka's ambitions and friendship that she develops the desire to go to the nationals (even then, she nearly gets herself eliminated from the individuals because of her inherent lack of montivation). Saki also suffers from a crititical lack of self-confidence (sister/inferiority complex), even going so far as to break down in tears and need to be conforted by Hisa after WINNING her quarter-final match. Combined all this with her ability to get lost anywhere (No Sense of Direction) and you get a character that requires the constant attention and support of her friends to accoumplish anything.

--Anetai Toyone ("several abilities relating to the rokuyou")---Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold who just wants to have friends. Like Saki, her motivation is suitably passive: she wants to win for her friends (and has no drive to win of her own).

--Touyoko Momoko ("Stealth Momo")--A true Shrinking Violet (see http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...hrinkingViolet). Again her motivation is passive (wants to win for Yumi) and would never have joined the mahjong team if she hadn't been "found".

While Saki, Momoko, and Toyone may be monster mahjong, they all have been shown to suffer from some crippling insecurities. They are not girls who could function as independent characters without an entourage of supportive friends.

WHAT THIS MEANS

In the Saki universe, the strengh of a girl's mahjong skill depends on how weak she is as an independent human being. Put simply, the more a character needs to be supported/protected, the more powerful their mahjong skills/abilities. This is why all mahjong monster are completely dependent on the support of others.

This pattern holds true for girls with second tier mahjong abilities. They are more independent compared to the mahjong monsters, but weaker too.

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

SECOND TIER MAHJONG ABILITIES

--Fukuji Mihoko ("evil eye"--she becomes a mahjong supercomputer when she opens her right eye, allowing her to calculate how the game progresses and predict opponent's hands/discards)---A very respectful girl who lets others take the spotlight while supporting them from behind. She has the making of a good Yamato Nadeshiko (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...amatoNadeshiko). She also has attracted Near Ojou-level affection and adoration from the rest of the club who she relies on (she can't handle technology by herself).

--Haramura Nodoka (By holding Etopen, she enters "Nodocchi mode" becoming another mahjong supercomputer and viewing mahjong tables digitally on a mental level)---a "proper lady" who is physically weak, clumbsy, and a bit childish (cannot sleep without her penguin plushie). She does a good job of exemplying the trope "Women Are Delicate" (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...menAreDelicate).

--Onjouji Toki ("Foresight")---She is physically weak (always being hospitalized) and is constantly being cared for by Ryuuka and other members.

--Matsumi Yuu ("Warm Tile Magnet" /"Red Tile Magnet")---polite, shy, and physically weak (catches colds even during the summer).

--Kataoka Yuuki ("taco power")--Very child-like

--Usuzumi Hatsumi ("Gates of Evil")--Stubborn and child-like

--Shirouzu Mairu & Tsuruta Himeko ("Bondage Mahjong")---"linked" powers are inheritely not independent (anytime Mairu Himeko uses her ability, she is depending on another person, Mairu)

--Shimizudani Ryuuka ("Toki-powered Foresight")---Again, "linked" powers are inheritely not independent.

--Senoo Kaori ("Beginner's Luck")---She is dependent on others as a beginner mahjong player.

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

THIRD TIER MAHJONG ABILITIES

There are some characters in Saki who have Mahjong powers and are not obviously dependent on others. Unfortunately for these girls, their special abilities are either flawed or weak to the point of near-uselessness.

--Matsumi Kuro ("Dora magnet")---While her ability may be powerful against lesser mahjong players, it is flawed in that it makes her playing style somewhat predictable, resulting in crushing defeats in the quarter- and semi-finals. It could be argued that Kuro would be better off without her ability.

--Seiko Matano ("The Fisher")---Being the most independent character on Shiraitodai's team (a calm/patient tomboy), her power is unsurprisingly pathetic and she gets massacred in the semi-finals.

--Sumire Hirose ("Piercing arrow shots")---Like her nickname "The Archer", she is calm, collected, and competent. Since she shows no obvious signs of needing to depend on others, her special ability unavoidably has a deep crippling flaw (a tell that Achiga exploits). If she is to fix her power and eliminate her tell, she will need to become a lot less competence and more dependent on others (a few girly personnality quercks would help too).

