Energy spikes in the tournament of nopan mahjong known as Saki’s “episode of side A” – the different girls of Achiga, lolis and bishoujos alike, receive a substantial boost in motivation as result of a training session.
Achiga’s crew of cute girls encountered the legendary mahjong playing bishoujo, Stealth Momo, last episode – and this proved an unmissable opportunity for them to secure a rare practice session with a team of top players. Arriving at the venue of play however, they gain all that and more – it’s as if a dream has come true for Achiga as they don’t merely receive a chance at playing against one seasoned pack of players, but several as suddenly, two more groups of familiar faces show up as well.
Each member of Achiga begins billowing with excitement simply from the presence of so many skilled players surrounding them – yet once the aggregate of moe mahjong contenders start engaging in the game, that’s when Achiga’s girls truly begin sparkling with enlightenment. The loli heroine in particular, Shizuno, makes clear her vigor to learn from the many seasoned players – realizing that they’ve countered her ultimate goal of Nodoka in mahjong once before, and thus she wishes to intake all she can from a game with them.
Saki’s usual dramatics are amplified during this segment – the lowly girls of Achiga with no supernatural abilities experience first hand all sorts of ridiculous otherworldly tricks which the veterans of nopan have in store.
The concept of it all is quite reminiscent to Mortal Kombat in that a sport is taken and turned into an abnormal and arcane ordeal – with every action exaggerated to be over the top by several thousand degrees. Yet in any case, upon the conclusion of the night of practice, Achiga having garnered more losses than the fingers can count, the girls are actually revitalized as they’re now familiar with what to expect further down the tournament.
From there on, Achiga only strengthens in morale. Upon encountering a peculiar team back at their hotel – they elevate their familiarity with their opponents even more, following the lead of the loli heroine and increasing in vehemence with each round, regardless if won or lost. And by the end of the day, Achiga’s mood is essentially reminiscent to an explosive awaiting its final destiny – they’ve got such an abundance of hype going into the next upcoming tournament phase, yet they still gain an additional breakthrough on top of this.
Shizuno spots the elder woman whom their coach was conversing with in the previous episode through a window – and thus, she decides to spontaneously chase her down, dashing out the hotel and into the streets during the night to confront her. And once she does, Shizuno ends up turning to tears as she’s reaffirmed of her misunderstanding – their coach isn’t going anywhere, and this adds another tier of determination to Achiga’s moe unit.
This entire episode is basically Achiga gaining traction – concluding as the cute bishoujo Kuro-chan confidently heads to meet the new challenge awaiting her, now hoping she can manage a more favorable outcome than the first time around as she now has quite an extra advancement of the necessary emotions, as well as a better developed skill-set and understanding of the game.
Yet again, it’s another cycle of waiting to see what this stage of nopan mahjong will do for Achiga. Most likely, Achiga will have their way – however, not through a few extensive difficulties first. It’s doubtful their preparations will go to waste – and their nopan will not be overlooked without proper reward.