Spring 2009 First Impressions: Saki

Just some random thoughts that ran through my head as I got around to watching some of the season’s premieres. On tap? Another Gonzo show, Saki. A slice of life about Mahjong. Hurray. I think.

Fansub group: Underwater-Mahjong

Things I liked:

  • Good character designs, solid animation. I liked the CGI Mahjong board. I’ve never seen Mahjong presented in such an exciting way.
  • Likeable characters (a prerequisite for slice of life shows).
  • Great seiyuu cast: Ami Koshimizu, Jun Fukuyama, Rie Kugimiya, Kana Ueda, Shizuka Itoh et. al.
  • Rie Kugimiya in a non-tsundere role. I forgot how much I liked her when she’s just being moe.

Things I didn’t like:

  • It’s about freaking mahjong. I equate mahjong with grandmas.

Random other thoughts:

I didn’t even bother mentioning this show in my season preview, because a.) I’m a lazy bastard and b.) I didn’t plan on watching this show. But after reading a couple solid reviews, I thought what the hell. Why not.

There’s nothing extraordinary about Saki the show (although Saki the character seems to be Strike Witch Miyafuji’s separated-at-birth twin). But perhaps I would’ve enjoyed it more if I liked Mahjong, or at least even knew what all the strategy and terminology really meant (definitions don’t mean much, if you don’t know zip about the game itself). I’m guessing that Saki’s skill at getting zero-scores each time out would be sort of like someone always drawing 17 while playing Black Jack. Or maybe just getting two-pair in poker? Yeah, there were probably some chill-inducing scenes for Mahjong fans that just went over my head.

Otherwise, it was pretty entertaining nevertheless. And with the awesome seiyuu cast, it should be a nice way to waste 20 minutes a week. Maybe I’ll even learn something about Mahjong along the way.

Someone get Saki a striker unit!

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