--Inoue Jun ("Reading the flow")---An extremely weak image-breaker power which falls apart in front of Mihoko's "evil eye".

--Usuzawa Sae ("Power blocking gaze"---she can seal off the abilities of a player by staring at them)---While her image-breaker type power is better than nothing, It is third thier because it doesn't work on monsters like Saki, only works against one player, can only be used a few times, and is useless against regular players.

--Hanada Kirame ("Never goes under zero")---cheerful, optimistic, and fearless girl with an unbreakable will even in the face of opposition as monstrous as Miyanaga Teru. Obviously, a girl with Kirame's strenght of character qualifies for only the most pathetic of abilities.

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

BADASS NORMAL (+ PLAY STYLE)

So are there any independent, confident, outgoing girls in Saki/Achiga-hen? Girls who lead rather than follow? Yes, there are, but they are all limited to this category: Badass Normal. Girls that don't need to rely on others are not allowed any special abilities (at most, they are allowed non-supernatural playing styles). It is worth noting that up until Chapter 20, readers could (by ignore all the foreshadowing to the contrary) still accept Shizuno by pretending that she was a badass normal and part of this category.

--Takei Hisa (Badass Normal---STYLE: hell waits)---a great leader both while playing mahjong and outside of it.

--Mako Someya (Badass Normal---STYLE: Spindle territory)---a reliable, normal girl and the only person that Hisa shows her doubts to.

--Kajiki Yumi (Badass Normal---STYLE: Awesome by Analysis)---Cool and collected, Yumi is a great strategist and leader. It was also thanks to her planning that Tsuruga was able to make it to the championship round of the prefectural tournament.

--Atago Hiroe (Badass Normal---STYLE: traps and bluffs)---loud, confident, energetic, and outgoing to the point of being tactless. The official leader of Himematsu team.

--Kyouko Suehara (Badass Normal)---a calm and collected girl with a never-give-up mindset who plays a leader role for Himematsu team.

--Atarashi Ako (Badass Normal---STYLE: quick)---Physically fit, confident, active, and more logical compare to Shizuno.

--Arata Sagimori (Badass Normal---STYLE: Circles multi-sided wait)---A "reliable person" (According to Harue) with a cool type personality who is the president of Achiga's newly reformed mahjong club.

--Eguchi Sera (Badass Normal)---Cheerful, confident, energetic, physically fit and an unabashed tomboy.

--Funakubo Hiroko (Badass Normal---STYLE: Awesome by Analysis)---Confident, composed, and the team strategist

--Shirouzu Mairu (Badass Normal (as an individual player))---Calm, collected, confident, never-give-up mindset, and the ace/leader of Shindouji

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

AND THEN THERE IS SHIZUNO

Shizu isn't an Ojou-sama who needs to be pampered, or fragile, cute girl who needs to be protected. She is outgoing, confident, and independent (goes off to climb mountains by herself). She also isn't someone who relies on others to know what she wants: She decided on going to the national all on her own for her own personal reasons. She was the one recruiting players, not the other way around. She gives pep talks rather than receives them. She loves having friends, but doesn't need them: she is happy climbing mountains all on her own (see http://dynasty-scans.com/chapters/sa...side_a_ch01#63). She is fearless with an unbreakable will. She is a mahjong monster capable of defeating other the likes of Awai/Koromo. Finally, she is the unacceptable "monkey" who "ruined" Achiga-hen for many readers.

To better understand this, lets compared Shizu to the male equivalent of her "monkey" character, Goku from Dragon Ball. Goku is confident, over-energetic, childish at times, an idiot in everyday life, physically strong, over-optimistic, and fearless. He lacks common sense, runs around half-naked, enjoys goofing around, loves to fight strong opponents, and never gives up. And, when Goku gets serious, goes super-saiyen, and kicks ass, it's awsome: everyone cheers. However, when a female version of goku (Shizuno) gets serious, does her version of going super saiyen, and kicks ass... well... see the hate (http://archive.foolz.us/a/thread/81234456).

It is sexism, pure and simple.

