I'm going to save you a lot of trouble and say this: Do not watch this show if you do not know how to play mahjong! Seriously
. I mean it.
Actually, you need to have a (very) basic understanding of Japanese
mahjong, which is a variant of the game popular in Japan
, but damn near unheard of in the western world. Which is a pity, I think, since the concept of a zero-sum scoring system intrigues me.
But to get to the show, I never expected Mahjong
of all things to be so… engaging. I mean, it's about as anti-climactic as a game of chess. Boring as all hell unless you're one of the ones playing or someone good enough to understand and analyse the players' actions. Then again, mahjong is more like poker than chess (yes that's not doing it justice but… well… just roll with it), so I can see why there could be that element of excitement that comes with games of chance.
I'm still digressing…
Okay, to actually
talk about the show, it's alright I suppose. It lacks what you would conventionally call 'action' but it has that little thrill that comes with watching a game of chance. I suppose it's the closest you could get to an anime version of the World Poker Tournament. Just with tiles instead of cards.
It's a show based entirely on a board game, what did you expect? The characters were far from amazing, but they were a hell of a lot better than some, and there is character development for most of them, although it varies from character to character. Some of them felt as though they were just… there. They added nothing. But it worked, and how can you complain about that?
Acting and animation were pretty standard, as was the plot. Really, the only thing that makes this anime stand out from the crowd is the fact that they based it on mahjong
. I mean, who does
that? It was a brilliant
idea; I've got to say, but really
If you can follow what's happening (it takes some practice but you do
need to follow what's happening) this isn't a bad show. You could do far worse and it is certainly better than the majority of shows I've watched (not that that's saying much), but of course Your Mileage May Vary
. If you think you can handle it, I'd recommend you give it a go.