Yuri Anime: Saki, Mid-season review

September 21st, 2009

Saki, we need to talk.

It’s nothing bad, really, it’s just …

I’ll be honest. I wasn’t sure that we’d get along at first. You seemed to be too fake-cutesy, with those ridiculous ever-blushing cheeks, but always flashing your legs at me. It was a creepy mixed signal thing that got on my nerves. And Nodoka, always bouncing her big chest like that….I thought, can you both really be so innocent as you’re gazing into each other’s eyes longingly? But fine, I set that aside.

Then you really started taking off. You let your innate abilities show, like you were finally free to be yourself. Sure, I noticed a few things, like the way you suddenly throw your ass into my face, dress up to please the guys in bathing suits, yukata and maid costumes all while you’re looking at Nodoka so intensely. It kind of freaks me out. Like, pick one, okay? Can you not be the G-rated version of Girls Gone Wild? But I know that’s not really your fault. You just want to get ahead in the world and the best way to do that is to have the fanboys on your side. If they love you, I know, I know…

Despite all that, I’ve really come to enjoy our time together.

And when you introduced the whole new cast, I thought, good heavens, this is overkill, but now…I find myself really happy that you have all these new friends. I want to watch you having fun playing Mahjong with them. (And I’m even collecting those Mahjong tiles Crunchyroll gives me when I watch you playing. How silly is that, huh?)

I admit, I really like those two from Tsuruga, but you’d guess that, wouldn’t you? Yumi and Momo remind me of you and Nodoka, only without that other stuff. They don’t even seem to notice anyone else but each other. I think they make a great couple. And Kana and Fujiko from Kazekoshi too.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I’m really proud of you and I think you’re a good anime. I just wish you could shed the service and be a great anime. I know you have it in you.

Thanks for listening.


Art – 7
Story – 8
Characters: 9
Yuri – 5
Service – 5

Overall – 7

In my first review of this series, I said this was a predictable anime – and I wasn’t wrong, but it really has exceptionally likable characters and has upped the Yuri, so there will be no complaints from me.

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10 Responses

  1. Mara says:

    I agree Saki’s secondary cast is the whole reason to watch this series.

    Now all they need is a silver haired sociopath with no regard for her own life and we are golden.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve really enjoyed this anime, even with some eye-rolling moments when it comes to the fanservice. The characters are really charming, I’ll miss them when it’s over.

    As far as Yuri goes, my choice from the beginning was Hisa x Mako, hehe.

  3. Cryssoberyl says:

    I feel exactly the same way. As someone who long put off watching Saki because of fanservice qualms, I’ve greatly enjoyed its competition and character-building, and I look forward to more very much. I too am proud of it. ^_^

  4. Anonymous says:

    At first, the problem I had wasn’t so much the fanservice but the mahjong. I’ve seen it in Hong Kong movies too many times over and it was never really that interesting.

    And then comes this series that just blew all that out of the water. Mahjong is actually quite interesting when you have young school girls running around slamming tiles and creating lightening sparks just by sheer presence. So all together I’ve really enjoyed this series, and yeah the Yuri helps tremendously. Started off with just Saki/Nodoka, but now we can add Momo/Yumi and to a lesser degree Hisa/Mihoko as that is still developing.

    Will be having terrible Saki withdrawal when the finale airs next week.

  5. Jarlath says:

    They’ve completely overtaken the manga, but they’ve so far avoided excessive use of filler episodes like another show I could name (Hayate S1, I’m looking at YOU); while they’ve made Nodoka’s breasts a secondary character, they haven’t gone completely overboard and ignored everyone else (especially the other teams at the tournament). They’ve made a big deal out of Koromo’s childlike modes, but haven’t completely run away with it and cut out the other characters… okay, so they did overdo the Koromo a bit.

    Of course, they do play up the Hisa/Mihoko thing a TAD… but thankfully not too much – especially since Mihoko’s fascination with Hisa is partly due to the worthy opponent thing… and partly due to how Hisa didn’t make a big deal about her mismatched eyes, except to complement them.

    It could’ve gone much worse, as I was half-expecting the series to do, being a Gonzo show…

  6. hh says:

    all im saying is that i LOVE this series! from its so called Yuri-ness and the scenes during mahjong – love! hoping for season 2!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hisa x Mihoko FTW ^^
    I loved ep 24 and i realy liked this series ^^

  8. Onanimous says:

    I love Saki so much and love the coupling more on Hisa x Mihoko! They are really capable of making me squeal and get very excited.

    I’m very much anticipating its second season, and of course I hope for more HisaMiho developments.

  9. Ahms says:

    I know this is an older review, but I was looking for something new to watch and stumbled onto Saki. I think your review is really spot on for it. I really don’t get into the cutesy or fanservice genres, but the incredible exaggeration about mahjong made me keep watching. I have no idea how to play mahjong but I got the urge to learn it now haha!

    I’m a sucker for sports/competition/strategy stuff so that aspect kept me watching, and it paid off since the characters seem to be getting more interesting too. I don’t know how the Japanese do it, turning any game into something so overly melodramatic/cheesy but still making it actually exciting to watch. They could take rock-paper-scissors and make a series out of it and somehow be able to sell it.

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