It's time for the individual competitions, to see who else will get to go to Tokyo.
What They Say
Prefectural Representative Selection Ceremony for the individual competition has begun! Few turn out for the presentation, as preparation is the number one priority. As the names of the competitors are placed on the board, Kiyosumi Mahjong Club vows to give it their all and focus on their training for the competition ahead. Meanwhile, a figure lurks in the shadows…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
So, on to the individual competitions. The top three in the competition will represent the prefecture in the National Tournament. The matches are now only half as long as they were in the team tournament, with only the East Wind round being played (everyone gets to be dealer once). This is especially helpful to Yuuki, since she jumps out to a very quick lead early in matches, but tires when the match goes on for too long. Thus, the shortened matches help her greatly, and it's no surprise that she does very well on the first day of the two-day event.
Kiyosumi's members do fairly well overall, and we see some appearances from the other schools. Touka Ryuumonbuchi gets an extended focus, though it's partially to show her discomfort when confronted with the "newbie" girl, Kaori Senou from Tsuruga Academy, who gave everyone a hard time in the team tournament. More time, however, is given later to the "reunion" of sorts between Mihoko Fukuji, the captain of Kazekoshi, and Hisa Takei, the president of the Kiyosumi club. Hisa plays her standard "hell wait" style, deliberately opting for difficult hands to win. Mihoko eventually is pressed into using her closed eye again to get the best of Hisa in the end, and with the blue eye now showing, Hisa finally remembers that she had played against Mihoko once before.
While there are some amusing moments, this can't help but feel like filler compared to the grand drama that was the team competition. So, it looks like we'll be treading some water until the end of the season, which should be in a few episodes.
With the major story over for the moment, what we get can't help but feel like a side story to some degree. The mahjong competition is fast and furious, with so many matches taking place all at the same time. We get a little bit of humor, mainly coming from Yuuki and Kyoutaro again, as well as Touka's over the top outbursts, and a little bit of sappiness from Mihoko. After the thrilling main event earlier, the individual tournament does not really feel like it has the same level of drama and intensity. Certainly, for the future appearance of certain characters, this tournament is all or nothing, but since the members of Kiyosumi, our central focus, are already guaranteed to get to Tokyo, it does not quite feel as if so much is riding on the line.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard.