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Mako Someya

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Mako was grandpa's girl, so she was surrounded by mahjong since she was little.

Hisa Takei

Mako Someya
Mako sm
Personal info
Japanese name: 染谷 まこ
Birthday: May 5
Family: Grandpa Someya
(Grandfather)
School: Kiyosumi High School
Grade: Second-year high school
Media
Debut: Saki, Chapter 2
Voiced by: Ryouko Shiraishi
Live-action actor: Anna Yamada
Mahjong
Position: Sergeant
Style: Aims for half-flushes
Main skill/ability: Spindle territory
Stats
Knowledge: 4/5
Analysis: 4/5
Willpower: 4/5
Sense: 5/5
Luck: 2/5
Potential: 3/5
Speed: 3/5
Disruption: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Mako Someya is a second year student at Kiyosumi High School. She is the second person to join Hisa Takei in the mahjong club. Her Grandfather owns a mahjong parlor (a maid cafe in the anime), which is where Mako grew up and now works as a waitress. Her peculiar manner of speech appears to be a result of being raised by her grandfather.

Appearance

Mako has short, wavy seaweed to pale dark green hair. She has copper brown eyes and wears a pair of large glasses. She is seen in the Kiyosumi second year uniform.

Personality

Mako is a reliable person and a trusting friend, being the only person that Hisa shows her doubts to. She is often snarky when she speaks to Hisa. She was very close to her grandpa growing up and has adopted some of his personality, like the way he speaks. She uses the dialect from Hiroshima prefecture because of his influence.

However, she is also shown to be a bit vengeful, as she, along with Tomoki and Miharu, sought revenge against Kaori for defeating them in the prefectural final with her beginner's luck.

Playing Style / Abilities

Mako has a unique ability called Spindle Territory. Because she has lived in a mahjong parlor for years, she has a mental image from countless of games. When she takes her glasses off, she can remember past games similar to the game she's currently playing to help her win by reading her opponents' hands. This can be used to figure when an opponent is about to win, or if Mako should play it safe or not. She also uses her ability by making confusing discards and calls to trick her opponents. It is later revealed that she rarely declares riichi and when she does, she usually wins.

In the prefecturals, she has problems with beginner players like Kaori Senoo because she hasn't witnessed many beginner-level matches, as only more experienced players went to her grandfather's cafe. She is also shown to have trouble using her ability when Hao Huiyu mixes in her Chinese-style mahjong into the current game. Whether or not this is also because Mako has never encountered Chinese mahjong, the game state did not match the Asia tournament's records (as Mako noted), or both, is unknown.

Mako herself claims her ability is like looking at the current game as a face. If the other players play the way Mako is expecting, the face is familiar to all of them, allowing Mako to change how the face looks by playing unorthodoxly, changing the flow of the game into her favour. Similarly, if her opponents are not playing a way Mako is used to (such as beginners or playing a different version of mahjong), then Mako will have trouble looking at the face and utilising the game's flow. This means Mako plays better against orthodox mahjong players while not doing so well against unorthodox players.

Mako is shown to make an unordinary amount of flushes and half-flushes. Over the course of several hands early on in the series, almost all of her hands were a flush of half-flush. This resulted in Mako being capable of winning a lot of points in a short period of time. Her favourite Yakuman is ryuuiisou, a hand in which all of your tiles are entirely green, meaning only some of the souzu tiles and hatsu are applicable for this yakuman, always making this yakuman a flush or half-flush.

Plot

Introduction Arc

Mako first appearance
Mako is introduced after Hisa Takei, the student congress president, is greeted by underclassmen in the morning. She tells her that she's as popular as ever and has heard about the girl who can break even every time. Later, she follows Hisa and picks up Saki Miyanaga, who she slowly realizes is the special girl, to play mahjong again. This time against her, Nodoka Haramura, and Yuuki Kataoka. Throughout the games she is hesitant to believe that Saki can get +/-0 every time but by the end of play she is shock into believing it, having witnessed it herself. Mako is also present when Saki asks to join the club.

Training Camp Arc

She is next seen outside of her grandfather's parlor waiting for Saki and Nodoka to show up. When they arrive, she dresses them in embarrassing maid costumes and puts them to work immediately, serving and playing against some of the locals until Yasuko Fujita shows up to play them. After serving Fujita and watching her humiliate the first years, she explains that Fujita is a pro mahjong player that likes to frequent there.

Later, the training camp kicks off with Mako assisting Hisa in explaining the weak points of the first years and what they need to do to work on those areas. Hisa then comments to her on how she had no expectations this year but she was given great candidates and hopes that they show her her dream of going to the nationals. We are then shown flashes of the training camp up until the day of the preliminaries.

