208th G-View: Saki Zenkoku-Hen

The official 2nd season came and went. It was nearly 5 years of waiting for the return of Kiyosumi to the squared circle of the bloodsport known as “super powered lesbian mahjong wrestling”. Was this OBVIOUS first half of the second season worth the long wait? Let’s find out as we take a look at Saki: Zenkoku-hen.

Saki Zenkoku-hen coverIt is HIGHLY recommended to have seen Saki before picking up Zenkoku-hen. Watching Achiga-hen is optional but since they’ll be appearing again sooner or later you can check it out as well. In case viewers need more convincing whether the Saki series is worth watching or not, check out both my reviews of the first season and midquel.

2nd G-View: Saki
166th G-View: Saki, Achiga-Hen episode of Side-A

Alternate title: Saki – The Nationals

Genres: Tournament

Themes: Sports, Mahjong, School

Number of episodes: 13

G-Rating: 8/10

Plot Summary: Kiyosumi begins their journey competing in the National Mahjong Tournament.

Not much I can say about the animation and music. Apart from some new tunes, the overall feel of the soundtrack remains the same. “Attouteki na Chikara wo Mokuzen Toshite” remains my all time favorite tune in the Saki series and I always get chills hearing it during combat.

Training Camp flashbackThe first quarter of the show centered around the training camp where the first season concluded. The rest is the quarterfinal match and a concluding rest period episode.

 

As far as content goes Zenkoku-hen is identical to season 1 and Achiga-hen. The series’ main attractions are still there.

  • The blood pumping, spine tingling, bone cracking superpowered mahjong wrestling goodness.
  • The character developing flashbacks.
  • The yuri.

Taco ass kickingIt’s all here. However, like Achiga-hen, Zenkoku-hen felt a little bit lacking. Perhaps it was due to it only being 13 episodes long. Something had to be sacrificed in order to compensate for the short time span. In Achiga-hen it was a lack of good wrestling (Until the 4 bonus OVAs rectified the issue). In Zenkoku-hen once the quarterfinals began, the character developing flashbacks and yuri moments somewhat took a backseat to the wrestling. Depending on the viewer this could either be seen as a good or bad thing. Even then some viewers didn’t think the wrestling in season 2 wasn’t good until the last two rounds. I personally thought all the matches were pretty good.

Divine Light AwakenedThe miko team’s princess and source of admiration and desire.

Shiro's signature poseA lazy hottie who doesn’t really try to get girls to fall for her. They just do.

While I did say the flashbacks and yuri were lacking, I was referring to the new teams that competed. See, during the training camp many of the fan favorite veterans were there and all the established yuri couples were as strong as ever. It was the three new teams that didn’t get enough time to show the world which girl was dating or wanted to make love with which other girl. We did get some yuri harem Iono-sama pupils but established couples…not really. Granted the flashbacks for the new teams were still there but were not up to par with either S1 or Achiga. They at least got the job done so viewers will get to “squee” or feel for the newcomers.

EisuiTeam Eisui, aka The Killer Mikos.

Meeting ToyoneTeam Miyamori, aka The Toyone Family.

Funny teamTeam Himematsu, aka The Boogie Rockers.

These are the three teams Team Kiyosumi will have to contend with in the quarterfinals. If I had to pick a favorite it would be The Toyone Family because they stood out most and were most interesting team.

Toyone's first moveMy breakout wrestler is unquestionably the 10 foot tall, 270 pound colossus Sister Toyone. While many wrestling fans compare her to Classic Undertaker and they are right for doing so, her fighting style makes her more akin to Bray Wyatt. I guess she’s a hybrid of both wrestlers.

The Princess and one of her Sweet mikoLike I said, the yuri’s still there but in smaller doses than what yuri Saki are accustomed to. What we got was enjoyable.

