OMG! An episode all about Hitagi!!! This is heaven and pure ♥! Summarised in a line, this episode is about Hitagi’s first date with Koyomi. Onwards with the screenshots!
And ends another series Spice & Wolf II. As like in the first season, Lawrence and Horo continue their journey to Yoitsu, Horo’s homeland. Along the way, they are still discussing economics daily, looking for possible ways to increase profits, and developing their relationship further at the pace of a snail (faster snail than in Season 1).
The plot this time round consists of 2 very well-developed arcs. I especially enjoyed the first arc about Lawrence’s battle of economics wits with Amati, who offers to pay for Horo’s debt and intends to propose to her after cutting off her ties with Lawrence. It was an excellent plot device to also further the relationship between Lawrence and Horo, as Lawrence finally realises that what Horo means to him. Their feelings for each other, contrasted with the logical mind of a cool-headed merchant, was reinforced in the second arc, when Lawrence was willing to postpone fulfilling his dream of owning a shop to continue traveling with Horo.
The romance between Horo and Lawrence is also very well executed. Unlike the usual shoujo romance series, this couple get along by teasing each other with sharp, witty comments, with Lawrence usually on the lower end (probably to keep Horo happy), and their intimate moments are more business-like respectful rather than sexual (oh come on, they are always engaging in serious conversations on making profits).
Koshimizu Ami does an exceptional job voicing Horo in episode 3, when Horo crumbles from being the confident wolf deity that she usually is, to a devastated mortal who discovers that her homeland (the purpose of her travels) has long been destroyed, to a desperate woman who just wants to know that she is not alone in the world, and that there is a place for her, and eventually to bitterness at Lawrence for rejecting her, ALL within just less than 5 minutes. I really wish I can find a clip of how Amisuke looked while voicing that part.
The flaws of this series, like season 1, would be that there are long moments of deep conversations that will not be easily absorbed by most people, making the series seem slower than it actually is. If you are one who enjoy pure drama with serious character development and do not mind the lack of comedy, lulz, and fighting-style action scenes, then this series is for you.
Saki is not a series one watch for the plot, or serious mahjong. You have to consult Akagi for that. In actual fact, you shouldn’t even watch Saki for the common sense. I mean, eating taco will increase mahjong powers? Using Geass to see through everyone’s tiles? Activating stealth mode at the table without being noticed? Actually, I thought that would result in your turn being skipped.
So what does one watch Saki for? Some go for the nopan shots, some enjoy the lulz of impossible mahjong with lightning tiles, some just put on their yuri goggles and join Mugi in squeeing.
As such, there is no point reviewing this series, except to point out certain important moments:
The Most Epic Win
The winner of this award goes to Saki in ep 19, for her near impossible win in defeating Koromo and the rest to enter the Nationals! There are sites discussing the (im)probability of Saki actually managing to turn her non-winning hand into a big winner. Forgive the lack of mahjong terminology, I sux at it.
The Most Epic Match
The most epic match would be the battle between the 4 captains 3 captains + 1 member in ep 23. All 4 of my favourite characters 3 of my favourite characters + 1 of my favourite ahoge sitting at a table battling it out! What more can I ask for?! Except more screentime for that table instead of focusing on Saki and Nodoka. They’re bound to win anyway.
Now now, where to start for this topic? I honestly wonder how many times Kanako would have been sent to the hospital for anemia if she is enrolled in Kiyosumi High School’s mahjong club instead of going to Ame no Kisaki. Her issue of hives won’t be much of an issue since Kyoutaro is the only guy I see, and he’s always out buying tacos anyway.
So, starting with the minor yuri pairings in Saki, we have…