The list of the Side-A Semifinalists from the manga and anime series Saki, sorted according to their final placing: Achiga All-Girls' Academy, Shiraitodai High School, Senriyama Girls' Academy, and Shindouji All-Girls' High School.
Achiga and Shiraitodai have both qualified for the Finals, and are set to play against Achiga's fellow upstart Kiyosumi (the team of Saki, the estranged younger sister of Shiraitodai's Teru, and Nodoka, an old friend of three of Achiga's players) and fourth-seeded Rinkai, while Senriyama and Shindouji are relegated to the fifth-place match against each other and Block B's Himematsu and Usuzan.
Achiga All-Girls' Academy — Nara
Shiraitodai High School — West Tokyo
The school representing West Tokyo, Shiraitodai used to be considered just one of many West Tokyo schools that produced second-rate mahjong players despite the fact that they recruit from all across Japan. That is until the arrival of a certain student named Teru Miyanaga, who helped it storm its way to victory at the 69th Inter-High School Mahjong Championships. Shiraitodai would then continue its title reign with a successful title defense the next year, again courtesy of Teru. Now, Shiraitodai is vying for a three-peat championship, and is the favorite to win the tournament.
Its current lineup is composed of third years Teru Miyanaga and Sumire Hirose, second years Takami Shibuya and Seiko Matano, and freshman Awai Oohoshi — collectively known as Team ToraHime.
Team Shiraitodai, together with Team Achiga, qualified for the National finals, though it was knocked to second-place due to its players failing to sustain the massive lead Teru gave them back in the Vanguards' semifinals match. They are set to defend their championship not only against Team Achiga, but also against fourth seeded Rinkai Girls' High and more importantly, Kiyosumi High School where Saki plays, although Teru and Saki wouldn't be able to actually meet due to their positions in their respective teams (Vanguard and Captain respectively).
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Similar to Kazekoshi, Shiraitodai pits its players against each other to earn the right to represent the school. In Shiraitodai's case, players are assigned to teams and the best team gets to represent the school. This means the best individual players of Shiraitodai may or may not be part of the representing team.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: The team's overall style focuses on scoring as much as possible. Case in point, all of the players' abilities are geared towards high valued hands. However, their defense is mediocre at best as evidenced by the fact that they were not able to sustain Teru's lead in the Vanguard match.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Almost all of the abilities of Shiraitodai's players are geared towards scoring big, but have distinctive weaknesses that can be exploited. Only Teru's abilities have no obvious weaknesses.
- The Dreaded: Shiraitodai is the two-time and current defending champion of the National Mahjong Inter-High School tournament. And with two "monster class" players in Teru and Awai, is considered as the team anyone would not want to face.
- The Load: The rest of the team to Teru. While Teru herself is the mightiest player in Japan, the others aren't up to her level, and they take second in the semifinals because Teru couldn't carry the entire team on her own strength.
- The Worf Effect: Downplayed. During the National semi-fimals, Teru just walked all over her opponents in the vanguard match. After that, however, the rest of Shiraitodai underperformed so badly that they end up losing the massive lead Teru gave them, resulting with Shiraitodai ending in second place.
Voiced by: Mai Nakahara
The leader of Team Shiraitodai and currently ranked 1st in the national rankings. Since her arrival in the national mahjong scene, Teru has dominated and defeated anybody that has stood her way, becoming a two-time Inter-high individuals champion, leading Shiraitodai into two consecutive team championships, and skyrocketing into mahjong superstardom in the process. Should Teru succeed in winning both individual and team championships for a third time, she would be the first person to become champion throughout her high school tenure.
Though formerly Shiraitodai's Captain, her abilities prove to be invaluable and a perfect starter for her team's all-offense style, so she now plays Vanguard for team ToraHime. Also, it is highly implied that this isn't the full extent of Teru's abilities, as shown in the Sequel Hook of the first season, where she is shown to target Yuuki with the Nine Lanterns yakuman.
Perhaps the most significant part of Teru's character is her strained relationship with Saki as flashback shows that the two were fairly close, until a tragedy involving their family has caused a rift between them and their parents. Since her parents' separation, she has lived with her mother in Tokyo and has shown to willingly avoid communicating with her younger sister and has been known to outright deny any relationship with her. Whether or not she harbors genuine loathing towards her younger sister remains to be seen.
