The story of Saki starts off with Miyanaga Saki that just graduated from middle school and is sitting by a tree and Haramura Nodoka walks by. Of course, the first thing Saki notices are the breasts. Suga Kyoutarou, invites Saki to the Mahjong club wich Nodoka is a part of. If you have never played Mahjong erlier thera are 3 outcomes for the game. 1: You win will positive numbers 2: lose with negative numbers 3: get a 0, which means you didn’t win or lose, but getting 0 is extremely hard to attain. Yet Saki gets a 0 four times straight. Meaning in four different games, her outcome was a 0. Nodoka takes this as an insult because she thinks Saki isn’t taking the games seriously and Nodoka is a very good Mahjong player.
As i pretty much stated above the first episode cut to the chase and start playing mahjong off the bat. Luckily I know a bit about Mahjong, so I can keep up with a bit of the jargon, but the more complex variant scoring rules, and many of the things that most people need a computer to figure out actually went beyond my by far. Still, I was impressed. The art makes the show look like it might be a fluff piece, with very little actual mahjong. If anything, there was more mahjong than moe in this show. Sure, there is plenty of zettai ryouiki, blushing and other elements that make you wonder if the show was actually meant to be a moe moe romantic comedy, but the show itself and the characters have interesting personalities. I really liked that they didn’t try and teach you the very basics.
But still there are too many fundamental problems In saki. All the games basically revolves around wich of the players can pull of the biggest Deus ex Machina when the game is near to end every match. These magical powers that come from nowhere makes the characters able to cheat in all sorts of ways. One can become invisible, and most of the main characters have incredible luck when the game rounds are arranged in a certain way. They are also blatantly giving everyone of the opponents bad hands and the main characters great hands so they can do whatever they want. The script writers did not even make any use of this. I could have overlooked and forgiven all this if any of the characters would even try to make up for it, but on that point is where Saki ultimately disappoints. Saki has nearly thirty named characters, and almost all of them end up being boring clichés in the end. The ones that they even attempts to try to develop at all are the most predictable and clichéd attempts ever, so that do not help either.
As for the sound. It worked, I never really noticed it too much when I watched but I can’t say that it really took anything away, so it must of been fine? the openings I never really appreciated that much, they were upbeat and interesting but just your average stuff. The endings varied, one was slower and the other was cute and fuzzy.
Sadly, for me there was not much value in watching Saki, other than some eye candy and art fluff with the few fanservice scenes that you get and watching some mahjong battles. Unfortunately Saki suffers from a slow start to a slow developing middle to an slow ending, which in a way leaves you disappointed as there isn’t really any closure at all.