While male "monkey characters" like Naruto Uzumaki, Monkey D. Luffy, and Zatch Bell! are accepted and popular, things are differant for female leads. Female characters can be strong as long as they are dependent on others, or they can be independent as long as they are weak. However, they cannot be both strong and independent. That role is reserved for male characters.

Ritz's sin wasn't bad storytelling. It was somehow managing to get Japanese editors to approve a female lead competent in both life and mahjong... And it's sorta depressing... considering the outraged reactions of fans... Japanese editors will use these reactions as justification for rejecting strong, independent female characters for years to come.

As for me, I find Shizuno to be a refreshing change of pace. She is the most interesting female lead I have seen in years. FUCK BIGOTRY. I will be rooting for Shizuno in the finals.

Last edited by cedec0; 2013-04-08 at 03:46.
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Old 2013-03-14, 05:15   Link #3305
night_sentinel
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Hahaha. This post is very entertaining.

Anyway, Cedec0, before I comment, I would like to ask if the above statements is actually serious?
Because at the moment I could not take any of it seriously.

Last edited by night_sentinel; 2013-03-14 at 05:33.
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Old 2013-03-14, 05:34   Link #3306
morli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post
As for me, I find Shizuno to be a refreshing change of pace. She is the most interesting female lead I have seen in years. FUCK BIGOTRY. I will be rooting for Shizuno in the finals.
Wow, you really like Shizu huh? Although Shizu power can be summarized as good against mahjong hax, useless against normal play. That's why she really shine when she face Awai and not before.

Awai can only get kan on the second corner of the wall (depending on the dice, it will be far-far away, right on the Shizu territory). Also her 5-6 iishanten make the other hand really slow. Their slowness make Shizu ability, who will win the longer the round last become possible. Really, Shizu is worst opponent possible for Awai in this tournament.
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Last edited by morli; 2013-03-14 at 05:50.
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Old 2013-03-14, 07:51   Link #3307
Kon the Magnificent
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For the record I like Shizu too. I wanna see her face off against Saki in the finals, it really will be explosive. As for the end of Achiga it was cool, but I was hoping they run into Saki once more, but seeing her during the chapter was fine with me. Now that the stories have overlapped again, things will be shooting for the stars once more and i can't wait.

So is there gonna be another side story? If there is I wanna see Achiga's coach back story or at least see some development and the pro she lost to years ago. Then again I want some Hisa ans Saki focus, and the pro that Hisa has a connection to. Y'know the one who curb stomped Saki and Nicola in the early chapters.
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Old 2013-03-14, 10:13   Link #3308
teja208
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@cedec0

Gotta admit regarding chapter 20 critics mindset, I find some of the points you made quite spot on coming from someone who always rooting for Shizu since the beginning of Achiga-hen, and does managed to improve my opinion of Achiga-hen by a bit. And yes, it was quite entertaining.
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Old 2013-03-14, 10:26   Link #3309
Marina2
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Okey, here I will throw in my long article about Shizuno... (sorry for any grammar mistake)

Purpose of this article

Trying Prove that Shizu doesn’t suddenly become hax in the semi-final by using the evidences presented in Achiga manga.

IMPORTANT: this article is based on my personal understanding about Shizu character that:

1. While Shizu may not good at gaining score, she’s very good at defensive play (Evidence: Look at score in quarter final and semi final, she almost never dealt into someone hand and she didn’t win often)

2. She has power to cancel other abilities, but this power is unreliable or unusable when play with normal people.

Now with that in mind, let’s go by point to point.


Why people in story never say Shizu is Achiga #1

It is not hard to notice that people usually say who is better by how much point that player gained. That’s why Shizu , who is good at defend, is not considered the best player in Achiga. She is under the shadow of teammates. She’s also only shine when the table is full of monster.

Shizu vs Koromo (This part is not really related to the topic but I will just put it here)

Considering that Shizu is good at defensive play, it is possible that Shizu can avoided most of direct hit [Ron] by Koromo but lost most point to Koromo’s Haitei raoyue [Tsumo] since her power didn’t work at first.

In chapter 19, Koromo said that after one point in the game with Shizu, she can’t do Haitei raoyue at all. Let’s consider that Shizu’s power was working at that time.