Tropes for Teru
- The Ace: For Shiraitodai, Teru is undoubtedly their best player and star. Case in point, she was last year's individuals champion, led Shiraitodai through two successful team championships, and players like Kei Arakawa liken her as more of a force of nature than a human being when behind the mahjong table. This statement from commentator Kouko Fukuyo sums up Teru's reputation in mahjongShe's the queen of all high school players! She's Teru Miyanaga!
- Aloof Big Sister: Shows a cold, almost uncaring attitude towards Saki and according to her, last time she visited Teru and their mother, Teru was unwilling to speak with her at all.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Teru's Shoumakyou has been used not only for her own benefit, but also for the benefit of her team, as it proves invaluable for gathering information regarding players' strengths and weaknesses. For Teru herself, she uses whatever info her ability reveals to play around and counter her opponents' various abilities.
- Blow You Away: Her power manifests as a whirlwind covering her right arm.
- Badass Bookworm: Like Saki, Teru would rather read books when not playing mahjong. In Achiga-hen, she's shown to be reading a small book while waiting for her opponents.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Saki's Abel. The latter is well aware of Teru's enmity toward her, but is quite shocked to hear that Teru refuses to admit to having a sister.
- Characterization Marches On: Teru's significantly colder and more dismissive of her opponents in her brief appearance in the present day in the 2009 anime, seemingly viewing them as unworthy of her time. Relations between her and Sumire seem a bit frostier, compared to the more recent manga, in which she and Sumire enjoy a certain level of camaraderie and mutual respect.
- The Chessmaster: This is proof that she and Saki are more alike than the former would admit. During the National semifinals, against Toki's ippatsu tsumo, Teru purposely discarded a 3-dotted tile. At this point everyone is careful as whenever Toki declares riichi it means either someone will play to her hand or she will draw the winning tile. Kirame had no safe tile, so she followed Teru's lead of three dots. Teru called the tile and shifted the drawing order, and Toki's winning tile was taken by Kuro, who knew by (a traumatic) experience. Later in the match Teru declared kan, freaking out her opponents who expected a rinshan kaihou. Their relief that Teru was still one tile away from completion (even with a tile off the dead wall) was short-lived, however, when they realized Teru opened more kan dora, which wrecked Kuro's hand a big time and forced her to play Teru's game.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: A mahjong match with Teru is guaranteed to be a bloodbath for the opposing players.
- Once she sat behind the table in the semifinal round of the Nationals, not one of the other players were able to so much as touch her points, while she continually siphoned points off them. She dominated them so badly that two other players were forced to work together just to stop one of her streaks; one of those players being forced to repeatedly use her health hazardous one-turn futuresight just to stay alive. Even after Kuro's final win through the joint effort of Toki and Kirame, Teru still walked away with a 100,000 point lead.
- In the chapters that expanded on her history in Shiraitodai, she takes every member of the majong club (Sumire included) in the negative, including the players she personally selected and helped improve through her advice. Her first match had her sending all three of her opponents into the negative.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: The only thing that prevented Teru from completely decimating Toki, Kirame, and Kuro is Kuro's Dora-magnet ability because it limited Teru's hand so she can only get to a win streak with a maximum of 18,000 points. Toki and Kirame also managed to end one of her streaks by working together through letting Kirame win one hand.
- Climax Boss: In Achiga-hen, is the most difficult opponent the Achiga girls face in their quest to reach and play against Nodoka.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Not in the main manga or Achiga-hen, but Teru in Saki Biyori is... special, to say the least.
- Club President: Of Team Shiraitodai.
- Cool Big Sis: How she used to be. Now she doesn't even acknowledge that Saki is her sister (at least outside a select few, such as Awai).
- Cynicism Catalyst: See Dark and Troubled Past. The details of what happened or why Teru changed the way she did are unclear, but the event in question evidently had a great impact on her.
- Dark and Troubled Past: How did Teru turn from the sweet older sister to one that doesn't even acknowledge her sister? Well, for one thing, Teru is wearing a mourning dress here.◊
- Draco in Leather Pants: In-Universe — Saki's flashbacks to Teru are highly idealized (from appearance to voice), and even when it's clear that Teru publicly disowned her, she still holds out hope that she can change her sister's mind through mahjong even after words have failed. In Achiga-hen, she also has a lot of fangirls cheering for her everytime she scores, her ruthless playing style be damned. Her underclassmen are especially smitten by her, almost to an Onee-sama degree. Only Sumire seems to be aware of the severe family-related issues Teru hides behind her stoic facade.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Teru is considered a nigh-invincible force behind a mahjong table. However, during the individuals finals in her first year, Teru only reached second place in the finals, losing to then third year student and now pro mahjong player, Yoshiko Kainou.
