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Nodoka Haramura

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Then... no more holding back, okay?

—Nodoka Haramura, to Saki Miyanaga

Nodoka Haramura
Nodoka Haramura
Personal info
Japanese name: 原村 和
Nickname: Nodocchi
Birthday: October 4
Family: Kei Haramura (father)
Location: Nagano Prefecture
School: Kiyosumi High School
Takatoobara Middle School
Achiga Girls' Academy
Grade: first-year high school
Media
Debut: Saki, Chapter 1
Voiced by: Ami Koshimizu
Mahjong
Position: Vice Captain
Style: Internet mahjong
Main skill/ability: Nodocchi mode
Stats
Knowledge: 5/5
Analysis: 4/5
Willpower: 3/5
Sense: 4/5
Luck: 3/5
Potential: 4/5
Speed: 5/5
Disruption: 2/5
Overall: 4/5

Nodoka Haramura is a first-year at Kiyosumi High School. She was the previous year's National Middle School Individual Champion. Nodoka always carries her penguin doll due to Hisa's recommendation in their first training camp, affectionately named Etopen, to give her a sense of calmness when playing mahjong. Her nickname is "Nodocchi" (のどっち) (which is the same as her screen name in online mahjong). Her play style is quickly and efficiently racking up points as fast as possible. She is very close to Saki Miyanaga to the point where they hold hands and blush towards each other.

Appearance

She has long pink hair and blue eyes. She has two pigtails tied with red ribbons on her hair, which she later switches to having one ribbon on her left side and her hair down. She wears the standard Kiyosumi uniform and thigh-high socks. Her most defining and talked about feature is her very large breasts and great figure. Ritz recently drew her like she had grown from J-cups to K-cups.

Personality

Nodoka's personality is that of a "proper lady" as noted by Mako Someya. She is very logical but can be a bit childish as she cannot sleep without her penguin doll. She is distant with Saki at first but over time becomes extremely close to her. Nodoka is also very stubborn and despite being logical rushes into things without thinking. She is sensitive when talking about her breasts with others.

Playing Style / Abilities

Nodoka plays a strictly digital style game. On her first turn, she will hesitate for a bit, considering the tiles in her hand and the tiles previously discarded (if available), then between her first discard and second draw she evaluates her opponent's discards and calculates the pattern of tiles that she will draw and what she should discard. Not only does she think about winning percentages, she factors in expected values for her winning hands.

According to Ako Atarashi, Nodoka plays differently when in a team tournament, playing online, or in first place. In the East-wind games of the individual tournament, Nodoka faced her opponents head-on, sometimes ignoring their riichi to continue pursuing tenpai and a win. During the individual tournament, she portrayed close to what Ako calls her ideal play-style: the fastest, most efficient way to gather up as many points as possible, disallowing your opponents to win.

However, during the team tournament, when playing online, or if Nodoka was safely in first place, she would utilise the style we normally see: safe but efficient. As soon as someone else declares riichi, she will bail.

When holding Etopen, her stuffed penguin, and playing mahjong, Nodoka can go into her "Nodocchi mode" after a set period of time; at the time of the Nagano team tournament, it was a few hands, during the National quarter-finals she went into her Nodocchi mode almost instantly. In her Nodocchi mode she views the current game as a digital game, regardless of whether or not it actually is; this allows her to completely ignore the presence of her opponents, for better or worse. She begins making decisions very quickly and can confuse players who sense their opponent's tenpai, as she seems to play like a robot, not a person.

Nodoka does not believe in the occult abilities that many characters in Saki have. When playing against these players, she can very easily play into their hands, or help them along, as she doesn't recognise that they have specific playing styles that can be defended against. When these characters win, she calls it a coincidence. However, when facing against Hatsumi Uzusumi, she recognised that maybe it was just too much of a coincidence for Hisa to point out to be weary of a shosuushii and Uzusumi being in tenpai for a shosuushi several times, and changed her play accordingly.

Plot

Introduction Arc

Saki01-04
We first see Nodoka as she walks by Saki sitting and reading a book by the river. We then see her again when Saki is dragged to the club by Kyoutarou Suga. It is then revealed that she was the middle school mahjong champion last year and than she, Kyou, Saki and Yuuki Kataoka begin playing. After a few matches with Nodoka winning, a storm wakes the club president who decides to watch their match. After she wins again, Saki takes her leave. Yuuki and Kyou comment on how strong Nodoka is but Hisa Takei says that they're naive and that Saki was breaking even on purpose. With that she rushes out to meet Saki and after confirming that her scores were on purpose; wants another match but Saki declines stating she doesn't like mahjong.