Now the question is: “Did Shizu beat Koromo?”

No one knows but here are something fun to think about:

- A Round that Koromo tried to win with Haitei raoyue but failed will end with no one win in that round.
- Shizu ability can cancel [Haitei raoyue] but we don’t know whether it can cancel [no tempai zone] or not
- Koromo may be able to only rely on normal Tsumo since [Haitei raoyue] is blocked and Shizu is hard to get Ron.
- From those points present above, what can you guess about the result???


Shizu in Tournament

Start of Tournament – quarter-final

In all matches before quarter-final, Kuro , Yuu, Ako and Arata managed to gain a lot of point.
When captain round start, Achiga was probably in the 1st place all the time. Shizu only need to defend, defend and defend until the end. Of course, she probably got many points too. Her power is useless during this part of series because there was no ability-user player.

Quarter-final

I went back to check the score:

At the end of vice-captain match, 4 teams score are

Senriyama: 171,700
Kantani: 95,400
Achiga: 91,800
Koshiyaga: 41,100

and then time skipped to the last round of captain round

Senriyama: 180,400 (+8,700) from the end of vice-captain round)
Kantani: 93,600 (-1,800) from the end of vice-captain round)
Achiga: 81,700 (-10,100) from the end of vice-captain round)
Koshiyaga: 44,300 (+3200) from the end of vice-captain round)

What we learned from this?

1.) Quarter-final was the first time that Achiga fell far behind the first place (Senriyama) when captain round start. Kuro takes all responsible for this.

2) The score is almost no different from the end of vice captain round - which means the skill level of players in this round are pretty equal or all of them played defensively. In other word, Shizu skill is on the same level as Ryuuka and other player.

3) It is possible that Shizu realized that she won’t be able to take the 1st place (or very hard to do) and just tried to get into second spot, which she did it BUT she made a mistake and dealt into Haneman hand.

4) It is possible that the Haneman hand that Shizu dealt in is the only time that she dealt in someone hand in captain round because if we plus back the score of Haneman (12000/18000 (dealer) ) Shizu score will be 93,700 or 99,700 which is enough to take second spot. Also, please consider that one of other teams will have 12000/18000 points lower before Shizu dealt in. This is another evidence to prove that Shizu’s defensive play is very good.

5) Shizu power is quite useless here. However, shizu managed to gain some points. Without getting hit by Haneman, Shizu gained at least 1900-7900 points + unknown amount of point gained during the round.
Shizu doesn't "suddenly" get better in semi-final. It has been hinting by Ritz since the beginning


Semi-final

Just as what you saw in ch.18-20.

Shizu had advantage in this round because all other players are ability user/monsters. Therefore, Shizu power is very useful here. Therefore, Shizu power is very useful here.

Achiga started the captain round with sufficient amount of point. Shizu played defensively, then found a chance to abuse her ability, win just a few times and get into #1. After that, Shizu did what she can do the best: Defend, defend, and defend….until the end.

Conclusion

1. Shizu mahjong skill is consistent though out entire series. Her main Strength is defense not attack.
2. While Shizu's ability is intentionally hidden from viewers ,there are enough hint to show that the ability existed all the time but Shizu just don't have a chance to show it.

In the end, what important for Achiga team is like what Akado said in chapter 3: The Combine power

If Kuro, Yuu, Ako and Arata can gain sufficient amount of point for Shizu before the captain round, then Achiga will have a high chance to win.

If they failed, then Achiga will probably lose too.


END
.................................................. ...................................
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Old 2013-03-14, 10:30   Link #3310
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And Ritz is now OK.

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Old 2013-03-14, 11:00   Link #3311
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april.... (feels like crying)
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Old 2013-03-14, 12:37   Link #3312
Sol Falling
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Holy crap, the arguments of Shizuno apologists are getting quite delusional. It is a waste of time to even think about debating with them, except that seeing such ridiculous posts again might become physically painful.

@cedec0:
Your argument #1: just because zero-foreshadowing spontaneous powerups are common in (shitty, badly written, complete trash) shounen manga doesn't mean it is acceptable. Saki is originally a seinen series, all of the characterization and mahjong has always been consistent and had many subtle details since the main series, so saying "Bleach and Naruto don't use foreshadowing so Achiga doesn't have to do it" is just a complete joke.