- The Dreaded: If there is anyone the contestants of the tournament do not want to face, it is Teru. Even Kei, last year's National individuals runner-up, likened her to a force of nature than a human being.
- Enemy Scan: Teru's Shoumakyou has this effect. Opponents claim that after one hand, Teru seemed to have "looked through their very core" and as such, is able to use whatever information she gathered to counter or negate their skills. This ability is so effective, she can even make Toki's one-turn futuresight invalid by deviating from Toki's expected result.
- Evil Sounds Deep: In the first anime only, where her voice in the present is notably deeper than in Saki's flashbacks.
- Famed In-Story: Teru is the leader of the two-time Inter-High champ Shiraitodai, is considered the best high-school player in Japan, and is a media sensation with a lot of adoring fans.
- Foil: To Hiroe. While Teru is cold and aloof, even to her teammates and especially to her sister, she can project a cheerful facade if needed. In contrast, while Hiroe loves to taunt her opponents, she's actually a good teammate and sister, and that her taunts are actually her way of encouraging her opponents to give her a decent challenge.
- Food as Bribe: Like Saki, Teru was not interested in joining a mahjong club. Sumire convinced her into joining by stating she can have all the sweets and pancakes she could eat if she joins.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Teru was practically a nobody before she was recruited into the Shiraitodai mahjong club by Sumire, and even then she initially refused the offer. After she was recruited, she led the way for Shiraitodai's first national championship and since then, she's been known as the country's best high-school player in mahjong.
- Hey, You!: Referred to Sumire as "Kind Person" before she joined the Shiraitodai mahjong club.
- Hidden Depths: Teru's character is quite a complicated case.
- She can project a bright and cheerful personality in front of the media. However, she acts cold and aloof to her team mates, her opponents, and especially to her younger sister. Yet under this cold and aloof persona lies a person who is shown to at least be aware of other people's problems and will express concern about it. An example is when she momentarily looked shocked when Toki collapsed after the Vanguard match (the manga chapter showing the same event shows a frame with Teru looking outright shocked at what happened), then later wonders about Toki's condition. She also expressed concern about Sumire's predicament during the Sergeant match when she realized Sumire has a tell.
- Her relationship with Saki seemed to be a case of her harboring hatred toward the younger Miyanaga because of a certain incident that happened within their family, refusing to talk to Saki when she last visited her and their mother, and going so far as to outright deny any familial connection with Saki when she was asked. Chapter 128, however, shows her admitting to Awai that Saki is indeed her sister. And while she gave Saki the cold shoulder during their encounter in chapter 167, she's shown afterwards to be saddened and disturbed by the fact that she doesn't know what to say to her younger sister when she meets her again after a long time, implying that her aloof behavior towards Saki may not be caused by hatred at all.
- Hidden Eyes: Fairly common in flashbacks, and the photo of her in a magazine that is occasionally shown.
- I Have No Sister: As far as we know, she hasn't said it directly to Saki, but when asked by the media, she refuses to admit that Saki is her sister. However, she does admit it to Awai while waiting for the results of the Side-B Semifinals, where her sister is currently playing.
- Impossible Task: Teru's value-increasing win streak is a playstyle that only Teru can do.
- The Juggernaut: Teru is a nigh-unstoppable mahjong monster, especially when she goes on her infamous winning streak. Even Toki's repeated use of her one-turn futuresight could not stop Teru from winning consecutively. In fact, Kirame's 1,000 point win (by Toki willingly playing into her hand) is seen as about the biggest achievement anyone has ever done against Teru at that point, and everyone knew that only delayed the inevitable.
- Kick the Dog: Inadvertently, but the reaction Saki has to her saying that she doesn't have a sister is quite... Well, troubling, even if Teru most likely never expected that Saki would hear of it.
- Light Is Not Good: The Teru the public knows is definitely not the Teru her team is familiar with, as Sumire points out after seeing Teru give fake smiles to the press. And while more reserved than nasty — see her private concern for Toki after her collapse and hospitalization — she seems to reserve a special kind of loathing for her own sister.
- Meaningful Name: Like Saki, her name is relevant to her ability. Her name means 'to illuminate' which refers to her 'Shoumakyou' a magical mirror that illuminate/reveal her opponents' nature to her.