Prefectural Tournament Arc

Mako

Mako on rampage

She is with the rest of Kiyosumi entering the tournament hall and later wondering where Saki is saying that she badly needs a cellphone. After Saki returns, Hisa announces the the order in which she registered the team, with Mako being the sergeant. She is then shown commenting on Yuuki's first tournament battle. When it is her turn, Hisa tells her not to hold back and she grins saying she never intended to and walks off. In her battle she starts slow but soon takes off her glasses and destroys her opponents. She is then shown commenting on the remaining battles and is seen in a flashback of the training camp making fun of Nodoka. Later that night in celebration of advancing to the finals all of Kiyosumi is treated to ramen by Hisa.

On the day of the finals match, she is again shown commenting on Yuuki's battle before her own and is present when Yuuki breaks down in tears after her defeat, before leaving for her own battle. Before the battle begins, Mako takes off her glasses to use her ability and though it works for the first hand, Kaori Senoo; being a beginner, renders her ability almost useless. Throughout the match she is continously frustrated by her which culminates with Kaori winning with a yakuman, and since she was the dealer she was forced to pay the most points. After her battle, she apologized for her bad play.

When its Hisa's turn, Mako explains to Yuuki and Kyoutarou Hisa's playing style and how it didn't sit well with Nodoka. When Nodoka comes back from the nap room, Mako explains the situation to her. She is seen throughout the other battles commenting briefly and afterward is shown celebrating Saki's amazing victory in the captain's battle.

Individual Tournament *Anime Only Arc*

She is present with the rest of the club when they learn they are going to Sports Land for "special training at the pool". At the pool side, she is seen doing stretches saying that "you need to properly prepare yourself before swimming in the Shindenryuu style" (a type of long distance swimming), causing Hisa some confusion. She is then seen swimming by herself and admiring the energy of the first years. She notices that Hisa tries to bring in a mahjong table and wonders how and why. Later Mako chills by the pool next to Hisa. When she expresses her amazement of going to the nationals, Hisa expresses her confidence and Mako then says it's going to be a long road.

Taking a loss
When the individual tournament starts off all of Kiyosumi dominate the early competition and she does well making the top 20 and moving on to the second day. On the second day, Mako's matches are briefly shown, but it's revealed at the end of the day that she didn't make it into the top 3.

In the break after the tournament, she calls Hisa to inform her that Yuuki failed her tests and worries a bit before Hisa tells her that Saki and Nodoka will handle it. When the first years are banned from the clubroom, Mako asks why and after she is told, she wonders about the fate of the other first year. She is then shown with everyone except Hisa waiting for Yuuki to finish her test. When she does they all head to the festival that occurs that night and enjoys the fireworks.

Combined Training Camp Arc

She appears during everyone's free time in the bath along with Miharu Yoshitome and Tomoki Sawamura. She says they had a good match against each other and wishes for revenge against Kaori, to which everyone agreed to before Kaori shows up. After the bath they get their rematch but are shown to have lost again to another Kaori yakuman hand. She shown afterward depressed in Kiyosumi's room.

When Fujita joins in on the training camp she takes Yumi Kajiki along to play against Hisa and Mako. Afterward the match, she wishes to battle against them once more. The next day during everyone's matches, Mako is playing against Kazekoshi's Kana Ikeda, Tsuruga's Mutsuki Tsuyama, and an unknown opponent, with the results not known. Later when Hiroko Murohashi and Maho Yumeno arrive at the training camp, Mako watches their match against Nodoka and Saki. It was then revealed that they were invited by Hisa to make her stronger against beginners and to scare Saki to prepare for the nationals. She is last seen observing Hisa's match with the strongest the other schools have to offer.

National Tournament Arc

In August, Kiyosumi arrives at their hotel in Tokyo for the nationals and are surprised to learn that Kazekoshi will share the same room with them. She is then seen conversing with Mihoko Fukuji, saying that with them there, in Tokyo, it takes the tension away, but she worries about Hisa. The next day before the tournament draw, Kiyosumi heads out and Mako lends her extra skirt to Saki. At the draw, she comments on their bad luck to draw Himematsu as well as being on the same block as Eisui, both incredibly strong schools. The day of their first round match, she is at the tournament hall with everyone else watching the video the Vice-President sent to Hisa. After hearing Hisa's words, Mako says that she's not being honest with herself. She is later seen during the second tournament round before Yuuki's match cheering her on.

