It’s Manga Monday. A weekly post highlighting a different series. I’ll mostly do posts on completed or ongoing series that are regularly updated. While I do not condone scanlations, please support the creator and licensing companies by purchasing the work where available.
This week’s manga is – Saki
Miyanaga Saki is a high school freshman who does not like mahjong. Ever since she was a child, she would lose her New Year’s gift money during her family mahjong game. If she won, her parents would be upset, and if she lost, well, she lost. As a result, she has learned to play in such a way that her score always remains plus/minus zero: not good enough to win, but not bad enough to lose. When we meet her, she is being dragged to her school s mahjong club by an old friend. How will a girl who hates mahjong, yet has become adept at the game as a result of her upbringing, survive in this environment?
What’s better than cute girls doing cute things? How about cute girls playing competitive mahjong? And no, this isn’t the “match similar tiles” kind of mahjong. This is the real ish right here. Here’s a hit that’s still running strong since 2006. In 2009, an anime adaptation aired, which seemed to spark even bigger interest into this series. The amazing thing that Saki pulls off throughout the entirety of the main series, and even it’s Achiga-hen spin-off, is that it entices the viewers to want to play competitive mahjong for real. The only problem with that lies in learning the game, but that is another story in itself. Saki has been running for a very long time and Kobayashi Ritz-sensei seems to still have a lot to cover as the series follows one school’s team to become national champions. Although games seem to be drawn out at times, the myriad of characters and their “innate powers” over the tiles make for an interesting “battle manga” type setting in a simple game of mahjong. Saki is definitely a series worth checking out if you haven’t already done so.