- Mixed Ancestry: It's been revealed that the Miyanaga sisters' maternal grandmother is of foreign descent.
- Newcomer Saves the Day: Before Teru came along, Shiraitodai was just a school that produced second-rate mahjong players with being 4th in the prefecture being the highest rank it has gotten. Teru's contribution to the team by giving helpful advice on how certain players can improve their game, as well as her own decision to join the mahjong club are the reasons Shiraitodai won the national championship twice.
- Not So Above It All: Saki Biyori reveals that it's Teru who usually goes along with Awai's crazy suggestions.
- Not So Different: She and Saki have a lot of things in common. Both of them have prodigious mahjong prowess, a definitive playstyle exclusive to only themselves, and posses certain quirks such as shared hobby of reading books and their lack of a sense of direction. They also have trouble expressing themselves to each other, and both of them have confidants that they share a close bond with (Sumire in Teru's case).
- Not So Stoic: Mentioning Saki is the surest way for anyone to get a reaction out of her. Then there's Toki fainting after her match.
- Chapter 167 shows she gave Saki the cold shoulder during their chance encounter, but immediately afterwards, almost collapses in the Shiraitodai waiting room and is shown to be quite saddened and disturbed about being unable to say anything to Saki.
- Open Secret: While Teru has declared that she has no sister, her statement was not revealed to the public, so it could be said that people outside of a select few know that Saki is her actual sister. However, some players in the Nationals. like Senriyama's Hiroko, speculate that there is a connection between Saki and Teru aside from their surnames. When Teru called Kan during the semifinal Vanguard match, Toki, Kirame, and Kuro had a collective Oh, Crap! because they expected Teru to declare rinshan kaihou, just as Saki would've done.
- Poor Communication Kills: Saki seems to misunderstand Teru's unwillingness to communicate is due to resentment over an incident within their family. Teru, on the other hand, feels she is unable to communicate with Saki because she has no idea what to say to her.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: One thing she shares with Saki — except the sheer ruthlessness in mahjong.
- Say My Name: In The Stinger for Zenkoku-hen, Teru turns to the camera and whispers "Saki...", implying that deep down at least she's still thinking about Saki.
- Shared Family Quirks: Like Saki, it's implied that she has a poor sense of direction, as Sumire met Teru while she was lost on her way to the gym during their first year at Shiraitodai.
- Slasher Smile: On the cover of the eighth DVD of Season 1. This was lampooned mercilessly a few years later in one of the Achiga-hen extras, where an embarrassed Teru admits (to Awai and Sumire) that her expression on the cover was not one of her brightest moments, especially when Awai considers doing the same.
- Stepford Smiler: She displays politeness to the press, but behind the door, she's pretty damn condescending. Probably explains why the press don't double-check when she denies any connection with Saki.Sumire: As always... your salesman smile is absolutely cruel.
Teru: Oh...? You know, there's quite a few people I'm actually grateful to. I wasn't lying...
Sumire: Right, but it's just too different from your normal self.
- The Stoic: Even when her team is nearly eliminated, she was shown unconcerned and busy eating sweets.
- Sweet Tooth: Has a massive one, which is further flanderized in her appearances in Saki Biyori.
- Unblockable Attack: If she reaches eight dealer repeats, then she'll always win her ninth repeat. Plus, if all eight of her repeats had been tsumo wins, then the ninth hand is guaranteed to be a Nine Lanterns yakuman. Even worse, she can still continue her win streak after that and get another yakuman if she isn't stopped.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In Saki's flashbacks, she's shown as being relatively cheerful and caring for her younger sister.
- Walking Spoiler: To an extent, as the scene in which she denied her relationship with Saki and revealed that she had grown colder and more distant over the years came off as a surprise.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Teru is featured in mahjong magazines, depicted with a smile and a generic ambitious quote. The effects of this are felt in the first part of the nationals, when a reporter tells another that Nodoka is the only Kiyosumi player worth noting, meaning that people seem to have bought into Teru's lie that she didn't have a sister. While Teru indeed disowned Saki, it never really made it to the news in the main series. Saki only hears about being disowned when Mihoko mentions asking Nishida about Teru and Saki's relationship during Mihoko's own interview.
- Vocal Evolution: Come Achiga-hen, the deep alto voice Mai Nakahara used was replaced instead with a much lighter tone. Especially evident during the extra episodes, which feature what happens after the Vanguard match, where Teru is just sitting around in Shiraitodai's waiting room eating sweets with the rest of her team.