#2 Meta-knowledge about character roles cannot act as an in-universe excuse for things in the story. Nobody (or far less people) would have a problem with Shizu beating Awai if it was actually done in a way that was convincing and made sense. The fact that it doesn't is what makes it an asspull, not preconceptions about Awai or Shizu's roles.

#3 Your argument #3 shows how you don't even pay attention in the series. Achiga being motivated for the semi-finals can only serve as an explanation for Arata. The reasons for different players' performance and the point totals in the rest of the rounds is the interaction of many extremely different factors as explained in the story.

For example, the reason that Kuro didn't get a 80000 point deficit against Toki again was because of Teru. Thanks to Shiraitodai the difference between Senriyama and Achiga after Kuro's round was only ~15000. Furthermore, the reason Senriyama actually fell behind Achiga during the Sergeant round was because Yuu had the bullshit knowledge from Sumire about Sumire's tell, and Izumi heavily became Sumire's victim (Senriyama's got -50000 compared to Achiga in this round in the Semis, while Yuu and Izumi performed at around the same level in the Quarters).

In the Lieutenant round, Ako actually did worse than she did in the quarterfinals, with only a small ~+4000 gain compared to ~+10000 in the quarterfinals. Instead, it was actually Sera who got a powerup, going from ~+16000 to ~+39000.

As you can see, there are tons of different factors and conditions between the Quarterfinals and Semifinals. The most bullshit one is Yuu vs. Sumire. However, on top of that Achiga was also helped by Shizu's bullshit. Although Senriyama also received some bullshit in the form of Ryuuka gaining her Toki fairy (which is shitty storytelling as well, I don't think you'll find any Senriyama fans who are happy about the Toki fairy), ultimately Achiga received by far the most crappy-plot-armour bullshit. Which is all entirely due to Ritz's incompetence, and which even people who were Achiga fans shouldn't/can't be happy about if they care about the story (I was an Achiga fan at the start of the sidestory as well).

#4 See above. The reason people are calling Shiraitodai a shit school is because they played badly, not because they refuse to accept Achiga as strong or not (it's not). Every Shiraitodai member aside from Teru lost points. Sumire is acceptable because the only reason she lost points was due to Harue's bullshit tell issue. However, Takami has such crappy basic play that she was negative points even after achieving a yakuman, and Seiko does not even need to be mentioned with -59000 points. Finally, Awai, despite being a monster, did show stupid terrible play during the semifinals. There are two points which showed Awai as a terrible mahjong player: the fact that she kept doing double riichi against Himeko's confirmed victories, and the fact that she kept doing double riichi on no-yaku hands in the first place. In fact, if Awai knows the location of when she will win her hands (at the corners), then she can just riichi just before the corner for an ippatsu to get the same han value (double riichi = 2 han, riichi + ippatsu = 2 han). However, doing the ippatsu route offers a huge number of other advantages, including better defence, and improving her hand for extra yaku (i.e. tanyao, sanshoku, chin'itsu, yakuhai, or any number of other ones). The fact that Awai never considered not doing double riichi and building a better hand until the final round show how she is a crap mahjong player, far from the level of Saki or Teru or Koromo.

Consider the fact that Awai lost to Shizu while Koromo did not. It becomes perfectly reasonable to criticize Shiraitodai for being a weak school. Ryuumonbuchi for one would have no problems beating Achiga.

Finally, your categorization of players and saying that people hate Shizu because of "sexism" is so fucking ridiculous I won't even bother with it. Consider the fact that Saki is a yuri series, meaning that by nature its fans will be supportive of women in any gender role. I cannot even imagine the amount of delusion which would be needed for someone to convince themselves that people only have issues with Shizu because of "sexism".
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Last edited by Sol Falling; 2013-03-14 at 12:47.
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Old 2013-03-14, 13:09   Link #3313
darkchez11
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wow I don't really mind if shizu win or not, got power up or something but sometimes some of you really can be sound a bit defensive and it comes out like you're forcing your views to everyone.

haha well perhaps because I don't have such a critic mindset when I read mangas I just want to read them to be entertain lol well at least I was surprise didn't see that coming, although I already expected achiga to advance.

