Saki Episode 1 – Yuri, Otaku Mahjong, Fanservice, Great Animation, Shittacular, I Mean, Dude, What in the F*ck is This?!


Thanks to Crunchyroll‘s simulcasting, Saki is available to watch streamed and subbed instantly and legally for free. This is especially since Saki is a show you couldn’t enjoy without knowing what was going on. Unfortunately, it may not be a sow you could enjoy at all. Or is it?! I can’t tell!!! This was one very confounding first episode. It was like a constant barrage of things that were totally great and things that all completely sucked all flying around and colliding. It’s an episode that should mean an instant drop, but I can’t justify not at least watching the second episode in light of the numerous good points to the show.

Starting off, the good stuff. The animation is pretty great. The backgrounds have a lot of life to them and despite being a school setting don’t feel like you’ve seen this crap a thousand times. Character designs are nice for the most part – the only one I didn’t like was the chick with the enormous boobs. Her boobs are so big that her shirt (which I guess doesn’t come in her size) constricts and conforms to them, which looks stupid. The male character also looked like a dork. Otherwise, the girls were cute, and Saki herself looks exactly like Miyafuji from Strike Witches. I particularly loved the student council congress president.

The characters seemed to be generic but serviceable. Saki, as with her looks, acts just like Miyafuji. The is a turbo-loli who is hyper and obsessed with tacos. She starts off very annoying because she bursts in the room screaming and with that hideously obvious comedy music playing (I’ve always hated that in any show.) However, she grew less annoying as the episode progressed. The student congress president seemed like fun as the instantly ‘cool’ character. The dude character was pretty much a brick. No personality whatsoever. Then there was once again the chick with the huge boobs, whose emotions seem to be all over the place. One things for sure, though – she wants to fuck Saki. I promise.

The yuri hints were all over the place. The first line in the episode is Saki seeing big-tits and thinking about how beautiful a girl she is (leading of course to her requisite concern for her own bust size.) The girls keep blushing at each other and when the big tits girl realizes that Saki may be a mahjong genius after she’s left the club, she chases Saki down and rather than stop her and talk, she jumps out and hugs her, knocking the umbrella out of her hand in the middle of the rain. This leads to the big-tits girl’s clothes being soaked see-through from the rain. These random fanservice moments just seemed totally out of place and awkward as the direction this show is going becomes even more vague.

What’s more, this is, in fact, a show about mahjong, and lots of mahjong is played. If you don’t know anything about mahjong, you’re pretty much fucked because nothing is explained (and the tl notes aren’t really helping.) A lot of the mahjong is pretty boring not knowing what is going on. In addition, I’m not sure real mahjong fans could even appreciate this. The things Saki does are certifiably impossible, as is stated by the other characters in the show many times, and the girl apparently has insane luck (and not Akagi’s brand of luck, either.) I can’t help but feel like mahjong fans might be turned off the way tennis fans get pissed at Prince of Tennis.

The writing felt so cliched and horrible most of the time that I was wondering why I was watching it. Until the actual plot started to emerge, all of what happened felt like placeholder character interaction. Nothing that was said felt like it had any meaning or purpose, characters were just doing things and I was wondering why I should care. Then we find out Saki is God of Mahjong, but where the show wants to go with that isn’t really clear. The absolute worst part was Saki’s reasoning for always loosing on purpose. She dramatically explains that ‘when she played with her family, she wouldn’t get any candy if she lost, but they’d get mad if she won too much.’

However, there were also parts that brought a huge smile to my face. In the episode’s climatic mahjong battle, things start going more exicting with sliding point-meters, lots of split-screen reactions and people getting into the game, then there’s a hugely epic moment of Saki setting up her ultimate hand and placing pieces so dramatically that lightning strikes the pieces when she places them. This was all damn good fun and made me want more.

Even though this episode was completely terrible, I feel like I have to watch at least one more episode. If it’s as bad as this, I’ll drop it, but I’ve seen plenty of shows with shitty first episode like this that got their act toegehter in the next ep. So who knows. Plus the show is free, instantly available, and legal, so there’s less hassle involved with trying to watch it.

11 thoughts on “Saki Episode 1 – Yuri, Otaku Mahjong, Fanservice, Great Animation, Shittacular, I Mean, Dude, What in the F*ck is This?!

  1. “Thanks to Crunchyroll’s simulcasting, Saki is available to watch streamed and subbed instantly and legally for free.”

    How exactly Crunchyroll is free ? Its a pay-per-view site now.

  2. @karry: no, it isn’t. You have to pay to watch in 480 or 720p, but otherwise it’s free. Otherwise, how the fuck would I be able to say that?

  3. Some simulcast shows on Crunchyroll are free, however that’s just one side of it. There are some shows, namely Naruto Shippuuden which you wont be able to view unless you buy a CR Anime subscription. Otherwise you’d have to wait 1 week for you to watch it free. With the subscription you also get access to all the other simulcast shows that you’d otherwise have to wait a week for. You also get access to their HQ videos (480p and 720p) and a bunch of other site extras. As a regular member you get the regular LQ, HQ and H264 encodes. There’s more information on the site, and a list of all the shows (They’ve recently brought back a few drama shows). CR is currently doing a promotion that you get 2 weeks of CR’s Anime Membership free.

    I think that’s about it.

  4. Basically, I loved this episode. No complaints whatsoever. The characters counted, the majiang worked even for a noob like me, the plot progressed, the fanservice was tasteful but effective. But I do enjoy the advantage of having read a few chapters of the manga.

  5. @hashi: I’ve read a number of opinions like yours and a number that violently hate the show. I think I might be too pretentious for it D:

  6. Pingback: Saki First Impression (w/ comparsion to K-On) « When Anime Past Meets Present

  7. I think your review captures the reaction to this show perfectly. There are a ton of people dropping it and a few people who think it’s brilliant. The latter kind tend to already know mahjong inside and out.

  8. Pingback: Finish or Fail 6 – Saki – The Meaning of Moe « Fuzakenna!

  9. Pingback: In Which I Acknowledge The Mistakes of My Youth – Queen’s Blade Episode One « Fuzakenna!

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