- Wham Line: The first indication of how severe her estrangement from Saki is.Sumire: Don't you have a sister?
Teru: No, I don't.
Awai: Saki Miyanaga... is she your little sister?Teru: N...Yeah, she's my sister.
- Then, in Chapter 128, she makes a surprising reversal of the above.
Teru: What should I tell her? I couldn't think of anything... anything at all.
- In Chapter 167, Teru appears to give Saki the cold shoulder, but then reveals the truth to Sumire.
Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga
Sumire is the only person known to Teru who seems to have had prior knowledge of Saki's existence. She and Teru makes up the ToraHime combination.
As Sergeant, she helps further wither down her opponents already low score. While Teru prefers to win via tsumo, Sumire's style is called "Piercing Arrow", which involves getting a direct hit on her target by changing her hand to target her a certain discard. Before she does that, she needs to aim first and adjust her hand, which takes a lot of time.
- Archer Archetype: Her playing style evoke themes of kyuudou (Japanese archery), complete with her alternate appearance wearing the appropriate uniform.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Her playstyle revolves around adjusting her hand to target the discards of her targetted player. This trope, however, is also her greatest weakness: when aiming, her hand twitches and she goes into a hypnotized state for a second while looking at her target. Yuu exploited this to avoid her arrows, irritating Sumire. Sumire also cannot play a fast game due to a lot of time needed for her hands to adjust to Yoshiko, who also exploited her weakness by playing low-scoring but fast hands.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Sumire's playstyle is this. It's good for keeping a player at bay or whittling down a player's score, but takes a long time to set up, so she can be stopped by players who win with cheap and fast hands. When she fails to get a direct hit on a player, she targets that same player again, but since the second shot would be a forced one, the targeted player can use this opportunity to take points from her.
- Character Tic: A subtle one, but Sumire moves her finger backwards (as if pulling a string) when she prepares to target one player and looks at the player she's targeting. Yuu uses this tic to determine if Sumire will go on the offensive and know whether or not Sumire is targeting her.
- Characterization Marches On: Her first scene with Teru in the 2009 anime seemed to imply that the two didn't exactly get along.
- Deadpan Snarker: In her first appearance, Sumire speaks to Teru in a very cold and chiding manner. She doesn't seem to buy Teru's excuse for not smiling, asking Teru about having a sister.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: In the flashback in which she first met Teru, Sumire was first shown wearing a ponytail.
- Evil Counterpart: Sumire is responsible for Teru's membership in Shiraitodai and is seen as Teru's confidant and closest friend. Thus, she's Nodoka's evil counterpart.
- Hime Cut: To emphasize her princess-like attitude.
- Meaningful Name: Shiraitodai is referred to as Team ToraHime, and speculation suggested that this involves Teru and Sumire.
- Oh, Crap!: Her reaction when she saw Yoshiko's strategy for defeating her.
- Only Sane Man: Biyori characterizes Sumire as this, compared to the rest of Shiraitodai.
- The Red Baron: "The Sharpshooter of Shiraitodai", on account of her archery-inspired playing style.
- The Stoic: She's typically fairly calm and no-nonsense.
Sumire: (thinking) TERU!!!!!!! That's the most careless thing to say right now!!!!
- Not So Stoic: She loses her temper when she sees Yoshiko's strategy for defeating her. It's also Played for Laughs in Saki Biyori when Teru casually mentions to Awai, who accidentally cut her own bangs off, that Teru's own bangs are a bit long.
Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi
A quiet and reserved girl who always looks grim, always carrying a cup of tea. This is her first time in the nationals, being a recent addition to Team Shiraitodai for this year's nationals together with Seiko.
Takami's special ability is "Harvest Time", where she apparently receives the first tile dealt in every match up to the last match. Depending on what tiles are dealt during the course of the turns leading up to hers, this means Takami can come up with shockingly high-point hands, but it takes a lot of setup to pay off, which can be exploited by savvier opponents.
Of the five Yakuman hands that were executed in the nationals before the semifinals, Takami is known to have executed two of them.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Her Harvest Time ability. While it can guarantee a high point hand, it takes a long time to set up properly. Not only that, but it also requires an opponent to be careless during their dealer turns and keep on winning dealer repeats so Takami can get the tiles she needs.
- Battle Aura: When it's time for her to "harvest" the tiles, a forest full of grapes becomes the background.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: She plays quite normally and loses a lot of points before her ability activates. Like Teru, if she becomes the last dealer, Takami becomes a very dangerous player able to spam yakuman hands with the tiles she managed to harvest.