Anyway it was amusing “sort of” and overwhelming at the same time reading you guys arguments, all of you had a point but just because you like something doesn't mean someone should like it too, the same ways goes to you. we're all different after all, we have different taste and opinion of what's good and what's bad.
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Old 2013-03-14, 14:13   Link #3314
Proto
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Quote:
Consider the fact that Awai lost to Shizu while Koromo did not. It becomes perfectly reasonable to criticize Shiraitodai for being a weak school. Ryuumonbuchi for one would have no problems beating Achiga.
.... before the nationals, and pre all their shounen magic mahjong training.
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Old 2013-03-14, 14:25   Link #3315
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Holy crap, the arguments of Shizuno apologists are getting quite delusional. It is a waste of time to even think about debating with them, except that seeing such ridiculous posts again might become physically painful.

@cedec0:
Your argument #1: just because zero-foreshadowing spontaneous powerups are common in (shitty, badly written, complete trash) shounen manga doesn't mean it is acceptable. Saki is originally a seinen series, all of the characterization and mahjong has always been consistent and had many subtle details since the main series, so saying "Bleach and Naruto don't use foreshadowing so Achiga doesn't have to do it" is just a complete joke.

#2 Meta-knowledge about character roles cannot act as an in-universe excuse for things in the story. Nobody (or far less people) would have a problem with Shizu beating Awai if it was actually done in a way that was convincing and made sense. The fact that it doesn't is what makes it an asspull, not preconceptions about Awai or Shizu's roles.

#3 Your argument #3 shows how you don't even pay attention in the series. Achiga being motivated for the semi-finals can only serve as an explanation for Arata. The reasons for different players' performance and the point totals in the rest of the rounds is the interaction of many extremely different factors as explained in the story.

For example, the reason that Kuro didn't get a 80000 point deficit against Toki again was because of Teru. Thanks to Shiraitodai the difference between Senriyama and Achiga after Kuro's round was only ~15000. Furthermore, the reason Senriyama actually fell behind Achiga during the Sergeant round was because Yuu had the bullshit knowledge from Sumire about Sumire's tell, and Izumi heavily became Sumire's victim (Senriyama's got -50000 compared to Achiga in this round in the Semis, while Yuu and Izumi performed at around the same level in the Quarters).

In the Lieutenant round, Ako actually did worse than she did in the quarterfinals, with only a small ~+4000 gain compared to ~+10000 in the quarterfinals. Instead, it was actually Sera who got a powerup, going from ~+16000 to ~+39000.

As you can see, there are tons of different factors and conditions between the Quarterfinals and Semifinals. The most bullshit one is Yuu vs. Sumire. However, on top of that Achiga was also helped by Shizu's bullshit. Although Senriyama also received some bullshit in the form of Ryuuka gaining her Toki fairy (which is shitty storytelling as well, I don't think you'll find any Senriyama fans who are happy about the Toki fairy), ultimately Achiga received by far the most crappy-plot-armour bullshit. Which is all entirely due to Ritz's incompetence, and which even people who were Achiga fans shouldn't/can't be happy about if they care about the story (I was an Achiga fan at the start of the sidestory as well).

#4 See above. The reason people are calling Shiraitodai a shit school is because they played badly, not because they refuse to accept Achiga as strong or not (it's not). Every Shiraitodai member aside from Teru lost points. Sumire is acceptable because the only reason she lost points was due to Harue's bullshit tell issue. However, Takami has such crappy basic play that she was negative points even after achieving a yakuman, and Seiko does not even need to be mentioned with -59000 points. Finally, Awai, despite being a monster, did show stupid terrible play during the semifinals. There are two points which showed Awai as a terrible mahjong player: the fact that she kept doing double riichi against Himeko's confirmed victories, and the fact that she kept doing double riichi on no-yaku hands in the first place. In fact, if Awai knows the location of when she will win her hands (at the corners), then she can just riichi just before the corner for an ippatsu to get the same han value (double riichi = 2 han, riichi + ippatsu = 2 han). However, doing the ippatsu route offers a huge number of other advantages, including better defence, and improving her hand for extra yaku (i.e. tanyao, sanshoku, chin'itsu, yakuhai, or any number of other ones). The fact that Awai never considered not doing double riichi and building a better hand until the final round show how she is a crap mahjong player, far from the level of Saki or Teru or Koromo.

