October 6, 2009

The end of Lesbian Mah Jong??!?

So, Saki is over.
Well, for the season, anyway. It was very vague on whether or not there was going to be more. I certainly hope so, as I am a sucker for lesbian high school girls playing Mah Jong in a dramatic fashion. Mostly for the dramatic Mah Jong thing. Not the lesbian thing.

Honestly, can we talk about the lesbian thing. I mean, I am all for girl/girl romance. TOTALLY. Love in all forms is fucking awesome. But oh. My. God. At least have the romance be for the characters, you know? So often, so much of it was completely fanservice bait. It made it completely impossible to give a shit about the relationship between the characters. This is no less dramatic than in the last episode where, instead of, I dunno, playing Mah Jong, all the characters from the whole series decide they are all going to get naked in a tub and talk, sometimes about their feelings and sometimes about Mah Jong, and it’s just about the worst fanservice ever. Way to ruin the ending of the series. Good job.
The place where I get these episodes, which is… here, has a comment thread, and I made the mistake of looking. All throughout the thread are people talking about how hot the show is. Seriously? That’s why you’re watching this? You do realize you are on the internet, right? You can watch girls, anime or not, doing much sexier things RIGHT NOW. You wouldn’t even have to slog through all the playing of the Mah Jong. Hell, you could probably find a comic with the characters OF THE SHOW doing such things. Why are you even watching this? Ugh.

Anyway, that rant over, the show was really good. Well, in the way that any show about playing a game is really good in my eyes. It probably isn’t as good as Akagi, so if you’re going for only the top notch, I would probably suggest watching that. But it is certainly better animated than Akagi, is more over-the-top, and is really just a lot of fun once they get to the Mah Jong tables.
Everyone has some sort of crazy “Mah Jong” power. Some people control the “flow” of the tiles, some people have extra strength in various situations, such as during the East round or while on a Hell wait. Some players, such as the main character, Saki, have a specific hand that they can manifest at will. These powers don’t ALWAYS come into play, and are not specifically called out as superpowers. But they are used, fairly often, to really ramp up the tension in a way that someone who doesn’t know the game of Mah Jong can understand. It may require a lot of explanation by the narrator in Akagi before I can truly get what he did, but in Saki, it’s explained in much clearer anime terms: I have to do this to block her power from going off. It’s understandable, even if you don’t enjoy the game, and it is enjoyable.

Anyway, it’s a very silly show, but I enjoyed every moment of it. At the end of the last episode, they showed this sort of… montage of the teams they would be playing against at Nationals. I’m unsure if that was throwing the fans of the manga a bone, or if that was an indication that they’re working on a second season. I certainly hope it’s the second season. I would love to watch more.
Whether or not you’d like to watch it really depends on if you can stomach blatant, painful fanservice and enjoy silly game-based shows as much as I do. I think, just by reading a quick description, you’d know if you’d get a kick out of it or not. If you think you would, let’s watch it together or something. It’ll be awesome.

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