Mako in nationals

Right before her battle starts she makes a promise to Yuuki to "make them pay" and then she heads out. During her battle she uses quick but low scoring hands to gain the advantage, confusing her opponents in the process. She remembers to take off her glasses, but the rest of the match is not shown. However, Mako regains the lead for Kiyosumi.

Back in the waiting room she wonders about Hisa's odd behavior before she leaves for her battle. Late into the first hanchan game, she notices that Hisa has recovered her composure but she wonders if she is really alright. After Hisa's battle she is next seen wishing Nodoka good luck before she departs for her battle.

After the captain's match, she and the rest of the team welcome Saki back. When Saki and Nodoka discuss giving her autograph to Toyone Anetai, she says that Nodoka can just write her name and it would be fine.

Final Eight Arc

In the anime, she is with Hisa, Kana, and Mihoko watching the Side-A semi-finals match, when Nodoka and Yuuki burst into the room, wondering why the upperclassmen didn't wake them. Hisa says that they were sleeping peacefully so they didn't want to disturb them. Nodoka realises that her childhood friend, Kuro Matsumi is playing and heads off to the playing hall with Yuuki and Saki. Mako says that she isn't sure if the first years will make it to the arena by the end of the first match, and wonders if Teru Miyanaga will keep winning.

When Nodoka and Yuuki get up, she is among the first to greet them. After commenting on the match, she hands Nodoka a paper telling about the Achiga mahjong team. Before the start of the semi-finals Kiyosumi gathers and heads to the tournament hall. In the waiting room, Mako and the rest of Kiyosumi send off Yuuki. She is later seen watching Yuuki's match.

After Yuuki comes back, Mako leaves for her match. Her starting hand is 5-tiles-away from tenpai, and Yuuko Mase, the dealer is on the offensive. At the same time, Chikako Himori, does not show signs of backing down, and Mako wonders if the pause Chikako took meant she was in tenpai. A few turns pass and Mako lowers her glasses to assess the hand, wondering yet again if Chikako's hand has gotten bigger based on her discards just as she wins with a baiman, lowering the gap between Usuzan and Kiyosumi, but also lowering the gap between Kiyosumi and Himematsu. In the East Second Hand, Hao Huiyu's trash hand throws Mako throw a loop, as Hao lowered her score and number of winning tiles, by choosing to win with a Chinese Yaku not recognised in Japanese rulesets.

Even though Mako now knows that Hao is incorporating Chinese-style mahjong into the game, she feels completely in the dark: the current game does not match anything in her memory or the Asia tournaments records either. Her teammates are shown to be concerned as she plays into Himematsu's hand with a live West tile, commenting on how that's a play she normally would not make.

Mako herself shows a little concern at her hazy vision, stating that with the rookie player at the table her vision is already bad, but coupled with Hao's Chinese mahjong style, Mako has never been this blind to the face of a game before. However, she is not completely blind, and remembers the day her bed-ridden Grandfather gave her his glasses,
Someya Mako

Mako declares Riichi

such that she could see many views for the both of them. The interhigh semifinals as well as the game state is currently a view that neither Mako nor her grandpa has seen before. Even without having seen a game like this before, Mako resolves to show her grandpa, as well as Hisa, a sight none of them have seen before: the nationals' finals!

She relies on her experience as a player and the knowledge from all the games she's seen and declares riichi with her new found resolve. With the fundamentals in mind, she found it difficult to win due to the others playing nothing but safe tiles. It wasn't until Chikako called a chii and threw Hao off; that Mako wins with a tsumo. After losing a few more times, she then notices that Hao's waits are a lot like Hisa's. With the match over she notes that the match was very tough and that she faught harder than she originally thought.

When she enters Kiyosumi's room she is greeted by her teammates. She tells them that it was an ordeal and wasn't anything like the second round match. Hisa tells her that its okay because she isn't going to play like the second round either. Later, Hisa makes sure that Mako knows that Saki called her cute. However Mako says she looks the same as always.

During the captain's match, Saki finally starts winning hands. Mako converses with Hisa about what is going on and notices Nelly Virsaladze has discarded someone else's winning tile for the first time. Back in the waiting room, Saki says that getting to the finals feels like a stroke of luck. Mako then says that may be how it looks but to think about all they had to go through to get to that point.

National Championship Arc

When Hisa is pondering whether or not to continue the meeting or let the players rest before the match the next day, Mako says that the 5th place game will last until noon so it was fine.

Trivia

  • Mako's ability to make flushes and half-flushes a lot of the time is a reference to the 染Some of 染谷Someya, her surname. In Japanese mahjong 染める someru, is a verb used for going for one-suited hands, as 染め手 somete, is a term for a one-suited hand.

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