Consider the fact that Awai lost to Shizu while Koromo did not. It becomes perfectly reasonable to criticize Shiraitodai for being a weak school. Ryuumonbuchi for one would have no problems beating Achiga.

Finally, your categorization of players and saying that people hate Shizu because of "sexism" is so fucking ridiculous I won't even bother with it. Consider the fact that Saki is a yuri series, meaning that by nature its fans will be supportive of women in any gender role. I cannot even imagine the amount of delusion which would be needed for someone to convince themselves that people only have issues with Shizu because of "sexism".
Sol sometimes people have differing opinions. You don't get to attack them just because they don't match yours. Chill out. You can still get your point across without trying to cram it down people's throats.
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Old 2013-03-14, 14:36   Link #3316
custardpie
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Please excuse my really long post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post

One of the most common tropes (plot devices) used in mangas is the "spontaneous power up" that happens when a main character is fighting a superior opponent: After it becomes obvious that the hero is losing, he suddently gets a Heroic Second Wind and then either reaveals a yet-unseen ability, devolops a brand new power on the spot, or simply experiences a massive boost in strenght.
Such "spontaneous power-ups" are one of the reasons that some people do not take shonen manga seriously. Power-ups that occur for no reason seem childish. That something occurs often is no proof of its validity. Tropes like cancer, car accidents, and amnesia appear often in soap operas, but that doesn't mean they can be used again and again - viewers often ridicule those tropes or get tired of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post

The reason these "spontaneous power up" are never foreshadowed is because they don't need to be. They are so common that they are expected/accepted by default, and any foreshadowing would be redundant. Can you imagine someone saying "Wow, Saki, you are so much stronger without your socks" in the training camp before the prefectural tournament? It would be weird and unnecessary. The same goes for Shizuno's "spontaneous power up" in Achiga-hen.
No, they're completely different. Saki was continuously foreshadowed as an extremely powerful character. She used plus-minus zero against the Kiyosumi mahjong club, which includes a middle-school champion. We were shown that she was an unstable character in terms of strength of mentality, and that in some conditions she would do much worse than in others. Shizuno, however, was never foreshadowed to be a powerful character. (Fire in the eyes could be interpreted as mere determination because that fit with the character development that we had seen up to then. That does not seem to me an adequate foreshadowing for Shizuno's power - something more concrete in terms of mahjong would have been more convincing.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post

When Saki beat Koromo, who was hyped up as an absolute monster, no one called it an asspull. It was an acceptable outcome given preconceptions about Saki's and Kuromo's strenght. In contrast, Shizu's victory over heavily-hyped Awai is being called an asspull by some readers because to them, it wasn't an acceptable outcome.
The battle between Saki and Koromo was deemed acceptable because 1) we were shown the height of Koromo's strengths during the match itself. Later on, we were also told about how Koromo was the MVP of last year's tournament. 2) we were explicitly shown Saki's potential as an overwhelming mahjong player (i.e. her ability to control the table). This was, I think, less the case with Shizuno vs. Awai. But I haven't seen the translations yet, so I'll refrain from commenting on this part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post

So if there was a reason to believe Achiga's team experienced a big improvement in their mental condition between the quarter- and semi-finals (the equivalent of Nadoka hugging Etopen), then the big improvement would be explained. That reason exists (see http://dynasty-scans.com/chapters/sa...side_a_ch07#35 and http://dynasty-scans.com/chapters/sa...side_a_ch07#36). The special meaning of the semi-finals for Achiga (due to Harue) was constantly highlighted throughout the manga. In Arata case, the importance of the semi-finals ("revenge ten years in the making") is directly stated as the reason for her power up. Given how drastic mental condition power ups are (tacot/Etopen/socks/etc), it is not suprising to think that, if the entire Achiga team received such a power up (reaching their "best state"/"true potential"), they would be able to beat Shiraitodai. Achiga improvements from the quarter- to the semi-finals make as much sense as Saki's power up after she takes off her socks...
I thought Arata's arc did very nicely in terms of exactly that. I could agree with her development as a more powerful player, especially since her development wasn't too drastic. She became, from a decent player, just a more decent player, nothing off-the-charts.

In terms of the schools themselves, however, all of the schools have matching motivation and reason to reach finals. Is Senriyama's motivation less plausible than Achiga's, when the latter is to meet a friend in the finals that they could have reached by phone or mail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post

While it is true that more could have been done to preserve Shiraitodai's credibility (I have written about this myself), that isn't the fundamental issue here.
In my opinion, that is a fundamental issue. It's something that I have the biggest problems with. As I said in my previous post, if Shiraitodai had been represented as a believably powerful opponent, and Achiga had defeated that Shiraitodai, I would have found the narrative more credible. However, Shiraitodai's weaknesses were presented in arbitrary and unreliable ways.



P.S.

While I do think the interpretation of character personality and classification is interesting, I can't agree with the argument at all.

I think there are two main reasons that people find Achiga's finale to be difficult to accept.

1) Shiraitodai's weaknesses and Achiga's power-ups were not presented in a credible manner.

I have said a lot about this point, so let me go to 2), although I consider 1) to be much, much more important than 2).

2) Achiga's characters were not as easy to root for.

Now, you may dismiss 2) as mere prejudice towards Achiga characters, but this is actually an important factor. One of the problems of Achiga-hen was that a lot of the readers started liking Senriyama more.

This was not merely because they found Senriyama characters to be more feminine and moe than Achiga characters. With the exception of Shizuno, Achiga characters are mostly pretty and feminine. There isn't one distinctively non-pretty girl among the entire cast, whereas we have Mako in Kiyosumi, Bundo/I-forgot-her-name in Kazekoshi, FunaQ/arguably Sera in Senriyama, etc. Personality-wise, Kuro and Yuu are representative of extremely feminine personalities.

I think the main reason people started liking Senriyama more is simply because we were shown their points of view. We saw Toki's development in flashback, Ryuuka/Sera/Toki's friendship and determination in flashback, and we saw Toki play - a lot. Those that were supposed to be the main characters were shown at most similarly or less.

Most important of all, we did not see Shizuno play. This is why people started saying that the actual main character of Achiga-hen is either Toki or Kuro. Now, I do not agree with that statement, but Shizuno did receive too little spotlight for me to actually feel like I got to know her.

Characters in Saki are often shown through mahjong and lesbian pasts. As for the latter, quite a few characters (for instance, Koromo) were presented well without any explicit lesbian references, so let me disregard that for a moment. Almost all the characters are fleshed out through their unique skills and developments in mahjong. But Shizuno wasn't shown to play except for one meager hand before semi-finals. I found Shizuno to be less likable not because she was a determined and independent character, but because I thought that she wasn't adequately fleshed out.

I see that Sol Falling has made similar arguments while I'd gone out to get something
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Old 2013-03-14, 14:50   Link #3317
King-Slayer
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april.... (feels like crying)
well at least she's okay and we have a start date and thats like the next issue right?
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Old 2013-03-14, 17:00   Link #3318
Bladezer
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Originally Posted by cedec0 View Post
BADASS NORMAL (+ PLAY STYLE)

--Takei Hisa (Badass Normal---STYLE: hell waits)---a great leader both while playing mahjong and outside of it.
This really annoys me how some people forget that Hisa's hell waits is her ability not a part of her play style. Its her ability because alot of the time Hisa will tsumo win when ever she gets her hand ready, then there how Maho was able to copy her ability as well.
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Old 2013-03-14, 17:07   Link #3319
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Main problem I have with Shizuno: Too little of her matches were shown until now.
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Old 2013-03-14, 17:48   Link #3320
Von Himmel
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She really did seem to get a uber powerup in one day though based on Ako's comment that she might even be able to negate Kuro now.

But really, I'm still sure that she'll get another one in the upcoming final later
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