sickVisionz (Level 24)

I'm realizing that I have NO CLUE about what's airing in Winter 2014 and no idea what to watch.
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The Spring 2012 anime season is kicking into high gear. Some shows have already started airing and a glutton will be arriving this week. This season has more shows that I want to check out than usual and as they air, I plan on writing a quick first episode impressions on them. Now, it's important to note that these are not reviews of the entire series. They are simply my quick opinion on on the impression that the first few episodes gave me.

Saki: Episode of Side A #1

Get ready for some mahjong.
Get ready for some mahjong.

Quick Summary

A group of middle school girls team up to start a mahjong club.

Quick Thoughts

This series lives and dies by the amount of mahjong madness in it. Sadly, this episode had very little.
This series lives and dies by the amount of mahjong madness in it. Sadly, this episode had very little.

I enjoyed the original Saki series immensely and was very excited to to see that a sequel was coming, only to have that interest lessened when I found out it was merely a prequel. I'm happy to say that while this spin-off focuses on the character I cared about the least, the series is off to a good enough start. The art and animation are in line with what I remember from the first series, although I believe the show is a bit more colorful and bright than its predecessor. The original series featured duels that took the mundane game of mahjong and stylized it to a point that was somewhere in-between Yu-Gi-Oh! and Sengoku Basara. These battles were by far my favorite part of the series, so it was a bit of a bummer that nothing like that was in this episode. Things are just getting started so I'm sure that they are just around the corner. A few changes that I did like were the lessening of the unneeded yuri content that littered the first season and the reduction of Nodoka's bust to a non-ridiculously comedic level... although it's still pretty over-the-top considering that at some points in the episode she is an elementary school school student with a Christina Hendricks sized bosom.

Quick Verdict

2.5/5 Still Watching It

This episode wasn't the greatest, but it was a decent enough start to the series and it gave me faith that things I enjoyed about the first one are going to appear soon. The new characters seem enjoyable enough, and while Nadoka was in it, she seems to have been relegated to non-existence by the end of the episode, which is something I welcome.

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