Saki Achiga-hen episode of side-A

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Nemingway

-Ecchi Elitist
Sempai


Title: Saki Achiga-hen episode of side-A
Type: TV
Episodes: 12
Airing: 2012-04-08
Producers: Studio Gokumi

Cast :
See the image above

Opening Theme:
"Miracle Rush" by StylipS
Ending Theme:
"Square Panic Serenade" by Aoi Yūki, Nao Tōyama, Kana Hanazawa, MAKO, and Yumi Uchiyama

Synopsis :
The Achiga Girls' Academy in Nara once defeated regional mahjong powerhouse Bansei High School. It advanced into the national team semifinals but lost to the eventual champion, and the mahjong club was later disbanded.

Six years later, elementary school student Shizuno Takakamo befriends transfer student Nodoka Haramura. The two eventually enter Achiga Girls', but Nodoka transfers out of the school in the second year.

When Shizuno sees Nodoka on television the following year as the national middle school individual mahjong champion, she decides to revive Achiga's mahjong club.

(Source : ANN and MAL)

My thought :
I haven't watch this yet (the 1st episode is already released) nor the the first anime broadcasted a few years ago. But as it's a spin-off, I was told it is alright to watch this without having watched the initial anime. The first thing I'll pay attention to is obviously the cast ! Having Kana Hanazawa, Ogura Yui, Kaori Ishihara, Goto Saori and Nonaka Ai in the same anime is just purely awesome ! I may be biased but I have some high expectation for this anime !
 

Kid-Wolf

~ Azur Lane Hunter ~
Staff member
Leader Council
Pretty much this is kind of a prequel/side story of the Saki series. If they are doing this then I'm guessing we may have a second season sometime soon down the line I'll bet.


I guess I'll watch this series and see if it turns out to be like the regualr story into being something along the line of yuri mahjong with superpowers.
 

senpai-kun

-nakama
Retired
QUOTE (Nemingway @ Apr 08 2012, 05:59 PM) I was told it is alright to watch this without having watched the initial anime. The first thing I'll pay attention to is obviously the cast ! Having Kana Hanazawa, Ogura Yui, Kaori Ishihara, Goto Saori and Nonaka Ai in the same anime is just purely awesome ! I may be biased but I have some high expectation for this anime !
After watching the first episode I would also say I don't think it should be considered a prerequisite to watch the first Saki series either. The main thing that you would need to know is that the pink-haired Nodoka is basically one of the two main characters in the original Saki series but as a high school student. I thought it was really interesting how they utilized her in this first episode. We found out that she went to school (elementary/parts of junior high) with these new set of characters in episode of side- A -- weird title for the anime
but okay. Though she had to move due to her mother's job. So that is how she ends up going to school with Saki in the original series.

Now originally I thought to myself why not just go ahead and do a Saki sequel based on the characters from the original series? But after seeing this first episode I can start to understand why they went in this direction. It feels like this series will tie into the the original series when it's all said and done. In the process we will be introduced to a whole new set of mahjong players who's main goal is to battle it out with Nodoka.

Another major reason that I'm on board is that these new set of characters were really entertaining. It has a different feel than the original series because Shizuno and Ako especially were like these little balls of energy that made the first episode feel so upbeat x fun. This also maybe one of the few anime that I've seen where they cover around three years of time in one episode and it didn't feel rushed in the slightest bit. I have a strong feeling I'll be in for all 12 episodes.
 

Nemingway

-Ecchi Elitist
Sempai
QUOTE (senpai-kun @ Apr 09 2012, 06:01 AM) After watching the first episode I would also say I don't think it should be considered a prerequisite to watch the first Saki series either. The main thing that you would need to know is that the pink-haired Nodoka is basically one of the two main characters in the original Saki series but as a high school student. I thought it was really interesting how they utilized her in this first episode. We found out that she went to school (elementary/parts of junior high) with these new set of characters in episode of side- A -- weird title for the anime
but okay. Though she had to move due to her mother's job. So that is how she ends up going to school with Saki in the original series.
Thanks for the confirmation. I was afraid to have no choice but watching the first season. It's not like I don't want to watch it but it's not the best moment for me to watch some old series seeing how time is precious at the moment for me.

Well I have watched the first episode and the first thing I have to say is... I had a good ear-gasm ! It was so good to hear all those good seiyuu in the same screen and...aaaww... I need more xD Even if the first seems to be "rushed", I think it's a good think they did that. With that done the story is now settled and we don't need that much of explanation. The main character were introduced well and for the people who knew the first series, they know the past of Nodoka.

Now I hope the recruitment will be ok for them. They need some quality member after all =)
 

Kid-Wolf

~ Azur Lane Hunter ~
Staff member
Leader Council
Okay after watching episode 1 I have to say one thing about it, and that's at least they are sticking to the hinting of this being somthing along the line of yuri mahjong here. That and no matter what age Nodaka is it seems there are a lot of girls that would like to grope her at times.


