|“||The Wind God - Choe Myeonghwa!||”|
—Hisa Takei, about Choe as she enters the stage.
|Japanese name:||雀 明華|
|Nickname:||"The Wind God"|
|Family:||Professor Choe (mother)|
|School:||Rinkai Girls' High School|
|Grade:||Second-year high school|
|Debut:||Saki (manga), round 56|
|Style:||Relies on Wind Tiles|
|Main skill/ability:||Singing/Starting hands contain a 'pung' of her seat wind|
Choe Myeonghwa is a French-Korean second year student at Rinkai Girls' High School, and according to Hisa Takei, Choe is "the product of Sophia Antipolis". In the European Mahjong league she is a top ranked player. She also became known as "venter" or "wind goddess". She is one of three newcomers to the Rinkai team. Choe is said to be a world class mahjong player.
Choe has red eyes and long ash-blonde hair with shaggy bangs. She wears a short-sleeved violet blazer and matching skirt, with white pantyhose. She is always seen with her parasol.
From her few, short appearances, she seems to be a polite, well-mannered girl. Choe wants to gain independence as soon as possible to lessen the burden she places on her mother. She also enjoys foods that pop when you eat them like salmon roe.
Playing Style / AbilitiesChoe has two abilities, her innate ability to draw three of her seat winds in her starting hand and a pair of the round wind, and her ability to manipulate the flow of the game by singing.
Choe always starts with a set of her own seat wind as well as the ability to draw the round wind, and as such her winning hands have often been shown to have her wind set in them. This always guarantees her yaku and increases her chances of winning due to having a guaranteed finished set in her starting hand. She is also capable of stretching these wind tiles a long way for defense, as it can buy her time to figure out which tiles are safe. However, this also allowed Hisa Takei to score a win off of Choe, as Hisa made her wait with the last South tile, knowing that Choe would discard it as a safe play. Choe later adapted to Hisa's play and choose not to discard the winds in a defensive play. According to Hiroko Funakubo, Choe does not aim for daisuushi, shousuushi, tsuuiisou, or other yakuman (besides suuankou) as she rarely gets wind tiles outside her seat wind or round wind.
In the semifinals and quarterfinals, she was told by her coach to play safely, as their lead was so big, there was no need to do any flashy plays. Choe did this by sacrificing yaku and dora, lowering her score, and increasing her waits, time and time again, often winning small hands simply to move the game along. She did this many times in the semifinals, winning off of Yuan.
Her main ability is to change the flow of the game by singing, aiding her initial draws and the draws after that. Sawaya Shishihara said to Yuan Iwadate that Choe invites luck in by singing. According to the announcers, Choe sings constantly in the European Mahjong tournaments and she was very strong there; however, Japanese rulesets do not allow constant singing, as it may disrupt the other players unfairly. In the interhigh however, players are allowed to sing in between hands while the walls are being set, this gives Choe a little time to push her luck a little further It has been hinted by Choe that the longer she sings - the stronger her influence over the flow of the game becomes.
Combined Training Camp Arc
Final Eight Arc
She is first shown entering the tournament hall with the rest of the Rinkai team. She is then shown watching Satoha Tsujigaito's match. During the vanguard match, Rinkai's coach, Alexandra Windheim, says that she wants Yuuki Kataoka and Choe calls her gluttonous. She then laughs when Nelly Virsaladze quips that the coach is too thin to be a glutton and that her butt and breasts are lacking. Choe then says that she hopes everyone will see Satoha's world class skill after the match. When Satoha returns from her match, Choe is among those to greet her. She and the rest of Rinkai then discuss Yuuki's play tactics.
During a flashback, she is shown coming in late while the others are playing Chinese mahjong. She did, however, get to hear Hao Huiyu describe how she plays mahjong. While watching the halftime show about her, she describes her favorite foods to her teammates. After viewing her mom, she changes the channel to another halftime show.While Hisa Takei and Hiroe Atago chat, they notice a strong gust of wind blow. Choe then descends from the sky with her parasol and as she lands, a breeze blows a tile into her hand. Hiroe comments, saying that's a nice illusion, and the match begins. She quickly wins off of Yuan Iwadate, increasing her number of winning tiles by limiting her hand value. Choe and Hiroe take turns winning hands off of Usuzan while Hisa contemplates her difficult situation. Soon afterwards, Choe wins off of Yuan again with another cheapened hand.
Later, Choe is then seen dramatically increasing her hand value to that of a dealer sanbaiman by drawing a concealed honitsu and suuankou. However, Hisa calls her tile to change the drawing order and then wins by drawing Choe's winning tile thus negating Choe's attempt at a self-drawn suu ankou, and earning some points for Kiyosumi, and lowering the point loss from the other schools. In the 4th hand of the South round Choe wins off Yuan for 3200 points ending the first match. After the match ends, Choe opens her parasol and calmly walks away from the table.
At the start of the second match she corrects Hiroe's choice of courtesy as she finishes a snack and gets confused by her retort; but, after a moment of thinking about it, she tells herself she needs to focus on the game. Her starting hand shows she already has a pung of East wind tiles. After Hiroe, Hisa and Yuan share some banter, Choe feels left out and implies it may be due to her being a foreigner.
After Hisa hits Yuan with a direct-hit mangan, Choe remarks that Yuan only has 12,300 points left and thinks that it might be a good time to go for the kill. She is shown inhaling before she begins to sing. She quickly calls several tiles to speed up her hand and wins. Deep into the next hand, she notices Hiroe's mangan and thinks to play it safe and says that with her hand open, her wind tiles are a great defensive tool as well. However, upon discarding, Hisa hits Choe with a haneman of her own and Choe notes that she shouldn't underestimated these girls. In a later hand, she notes that Hisa has declared riichi on her dealership and decides not to discard her winds this round, but Hisa wins yet again with a haneman. Choe says that the wind was suppose to blow her way, before smiling and saying that Hisa enjoys quite the headwind.
Towards the end of Megan's match, Alexandra tries to explain Megan Davin's unusual play style and that it could be used only for six rounds over forty days. Choe then tells her that it wouldn't be very useful in league matches, but good enough for interhigh matches, which happen once a year, and thus can accommodate the charge time.
Towards the end of Nelly's match, Choe wonders why Saki Miyanaga didn't declare riichi, and says that if she did she would've gotten an ippatsu tsumo. Alexandra rebuts by saying that if she did Nelly would've shifted that anyways. Just before Nelly's winning streak, Choe comments that it's about to start.
Myeonghwa's name is romanized here according to South Korea's Revised Romanization guidelines. Her family name is likely to be a misnomer as the hanja (the Korean equivalent of kanji) reads as "Jak" (the same character as "jang" in "mahjong"). It is most likely intended to be the similar 崔, also sometimes romanized as "Choi" prior to the 2000 guidelines.