Saki Episode #09 (

By:G.B. Smith
Review Date: Monday, June 01, 2009
Release Date: Sunday, May 31, 2009

The long build up is finally over. It is the final match of the Prefectural Qualifying Tournament. Whose team shall reign supreme?

What They Say

Episode 9 - Eyes Open

The finals have started and Kiyosumi's mahjong club is in a state of panic! Tacos, the source of Yuuki's power, was taken away. In shock, her sadness was seen as she gently lifts her hand. The match is with Kazekoshi's captain!!!

The Review!
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

The match gets off to a rip roaring start, as Inoue from Ryuumonbuchi steals Yuuki's taco. Of course, the captain of Kazekoshi, Mihoko, comes to the rescue as she offers Yuuki her lunch. Still, Inoue dominates the first half of the first round. Even with a taco recharge at half-time, Yuuki can't manage to get back into the game as Inoue dominates. Or so it seems.

For Mihoko of Kazekoshi, the only player not to be losing points heavily to Inoue, decides to help Yuuki win a couple of hands, completely disrupting Inoue's game. The decisive moment comes when the Captain of Kazekoshi decides to open her right eye, which is otherwise always closed. It doesn't glow and it's not an inhuman eye, but it does turn out that Mihoko Fukuji is heterochromatic–her eyes have different colors. And for the usual silly reasons, when she opens her normally closed eye, she suddenly has greater playing abilities. Her helping of Yuuki, however,  is not altruistic, nor is it of long standing. For shortly thereafter, she begins to dominate the game, eating Inoue's entire lead and even driving her into the minus side on points. By the end of the first round of play, Mihoko has built a solid lead over the entire field.

In Summary:

The Prefectural Qualifiers have entered the final round, which will determine which one school will advance to the National Finals. While I had thought that things would move a bit more swiftly, it looks as if each player might have an entire episode devoted to their round in the final match, which would take us to the halfway point of the series. We get to see a lot more play than we did in the first couple of rounds, though it is still all in a highly telegraphic manner, which gives those who have never played the game little idea of how the whole thing works. While Yuuki did not play badly, Mihoko was just too good for everyone, including the overconfident Inoue of Ryuumonbuchi. It's game on at this point, and an interesting question to see who will dominate in the next round.


Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment:

Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard.

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 25
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Saki