Aside from that it seems that this episode was to introduce the members of the mahjong club in the backwater high school here. Pretty much it's the same idea as to what was the background of the club that Saki joined though. Still since it's a side story it might flesh out the series as a whole somewhat since it's set in the same universe setting if you ask me.
 

Kit-Tsukasa

-desu
Retired
Kana Hanazawa and Yui Ogura in the same show yet again. Loving this pair constantly getting the same series. Now if only Yui and Kaori Ishihara can start being in the same show more often. It's a shame that Yui and Kaori only get support roles though here as with Mayo Chiki! and High School DxD.

Anyways, the first episode is okay but it is inferior to the original in a number of ways (lack of Koromo). First off is its introduction. It lacked the same "push" that really gave the original series a huge start off the blocks. Too little epic mahjong was really the main issue. The other matter is poor animation. While it's Studio Gokumi and not Gonzo, I've been informed that most animators in Gokumi are actually former Gonzo staff and it shows with the low budget and recycled animation from the first season. They literally photo shopped the characters in with the same old background, which leaves me rather unimpressed since it's been 3 years.

Miracle Rush is a decent song, but I preferred StylipS's Study X Study from High School DxD. Maybe it will grow on me soon though. For now, I'm just curious as to how far this series will go in 12 episodes.

Also, this is not a prequel. It's the same timeline and the only reason why it looks like a prequel is because of all the introduction in the first episode. In reality, it takes place the same time Saki and co. are attempting the regional tournaments against Ryuumonbochi.
 

Nemingway

-Ecchi Elitist
Sempai
The second episode was just awesome ! So the club got two new members, Yuu-chan and Arata. Yuu-chan is just too funny xD She needs to stay in a warm place even if it's summer time xD Arata is a cute girl especially in the flashback when she first met Harue and having her necktie as a present.

Besides that, nothing special happened but the story will really begin in the next episode !
 

nijlandp

-sama
Sempai
I decided to give this series a chance today and even though there is merit in the remarks that the animation is somewhat weak it is pretty entertaining.
Yuu (i liked the kotatsu introduction
) and Arata (she feels like she is an ace) were fun to watch characters in the second episode and that scene with having the surprise of seeing the mahjong club back in action was executed well. Even if it is a spin-off the series feels enjoyable. I think i'll keep on watching
 

nijlandp

-sama
Sempai
I am just going to say one thing about episode 3: why???
Why did the writers make this storyline for the episode. It rushed through every thing to end up in the nationals already. To make a nice example: after winning the prefectural tournament the club has money to spend on trips? it is a small school i expected that they would be struggling to get enough money. One big chance to give more depth to the story ruined...it looked like the writers wanted to skip the whole buildup to the nationals but had to make some parts to keep continuation...
Never did this episode have any real excitement about the game of mahjong. For a series based on this game that really is a bad thing. To see some of the characters from the original series Saki was nice but that was too shortlived. Having Saki from the original series appear as an adversary is an good idea but why with such an "evil" aura? She ain't evil and this is not how she really is in the original series.
For me a really bad episode after two good starting episodes
 

daedalron

-chan
Kouhai
I felt the same. Why this rush ?
The prefectural could have made a few nice episodes, especially after some girls from Bansei were introduced before.
Same for the trip to the numbers 2.

Besides, if they make the nationals game with the Achiga point of view, does it mean we won't get to see Kyosumi's point of view in a future season ? If so, it's a waste, cause Kyosumi would be much better, with the interactions between Saki and her onee-chan.
 

AccipiterF1

-sama
Retired
What? Nationals already? And without learning any of the strengths of weaknesses of the Achiga girls. And no hidden Mah-jong superpowers revealed? And no inscrutable game sequences with editor notes that barely help in explaining what is going on? It's like they started to make a Saki series but then decided they couldn't be bothered to actually do one after all. I was expecting this series to end with then qualifying for nationals. What the hell are they even going to use the next 9 episodes for anyway? It looks like they are going to at least spoil part of the Nationals story that should rightfully be told by a real Saki sequel. Maybe I should go back to reading the Manga...


Well, at least it was nice to see Koromo, anyway.
 

Nemingway

-Ecchi Elitist
Sempai
Wait...what ? This third episode was kinda rushed.... We haven't seen at least one full match... And yeah, some explications would have been nice for the persons who don't have a clue about mahjong... And since I'm interested into mahjong, I'd like to know the rules to know what's going on xD

I wonder if with the 9 remaining episodes they will concentrate this spin-off with the national and nothing else. Maybe it was the initial choice by the producer, who knows
 

daedalron

-chan
Kouhai
The only way I see not spoiling a future Saki season, is to have Achiga in a different bracket of the tournament than Kyosumi. That way, we could have a season here that focuses on Achiga getting to the finale, and later, in Saki season 2, have Kyosumi starting from the 1st match to go to the finale too, and meet Achiga there.
 

senpai-kun

-nakama
Retired
I got a good kick out of the last four or so posts where you guys basically start off with the same wtf
are they doing remarks.

