The moe Mahjong series starts with a long flashback involving the very familiar Nodoka Haramura
Flashback starts us off where some of our protagonists in this series became friends with Haramura Nodoka from the first series.
They led Nodoka to Achiga Girl’s academy and their children’s Mahjong club to play.
They played 1 quarter wind, I think, and Nodoka’s did very well. So they wanted to test out her skill and called the number 1 Mahjong player in this club to come play. Her name was Matsumi Kuro, a first year at this high school.
After a game Nodoka found that all the standard dora’s were held by Kuro and in total she had 8 doras. Unable to accept that it wasn’t a coincidence they play again. And to Nodoka’s surprise all the doras still went to Kuro.
After all that on the way home, Nodoka is invited to come play more regularly as there weren’t many children their age to play Mahjong with. It was an easy yes for Nodoka.
A quick slideshow of pictures and short scenes follow on how great of a time the four Mahjong players have together.
It seems that the coach of this Mahjong club, Harue Akado used to be a really good player and did very well in tournaments for this high school. But one devastating loss sent her into despair and she didn’t play for a while which meant that the high school team disbanded. Anyone who really wanted to play Mahjong usually goes to another high school, Bansei, so this school doesn’t really get any good players and so the Mahjong club doesn’t exist anymore. However, Akado returned here as a sort of rehab and set up this small Mahjong club to teach anyone interested.
One day Akado was scouted for a corporate team and she leaves the school and Mahjong club to play professionally.
A year later Nodoka and Shizuno, one of the protagonists, enroled in Achiga. Their other friend Ako went to another school to play more Mahjong. And they haven’t seen Akado since the disbandment of the club. Unfortuantely for Shizuno Nodoka won’t be here for long either as her mum’s job meant that she transferred around a lot.
A few years later, present day, our protagonist, Takakamo Shizuno is now 3rd year. She heads home one day and turns the TV on to see who else but Haramura Nodoka clinch the Mahjong individual finals. After seeing that she wants to play in that tournament too, but being in the last year of high school she can’t, however, she can play in the upper high school tournament next year if she can make it. She calls up Ako about it and hears that she’s going to Bansei for their Mahjong club who is one of the best in this area and if she wants to get into the upper high school tournament she would need to get in as well. But that’s not likely.
Shizuno revisits the old Achiga Mahjong club room to find that everything’s clean and there’s no dust anywhere. The door opens and Kuro appears saying she’s been doing the cleaning every week hoping that someone turns up.
And so they decide to restart Achiga’s Mahjong club to try and make a full club by next year to compete in the upper high school tournament. At this school an interest group only needs 2 people so they’ll start there and try and gather 5 people to be an official club. At that moment Ako comes rushing back saying she will join them so they can face Nodoka together.
Well I originally wasn’t going to blog this because as you can see from this episode quite clearly it’s just moe and Mahjong. I have no interest in the moe part and as I’ve said earlier I don’t know how Japanese Mahjong scoring works. But I got a request for this episode and seeing as there hasn’t been much out I thought why not I got some spare time.
So anyway, this episode started with a scene before the main series and gives us a short insight into Nodoka’s childhood life. It was interesting, but I felt it was just that though, interesting. I guess it was a nice way to ease into this spin off with a familiar face to mix in with the characters from this series, who turns out to be the driving force for this storyline.
I suppose if this series progresses quickly enough we could end up with a sequel by the end of this series of the original series when this team does meet Nodoka and Saki in some other tournament after the original storyline.
Hmmm… I haven’t really got much to say for this, that’s pretty much the storyline, I don’t see how a Mahjong anime based primarily on moe can give an interesting plotline apart from the actual Mahjong playing. I just don’t see enough of a story for me to comment on, I’m already lost for words and it’s the first episode where I should be asking a lot of questions. All I can see is those 3 making the club and finding 2 or 3 others with an interest in Mahjong and making it through a few tournaments whilst meeting other people along the way. It’s pretty typical and all the way they’ll be using the moe to try and push for popularity, which as everyone knows by now isn’t why I’m interested.
So yeah, that’s my verdict still, I don’t see enough of a storyline for me to comment on and most of the Mahjong is self explanatory, at least to people who play or have an interest, and those who don’t, well I’m not sure why you’re watching this series then, unless it is for the moe. And I’ll repeat I don’t know Japanese scoring rules so I really won’t be able to say much for the Mahjong part either.
The only thing that might interest me is the new characters, but knowing this anime, they will very likely be moeblobs of some kind…
So yeah, I may blog the second episode depending on how the story turns, but I’m not promising anything.
There was one thing I wanted to comment on. I do hope you realise that Mahjong primarily in China and most likely Japan too is a gambling game. Which makes me wonder why that teacher is teaching kids to play… sure you can say they’re not playing with money but I find it the same as teaching kids to play poker. Not something a responsible adult will do. But for the sake of this anime, I’ll let it go.
And on a last note to comment on my hearing abilities again, I recognised Shizuno’s voice as Symphogear’s Hibiki and GOSICK’s Victorique.