The Influence of Anime: Saki

BOOB ALERT: (no nudity, just thought you’d want to know that this post is gonna rock).

Days (more like months) back, Saki came out. I watched one episode, and thought that it was a show I could see myself liking, but there was one problem. I didn’t have a fucking clue what any of these characters were talking about when they were playing mahjong. I didn’t know the first thing about mahjong! The phrases, the game moves, everything just confused me. So I put it on hold until I learned mahjong, and then I began the long process (not really) of learning the game.

At first I read up on it, looked at everything, and even tried playing online. But I was playing the wrong kind. In Saki, they play the Japanese version of the game (obviously), while I was playing the Chinese version. They’re different, believe me. I was playing the Chinese version, and didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I was used to Kan and Pun and stuff with the version in Saki, and with the Chinese version they use words like chow and kong and I was getting confused because they weren’t the same, and it never crossed my mind that there could be different variations/translations of terms (I guess I’m just that dumb). It was at this point that I decided, “Hey, fuck it.” I put the anime on Injured Reserve for a while, until such time that I wanted to give it another try.

About 2 weeks ago, I decided that maybe I can still enjoy the anime even though I don’t get the game. So I picked it up. After 1 more episode, I decided, yet again, that it was time to learn mahong. This time, I knew that they were playing Japanese style, and that’s probably why I was able to learn it much easier than the previous attempt (I was used to the terms, and already knew the tiles from my first attempt to learn this game). The second attempt therefore came much easier than the first. There were still some things that I didn’t get, but I got the help I needed thanks my twitter conversation with zzeroparticle and pantherh. So yea, now I love mahjong, and by love, I mean I’ll play it when I’m bored. Now that I’m finished with that boring, pointless story, I can deliver my review of


So Saki is about a girl named Saki who has been playing mahjong with her family since she was little. However, her parents would get mad at her if she lost, and got mad if she won, so she learned to just finish at plus/minus 0 every time (which is kind of like breaking even in poker every single time you play). Eventually she gets involved with her school’s mahjong club, and learns to turn this ability to break even into one where she pretty much becomes unstoppable.  Rie Kugimiya is also in this anime, so I was going to watch it regardless.

It’s actually a pretty good plot. More original then a lot of other bullshit out there. For pros and cons, I’m just going to pick one thing and focus on it.

Pro – The Mahjong Games

First of all, anime that feature tournaments of any kind are usually awesome. The same is true here. Although mahjong is kind of half luck half skill, in Saki, luck and skill seem to go hand and hand. For example. When a character looks like they’re down and out, they will suddenly call richii, and then the rest of the players will be stunned. In real life mahong, this doesn’t mean that said character has the game in hand, they still have to wait for another tile to declare ron (a winning hand). But in Saki, the character pretty much will always then reach to pick up a tile, thus winning. If said character is drawing a facedown tile, then they pick it up, seemingly knowing that it’s the winning tile (it will usually be shining or something) and do something like throw it up in the air and slam it down on the table, declaring tsumo (winning hand). It’s all showy and I liked it. Pretty much, everything is very over dramtized, I did a poor job at explaining, but take the fight scenes in a show like Sengoku Basara and translate them to Mahjong. That’s what the games are like.

Another good aspect of the games is the players themselves. They always have some kind of special ability/trait, and let’s face it, special abilities/traits kick ass. I’ll use my favorite character as an example.

Momo is awesome, and here’s why:

As a young one, she was that girl who, while she was never a loser, never really stood out, ie, she was simply invivsible. She broke off all attempts to even communicate with anyone, and this translates to her mahong game. She has the ability to make her moves and tiles invisible. Likewise, she’ll declare richii and no one will even know. More importantly (at least according to the subs) she pluralizes random words. For examples, she might say something like:

“I believes you!”

There is no need to pluralize “believes”, but she does it. What a rebel!  Momo kicks ass. Also, she’s a complete lesbian (wait….who ISN’T one in this show? Oh yea, Yuki…and Jun Fukuyama’s character, who is obviously a male.). That’s probably another pro. There’s a shitload of yuri themes. There’s no overpowering raging lesbians, but there’s a lot of ambiguous lesbianism. For example, girls will blush at each other during moments of, well, I guess you could call it affection? Basically when someone tells someone else something encouraging or anything like that, one or the other will blush. Usually the person blushing is Nodoka when Saki tells her something. And the only two that seem to have an actual lesbian relationship is Momoko and Yumi, although during the last episode, well, I’ll just say that it was filled with yuri.

Well I got completely off topic, but you should have guessed that that was going to happen.

Best Pro: The Mahjong Matches (they also contained some BAM moments)

Con – Nodoka’s Boobs

Wow. That’s all I have to say. I couldn’t wait to write this, and I guarantee I actually will be able to stick to topic. The animation overall in Saki is pretty good. I couldn’t notice anything that made me think “Wow this sucks.” EXCEPT NODOKA’S TITS.

Her tits actually contradict themselves. Now, to prove that I am a better artist than those who used a pen to take a stab at Nodoka’s mountain range, I took a screenshit and fixed it IN PAINT. That’s right, in paint. Each one took about 10 seconds to fix. Here is the first one:

Do you see the problem? In the top picture (the original) the boobs are outlined. Why, I have no idea. You can’t have both outlines of boobs AND folds over them…it makes not sense. If the boobs were outlined, it would mean that her shirt is tucked under her boobs, which would be entirely possible, except that there are also folds that would indicate the shirt NOT being tucked under her massive cans. So I removed the lines, yielding a more natural look. Of course, there’s still a whole lot wrong with this, I mean, the folds are going in the wrong directions. Here’s another boob job:

The folds shouldn’t be going up and down, , I’ll draw a picture of how they should look in a bit (it’s gonna be a shitty paint picture….eventually I’m going to put up some actual art of mine). Here’s another boob job:

Everything is wrong. The folds are overloaded. And you know what? I’m not going to draw a picture of huge boobs. I’m going to use google to do it for me:

Take note: The folds in the shirt are HORIZANTAL (across) NOT VERTICAL. Have these artists ever even seen huge tits? Probably not, because they live in Japan (ba-dump. kishhh)

This one has only one fold, but it goes across the shirt, it doesn’t outline each individual boob.

Here we would have the boob shirt tuck. The shirt is tucked under her boobs. Do you see any horizontal folds though? No you do not. Let me add that she needs a breast reduction, her back is going to completely give out in a matter of hours.

Now maybe you can tell why is wrong with Nodoka’s tits, one of the few cons I had with this anime (there are more, but I’m writing a separate post about these things because they apply to most anime).

Suck my dick (just felt like saying that). Here’s the final fucking grade:





23 thoughts on “The Influence of Anime: Saki

  1. honestly… only you would notice that boob thing and make a deal about it….


    WATCH HIKARU NO GO…. ITS ABOUT 1202303400004040392 times better than saki… and you dont even need to know how to play go to get the show… its THAT good…. and the GO games are AWESOME in it…. its just like an action show… i should review it… but i prolly wont

  2. As oballer said, if you liked Saki then you definitely should watch Hikaru no Go, except it doesn’t have lesbians. Saki is like HnG – ghosts with lipstick + yuri.

      • Well, under normal circumstances I’d say that the “-” takes care of taking ghosts with lipstick away, but since I’m drunk I don’t think it matter anymore.

  3. I heard about Hikaru no Go too, I used to listen the Warp Anime podcast for quite a while and the guy was very enthusiast about it. But going to this anime and boobs, its true. Japanese artists have no idea how boobs look like (no big boobs, just boobs) cause they aren’t getting any! Plus, how the heck these young Japanese girls (under 12 at least) have such big boobs? And look at the other one, that’s talking to her. Plain flat. Nice kaboobies on the girl that sits in the car. A force of nature.
    Is this anime some obvious fan serviced one or smtg? Looks like MOE + boobsu (i made it up) + pantsu + Sailor Moon… looks like a K-on with mahjong!
    Im now watching Genshiken (Oh my god, so freaking funny and well made!) and Zeta Gundam (which is great too, the animation rocks and it was made in the 80’s).
    PS: I play domino from time to time 😀 If that counts 😐
    PS2: I want to play some complicated board game, like Warrior Knights ( or other one, but many of these games are for 2+ players! Ill have a hard time playing with my wife as she has no patience! Like when I bought Uno from Brasil and I brought it here with me, but u cant play Uno in two! U need 3 at minimum! Haha!

    • Yea…Kagome from InuYasha has giant tits….and she’s supposed to be 15? 15 year old girls in America are tiny midgets, so 15 year old girls in Japan certainly wouldnt look like adults.

      Saki is nothing like K-On. K-On sucks. I didn’t really notice any moe, but if I like a show I usually don’t notice moe if there is any….I should rephrase…..this isn’t a show based on depicting moe to gain an audience. Just like shows have obvious fanservice, some have obvious moe, and Saki isn’t one of them. There’s also no fanservice, other than talk about Nodoka’s boobs and the cliche hot springs episode.

      Dominos kicks ass.

  4. Lol, I also learned (Japanese/riichi) mahjong because of Saki, to be able to understand it (things like “ron, rinshan kaihou, dora, dora, 8000/16000”) but I also found the game quite entertaining.

    Saki of course lacks realism in itself (I mean, how can you have a finishing move like Saki’s in a luck-based game -in spite of the fact that it requires strategy-?) but that is truly compensated by the characters and yuri antics

    And Nodoka’s boobs defy the laws of physics

  5. That’s an awesome take on clothes pattern on big boops! (that sounds wierd but whatever…)
    I’ve never noticed that before so I kind of understand the artists’ position on this subject.
    So the lesson of the day is ‘If you think you know boobs well, think again!’ LOL

    • I’m an avid boob….err……watcher, and I know what it takes to make a great set of boobs….most of the boobs in the above pictures are unrealistic, the average cup size is a B cup, which I believe is a good size for a breast……asses are better than tits though.

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