QUOTE (daedalron @ Apr 24 2012, 07:41 AM)The only way I see not spoiling a future Saki season, is to have Achiga in a different bracket of the tournament than Kyosumi. That way, we could have a season here that focuses on Achiga getting to the finale, and later, in Saki season 2, have Kyosumi starting from the 1st match to go to the finale too, and meet Achiga there.
I was thinking somewhere along these same lines after finishing episode three. I will admit that it was unexpected that they would decide to jump right into the nationals without showcasing any of the girls true skills. Though it's possible that with just a 12 (instead of 25 like the original Saki series) episode order they want to quickly focus on Achiga progressing towards a collision course with Kiyosumi. It will make more sense once the next couple of episodes play out and we see whether or not they are in fact in different brackets. Nine episodes can actually be enough time to focus on the Achiga girl's mahjong abilities and to see if they're worthy enough to battle it out with Nodoka and Saki. I wonder if they are going to be a more balanced team and advance that way or will mahjong monster skills surface like Saki's rinshan kaihou -- I doubt it but we shall see.

Although I'm not 100% sure that Achiga and Kiyosumi will necessarily meet in the National's finals just yet. There is still the matter of Saki's onee-san's team which might just be the true end game for all we know. Even though they're not the ones getting a spin-off show.
 

daedalron

-chan
Kouhai
QUOTE (senpai-kun @ Apr 25 2012, 01:14 PM) Although I'm not 100% sure that Achiga and Kiyosumi will necessarily meet in the National's finals just yet. There is still the matter of Saki's onee-san's team which might just be the true end game for all we know. Even though they're not the ones getting a spin-off show.
There are 4 teams on the finals , so you can have Kyosumi, Achiga, and the school of Saki's sister ^^
 

nijlandp

-sama
Sempai
Episode 4 seems to slow down. That is fortunate for this series otherwise it would really have lost a lot of appeal. This time also the inclusion of the characters from Saki helps to get more depth. Hopefully the writers will give even more thought to the mahjong as we still ran past the games itself. Only "dragon" (nice nickname
) was shown somewhat. If they keep on rushing the real worth of this series compared to a possible second season of Saki could be very low. Also compared to Saki itself it would be an unnecessary addition.
 

AccipiterF1

-sama
Retired
We finally got to see some Mah-jong superpowers from the Achiga girls. It seems that Kuro is a dora-dora-dragon, which is apparently a very cheap way to play. They slipped in some nice fan-service from Nodoka and Taco-girl. The thing is, if they run the tournament to the final round in this series and there are any comments on the other brackets, that would constitute some mild spoilers to me. I mean, we all know Kiyosumi will make it there because they are the heroines, but I don't really want it stated beforehand in a side-story, and I certainly don't want any details about it. But still, no reason to drop the show at this point.
 

Nemingway

-Ecchi Elitist
Sempai
Finally a mah-jong match ! Well... what we saw was short but it was awesome =p Our dora-dragon seems to be quite powerful but she still makes some mistakes judging from the face of the two speakers xDD But according to the 2 sisters, it seems that she has a weakness =o The next match is promising !
 

Kid-Wolf

~ Azur Lane Hunter ~
Staff member
Leader Council
Okay why does this yuri mahjong story having very little mahjong and still traces of implied yuri?


Still it was kind of interesting seeing Saki giving a reason as to why she's really at the nationals here, but I know it was more then just the promise she made with Nodaka though.

Oh speaking of which why does it feel like that she gained a few more girls that want to have a yuri session with her now still?
 

senpai-kun

-nakama
Retired
QUOTE (daedalron @ Apr 25 2012, 05:10 PM) There are 4 teams on the finals , so you can have Kyosumi, Achiga, and the school of Saki's sister ^^
o_O you were completely right there somehow that just slipped my mind when writing that post. I'm still wondering if we'll get to see Teru's (Saki's sister) team (Shiraitodai) at least play in this side-story series since they are supposed to be complete monsters who've won the last two national tournaments. I can't recall if they mentioned what bracket they were in from this previous episode.

I'll admit I was starting to get somewhat annoyed X frustrated before the midway part of the previous episode. How long were they planning on going without having any actual mahjong play
I liked the original series because they never seemed to skimp on entertaining matches; games were always being played. But with the introduction of Kuro as the dora-dragon it feels like they're about to focus on the Achiga girl's mahjong abilities = more match focus xD.


QUOTE (AccipiterF1 @ Apr 30 2012, 03:47 PM)It seems that Kuro is a dora-dora-dragon, which is apparently a very cheap way to play. I'm not for sure about all the details just that dora seems to gather towards her but she doesn't ever discard dora. She probably often passes up on better hands because of that.
 
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