During the night she is shown trying to get a +/-0 on her computer but cannot. The next day Hisa arranges for her to play against Saki again (with Yuuki Kataoka and Mako Someya). Throughout the first match she tries to beat Saki or prevent her from breaking even but fails due to the girl's extreme luck. During the second match with Saki playing under certain conditions, Nodoka goes all out to try and win once again, however Saki wins handily (while thinking that she was breaking even). This upsets her to the point where she runs away crying. When Saki goes after her, she explains that she is irritated that she lost to someone who doesn't like mahjong, and walks away. The next day she is present when Saki announces she will join the club. A week later, on her way to school Nodoka is stopped for an interview and is asked if there was anyone she was keeping an eye on and she thought of Saki. However, she denied it and went about her business. We next see her in the club room as the others are walking in, trying to get a +/-0 by herself but cannot and they end up playing a game. During the first match we see her do well but again ends up being defeated by Saki. During the next match she notices that Saki passed up a yakuman win off of Kyoutarou and then played a risky tile allowing Yuuki to win the match. Furious, Nodoka storms out yet again. Saki follows her and after a conversation she asks Saki to quit the club. After she explains how she feels, Saki agrees not to go easy anymore and tells Nodoka of her family troubles. They then promise each other to go to the nationals together.

Training Camp Arc

We first see Nodoka with Saki walking to school together and later having lunch together with Yuuki and Kyou. In the club room Hisa is seen preparing her club for the upcoming prefectural tournament and explaining Ryuumonbuchi's strength. She then asks Nodoka and Saki to help Mako by filling in for the part-timers who called in sick at the mahjong parlor, stating that she's too busy and it will be a great experience for them. When they arrive they are greeted by Mako and put into embarrassing maid costumes (though Nodoka likes them). After serving a few customers, they join a table to play. After they win a few games a strange woman enters the parlor. As the woman joins them, she notices that Saki is trembling but doesn't know why. The woman starts off slowly but then decimates her opponents. It's then revealed that she is Yasuko Fujita, a pro mahjong player. When Saki feels relieved thinking that no high schooler could beat a pro, it upsets her. Fujita-pro then tells them that she was beaten by Koromo Amae from Ryuumonbuchi at a pro am tournament and that they have no chance against her. Afterwards, Saki feels down and gets cheered up by Nodoka as both of them resolve to improve themselves. Expecting this, Hisa stayed late in the club room and when Saki and Nodoka burst in saying that they want a training camp, Hisa smiles and walks over to the eraseboard and flips it to reveal the already planned training program.

Before the camp we see Nodoka and her dad having a conversation about her leaving for a better school but she convinces her dad that if they win the nationals she can stay at Kiyosumi. At the camp, Hisa explains that Nodoka while a goddess at net mahjong, in person she doesn't get the information she needs and gives out clues as to what she's doing. To remedy this Hisa makes her practice real mahjong and real discards to get better. We are then shown flashes of the training camp up until the day of the preliminaries. In the anime, Saki, Nodoka, and Yuuki travel to a nearby waterfall and discuss how they want to continue being together. They also appear together in the hot spring and Saki sees a shooting star causing her and Yuuki to go back into the bath to see if they can see one too. An hour later they are forced to come out due to nearly fainting.

Prefectural Tournament Arc

Nodoka arrived with everyone else from Kiyosumi before the start of the tournament and was immediately interviewed. When the reporter asks her what her goals where; she stated that it is to win that nationals and that she is not the only player for her team. After Hisa announces the position line-ups everyone heads toward the tournament board and Nodoka and Saki overhear their opponents make fun of her but she brushes it off before going to watch the matches. As soon as the lieutenant battle started Hisa asked Nodoka and Saki to get something to eat and when they leave they are approached by Ryuumonbuchi. After a few questions they leave because the president had finished and it was her turn next. Before entering her match we get a flash back to the training camp showing that she can't sleep without her penguin and Hisa intructing her to use it to strengthen her play. She starts off the match slowly but then begins playing her style and crushes the others. At lunch time Kiyosumi is greeted by Fujita pro,much to the chagrin of Nodoka, and complements them. Kiyosumi later wins their next match and a spot in the finals the next day. She is then shown along with everyone else from the club getting treated to ramen, which was the first time she had eaten it. Later in the night she is seen in the bath thinking about the upcoming day.