- Spot of Tea: She's shown almost constantly drinking tea outside of her matches.
- Stoic Spectacles: Wears a pair of them to emphasize her cool-headed nature and playstyle.
Voiced by: Kaori Shimizu
A tomboyish girl and first-timer in the Nationals together with Takami.
She's known as the "Fisherman of Shiraitodai", whose style involves "fishing" desired tiles from the table and increasing her chances to win during the next five hands should she manage to get three calls. However, her ability forces her to depend on opponents' discarded tiles, keeping her from doing riichi and winning close-handed. Also, all her calls must be pons, and even if she can use chi, it must come from the opponent to her left, further limiting her plays.
- Boyish Short Hair: To complement her relatively tomboyish appearance. In Chapter 27 of Saki Biyori, Awai is disappointed that Seiko has no bangs to cut.
- Butch Lesbian: Out of all the characters, Seiko probably best fits this trope.
- Calling Your Attacks: If she makes three calls, Seiko is guaranteed to win in the next five turns.
- Last-Name Basis: Seems to be on this with the rest of Team Shiraitodai, which otherwise tends to use first names on each other.
- Loophole Abuse: During an individuals game, she prevents Awai from using her ability, which is based around corners, by arranging all the tiles in a circle.
- Motif: A fisherman, which is reflected in her playing style.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: She wears bicycle shorts instead of the white skirt the rest of her teammates wear.
- The Red Baron: "The Fisherman of Shiraitodai", as many of her moves evoke the image of a fisherman.
- The Worf Effect: She was as hyped as one of the best in Team Shiraitodai due to being part of the current champions. Her actual performance on the table however is extremely lacking. This is somewhat lampshaded and Played for Laughs in this exchange after her semifinals match.Seiko: "I beat Oohoshi's Double Riichi too."
Takami: "Eh? Did you really beat Awai-chan?"
Seiko: "Yeah. Hey... you don't have much confidence in me."
Voiced by: Chiwa Saito
A newcomer considered one of the most dangerous freshmen in Japan, aside from Saki. Awai is considerably confident, cocky and arrogant, but is shown to be the most cheerful out of her Shiraitodai teammates. She succeeded Teru as Team Shiraitodai's Captain.
Much like many "monster"-level participants, Awai features several special abilities, of which the most obvious comes into play at the beginning of every hand — and this involves intimidating opponents into yielding very poor starters, with a low probability of completion (by way of projecting a vision of darkness), after which their hands are reset, forcing them to declare chi, pon or kan to advance. The drawback is that this is very difficult to pull off and can be worked around by savvy opponents. Her other abilities are relatively low-key, but possess a certain move that makes her a terror to the unprepared: a double riichi explosion (where she's guaranteed a tenpai after declaring riichi on the discard of her first tile), a guaranteed kan from the dead wall (where said kan tile can always be drawn from around the first corner) which almost always precedes a winning hand; said kan allows her to turn around the dora marker. The guaranteed win from her riichi then allows her to turn the ura dora marker, which will then allow Awai to get the tile she kans as a dora.
- Arch-Enemy: To Shizu, who doesn't reciprocate the feeling.
- Arrogant Mahjong Girl: Ooh boy, is she ever... which makes it all the more humiliating for her to lose to Shizuno.
- Badass Boast: Before the National semifinals, after Seiko has all but destroyed Team Shiraitodai's lead."Losing is not in my dictionary."
"I'm going to beat you one hundred times!"
- After she lost to Shizuno, and badly so...
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Awai is an exceptional mahjong player and she knows it. This is why she never pays serious attention to discussions regarding their team's strategies during the Nationals and she never reads the play records of her opponents in order to prepare for them, confident that her opponents won't be able to do much against her awesome abilities anyway. She seems to have dropped this attitude after losing to Shizuno in the semi-finals, as she was shown training with Teru to prepare for the finals.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Her characterization in Saki Biyori. Her quote above also paints her as this.
- Combo: Awai's abilities are basically this, where triggering one ability leads to the others.
- Combo Breaker: ...But those savvy to the sequence of her skill activation can quickly put a stop to things, as demonstrated by Seiko preventing her guaranteed-kan skill (drawn from the dead wall corner) by arranging all the tiles in a circle (which removes the corner). Shizuno's ability, which affects where the dead wall is cut depending on the dice roll, also affected where Awai normally gets the tile she uses to declare a kan, stopping her combo ability cold in its tracks.
