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Special players

Many of the high school girls seem to possess supernatural powers when they are playing mahjong. More of these girls, sometimes referred to as "monsters", appear with each higher level match in the nationals. Rarely do their powers show up outside of mahjong.

They have luck powers and/or sensory powers. Shrine maidens and priestesses may have spiritual or magical powers that don't fit into these categories. The source of the powers and how they work is unknown. The girls aim at a type of hand and that somehow activates their luck based abilities. Their sensory abilities are activated by both conscious thought and by outside stimulus.

Outside of their club mates and their mahjong teachers, only a select few other people are aware of these powers. While the emergence of many girls with supernatural powers seems to be a recent phenomenon, smaller numbers did appear previously. For whatever reason, the media has failed for the most part to further investigate these mahjong powers. Nonetheless, with the overwhelming visibility of the up and coming players in the 71st nationals, more and more people are becoming aware of these girls.

Special abilities

Here of some of the of different abilities arising from luck or sensory powers:

Luck: east prevailing-wind round control, south prevailing-wind round control, gather all doras, pursuit riichi, beginner's luck, gather red tiles, last hand control
Sensory: one go-around precognition, heterochromatic eye, soul mirror, stealth tiles, haitei raoyue, rinshan kaihou, riichi ippatsu (except for Toyone Anetai's pursuit riichi), silent riichi
Unknown or both: dynamic chombo, flow control, gather all of one suit, winning with bad waits, one shanten hell, gather wind tiles, blocking, gather kans

Saki

While explaining to Nodoka Haramura about why she uses bad waits, Hisa Takei talks about various ways of thinking about mahjong. The unwary media supports players, like Nodoka, who are exceptional at probability theory. But Hisa is also aware of occult players who believe in "the flow", including herself. And she is aware of monsters who can come up with miraculous wins one after another.[1]

Fujita-pro states that the changes in the rules made luck more important and that that revealed these special girls.[2] While that explains why there are more occurrences of extreme luck, it doesn't explain why the same girls repeatedly have extremely good luck.

Saki Miyanagi

PlayRecord 01

Mihoko Fukuji reading a play record of one of Saki's winning hands

Saki seems to know what the kan supplemental tiles are before they are revealed. She was able to get five rinshan kaihous in the finals match. She got nine rinshan kaihous when counting the ones she didn't declare a win on. When another player kans, they get the tile that she wants. A play record reveals that she held onto a lone west wind tile Sha from the start of her hand and eventually paired it through a rinshan kaihou. Her rinshan kaihou ability is thus likely a sensory ability that takes effect at the beginning of a hand, rather than a luck ability that occurs right before she draws her kan supplemental tile or earlier.

She gets a lot of kans, even getting san katsu twice over three hands during one particularly lucky streak.

Momoko Touyoko

Momoko has an anti-sensory power that blocks those within the vicinity of her aura from seeing and hearing her and her tiles, including her discarded tiles. For powerful players, it may take more time before her "negative presence" affects them. Those with trained noses can smell her.[3] It is unknown if the power works on males, but it does work on Yumi Kajiki, who may be physically attracted to her. Her power gives her a silent riichi ability and makes her tiles stealthy. Players may overlook her discards, even to the point of them becoming furiten.

Her negative presence was developed independently of mahjong. It is one of the few supernatural powers that affect a person's normal life and has earned her the nickname "Stealth Momo".

Koromo Amae

Koromo seems to know what the last wall tile is before it's revealed. She was able to get four haitei raoyues in the finals match. The tenpai rates of her opponents are much lower than average and when they do get to tenpai, she senses it and senses the value of their hands.

Her supernatural power is so great that it can be seen when she plays others games, such as poker.[4] Also, she allegedly knocked out the electrical power of the tournament building during the later stage of her battle.

Koromo is one of three demons named by Fujita-pro in a pre-tournament interview.

Achiga-Hen

Matsumi sisters

Kuro Matsumi

Kuro has the most obvious supernatural ability of all the players as it happens every hand without fail, drawing every available dora tile to her. Due to the extreme nature of Kuro's ability, it often wins big or loses big, as Kuro herself must restrict her hand to contain dora tiles, for discarding one prevents her from drawing them in the future, which has been consistently exploited by other players at the National level. However, because Kuro hoards all of the dora tiles, it guarantees that most of the hands won are less expensive than they could be (more than half of the hands shown that Toki won in the quarterfinals were worth less than a mangan, even including her riichi ippatsu signature move), which was used by Kirame and Toki in the finals when Teru had to continue increasing her hand value, but could not utilize dora to do so.

Yuu Matsumi

Yuu's ability is not as apparent as her sister's, however, Senriyama believe they have it figured out as drawing in manzu and chun tiles - when in actuality it is drawing in tiles with red coloration on them. It is simply that Yuu herself favours the manzu and chun tiles, not her ability. This makes Yuu much harder to play around than Kuro, as she can create much more creative waits often utilizing pairs and triplets across the different suits that are difficult to figure out using typical suji defense; while Yuu's ability is less explosive as Kuro's, she also typically wins more hands leading to positive scores. Toki says that at times it appears like Yuu can sense what tile she will draw next, hinting at a potential sensory portion to her ability.

Toki Onjouji

Mihirogi reviewed Toki's prefectural play records. When Toki changes to a seemingly less optimal wait, either someone will play into her hand within the go-around or she will tsumo win on her next draw, unless someone changes the drawing order by calling a tile. The same applies to when she isn't in tenpai. Specifically, this ability begins at the start of a hand and allows her to get to tenpai quicker.

She usually doesn't declare riichi as that may cause her opponents to not only change their discards or attempt to change the drawing order. When she does declare riichi, she will win by ippatsu tsumo unless the drawing order is changed.

It seems that Toki has one go-around precognition. Toki has developed her abilities further, allowing her to see multiple turns into the future as well as possible futures, giving her much greater flexibility and decision making than other players who must guess and hope. Furthermore, Toki has seemingly also given some form of her ability to her close friend Ryuuka Shimizudani.

Teru Miyanaga

Kokaji states that the pros who have played against Teru describe her play in the first hand of a match-up as a throw away hand where she surveys her opponents. They described it as shoumakyou, the mirror that illuminates the demonic nature of a person. It's like she investigates her opponents' innate abilities, and after that, her reign begins. Every single one of Teru's games feature Teru winning with successively expensive hands until someone busts or stops her. When someone does stop her, she begins again at the bottom winning cheap hands and working her way up again.

References

  1. Saki manga, volume 3, hand 20. Saki anime, episode 11.
  2. Saki anime, episode 13. Saki manga, volume 4, hand 26.
  3. Saki manga, volume 7, vignette.
  4. Saki anime, episode 19.

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