Saki's drive to burnOverall I’d say Zenkoku-hen is a good start for what’s to come in the ongoing Kiyosumi journey through the Nationals. I only hope the continuation won’t take another 5 years to get green lit. Despite the flashbacks and yuri content not being as plentiful as past seasons it’s still adequate and the wrestling’s as awesome as always. Highly recommended to all Saki fans.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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21 Responses to 208th G-View: Saki Zenkoku-Hen

  1. foxx says:

    There will be an interesting scene in the last episode… ; }

    Like

  2. x says:

    I hope they continue the finals instead of having us wait for so many years

    Like

  3. Alexis says:

    Saludos
    En gustos se rompen géneros pero en lo personal me hubiera gustado ver más a las mikos y a la Toyone’s Family, pero el hecho de que al final se conocieran y se fueran a la playa también es puro win… oh si el ritual… je je je … tooooooodos tienen interés “cultural”… OWO

    Quiero dejar una pregunta para todos. Si algún día (que espero que no sea lejano) Ritz Kobayashi anunciara un nuevo arco en donde se anuncie un gran torneo internacional de mahjong, ¿como formarían a la selección japonesa? yo la armaría así:
    (vanguard): Kosegawa Shiromi
    (sergeant): Kirame “Subara” Hanada (por algún motivo “mágico-cómico-musical la pusieron en esta posición.
    (lieutenant): Atarashi Ako
    (vice captain): Usuzumi Hatsumi
    (captain): Miyanaga Saki (por default y porque la serie lleva su nombre)

    Like

  4. mutopis says:

    I wanted Toyone to win. ;_;

    Like

  5. nightsentinel09 says:

    I wish I know something about wrestling so I can actually get your meme on Saki. But, damn the title you give them is so cool ^^

    Like

  6. Hanneman says:

    I think that everyone that liked the first season will also like this one. Although we didnt had many yuri moments as before, the matches were still awesome.

    My only problem was the pacing problem. You see, having the match cut in the half and having the Kiyosumi girls everytime to be pumped up in one week, only to have in the next week the girls going back to the “how am i going to do this?” is pretty frustrating.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      The frustration means you’re both invested and annoyed which is a good thing because you want to see them succeed and stuff.

      Like

  7. yurimylove says:

    I’m in agreement that only being 13 episodes long isn’t quite enough for these many new characters to be properly fleshed out, so it really had to choose where to focus on. Given the situation I think it did an admirable job of focusing on mahjong actions while still maintaining a decent balance of character-background-yuri-flashbacks.

    I know it’s a very personal peference when it comes to comparing the 3 seasons we had. I seen quite a few people who love the original Saki but absolutely hate or not care for Achiga-hen. I, on the other hand, actually love both the original Saki and Achiga-hen equally, but slightly less so for this season even though I still like it lots of course. I just really love the whole chemistry within the Achiga team, including their motivations and teammates’ relationship with each other. And the “warm and cuddly” Yuu-nee-chan being there doesn’t hurt the least bit either =D

    For this season returning to Kiyosumi’s focus, I really wished for a bit more NodoSaki time. As it were, there’re more screen time for them in the OP than the actual episodes. And you know it’s not quite satisfactory enough when there’s more yuri in the OP/ED than the actual content, remember Aoi Hana and those oh so sweet Fumi x Akira images in the ED? Or that yurilicious kiss in the OP of the horrid DearS? Nothing remotely close happened in the actual show! Nevertheless, I’ll still very happy with Saki S2 as a whole, and have high hopes that the final season will give us sufficient NodoSaki goodness to make up for it.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Really before the OVAs rectified the mistake, Achiga-hen’s main flaw was the disappointing match quality in the 12 televised episodes. I too enjoyed Achiga-hen for what it was. It certainly excelled in the character-developing-yuri-flashbacks.
      From what I’ve seen in the season finale credits the writers have clearly not forgotten NodoSaki’s relationship and how strong their love for each other is.

      Like

  8. pheebel_wimpe says:

    Sadly, it appears that it will be some time before there is another Saki season. Saki is a monthly manga. And from what I have seen, Kobayashi-sensei and the publisher haven’t finished the serializing Kiyosumi’s semi-final matches.

    Although I would have like to see more of Toyone’s intriguing mahjong, I’m pretty happy that Himematsu plays in the semi-final. Assuming that Saki gets another season, It means that we will get to hear a lot more Kansai-ben in the show in future. I’m looking forward to seeing more yuri moments between the Atago sisters, and Suehara x Ueshige. Also I’m looking forward to hearing more from Kinue’s seiyuu, Mariko Nakatsu. (Kinue is the younger sister who used to play soccer.)

    Like

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