- Dramatic Thunder: A manifestation of Awai deciding to stop messing around, literally.
- First-Name Basis: Somewhat unusually, she refers to Teru, her senpai, by her first name and without honorifics, which the PSP game makes note of. She also does the same with Takami, but the fact that Takami calls her "Awai-chan" could indicate they're fairly close.
- Foil: To Saki. Awai is supremely confident in her abilities to the point of arrogance, is not above telling other people that she's better than them, and is more active in her pursuit for Teru's attention.
- Glass Cannon: Awai is all offense, zero defense. Backfires spectacularly during her time on the table against both Himeko and Shizuno.
- Gravity Master: Figuratively. It makes opponents' starting hands terrible. When she uses this power, the opponents see a vision of the infinite darkness of the outer space. Fortunately for them, this power is not foolproof — it can be trumped by other powers that say "a certain tile composition must happen" (e.g. Himeko's keyblade or Takami's Harvest Time, or even Shizuno's Anti-Magic ability).
- Hero-Worshipper: A mild example to Teru, as she comments that she wouldn't mind losing to her, which says a great deal considering her arrogance and confidence in her own abilities.
- Meaningful Name: Fleeting Supernova
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: While Team Shiraitodai was already at a bad spot after an early lead courtesy of Teru, her arrogance and misplaced bravado nearly became their undoing.
- Oh, Crap!: Her reaction after realizing that this time, she will have to claw her way to second-place, and again after she tried to declare the score from her hand, only for Shizuno to tell her to look at the ura dora. She does, and is shocked to find out that her play is invalidated.
- Sweet Tooth: A huge one, though not exactly unique among the Shiraitodai players barring Sumire.
- The Worf Effect: Years prior to Achiga-hen, Ritz hyped up Awai as a formidable opponent. Come Achiga-hen... well, let's just say come the National semifinals, Awai's actual performance was anything but stellar. While her abilities would theoretically make her a menace to any normal player, her propensity to go all-out rendered her largely ineffective. This is exacerbated by the fact that, due to her massive ego, she doesn't even bother putting up a defense, which makes for easy pickings by savvier opponents.
Senriyama Girls' Academy — North Osaka
The second-ranking school overall in Japan as of the 70th Inter-High season, this year marks Senriyama's 35th appearance in the Nationals as well as eleventh straight year representing North Osaka for the competition. While its current lineup is composed of veterans from last season, it also features both a freshman and a new Vanguard to round off the team.
Its current lineup is composed of third years Toki Onjouji, Ryuuka Shimizudani and Sera Eguchi, second year Hiroko Funakubo, and freshman Izumi Nijou. Team Senriyama is coached by Masae Atago.
Unfortunately, Team Senriyama narrowly missed the finals to quarterfinals bracket-mate Achiga and Shiraitodai.
- Kansai Regional Accent: They are from North Osaka after all
- The Worf Effect: Senriyama is the second strongest school in the mahjong high school circuit. Unfortunately, they do not make it to the final four of the tournament because of Team Achiga's performance and Team Shiraitodai barely making it to second place.
Voiced by: Yui Ogura
Toki is a frail and sickly girl who, until last year, wasn't even a candidate for her school's Nationals Team, being a middling player in Senriyama's C-Team. This all changed when, while recovering from a near-fatal illness that left her bedridden for a long time, she discovers that she can see into the future for a limited time, equivalent to a single turn in a mahjong match. With this ability, as well as the support of her friends Ryuuka and Sara, she improves her game and works her way up the ranks, eventually joining Team Senriyama's frontliners. As she is prone to fainting spells, Toki is never seen far from Ryuuka's side, and seems to enjoy resting or sleeping on the latter's lap.
- The Ace: Of Team Senriyama.
- Badass Adorable: Combine her undying determination with her cute looks and you have the perfect example of this.
- Cast from Hit Points: Her one-turn futuresight takes a strenuous toll on her already frail body.
- Came Back Strong: In a way.
- Character Tic: Whenever Toki declares riichi, she places the riichi stick on the table vertically and holds it up using her finger.
- Childhood Friends: With Ryuuka, since fifth grade.
- Combat Clairvoyance: Her power, which was triggered after surviving a near-fatal illness, is to see one-turn ahead into the future.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Delivered one to Kuro in the opening rounds of the Nationals. She, along with Kuro and Kirame, get on the receiving end in the finals courtesy of Teru.
