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Saki Episode #24 Anime Review

4 min read
Saki Episode 24

With no more mahjong to be played for the moment, the show scrambles it way towards the finish line with some sloppy animation and the feeling that they just want to deliver material before the broadcast deadline.

What They Say
Hand 24 – Summer Festival
Everyone decides to go to the summer festival to have fun, however Yuki must remain behind because she failed her final exam. Saki and Nodoka agree to stay back and help Yuki, however she is having a bit of trouble concentrating. During the same time, the Ryumonbuchi, Kazekoshi and Tsuruga clubs, each received a letter from Hisa…

The Review!
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It was bound to happen eventually: the budget ran out with this episode. It was clear that there was a serious resource problem when you look at some of the key animation cuts, especially the scene where Saki, Nodoka and Yuuki go to a restaurant. The characters are so off-model, it’s not even funny. Granted, the segment is meant to be a “ha-ha, comic relief” segment so you can get away with exaggerated expressions. But then how do you explain other, non-comedy moments like this one:

While not as bad as some of the other scenes, even in this one…what happened to their faces and limbs?

…where it’s also clear that something had gone terribly wrong with either the budget or with quality control (this is anachronistic, but now that it’s after 2015, we can talk about a show going the route of Jiggly Jiggly Heaven).

Was there any story content worth discussing? Well, at least here we have a gesture towards canon material again as we have an extremely brief version of the Training Camp arc from the manga (which had only just begun to appear as this series ended, if I recall correctly; if you want to see more of it than the overdrawn “invitation” round that this episode provides and the highly abridged segment that is the finale of Saki Season 1, you will need to watch the sequel series Saki: The Nationals where some of the arc is presented in flashback). The invitations to the other schools and a brief foray to a summer festival is combined with yet another “Yuuki is incredibly stupid” segment.

She managed to fail her math midterm exam and therefore has to do a make up. Nodoka and Saki take it upon themselves to make Yuuki study, for if she fails the make up exam, she will be forced to attend extra classes—classes that would be held during the time Hisa has scheduled the training camp. So, Yuuki studies hard, after her fashion (meaning a large amount of tacos and a little amount of progress).

With all of that out of the way, what better way to end the episode than with a Summer Festival? And so, we get an excuse to see the girls in yukatas again, and a little more. In general, the entire point of this episode seemed to be…well, I’ll let this gallery of screencaps speak for itself.

Next week looks to be the training camp proper.


In Summary:
With the heavy drama of the tournaments over, we see the characters interact in much lower-stakes settings. Yuuki’s lack of academic ability provides some tension, as Nodoka and Saki take it upon themselves to force Yuuki to prepare for a make up exam she needs to pass, or else risk not being able to do any mahjong training before the Nationals. For that training camp, Hisa has decided to invite the members of the other teams that were in the finals of the Prefectural Qualifiers, as she wants to put her team up against the best competition available in the area in order to be better prepared for the National Tournament. A sound strategy, as to be expected from Hisa. In all, this was an episode that wasted our time coming after the filler that was the Prefectural Individual Tournament, though it could have served quite well as a quiet before the storm of the actual National Tournament. It looks like they are preparing to wind down the season with some pleasant character interaction, which would probably be a good way to provide a convenient stopping point, with intentions signaled for a further season to come (though it took some time to happen).

Grade: B

Streamed by: Crunchyroll

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

Touka should just be happy she and her friends remained on-model in this episode.