It seems that every successive series of the Saki anime is going to be not what I expect. I thought this series would cover the Nationals tournament – as indicated by the title – incorporating Saki finally facing off against her scary sister and what happens to the cute alternate team from Nara we got to know in Episode of Side-A. Perhaps they’d be sacrificial lambs.
Well, all of that remains for some as-yet unmade series – there’s an OVA on the way next year, for starters. What this series did was some of the preliminary rounds of the Nationals competition. True, there were some fun new character introduced – I loved the extremely tall girl and the ridiculous shrine maidens who could summon the powers of gods – but ultimately there was little here that was particularly consequential. The fact is that the fun of super-powered Mahjong games eat up episodes, though, and this half-season flew by. What Saki really needs is to be very long and ongoing – too little happens for this sort of length of series to satisfy.
So while our heroic team manage to prevail thanks to each member’s skill and Saki’s ridiculous luck with her rinshan kaihou hands, all that has really happened is that the central conflicts of the larger series have been delayed for another future adaptation – if we even get there. It may be that to see the actually important parts of this story following its exposition, I may have to go to a manga.
But for all that annoys me, I can’t deny how enjoyable the ride is. The ridiculous characters and exaggerated drama of the hands played, the way formidable players can sense one another’s auras, the fanservice – it’s all very funny and entertaining, and makes for compulsive, brainless viewing. And I need a few series like that here and there.
So yes, I will go on watching whatever Saki I can get. But until I have to, I won’t feel any real need to read the manga.