When the finals begin Nodoka is present watching and making brief commentary about Yuuki's match. When a defeated Yuuki comes back, she leaves with Saki to the nap room so Yuuki can be comforted by the upperclassmen. Shortly before sleeping the two reminisce about their troubles before promising once again to win and go to the nationals. At the start of the lieutenant battle we see a flashback when she first learned about Hisa's playing style and criticizes her logic before getting her explanation on why she plays the way she does. She wakes shortly after and realizing that the president is playing decides to sleep a little longer. She then awakens once again when she notices that etopen is missing and starts looking for him. While doing so she is confronted by the people who took her penguin and they apologize. Later she finally finds etopen when Koromo Amae brings it to her but has to leave shortly after. She then returns and gets an explanation of what happened while she was alseep before leaving for her match.

Nodoka's digitalstyle
Before entering the playing hall she is greeted by reporters but says "no comment" and walks away while wishing Saki could see her. Saki Miyanaga then awakens right before Nodoka's match and rushes just in time to wish her good luck, giving Nodoka some excitement. The match begins slowly with several exhaustive draws and Nodoka winning a few cheap hands. Soon, she enters her Nodocchi mode and wins more hands in quick succession.

Before the beginning of the last hand of the first hanchan, everyone realises that Nodoka has been the only player to actually win any hands during the entire match: she almost has a perfect game. Touka Ryuumonbuchi is especially aggravated by this and, going into her cold mode, wins with a dealer baiman, placing Ryuumonbuchi in first place, above Kiyosumi.

After the intermission, Tsuruga's Momoko Touyoko gets going on a win streak but is eventually stopped by Nodoka thanks to her digital style and not believing in superstition. When the match ends she has gained the second most points, but kept Kiyosumi in first place.

Then she make comments with everyone else during the final round before intermission where she chases after Saki. When she found Saki, she gives her a pep talk then guides her back to the playing hall. She is then seen the rest of the way commentating on the match and believing in Saki until her improbable victory.

Individual Tournament *Anime Only Arc*

She is seen making her way to the club room until she is stopped by Saki. They both reaffirm they're desire to win at the nationals and are curious as to why the president wanted them to bring swimsuits. At the club they find out they're heading to Sports Land for "special training at the pool", and when she asks why Hisa replies " because i want to see how you look in a swimsuit. Will that do?" with Nodoka disagreeing. When Kiyosumi gets to the pool it is revealed that Saki cannot swim. She then suggests that she go into the shallow end and also use the inflatable etopen. When she gets into the pool Saki is so excited that she hugs Nodoka causing her a bit of embarrassment. Later minus the upperclassmen Kiyosumi wonders the hall looking for the VIP room and run into Ryuumonbuchi. After a bit of an exchange they go back to the pool and continue playing. As the tournament kicks off all of Kiyosumi dominate the competition the first day and she is revealed to have made it into the top 20 and advance to the next day. On the second day some of her matches are shown and it is revealed that she is near the top of the leader board. At lunch time she notices Saki's scores and deduces that she's not playing seriously. She then catches up with her and scolds her. Afterward Nodoka's last match is slightly shown against Kana Ikeda and Ryuumonbuchi's Hajime Kunihiro, and Jun Inoue. While only bits of the game were seen, it was noted that their style of play didn't work against Nodoka and that she had won the match getting second place and bieng able to go to the nationals with Saki ( 3rd place).

A bit after the tournament we see her doing an interview with Sparkling Club Girl and afterward she over hears Yuuki talking about her breasts. While reminding her that they're going to study all day Yuuki runs off causing Nodoka to give chase. In the club room we then learn that Yuuki has failed her math test and Nodoka along with Saki agree to help her study for make-ups. After they learn they are banned from the club room they try various different study places but get nowhere. They decide to head to the public library and due to the storm is soaked on the way. Here we learn that Nodoka is afraid of lightning but still gave chase to Saki when they first met even when it was doing so. While drying Saki explains how she always felt that during the rain the room she's in is its own world and Nodoka understands her, before Yuuki interrupts and they go back to studying. 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 is taking place that night. While there, she falls and Saki catches her, they have a moment, then get back up holding hands and joins the rest to watch the fireworks.