- Deadpan Snarker: Unlike most Ill Girl characters, she can be downright snarky if she sees an opening to do so. It's probably just the side effect of regularly tiptoeing the line of death. In fact, half her lines in Saki Biyori is some kind of snark!
- Determinator: One of the biggest determinators in the entire series.
- Discard and Draw: She implies that she had an ability vaguely referred to as "of the three armies" before her hospitalization, which she thinks would have been more useful against Teru.
- Enemy Mine: With Kirame. Invoked, as it's the only real way for anyone on the table to survive against Teru.
- Forbidden Chekhov's Gun: She was told by Ryuuka in a flashback to not attempt to look further than one turn into the future, because it's more straining to her already frail body. Come the second round National semifinal vanguard match, she repeatedly forces herself to look two turns into the future, . She decides to push herself further and look three turns into the future during the last round.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
- Friendless Background: It's implied in her own manga that she hasn't had many friends when she was young.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Toki was just a low ranking member of Senriyama's mahjong club before she got her one-turn futuresight. However, because she can't use her ability all the time due to the toll it gives her already frail body, she trained long and hard to become skilled enough to not rely her superpower and eventually rising to the top of Senriyama's rankings. Now, she's one of the most feared players in the country.
- Heroic Resolve: Even if her body is frail, Toki will never back down from such tough competition as Teru, even if she has to push her body beyond its limits.
- Heroic RRoD: Toki's repeated use of her futuresight powers slowly but visibly did its damage to her, in so much as come the latter stages of the second round of the Vanguard match, she's weakened to the point that she's having difficulty drawing tiles and visibly struggling to keep herself conscious. By the end of the match, she tries to assure Kuro and Kirame that she's just faking her very obvious weakened state, only to collapse and fall unconscious as she tries to get up from her seat.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Overexerts herself by looking three turns ahead just to stop Teru's streak despite knowing that her body will not take it. She is promptly knocked unconscious after the obligatory post-match exchange of thank-yous, and spends the rest of the National semifinals hospitalized.
- Honor Before Reason: Related to the entry above; instead of playing safe and defensively, she's pushing her body to the brink to, in her own words, "...knock the champion down a peg." This is despite the fact that being second place is good enough to advance.
- Hypocritical Humor: In the anime, while watching Ryuuka's match, hopes that Ryuuka won't "overdo it," when, in fact, Toki's overdoing it is the reason she's watching from her hospital bed.
- I Let You Win: She deliberately allowed Kirame to win against her in one round of the National Semifinals. Justified in that letting Kirame win is the only way to prevent Teru from laying waste to all of them.
- Ill Girl: Despite recovering from a near-fatal illness, Toki is still not in the best of health. When she points out her similarities with Yuu, Ryuuka immediately teasingly asks if she is referring to the two of them having weak constitutions.
- Meaningful Name: If no kanji is given, "toki" usually means "time", which naturally fits with her clairvoyant powers.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Ryuuka. The dynamic is reversed, though: the smaller and more waifish girl wears the pants in the relationship.
- Sympathy for the Hero: Upon seeing Kuro despairing against Teru, Toki thinks that Kuro may be beating herself up, but she has proven helpful against Teru by hoarding all the dora tiles. When Kuro discards a dora tile for the sake of stopping Teru's winning streaks, Toki appears quite impressed and pleased with Kuro.
- Tears from a Stone: After Team Senriyama is eliminated, while Izumi (then on her bedside) is agonizing over how to break the news to her, Toki sheds tears in her sleep, apparently cognizant of their fate.
- Took a Level in Badass: She's come a long way from when she started at Team Senriyama, and this is not wholly due to her acquired ability.
Voiced by: Kaori Ishihara
Toki's best friend, who pushed for her inclusion into Team Senriyama's Nationals team, despite the latter's doubts. Ryuuka seems to have taken up the role of Toki's unofficial caretaker (and personal lap pillow), and is never far from her side, to the point of spoling her friend, but given Toki's condition she seems to feel that it's merited.
As one of those who knew about Toki's foresight and its toll on her already-frail health, she constantly worries that Toki might one day overexert herself in the middle of a match.
- Badass Normal: She made it on Team Senriyama with her own merits, while it took Toki being hospitalized and earning powers of clairvoyance to land a spot in her third year.
- Empowered Badass Normal: And then, during the National semifinals, she starts using foresight borrowed from Toki (and in the anime, heat-vision).
- Childhood Friends: With Toki, since fifth grade.
- