Mahjong in Saki
One of the things that strikes me about Saki is how unimportant the actual mahjong games are. While it matters who wins (and sometimes how powerful their win was), the show pays almost no attention to the actual process of playing and winning. This is especially striking in the past two episodes (6 and 7), where the show has been focusing on a tournament.
(Sometimes we get a little bit of dialog about strategy issues.)
This is rather unusual for a nominal sports anime, but does mean that you can follow pretty much all of Saki without knowing more than a tiny bit about mahjong. You won't miss much in being unable to follow the games, because there's usually nothing there to follow in the first place.
(While episode 7 does show some gameplay, my impression is that it is just illustrative; it's there to show Nodoka's dominance, not for anything important about the play itself.)
Written on 20 May 2009.