Continuing on with the Saki Series, this article will be about the National Middle School Champion – Haramura Nodoka who is now part of the Kiyosumi Mahjong Club! If there are any mahjong jargon you don’t understand, you can find the definitions at the glossary on the last page.
If you don’t know what the anime Saki is about, it is a 25 episode long anime that describes the journey of the protagonist – Miyanaga Saki through her first ever Mahjong tournament. She used to dislike Mahjong however after meeting many people, she realises her talent in Mahjong and leads her school team, Kiyosumi High School Mahjong Club (which includes Haramura Nodoka), to victory in the Prefecture Qualifiers for the National Tournament. The first season of Saki introduces the main characters of the top four mahjong teams in ‘Nagano’ which is the prefecture Saki lives in and the following seasons describe Kiyosumi Mahjong Club in the national tournament until the semi finals as well as other teams. The anime belongs to the Shoujo, School, Game, Ecchi, Slice of Life and Shoujo-ai genres.
Haramura Nodoka is Saki’s best friend and a very consistent Mahjong player. We first see her in episode 1 when Saki notices Nodoka walk past her on her way to the Mahjong Club. Nodoka has extreme pride and confidence in her mahjong so when Saki continuously showed incredible ability in mahjong, she got really upset but later on, she learnt the reason why Saki can play the way she does. They become best friends after the training camp before the prefecture qualifiers and work together to win it. Nodoka’s parents aren’t very happy with her playing mahjong as they think it’s just a game based on chance and luck however her dad does say that if she wins the national tournament again that he’ll reconsider his opinion. Her lucky mascot is a penguin doll called Etopen that she always hugs when she’s playing mahjong and because of Takei Hisa, she realises that when she hugs Etopen she can play to the best of her ability.
Nodoka has no special supernatural ability like Saki but her impressive win rate comes from her digital playstyle which is essential in a team situation. With her help, the team from Kiyosumi wins the prefecture finals and she places second in the individual competition for Nagano (anime only).
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