There is a story out there about a group of girls achieving their dreams through mahjong. It is a story where hope and hard work open the path toward a miracle.
Achiga is not that story.
Achiga is the story of girls who refuse to blink even as their faces are battered by torrents of merciless rain. A story about the young learning how to pick up the pieces of a broken dream.
Investigating the play-styles of people whom she was unlikely to ever play with after her school’s defeat.
The captain who couldn’t lead her team to victory even as she herself took first place in the individuals, now reaching her hand out to those who were to be her competition.
Arakawa Kei: “Miyanaga Teru… isn’t human.”
Second place at individuals, coming back for more even when knowing the odds.
Sagimori Arata: “You won’t ask where we went?”
Fear of betrayal, strongest in those who have already tasted the pain of disappointment.
Takakamo Shizuno: “But a second time… is too painful…”
The first time at a loss for words, torn between what she wants and what she believes to be right.
Shimizudani Ryuuka: “No, nothing’s wrong.”
A sleepless night in the awareness that she’ll be using her best friend as a shield against something she couldn’t stop herself.
Meeting with Onjouji Toki in the corridor and exchanging no greetings. What words do you offer to the person who destroyed you just a few days before?
Akado Harue: “If I could just return to that place…”
Sending her protege off to battle. But are her eyes following the students of Achiga, or are they glued to announcer Kokaji-pro, the monster that taught her true despair ten years ago?
A vanguard fulfills their duty towards the team. And if that duty is to be crushed in a hopeless battle…
In other words, this bright and fluffy episode was in fact thick with fear and unease. We see those who could and those who couldn’t stand up after experiencing defeat. We follow the steps of those facing imminent destruction…
If you have ever wondered why Shizuno is the main character of this show, this episode might just hold the answer.