Hisa has a lot of work to do to get Kiyosumi out of the cellar and into contention. What the others do not know is that Hisa is a formidable player with a style all her own.
What They Say
Episode 11 - Prank
Hisa obviously starts the next match at a disadvantage. However, her style is claiming victory by confusing her opponents. She wants to overwhelm them and jump into first place. Ryuumonbuchi falls into last place and Kunihiro begins to feel…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Apparently Hisa's style is to choose the worst waits for a winning hand, and stick with them. And it serves her well, since she seems to come out well ahead for those long waits. Within a few hands, Hisa has in fact vaulted Kiyosumi from last place to first, erasing the large lead that Kazekoshi had established in the first two rounds.
The episode isn't entirely given over to Hisa's play. We also see more of the Missing Penguin Show, as Nodoka wakes up from her nap and realizes that Etopen is gone. Leaving Saki sleeping in the Nap Room, Nodoka heads out to search for her missing mascot/good luck charm. The penguin is safely with Koromo from Ryuumonbuchi, but not so safe, as the two girls who stole the stuffed animal before come back and try to get the penguin again (though this time, to return it to Nodoka). A tussle ensues and the penguin gets damaged. Leaving Koromo in tears.
We also get a little bit of background on the moe object Hajime Kunihiro from Ryuumonbuchi. Apparently, those handcuffs are not some strange S&M fetish, but are functional, because Hajime's father is a magician, and the daughter has inherited her father's manual dexterity (she's quick with her hands). Sleight of hand is great for magic tricks, but generally looked down upon when participating in tournaments, and one incident in the past has apparently branded Hajime forever. However, Touka Ryuumonbuchi scouted her not because of her cheating but in spite of it. She saw that Hajime's ability was actually quite real despite the one lapse from ethical play, and decided that she wanted her on the Ryuumonbuchi team. Remembering why she was chosen, Hajime ups her game, fairly, and begins to draw Ryuumonbuchi back into the tournament.
So, this episode saw quite a bit of activity on all fronts, and the central round is only half over.
Hisa Takei is a true risk taker, deliberately choosing to wait for the low-odds, but high-point scoring hands in order to rebuild Kiyosumi's chance at advancing. This advance comes at the expense of Kazekoshi, whose lead built up by their captain and defended by their second player is lost during the first half of the central round. We are in the very heart of the battle now. For those who are familiar with sports entertainment, animated or live action, you will all be familiar with the usual ebb and flow of play, which we have seen for the past few episodes. A decent job is done to interrupt the intensity of the mahjong with some action behind the scenes. For those who enjoy sports dramas, these past few installments, and the next few to come, should prove to be entertaining. Of course, if you're just watching for the girls, then none of this matters.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard.