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Old 2014-01-12, 20:23   Link #241
Myssa Rei
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Meta-wise, I'm thinking this is literal fan service to manga readers, and Gokumi acknowledging one of the long-standing complaints (aka the Training Camp). It's them going "See? We're doing the training camp you wanted! That thing in S1? You can ignore it now!"

That said, Ritz has a dodgy relationship with canonicity in her work. The Individuals in S1 were declared canon, but the S1 training camp, as you can see now, is being replaced.
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Old 2014-01-12, 20:29   Link #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myssa Rei View Post
Meta-wise, I'm thinking this is literal fan service to manga readers, and acknowledging one of the long-standing complaints (aka the Training Camp). It's them going "See? We're doing the training camp you wanted? That thing in S1? You can ignore it now!"
I enjoyed the S1 Training Camp. It had some of the very best SakiNodoka moments for fans of that pairing, including myself. I hope that you're not saying that all of those moments are now retconned away.

So personally I prefer to view what we're seeing now as an extension of what happened in the anime - Sort of a blending of the two rather than a total retcon.

In any event, you're probably right about why the extended training camp flashback is there.
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Old 2014-01-12, 20:33   Link #243
Myssa Rei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I enjoyed the S1 Training Camp. It had some of the very best SakiNodoka moments for fans of that pairing, including myself. I hope that you're not saying that all of those moments are now retconned away.
Here's the thing Triple_R: Where are the straps Saki and Nodoka bought then? The end of S1 made them such a big deal, but I didn't notice them on Saki or Nodoka's bags during the first episode, or on Nodoka's smartphone.
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Old 2014-01-12, 20:40   Link #244
Triple_R
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Originally Posted by Myssa Rei View Post
Here's the biggest hint Triple_R: Where are the straps Saki and Nodoka bought then?
They could simply be stored away somewhere for safe keeping. In any event, Myssa, you seem to be saying that the main purpose of Episode 2 of Saki Zenkoku-hen is to totally retcon the S1 training camp, including some of the very best SakiNodoka moments. And you expect fans of that pairing to be happy about this?
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Old 2014-01-12, 20:46   Link #245
Myssa Rei
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As mentioned, it's been something people have been grumbling about ever since the first season ended and the Nationals proper started in the manga. It wouldn't have been a big deal if it was just /u/ or here at Asuki, but at the time there were complaints at 2ch too -- it's why some of us here (aka the regulars at the Saki manga thread) privately celebrated at Cold Touka finally animated, or Maho appearing in episode 2.
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Old 2014-01-12, 20:48   Link #246
Sol Falling
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Not to give out any further specifics but the manga portrayal of the training camp laid out several key facts and pieces of foreshadowing about the rest of the Saki universe. The material covered in this and the next episode is very much vital for setting the stage for the rest of the nationals and beyond, which is why the anime had no choice but to come back and cover it.

In particular (speaking about just this episode's material) the Touka reveal in this episode is also extremely important. I mean, think about the significance of what 'Cold Touka' did: dominated at a table where her opponents were Saki, Koromo, and a pro player (Fujita). And even this Touka got knocked out of the tournament last year by a team who, even as its Vice Captain was 'running away', managed to bring another school's points down to zero. These are important aspects of lore both for explaining exactly what happened in the previous year's tournament as well as setting the stage for the nationals.

It's a weakness of the anime that they ended up prematurely covering this material back in S1. Owing to the unusual closeness of the relationship Saki has always had between its manga and anime, you could say that the anime is always riddled with production problems (hell, the manga is riddled with production problems too :P). But ultimately, Saki has still shown itself to be an extraordinarily satisfying and rewarding series. Anime-only viewers will just have to have a bit of patience until they get around to the new material, but don't neglect the current events as 'unimportant' content either. There's a reason the anime team has put it there, even despite the clumsiness of redoing events they've 'already' covered.
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Old 2014-01-12, 21:02   Link #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
What they learned in this episode is that Touka has a "Cold Touka" mode that she sometimes slips into, and while in this mode she is seemingly unbeatable. That's interesting, but it's a total plot detour at this point. I mean, I'm not seeing how this is important information to have going into the Nationals when Touka isn't even competing there.

Next episode it looks like they're going to learn (further) about how great one of Nodoka's former team-mates in middle school was. Are they going to be playing Nodoka's former team-mate in the Nationals? Honest question.
The gist of the training camp was to prepare Kiyosumis for the nationals. But the way it was put out did felt more like characterization of characters that were by that time, less important than others.

That belong to the 'production' issues the manga faces and since it was drawn, the anime had to use it. Story-wise, it does feel incoherent. Even I felt that way. But that's up to the author and shows the back-end issues involved.

Nugget of info here: Read somewhere the author (Ritz) accidentally drawn Saki's skirt to be long instead of the short one. So, when queried, she added in the "took Mako's skirt" by mistake, and letting Saki continue to wear that all the same. And now, it's even part of the motif for the anime title.

So, yeah, the author has her whims and fancies. One reason why I'm still here, is cause I'm curious to see the main reason behind the Miyanaga sisters' relation. And that is something I believe Ritz already planned out at the start of the entire manga.

Her main difficulty right now, is to cover the rest of the story until the finals, which I trust somewhat, that things are already set in motion. That somewhat explains the manga delays and stuff.

So, in summary, yes, the story has flaws, but the author has her beliefs. I'll stick to that for now.
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Old 2014-01-12, 21:12   Link #248
tjalorak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
What they learned in this episode is that Touka has a "Cold Touka" mode that she sometimes slips into, and while in this mode she is seemingly unbeatable. That's interesting, but it's a total plot detour at this point. I mean, I'm not seeing how this is important information to have going into the Nationals when Touka isn't even competing there.
Except the part where someone worked around Touka's calibre of opponent, right? And in the Inter-High QF round? Thus foreshadowing that whatever Achiga's rigged Side A path, Ritz will start bringing the pain by QF at the latest for Side B.

The part where people in nationals can work around flow controllers. Megan could manage to get enough wins that she could zero the 4th opponent, meaning she must have won a significant number of rounds. From the looks of the records and scores, Saki herself couldn't manage that feat of just working around an obstacle and win enough and fast enough to take out another before Touka could get going.

More to the point, that Megan could work around illustrates that she's used to working against flow controllers, which indicates that there are other strong flow controllers in nationals. We saw one basically in Teru for Side A. Are there more? What makes Megan confident that she could face a flow controller head on now? Has she been practicing with a strong flow controller this year?

We know that Hisa helped arrange the official matches at the training camp, that she knows how national players will play from their records in the supplied data book, and that her goal will be to strengthen her team. From s1, we have a good idea of each Kiyosumi player's playstyles and their weaknesses. Despite hiding behind all the jokes and silliness, the arranged matches are indicative of what Hisa hopes to accomplish. Think about who the Kiyosumi players are (shown) playing and what playing the opponent in question will teach them. Certainly Hisa did!

Quote:
Next episode it looks like they're going to learn (further) about how great one of Nodoka's former team-mates in middle school was. Are they going to be playing Nodoka's former team-mate in the Nationals? Honest question.
They're middle schoolers, so no. Given the power that Maho has displayed, what does Hisa hope to show her players? In any case, I believe Hisa will be fairly explicit about what she expects her teammates to learn from playing Maho.
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Old 2014-01-12, 22:09   Link #249
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Originally Posted by HandofFate View Post
so many character, and can't even to begin keeping track of what powers each one has....

what's with the one with the ghost following her?
Did you even watch season 1? Cause the so called "ghost girl" was there and everything about her was explained.

Really, what's the point of watching season 2 if you have no idea what is happening?


Anyway, episode wise I enjoyed it though is this season really just 13 episodes long? Not manga reader but I just can't imagine whole tournament fitting in just 10 episodes.
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Old 2014-01-12, 22:26   Link #250
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If you watch a sequel series and don't understand what you're seeing, that's a hint to watch the first season. It'll give you something to do for the next week before Sunday rolls around again.
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Old 2014-01-12, 22:31   Link #251
Myssa Rei
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Plus it's not like S1 of Saki is difficult watching to boot. One can marathon the darned thing in less than a day to get a grasp of what the main and supporting cast are capable of.
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Old 2014-01-12, 22:41   Link #252
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
They could simply be stored away somewhere for safe keeping. In any event, Myssa, you seem to be saying that the main purpose of Episode 2 of Saki Zenkoku-hen is to totally retcon the S1 training camp, including some of the very best SakiNodoka moments. And you expect fans of that pairing to be happy about this?

I agree with you on this. Its more like instead of retconning the last episode of season 1. Episode 2 is fleshing it out. There isn't anything shown that contradicts what is stated by the anime anyway. Besides the fact that the anime showed it in the flashback medium instead of starting the season on the training camp in episode 1 showed to me that the anime has no intention of replacing or redoing what they have shown in the past.

To me it seems to say, here are other stuff that we didn't show last season because the manga is really really slow to update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myssa Rei View Post
Plus it's not like S1 of Saki is difficult watching to boot. One can marathon the darned thing in less than a day to get a grasp of what the main and supporting cast are capable of.
S1 is great. I think I watched some of its episodes more than a few times now. ^^
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Old 2014-01-12, 22:47   Link #253
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Originally Posted by night_sentinel View Post
There isn't anything shown that contradicts what is stated by the anime anyway.
I'm waiting for the end of the flashbacks before compiling the contradictions between Saki S1 25 and the manga training camp. Plus I still remember Ritz's blog entry on it, which amounts to "Ahahaha, no. Close, but still not how I wanted it to be. Good try though!"

It explains all those tweaks that had to be done to the blu-rays released years later.
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Old 2014-01-12, 23:12   Link #254
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Okay - the way they portrayed Cold Touka was superb. Very well done indeed!

Ep 2 continues along at a nice pace, but looking forward to what the star of the training camp will do next ep and how it will effect Nodoka and Saki. ^^

The ED did feel a little out of place somehow though - not bad, just "new" in a way, I guess.
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Old 2014-01-12, 23:24   Link #255
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The ED did feel a little out of place somehow though - not bad, just "new" in a way, I guess.
The pattern for Saki EDs used to be one for "serious" episodes, and one SD WAI WAI for non-plot or light ones. We should have gotten the SD ED, but in this case we didn't. Hmm.
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Old 2014-01-12, 23:46   Link #256
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Why are we going back to the training camp? Why are we spending an extended multi-episode flashback on it (judging by the Episode 3 preview)? Why are we spending time building up characters that aren't even going to be competing at the Nationals?
I know some already explain this but I just want to elaborate a bit more.

Ok, first you gotta understand that training camp in this episode is Ritz’s version of the s1 ep. 25 training camp thus more canon than the ones in anime. Other manga readers already explained that this part was written after the s1 anime ended so the anime can only do this through a flashback. I’m sure this will be included in the s1 if anime hadn’t overtaken the manga in the first place.

Now why focusing on the former opponent characters? This flashback sequence should make more sense if this was done right after the last episode of s1 isn’t it? At this point in time when this manga chapter came out, we manga readers still know next to nothing about the opponents in the nationals and we still felt lingering sense of attachment and sadness from having to say proper farewell to these former opponents we used to care so much about. So this is more like Ritz giving them a proper farewell to them since we won’t be seeing them very much from now on. Especially Ryuumonbuchi, Ritz went out with a bang with the introduction of Cold Touka. It’s more like a extra backstory for Ryuumonbuchi fans showing how they lost the last year’s tournament. The surprise here is they aren't completely destroyed by another more powerful team like what most people expected. It shows that this team used to be a worthy representive of Nagano in the nationals. They aren’t pushover even though they lost as seen by how Magan still fears Cold Touka even if one year has passed. It also means Koromo had never been defeated in the last year’s tournament since Magan banckrupt the other team before reaching the captain round which means Saki is the very first person who managed to “befriend” her even more meaningful.

Now for the reason why this version of the training camp is so important, let’s compare this event to other training camp events in Sakiverse.

S1 ep. 5 vs Side A ep. 3: The shortcoming of Achiga’s training camp is obvious: we don’t know what exactly Achiga characters did to improve themselves while the Kiyosumi’s first training camp shows all the detail of how they train and how the training benefits them.


S1 ep. 25 vs S2 ep. 2: Both can be considered the same event but focuses are different. S1 version of the train camp is important in showing Teru disowning Saki in public, and also focusing more on character bonding, but similar to Achiga's training camp, it doesn't cover what exactly Kiyosumi girls did to improve themselves during that time. This is another reason why manga/S2 version of the very same training camp was made. It’s actually relevant plot point in the future because this is the foundation of what/how they improve themselves even further so that their (spoiler) performance in the Nationals won’t be seen as much of an asspull like what we saw in Achiga.

All the events here are more relevant in future plot than the ones we had in S1. I believe Saki experience with Cold Touka will actually become useful latter on when facing opponent with similar power. As for Maho, I’ll save it for next episode.

Try imagining yourself watching this right after you just finished watching s1 for the first time, you wouldn’t felt so out of place would it? You see, the actual problem is gap of 5 years waiting between both seasons and the fact that anime overtook the manga, making everything felt disjointed.

Last edited by teja208; 2014-01-13 at 02:38.
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Old 2014-01-13, 00:10   Link #257
TsunLemon_Yuki-chan
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Yes~ Really glad the training camp is being re-done.
Loved seeing everyone scared of joining in the 3 of them in the table, they looked so epic =w=
Good to have more Ryuumonbuchi in S2, would be really sad if I didn't get to see them as much.
Can't wait to see Maho's playing animated ^o^
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Old 2014-01-13, 02:54   Link #258
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@Myssa Rei, Sol Falling, tjalorak, kitten320, and teja208 Thanks a lot for your informative replies. I can now see how it's very likely that, later on, one of the National matches will make a callback to the extended/revised training camp (through the Flow Controller connection), hence adding greater plot relevancy and value to Episode 2. When it's all said and done, it probably will tie altogether nicely.

And I agree with teja2008 that the 5-year gap is probably the biggest issue here.


Part of my concern was/is that we only have one cour here, so I hope that this limited time is used well. Like I hinted at before, if the later episodes/National matches don't feel rushed, then I'm largely fine with how Episode 2 came across.
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Old 2014-01-13, 03:27   Link #259
Myssa Rei
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To put it simply, S1's training camp was a cute get-together for the girls at a hot springs that just happened to have Mahjong thrown in for flavor. This was drawn from Ritz's rough outline, and aside from the team compositions most of the details were added by GONZO (see the lack of Wahaha mobile for example which is glaring for Tsuruga).

The manga/S2 training camp is an actual training camp for mahjong (as in we see the actual regimen by Hisa), with characterization stuff thrown in. It bears reminding that this version is what Ritz considers canon.

There's a clear difference between the two.
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Old 2014-01-13, 03:33   Link #260
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Originally Posted by Myssa Rei View Post
To put it simply, S1's training camp was a cute get-together at a hot springs that just happened to have Mahjong thrown in for flavor. The manga/S2 training camp is an actual training camp for mahjong, with characterization stuff thrown in. There's a clear difference between the two.
I agree in general, but wonder if perhaps you go a little too far in one area of your description here ... in S1 of the anime the training camp did have a direct effect on the later eps - there are a couple flashbacks (Yuuki and Saki both have them and use the material they remember as inspiration to try and overcome their situations) that show that the camp was not present just "fluff with mahjong".
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