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Saki Episode #16 Anime Review

4 min read
Saki Episode
Saki Episode 16

I said last time that a demon was sitting at the table. This installment, the demon reveals itself.

What They Say
Hand 16 – Conspiracy

No matter how many tiles pile up, Saki, Ikeda, and Kajiki can’t seem to advance. It’s like being dragged along the bottom of the ocean. Amae Koromo seems to be the only one who is able to keep up… The nightmare begins…

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While Saki hit a speedbump with Yumi Kajiki last hand, the next hand is worse, as Koromo finally begins to unleash her powers. The draws suddenly start getting bad for everyone else. Saki seems to be paralyzed at the moment, Kana Ikeda of Kazekoshi is desperate to knock Koromo off her game and Kajiki of Tsuruga is carefully trying to analyze the table, but none of them seem to have it figured out.

“The trick is in the knot I use to tie the ribbon!”

Of the three, Yumi does eventually begin to get a read on Koromo, but she also seems to realize her tactical abilities pale in comparison to Koromo’s more supernatural powers. Twice in a row, Koromo seemingly wills the tiles into giving her a win on the last normal draw of the hand (the normal tiles excluding the “dead wall”). Kana’s attempt to knock Koromo off course to her “Bottom of the Sea” victory is thwarted by Koromo’s “control” of the tiles. Kajiki then takes her shot but also realizes that it’s futile. Except for once, right after Saki wishes that someone would deliberately play into her hand. Which happens, when Kajiki has the same exact thought and gives Saki a winning tile to call a ron on. This, of course, enrages Koromo, since it means the end of her sitting as East Wind for this half of the round, which was giving her a bonus for winning. Kajiki then plays a good hand to draw a victory off of Kazekoshi.

That doesn’t put an end to Koromo’s seeming manipulation of the tiles, however, for she’s not a one trick pony. As the next wind repositioning is about to start, Koromo seems to put out a wave of force that both Saki and Kajiki sense and react to. She starts winning on other combinations, by winning off discards of others and by drawing other winning tiles. Things start to really look bad for the other players, especially for Kazekoshi. Kana is down to 38,600 points after Koromo ends the first half of the round.

Apparently, Koromo only becomes more powerful as night falls and there is a full moon as well.

That sinking feeling…

The challenge with this final match was always going to be creating a thrilling and exciting contest after we have have so many episodes of mahjong already. So far, the show has done that, with feinting Saki’s dominance, which is quickly undone by Yumi’s strategic abilities. No matter how smart she is, however, Yumi is not capable of fully matching Koromo’s complete control over the tiles, which only grows as the full moon rises above them. Saki has been cowered by her defeat by Yumi earlier and Kana, the only one who really knows the danger Koromo presents going into the match, is nearly helpless. She may be, in a regular contest against mortals, a more than capable player. In this group, however, poor Kana is the whipping girl for the demonic shorty with the rabbit ribbons.

Will light begin to filter in again through the darkness or will the darkness only grow?


In Summary:
Koromo Amae lives up to her reputation as a demon, as she seems to have complete control over the tiles on the board. Twice in a row, she ordains that she win on the last normal draw of the hand, a bonus win called the “Bottom of the Sea.” Her third attempt to do so is only stopped by Yumi Kajiki’s superior tactical abilities, making a quick read of the discards to correctly guess what tile Saki would need to call a minor, low points win off of her, putting a stop to Koromo’s high scoring victory. This, however, only enrages Koromo, who steps up her control of the board two hands later, as she wins the final two hands of the first half of the match, driving Kana Ikeda to near desperation levels. Koromo’s power over the tiles is freakishly unsettling to everyone, especially Saki, who seems to be paralyzed. Who shall save these three from the seemingly innocent looking demon they are playing with?

Grade: B+

Streamed by: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Apple iMac with 12GB RAM, Mac OS 10.11 El Capitan.