Combined Training Camp Arc

We first see her at the start of the camp with Saki and Koromo Amae getting ready to play together. Later the next day, in Kiyosumi's room, she looks on at the excited Saki until Maho Yumeno and Hiroko Murohashi enter their room. Hisa then suggests that they play a match against her and Saki. During the match, Maho is scolded by Nodoka saying that all she does is copy and doesn't seem to want to strengthen herself. Murohashi then tells her that Maho has been training hard and Nodoka says that she had said too much. After the match she is pounced by Yuuki.

National Tournament Arc

In August Kiyosumi arrives at their hotel in Tokyo for the nationals and during their free time the first year girls decided to take a bath and is greeted by Kazekoshi's Kana . After hearing her explain why she's there Koromo and Touka appear as well. And on the day of the tournament draw Nodoka asks Saki if its okay not to see her sister yet and Saki then tells her that would be pointless. She arrives with eveyone else noting that Saki got lost again and during the draft how rare it was to see the president nervous. During Kiyosumi's free time we see her appearing to be Touka's maid for the day. The next day at the tournament hall Kiyosumi is greeted by their rivals in the prefecturals with Touka threatening to make her her maid if she doesn't win. She is present before the first round to view the video sent to the president from fans back home. She is then shown along with everyone else (minus Saki) on the 5th day of the tournament watching the matches on tv, with Nodoka wondering if its okay if Saki misses her sisters match. Nodoka shows up along with everyone else at the tournament hall the next day waiting for the matches to kick off. Throughout the first two matches we see her cheer on her teammates. During Hisa's match Nodoka was feeling relieved that she wasn't going for any bad waits like usual and scolds Saki for thinking the opposite.

Nodo transform
After Hisa's match, Saki notices that she isn't coming back so Nodoka decides to head out and has much publicity before entering the arena. Upon entering she greets Hisa and is immediately frightened by Hatsumi Usuzumi and her mask. While holding Hisa, she is scolded gently for not knowing her opponents. When she realizes Etopen has been dropped, she sees Kinue Atago kick it far away. Running over to Etopen, she sees that he is surprisingly not hurt. Kinue then apologizes and she accepts. Hisa then apologized for losing the match, Nodoka then says that even the best players will lose sometimes and not to worry about it.

When the match starts she worries about losing but she quickly regains her composure and starts to awaken very early on. During this round everyone seems to notice that Nodoka seems a bit funny before she wins a haneman tsumo. She remains quiet throughout the first half, continuing her regular style of play, which puts Sae Usuzawa and Kinue in a pinch as Hatsumi continues to build her yakuman off of Nodoka's discards. In the second half of the match Nodoka notices Hatsumi's pons and thinks back to Hisa's warning about this leading to a yakuman win. Afterward Nodoka immediately wins a hand as dealer. After a draw Nodoka again notices that Hatsumi did exactly what Hisa had told her calling it a big coincidence. A bit later she agains discards tiles that Hatsumi collects but instead of blocking her Sae lets Hatsumi win with her yakuman. Since Nodoka was the dealer she loses 16,000 and one hand later the match is over. She thanks her opponents for the match then leaves.

After the captains match, she and the rest of the team greet Saki when she returns. Saki then gives her a paperboard and asks her to give her autograph for Toyone Anetai. She tells her that she doesn't have an autograph but Mako informs her that she can just write her name.

Final Eight Arc

Nodoka is first shown waking from her dream about her friends from Nara. When she looks at the time she wakes Yuuki saying they need to watch Kirame Hanada's match. She then tries to wake Saki but was not able to, so they get dressed and head toward a tv. When they arrive they greet Hisa, Mihoko, and Mako. Nodoka then says that she is surprised to see Kirame. She then notices Kuro playing on tv and admits that she had no idea they were playing in the tournament. After recieving permission, she, Yuuki and Saki head out for the playing hall but along the way they notice that Saki stops. After Saki tells them to go on ahead, they reluctantly do so. At the playing hall they notice that the vanguard match has ended and should have stayed at the dorm. Yuuki then says that she loses her calm when she gets excited and that it is her one flaw. She however tells Yuuki that she has many flaws. They are then overheard by Junko Nishida who recognizes them. After not being able to get in to watch the matches, Junko offers them a seat in the press box. On their way they meet Nodoka's old teammates from Nara. After a brief conversation, Shizuno tells her that they are going to the finals and wants her to promise to be there too. Nodoka tells her that she can't promise it but will do her best to be there. They then go their separate ways.

At the press room they are feed lunch by Junko and her friend. During the meal she calls Saki to invite her in but is denied. She then tells Saki that she would join her but needs to repay Junko because of the lunches. Later she is asked to tell about her relationship with Achiga and then agrees talk about it. After a brief explaination, she directs Junko to a blog page from 4yrs ago. The page has a picture of her group together and Nodoka continues to explain her relation to Achiga. Finally Junko says it would be nice if she could meet Achiga in the finals and Nodoka agrees. Before the start of the semi-finals Kiyosumi gathers and heads to the tournament hall. When they arrive the camera immediately focuses on Nodoka and no one else for Kiyosumi. In the waiting room, Nodoka and the rest of Kiyosumi send off Yuuki. She is later seen watching Yuuki's match. She is present to welcome Mako back to the team room and is impressed with the lunch Mihoko Fukuji has made for the team. In the lieutant match, She says that Hisa is playing as dangerously as ever.

Saki Achiga Hen episode of side A

Nodoka appears as a sixth grade transfer student and quickly makes friends with Shizuno Takakamo and Ako Atarashi. When they discover that she likes mahjong, they take her to Achiga Girls' Academy to play with the mahjong club. There she meets the instructor, Harue Akado, and together with Shizuno and Ako they have a match. When Nodoka wins they call in the club's best player, Kuro Matsumi.
Young Nodoka

Nodoka at the childrens mahjong club.

After a bit of sexual harassment by Kuro, she joins in and has a match with her friends. Nodoka soon wonders if the red doras were removed, and it's revealed that all the doras gather to Kuro, but Nodoka doesn't believe it. After a few more games, she walks home with her friends and they all express their desire to join the same club and have lots of fun together. We next see Nodoka, after an undisclosed amount of time, together with Shizuno at the mahjong club. She asks about Harue and is given a summary of why she is instructing. Nodoka then suggests that Harue will leave one day, which upsets Shizuno. Later Harue is scouted for the professionals so Nodoka and the others throw her a goodbye celebration.

We later see Nodoka, now in middle school, talking with Shizuno about not seeing Ako after the mahjong club was disbanded and Ako joined a different middle school. Nodoka tells Shizuno that, because of her mother's work, she will also be leaving Achiga. After this Nodoka is shown trying to write a letter to Shizuno, but after Yuuki, her new Takatoobara Middle School friend, calls her to play mahjong, she gives up. In the anime, Nodaka appears with Yuuki Kataoka and Kana Ikeda in the bath. Here they talk about the nationals and how they have someone who does Kiyosumi's errands for them. Nodoka appears again in a flashback explaining Kuro's dora ability.

Nodoka appears later on during the nationals. Here Nodoka dreams of her old friends from Nara. She realizes that it must be a dream because Shizuno is in her middle school uniform, Ako's appearance is that of her elementary school self, and she is wearing her high school uniform. She then wakes from her dream.

Later, she and the other first years go to the playing hall on the semi-finals day. However only Yuuki and her go in. When they arrive they see the place packed and Yuuki tells Nodoka to use the power of her breasts to get them inside. They are then overseen play arguing by Junko Nishida who recognizes them. After not being able to get in to watch the matches, Junko offers them a seat in the press box. On their way they meet Nodoka's old teammates from Nara. After a brief conversation, Shizuno tells her that they are going to the finals and wants her to promise to be there too. Nodoka tells her that she can't promise it but will do her best to be there. They then go their separate ways. After the match we are shown Nodoka leaving the tournament hall with a satisfied look and later before going to her semi-finals match.

Career highlights

  • National Middle School Individual Champion
  • Nagano Prefectural High School Individual Tournament Runner-Up

Trivia

  • Nodoka reached the semi-finals of the Saimoe 2009, 2010, and 2012 moe popularity tournaments.
  • Nodoka learned to play mahjong in fourth grade, while she was hospitalized.
  • She is left-handed

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