The first battle is over, so we move on to the next, as Mako looks to improve from Yuuki's rocky start.
What They Say
Episode 10 - Beginner
Immediately following the commencement of the next match, Mako took off her glasses. With her blurred vision, she was reminded of an important game from the past which appeared right before her eyes. In that image she had, the opponent battled a stronger team and seemed to have advanced.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With Kazekoshi's dominance in the first round, the other teams have some catching up to do. For the second round, it's Mako's turn to see if she can do anything to help get Kiyosumi back into play. And now, we finally learned what her "secret power/technique" is: Mako takes off her glasses. I know that sounds unremarkable, but as Hisa then tells us, Mako grew up in a mahjong parlor. That cafe was once a mahjong parlor run by her grandfather. When she takes off her glasses, her vision blurs. Squinting to see the tiles, she remembers games from her childhood, watching how other players handled similar board set ups.
Sadly for Mako, one of the players at the table, Kaori Senou from Tsuruga Academy, is a complete novice. This has the effect of completely ruining the playing styles of the others at the table, as Kaori's unpredictable play and "beginner's luck" help her to take the lead. Mako lost more points than any of the others, and so Kiyosumi ends the second round deep in the hole. It will be up to Hisa to try to begin the long, hard climb out of the cellar. And that may not be impossible, for Mihoko, the Captain of Kazekoshi suddenly realizes who Hisa is when she sees her at the table for the next round. Hisa is apparently not your average player, but was actually the one who gave her any difficulty during the national middle school tournament years ago. For Mihoko to be worried, Hisa must be a formidable player indeed.
There was far less play in this episode, and a lot more side action. We get to look into the "backstage" lives of the teams as the final match of the tournament is ongoing. Frankly, I think I would have rather seen more actual play than the side action, though it may have been for the best to present the story in this manner, considering how the second round went. Unfortunately for Mako, that round did not go well for her, as the presence of the complete beginner Kaori Senou of Tsuruga Academy ruins her normal style of play, which is to act based upon the normal behavior of more seasoned players. It looks like Hisa is going to have a lot of hard work to try to stop Kiyosumi's dream of making the National Tournament from being crushed.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard.