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Saki Miyanaga

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Let's go together, to the nationals!

—Saki Miyanaga, to Nodoka Haramura

Saki Miyanaga
Miyanaga saki
Personal info
Japanese name: 宮永 咲
Nickname: Rinshan-san
Birthday: October 27th
Family: Kai Miyanaga (father)
Teru Miyanaga (older sister)
Height: 155 cm (5'1")
Location: Nagano Prefecture
School: Kiyosumi High School
Grade: First-year high school
Media
Debut: Saki (manga), chapter 1
Voiced by: Kana Ueda
Live-action actor: Minami Hamabe
Mahjong
Position: Captain
Style: Aims for kans

Aims for a +/- 0 score

Main skill/ability: Rinshan kaihou

Score manipulation

Favorable condition: Able to call a kan
Stats
Knowledge: 2/5
Analysis: 1/5
Willpower: 1/5
Sense: 4/5
Luck: 5/5
Potential: 5/5
Speed: 3/5
Disruption: 4/5
Overall: 5/5

Saki Miyanaga is a first-year student at Kiyosumi High School and is the titular character of the story. She is notorious for her ability to break even in every match, as she didn't want to win against her family. However, after joining the mahjong club, she uses her skill for the sake of winning and hopes to progress to the nationals to reunite with her older sister, Teru Miyanaga. At first she is distant towards Nodoka Haramura, but over time becomes extremely close to her (to the point where they frequently hold hands and draw strength from each other). She gets easily distracted and has a poor sense of direction, which causes her to get lost during excursions, particularly in tournaments. After her performance in Nagano prefectural and the eventual defeat of Amae Koromo, people begin considering her as one of the feared national-class monsters.

Appearance

Saki has short brown hair, often with one tuft sticking out from the side of her head, and red eyes. She has a petite body and is most commonly seen in the Kiyosumi High School uniform. Like her other first-year classmates, she used to wear a short skirt; however, after accidentally wearing Mako's longer skirt, she has more recently beem seen wearing that.

Personality

Saki is a shy, bookish girl with a poor sense of direction. At first, despite her skills, she doesn't like mahjong, in particular because of her family. She is very caring about her friends' feelings, as seen when she loses on purpose to Yuuki Kataoka to make her feel better and stops doing so because Nodoka says that she cannot have fun if Saki is holding back. Saki gets very excited when thinking about playing against strong competition.

Saki is a poor swimmer and she doesn't use electronics, only getting Mako's old cell-phone right before the team semi-finals in the nationals.

Playing Style / Abilities

Saki's skills primarily come from her ability to sense her opponents (even from several city blocks away) and read the flow of the game. However, she has a hard time reading the table itself and thus initially plays online mahjong very poorly but later improves thanks to Hisa's training (this aids her in defeating Momoko Touyoko in the individual tournament, and later in the semifinals). This sense of the table allows her to combat other players with abilities to great effect, using and accepting their abilities to aid her hand. For example, in the national quarterfinals, Saki used Toyone's senpu ability against her by having the same wait as Toyone, allowing her to win instead of discarding the tile for Toyone's ippatsu.

The mahjong move she favors most is rinshan kaihou or "tsumo after a kan". With it, she is able to win hands when she isn't in tenpai at the start of her turn.[1] Aiding her rinshan kaihou ability is her enhanced ability to get kans. In the national quarterfinals, 4 out of 6 of Saki's wins were won with Rishan Kaihou, and in one of the remaining two, Saki declared 2 kans. Saki also has an enhanced ability to make last hand comebacks.

Saki also has a ± 0 ability. Initially she is seen scoring successive scores of ± 0 when she plays against Nodoka, Yuuki, and Kyoutaro. In the prefectural tournament she also goes on a streak of ± 0 until Nodoka confronts her about holding back. While initially she does this by picking the correct amount of points to win with in the final hand. However, she is shown to also manipulate the other players' wins and losses in order to achieve ± 0: this ability first debuted when in the first episode where she let Kataoka Yuuki win with a honitsu. Another example of this is in the quarterfinals, wherein she allowed Kyouko Suehara to win with a baiman in order to adjust her points. She also did this in the Nagano prefectural finals, where she fed Kana Ikeda a baiman in order to prevent her from going below 0 points.

When Saki removes her socks and shoes, she increases her ability to play mahjong significantly; calming her and increasing her sense of flow. This comes from her learning how to play mahjong when she was a child, without socks.

Finally, she is noted to have very good luck both in her initial hands and draws. For example, when Hisa tests her ability to win in episode 2, Saki is able to get a double-riichi & ippatsu-tsumo in the East game - 1st hand; in the same episode, she got a suuannkou rinshan kaihou. Also, she was in tenpai a kokushi musou in less than 3 turns in episode 3.

In chapter 143, Saki says that ever since she was little, she is able to recognize the tiles that can form a kan. She could also feel the fourth tile in the wall one or two turns in advance; when she does this, her eyes wander over to the wall, looking at the tile she can use to form a kan with.

History

When Saki was little, she played mahjong with her family. If she lost, she would lose her allowance, so she learnt how to not lose; if she won too much, her parents get angry, so she learnt how to not win too much. Through this, she developed a dislike of mahjong,seeing it as only a formality for her family to get angry with her. She also gained ability to score +/- 0 every single game, neither winning nor losing, to avoid both unfavourable outcomes.

She had a good relationship with her older sister, Teru, who is shown encouraging Saki to bloom and grow with all of her might. However, due to mysterious circumstances, her parents divorced, her mother and older sister moved to Tokyo while she stayed in Nagano with her father. One day, she went to see her sister in Tokyo in order to talk to her, but was only rebuffed by her older sister who became cold and distant. This encounter with her sister crushed Saki.

In middle school, she met and befriended Kyotaro Suga.

Plot

Introduction Arc

The story starts off with Saki sitting near a river reading a book when she notices a girl walking nearby. As she thinks to herself about the pretty and busty girl walking past her, Kyoutarou (Saki's middle school friend) invites her to lunch so he can try the ladies' lunch. While reading, she notices Kyou playing something which turns out to be mahjong. She states she knows how to play it and hates it, however, since she knows how to play Kyoutarou drags her to the mahjong club. There, she meets the girl from before, Nodoka Haramura, and Yuuki Kataoka. The four begin to play and Saki gets a score of ± 0 in each of the two games. When a storm begins, she is startled by someone's yelling and is introduced to the president of the mahjong club, Hisa Takei. After the next game ends again with Saki breaking even, she leaves saying that she has to return the book to the library. Nodoka chases down Saki after Hisa points out her score: ± 0. Saki reveals to Nodoka she plays the way she does because of her family and then declines Nodoka's request for another game, stating that she dislikes mahjong.

Saki-pinky
The next day while looking for a volume of a book in the library, which is currently checked out. Hisa suddenly greets her with Mako, then snoops for the title of the book and says that in exchange for a favour she can borrow the entire set from the mahjong club.

Upon entering the room, Hisa reveals that she wants Saki to play against Yuuki, Mako Someya, and Nodoka with a special rule set (East Wind game with 4 red tiles). Throughout the first match, Hisa confirms that she doesn't care about winning at all and only thinks about breaking even and, after some complications, Saki gets her ± 0. Then Hisa tries to convince her that she should try and win but to no avail, so Hisa tells her that she should imagine herself with 1,000 points to everyone's 33,000 points, making it possible to win with ± 0.

Saki agrees, saying that breaking even like that would be considered a victory. In the last hand of the game, she wins with a yakuman for the first time and thinks she broke even again. However, Hisa explains that she started with the same amount of points as the rest and it's her victory, which makes her extremely happy, but Nodoka becomes upset and runs away. Hisa tells Saki that true to her end of the deal, Saki can borrow the books whenever she likes; then says if she's worried about Nodoka, she should go after her, as the books won't run away crying.When she catches up with Nodoka, she tells Nodoka that she had fun playing with her but Nodoka is still angry because of what Saki said previously: Nodoka is upset to lose against someone who doesn't even like mahjong. Later at home, she brings out her old mahjong table much to the surprise of her dad. After a talk between the two, her father hands her a magazine with her sister in it.

The next day she joins the mahjong club.

Before school, Saki fell asleep by a tree, she dreams of her sister and reveals that it is because of her sister pointing out the similarity between rishan kaihou and her name that she utilises that yaku so much - she wants to be like that blooming flower on the abandoned ridge. Kyou meets up with her and they have a chat about mahjong and Nodoka, and then Yuuki joins them on their way to the club.

They get there only to find Nodoka trying to break even by playing all the hands herself with all of the tiles revealed, but she had been unsuccessful. When they start playing, Saki wins and Yuuki whines about not winning. In the next match, Yuuki wins with Saki's help and Saki breaks even once again, which causes Nodoka to pout and leave the room again. She chases after her again and tries to talk to her but Nodoka angrily asks Saki to quit the club. However, Saki reveals her past to Nodoka and Nodoka does the same for Saki. Afterwards, they both promise to each other to go to the nationals together and to not hold back again.

Training Camp Arc

Saki onlinemjn
Saki and Nodoka walk to school together and later having lunch with Yuuki and Kyou. Later, Hisa is seen preparing their club for the upcoming prefectural tournament and explaining Ryuumonbuchi's strength. She then asks Nodoka and Saki to help Mako out 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 are put into embarrassing maid costumes. They join a table to play and after winning a few games, a strange women enters the parlor. She notices her presence and when she joins them at the table, Saki begins trembling saying that it feels like when she used to play with her sister. The stranger starts slow but quickly decimates her opponents. It is then revealed that she is a pro mahjong player, Yasuko Fujita. When she feels relieved and says that no high schooler could beat a pro, Fujita tells them that she was beaten by Koromo Amae from Ryuumonbuchi and that they have no chance against her. Afterwards, she feels down and gets cheered up by Nodoka. They decide that they want a training camp to get better. Expecting this, Hisa stayed late at the club room and when Saki and Nodoka burst in revealing their intentions, Hisa smiles. She then walks over to the eraseboard and flips it to show the already planned training program.

At the camp Hisa explains that Saki can see subtle cues that others can't, but playing mahjong while only seeing tiles would be interesting, so she makes her play online mahjong and she does horribly. 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 wish to continue being together. They also bathe together in a hot spring and Saki sees a shooting star.

Prefectural Tournament Arc

Before the start of the tournament, we see her separated from the group and wandering the halls in search of everyone. While she passes by Ryuumonbuchi, most of them feel her aura. When she catches up with the rest, she tells them how much she is excited to play against the strong people and then the group heads out to the viewing area. It is there that Hisa reveals that Saki will be the captain in the line-up much, which shocks her. When one of their first round opponents walks by and mocks them, including Nodoka, she worries for her. She is then seen watching Yuuki and Mako's battles before leaving with Nodoka to get something to eat as advised by Hisa. On the way to the cafeteria, presumably after having stopped along the way, they pass by a couple of Ryuumonbuchi girls and are questioned a bit, but they head back due to an announcement that Hisa's battle had ended. She is then seen watching Nodoka's battle and afterwards, it's implied that she humilated one of her opponents during her own battle. As Saki is shown at lunch talking about their victory and wishing to play stronger competition, Fujita-pro arrives to compliment them. After a brief conversation, they head out for the next round. Kiyosumi is then seen winning and advancing to the finals. Later that night, Hisa treats all of her underclassmen to dinner at a ramen stand.

When the finals begin the next day, Saki watches and briefly comments on Yuuki's match. When Yuuki returns feeling dejected, she leaves with Nodoka to the nap room so Yuuki can be comforted by her upperclassmen. Before sleeping, the two briefly reminisce about their troubles before promising once again to win and go to the nationals. She awakens just before Nodoka's battle begins and rushes to the competition room to wish her good luck. We next see her after Nodoka's battle all excited for her own turn and she heads out early. On the way to the playing area, she exchanges a high five with Nodoka but soon senses Koromo's powerful aura.

Saki-ep19b

At the start of her match, things go well with Saki winning the first two hands with rinshan kaihos. However, after Tsuruga's Yumi Kajiki wins off of her, Koromo starts to take over the game. After noticing some resistance from the others, Koromo steps up her game again and crushes the rest heading into the intermission. She notes that she feels even worse than she did when playing her sister when younger. During the intermission, Saki races towards the bathroom but once again gets lost until Nodoka finds her. After a quick pep talk, she leads Saki back to the playing room without her going to the bathroom. At the start of the second hanchan game, Koromo Amae once again controls the action, winning consecutively and dropping Kazekoshi's Kana Ikeda to zero points. Saki, however, was beginning to warm up and let Kana win off of her. After remembering how she played in the training camp, she takes off her shoes and socks to feel more comfortable. She then starts winning with cheap hands before topping if off with a dealer's baiman, worth 24,000 points. Koromo then asks Saki if she thinks she will win, and she replies yes and states her desire to reunite with her family. Koromo is then reminded of her own tragic past and thinks that she is alone. Angered by this, the girl unleashes her powers and it is so great that the electronics in the arena go out and restart later thanks to her. Koromo then hits another big haitei raoyue, ending Saki's dealership moving the match to the final rotation. It is then that Saki teaches Koromo that playing mahjong is fun, before defeating her on the last hand with a direct hit yakuman. With the win, Saki's teammates come to celebrate their advancement to the nationals, but she runs out heading towards the bathroom.

Individual Tournament *Anime Only Arc*

We see Saki dreaming of her sister before waking up and heading to school. After school, she finds Nodoka heading toward the club room and they both reaffirm their 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". Saki is doubtful until Hisa says it's a reward. When Kiyosumi gets to the pool, it is revealed that Saki cannot swim. Nodoka then suggests that she go into the shallow end and also use the inflatable Etopen. When she gets into the pool she is so excited that she hugs Nodoka causing her a bit of embarrassment. Later, minus the upperclassmen, Kiyosumi wonders a hall looking for the VIP room and they run into the Ryuumonbuchi team. After Nodoka and Koromo agree to be friends and Saki agrees to play Koromo again, they go back to the pool.

Saki's winning tile

Saki's Winning Tile

When the tournament kicks off, Kiyosumi dominate the competition on the first day and Saki is revealed to have made it into the top 20 and advances to the next day. However, on the next day she realizes that this is the president's only shot to get to the nationals, so she decides to remove herself from the running by scoring +/- 0 for the next few rounds. At lunch time, Nodoka notices this and scolds her for not playing seriously and talks her into trying her best. As fate would have it, Saki and Hisa play each other in their nineth match of the day. Through most of the match, she is contained thanks to a strategy started by Hisa that was working well until Tsuruga's Momoko Touyoko broke from the plan, allowing her to emerge the winner. Saki thanks Hisa for her previous advice that allowed Saki to glimpse through Momoko's stealth. In the last matches of the day, we see Saki contending for a spot in the nationals against Kazekoshi's Miharu Yoshitome, Kazue Nanpo, and Tsuruga's Satomi Kanbara. Throughout the match she is held in check by her peers until finally edging out a another comeback victory with a tsumo after a kan. She barely earned the final spot in the nationals over Hisa.

A bit after the tournament, she is seen waiting for Nodoka to finish an interview and is approached by Kyou about going to the summer festival. As Kyou convinces her to wear her yukata (so that he can see Nodoka in a yukata), Yuuki interrupts them to brag about her yukata undergarments and tells them about the second training camp. In the club room, we then learn that Yuuki has failed her math test and Saki and Nodoka agree to help her study for the 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 a thunderstorm, they become soaked on the way. While drying out, Saki explains that she sometimes feels when it rains that the room she's in is a little ship floating in the ocean. Yuuki interrupts and they go back to studying. She is then shown with everyone, except for Hisa, waiting for Yuuki to finish her test. When she does, they all head to the festival. While there, Nodoka trips and Saki catches her, they share a moment, then get back up holding hands and join the rest to watch the fireworks.

Combined Training Camp Arc

We first see her at the start of the camp with Nodoka and Koromo getting ready to play together. The following day during the matches, Saki, Koromo, and Yasuko Fujita wait for another opponent to join them when Touka Ryuumonbuchi asks to join them. She then takes the final spot at the table and thrashes them. Afterwards, in Kiyosumi's room, Saki gets excited by the prospect of playing similarly strong players at the nationals. Then Maho Yumeno and Hiroko Murohashi arrive and Hisa proposes a match between the two and Nodoka and Saki. During the game, Maho copies Saki's rinshan kaiho to Saki's amazement but afteward does nothing much. After the match we see her sulking and Hisa says to herself that she had been carefee since the prefecturals and that she need her to brace herself for the nationals. However if she faced a strong opponent, she would just get excited so she used Maho to scare her by threatening her territory.

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 are greeted by Kazekoshi's Kana Ikeda. After hearing her explain why she's there Touka and Koromo appear as well and hug Saki. The day of the tournament draw we see a sleepy Saki put on Mako Someya's skirt. When Nodoka asks is it okay not to visit her sister, Saki says that it's okay because they probably wouldn't talk much and that until she gets to the finals she will crush everyone. Later she manages to get lost in the arena.

Saki first appears in the Achiga anime as she walks past Achiga Girls School before the bracket drawings with a rather determined expression. When she does this, Harue Akado and Kuro Matsumi could feel her presence (causing both to freeze and shiver slightly) and Shizuno then understood she was the one who defeated Koromo. On Saki's end, she felt a terrible presence from the entire Achiga team as she walked past them.

She appears sitting in front of the laundry machines thinking. She is then interrupted by Kyoutarou Suga, asking if she wants to go visit sites. After a brief conversation, she says to herself that's not what she came to Tokyo to do.

Back at the hotel Saki tries to give the skirt back but instead flashes everyone by accident. On the day of the first round she and the rest of Kiyosumi are greeted by their rivals from the prefecturals and Saki is present to view the video sent to the president from fans back home. On their next free day we see everyone watching matches in their room, except Saki who decided to go out and read a book.

Throughout the first two matches of the second round we see her cheer on her teammates. When its time for Hisa's match, Saki noted that she seemed a bit off. Later in the match she was happy that the president was back to her old self and is scolded by Nodoka because of her different views on it. After Hisa's match she says that she isn't coming back and wishes Nodoka luck before she leaves.

Demon Saki
She is seen conversing with Hisa and Yuuki before leaving for her match. When the match begins, Saki remains quiet until the fourth round of the east when she hits her signature rishan kaihou. The game goes back and fourth for a while until Kyouko Suehara continues to play into Toyone Anetai's pursuit riichi's and the game goes into intermission. After the break, Toyone keeps winning until Kasumi Iwato uses her offensive abilities to gain the upper hand. She then notices that Kasumi feels like a different person than before. Before long she calls a kan then a riichi to lure in Toyone, then calls another kan to bypass Kasumi's ability, and finally tsumo's for a win. She then goes on a win streak and releases a demonic aura around her. When Kyouko wins the second to last hand, Saki wins on a tsumo on the last hand and gives Kiyosumi first place in the match and the win. She thanks everyone for the game then leaves.

When she returns to the waiting room she is greeted by her team. She then says that she did an interview and got lost afterward. Saki then asks Nodoka to give her autograph to Toyone. Hisa tells her that it was quite a way she won her match and gives her a wet towel. She then apologizes to Hisa about the way she played, mentioning that she couldn't play the starting with 1000 points (everyone else with 8000 more) strategy Hisa got her to use when Hisa got Saki to play in the club again. She then says that as a result the strongest team still remains, and if she faces the Himematsu girl again, she might not win. Hisa then tells her that she didn't even take off her socks, thinking it might be a bit of a problem.

Final Eight Arc

She is first seen as Nodoka tries to awaken her in the morning but was unable. When Nodoka and Yuuki get permission to go to the playing hall, she awakes and they take her with them. On their way there, Saki remembers that Teru is in the building and thinks back to the disaster that separated them. She then stops dead in her tracks and tells the others to go on and she will catch up later. Later she is shown reading a book until Nodoka calls to invite her to lunch. However not wanting to possibly meet her sister, refused and said she'll go back to the hotel.

Back in the hotel she showers, eats, and then takes a nap. Here she dreams of a time when she was little and listening to her friend speak of her dreams. Saki is then awoken by Koromo and Hajime Kunihiro who want to play. She then tells them that Nodoka is at the playing hall, she wonders how she is doing. Koromo then tells Saki that Achiga might be trouble but she says she's happy to play someone strong. While watching the captains match, Saki asks Koromo if Shizuno was the person she was talking about. Koromo says yes and then explains that Shizuno managed to stop her haitei raoyue two out of the five times she tried it. She is then shown listening to Koromo about how Shizuno discovered her ability. When she sees this ability in action she notes how her ability, Koromo's, and sometimes her sister's comes from the deep mountain. She is later seen with the rest of Kiyosumi before the start of their semi-finals match.

Before the start of the semi-finals Kiyosumi gathers and heads to the tournament hall. In the waiting room, Saki and the rest of Kiyosumi send off Yuuki. She is later seen watching Yuuki's match. During Mako's match, Saki was surprised to see her deal into a hand she normally woundn't. She is present to welcome Mako back to the team room. While getting ready for her match, Hisa asks Saki how she looks. She replies that she looks cute before seeing the girl off. Later Saki says that she is happy that Hisa is playing really well. It is then revealed that Saki had noticed Hisa's appearance wasn't very neat during the previous round and had her look her over before the match. When Yuuki questions why Usuzan didn't try to get more points or declare riichi, Saki tells her that if she did that she would've dealt into Rinkai's hand.

As she sits down for her match, Saki says that if she wins here, they'll go to the finals to meet her sister's school. She then says she has to try her best and takes off her socks.

The captain's round begins, with Saki planning to get first blood with a Rishan Kaihou; however, she is interrupted when Kyouko Suehara calls a pon, giving her tile to Nelly. Kyouko wins a few turns later, and Saki realises that Kyouko purposefully changed (and minimised) her wait in order to prevent Saki from winning. In the next round, Saki senses Sawaya Shishihara picks her ability, alerting Kyouko to be on the defensive. Despite this, Nelly Virsaladze wins with a Rishan Kaihou. Saki noticed that Nelly intentionally won with move but it didn't shock her much thanks to Maho. She then says that thanks to Hisa and Maho this time is nothing at all and moves on. The next round is won by Kyouko. When Sawaya switches attacks and wins, Saki trembles. She then says that with Sawaya at the table, she doesn't feel like she could pull of her usual plus minus zero style. Sawaya then gets a counted yakuman and drops Saki to last place. Kyouka once again wins the next round and the following one. Saki notices that Kyouka has increased her speed from the previous match. She then tries to prevent her from calling but plays into her hand and loses 5800 points. Kyouko then wins again to make it four in a row. With Sawaya's ability gone, Nelly and Saki work on speed calling and it ends with Saki winning with a cheap tsumo. Kyouko then proceeds to win the next two hands and bring the first half to a close.

Petals
A dejected Saki wonders through the halls and meets up with Nodoka. She says she is sad because she couldn't play the way she wanted and lost a lot of points but Nodoka tries to motivate her. She says that these things happen and reminded her that she would defeat them all. Nodoka then asks her where has her determination gone. Saki then says that they aren't gone and that they are still there. Nodoka tells her to pull herself together and she agrees but needs to use the bathroom first.

When she sits down before the game starts, she reminds herself of what Hisa advice told Nodoka for her. She is informed that Kyouko is reading her facial expressions and that she isn't good at hiding them so it would be pointless to try that. Kyouko once again wins the next hand. When it's her turn to deal, she tells herself she can do it. She then notices that she couldn't do her usual style of play and remembers Hisa's other piece of advice. Saki then flashes back to when she was learning online mahjong. When she was having difficulty, Hisa tells her that it is difficult but she has to enjoy it despite winning or losing. She then says to keep trying and improving. Saki says that she did improve little by little and perhaps it was for this moment. Saki quickly wins with a tsumo and says that she can enjoy this game. After the win she goes for the bonus round and says that she has to win as many points as possible or advancing will be difficult. Kyouko and her start calling chiis and pons. After the last shift, she says that she'll call kan if she gets the chance but will do her best at "normal" mahjong. Saki then gets win with a tsumo for 4100 points. With the next bonus round, Kyouko quickly calls riichi but Saki quickly wins off of Nelly for 10200 points. In the next round, she tries to make a pon but Kyouko gets a quick win. In the next round Sawaya begins to attack again. Saki says that even though she is terrified she cannot give up and eventually reaches tenpai. She thinks of what Nodoka would do but instead wins with a Rishan Kaihou. Saki then wins two more times to bring Kiyosumi up to second place. Nelly then breaks loose and wins three consecutive high scoring hands.

With the match over, Saki walks the halls and feels a familiar presence. She is then called to by Kyouko. Kyouko says that Saki beat her again and that she is no match for her. She then wishes her well and walks off. Saki then says that rounds that haven't gone well keeps coming and wonders why it turned out like that, but the mahjong was still fun. She then says she must try harder to win next time. As she gets near the Kiyosumi waiting room, she falls down. Saki then opens the door and is greeted by her teammates. She tells them that if feels like a stroke of luck to make it to the finals. Mako then tells her it may seem that way but the team went through a lot to get to that point. Hisa says that Mako is right and that the points they scored had something to do with the outcome. After Saki apologizes, Hisa says that if she has any regrets she can rectify them in the finals. Saki then thinks that if she destroys Awai Oohoshi, her heart will get through to her sister and maybe be able to talk to her.

National Championship Arc

That night as Hisa mentions Achiga, Saki remembers what Koromo had said about them a few days prior. She is then seen still thinking about it in the bath when Nodoka asks her what is wrong. Saki tells her that she is just tired and lays her head on Nodoka's shoulder. After the bath she tells Hisa that Nodoka is drying her hair and didn't want to bother everyone by drying it in the room.

During the meeting she informs Hisa that Teru's playing style is different than when she was little and even she doesn't know her weaknesses now. The next morning, Saki awakes and trips over her own bed. When the girls arrive to the arena, Yuuki asks her what is wrong. She tells Yuuki that she is nervous and needs to go to the toilet. She also tells the others that she has memorized the place so she shouldn't need an escort. On the way to the there she runs into her sister. Saki tries to talk with her but Teru keeps walking past her. When she makes it back to the Kiyosumi player room, Nodoka notices that something is off with Saki, but Saki denies that anything happened.

Relationships

Nodoka Haramura

Nodoka and Saki are best friends, drawing strength from each other, and are both also really in tune with each other, noticing slight changes in the other's behaviour; but, did not always start that way. When Saki first joined the mahjong club, she destroyed Nodoka's pride as a mahjong player, scoring +/-0 4 times in a row with differing rulesets. When Nodoka confronted Saki about her ability to score +/-0 she began disliking Saki even more due to the revelation that Saki doesn't even like mahjong. However, after Saki tells Nodoka what her story with mahjong is, including her relation to Teru. Nodoka shares that she also has family problems in terms of mahjong. and they both resolve to make it to the nationals and win together. After their promise, Nodoka begins warming up to Saki, and they begin acting more like friends than before. Nodoka is also the person to go collect and encourage Saki between Captain matches because of the comfort Saki has with Nodoka.

Takei Hisa

Takei and Saki have a mutual respect for each other, Takei for her experience and Saki for her raw talent. Takei places high value in Saki's opinion, as she felt better after Saki mentioned that her appearance was much cuter in the National Semifinals than in the Quarterfinals. Saki also believes a lot in Takei, as she trained hard at online mahjong because Takei told her too. Saki is shown worrying over Takei during the quarterfinals when Takei was not playing like herself, but is shown relieved when Takei wins with a hell wait. Takei is also almost willing to break the rules in order to find out Saki's tell, thinking about asking Mihoko to take a look at Saki; however, after reviewing many videos, she finds Saki's tell herself.

Teru Miyanaga

Teru is Saki's older sister, and currently heavily ignoring her. Prior to the mysterious circumstances that caused a chasm to be made in their family, Teru and Saki were really close, Teru being the reason that Saki utilizes the yaku rishan kaihou as her signature move. One time, Saki went to Tokyo in order to try and talk to Teru, Teru rebuffed her, not listening to anything Saki had to say. However, it is revealed that Teru is just as concerned about Saki as Saki is to Teru; Teru also disliked mahjong in the beginning of her first year at high school, and wanted to prove that players who had bad results were really strong, such as "a player that can score +/-0 every game." After their encounter just prior to the National Finals, Teru was completely drained having just passing by Saki, while Saki managed to shake it off and only Nodoka could tell something was wrong.

Koromo Amae

Koromo was Saki's first real challenge of an opponent, making Saki think that it was impossible to win, and crushing her spirit. However, after Saki bounces back in the second game, she completely crushes Koromo's plans and broke through her social barriers, showing Koromo that it's possible to have fun while playing mahjong with her and thus becoming Koromo's first friend. They are comfortable with each other, using the "-chan" honorific on each other. Koromo also gives Saki important intel about Achiga Girls' captain Shizuno.

Trivia

  • When Saki gets ±0 (also known as breaking even) it has often been ambiguously stated that she gets zero points. However, due to how the scoring works, she achieves it by scoring 2nd, while winning between 4500 to 5400 points. (It is also possible to achieve it by scoring 3rd and gaining 14500-15400 points, but it's nearly impossible to have this scenario happen.)
  • In the anime, Saki sees Fujita-pro on the cover of the Weekly Mahjong Today news magazine that has an article on Teru. A week or so later, she senses Fujita-pro as she enters the cafe, but Saki doesn't know who she is.
  • During the prefecture matches, Saki wears a short skirt that ends just above her knees. However, in the National festival, she accidentally puts on Mako's skirt one morning, and is later told by everyone else to continue wearing it because it looks good on her.
  • Rinshan kaihou literally means "a flower blooms on a ridge," Saki notes that this is similar to her name 咲 which means to bloom.
    • Similarly, it can be taken as something overcoming adversity, referencing Saki's ability to make amazing comebacks in seemingly impossible situations.

References

  1. The furthest away Saki can be from winning a hand and still win in her next turn is four tiles (three shanten). With three isolated hidden quads and an isolated tile (that has neighborly tiles in the dead-wall), she'll be three away from winning once she draws a tile. Then, with three kans, she can get the three tiles she needs to win.

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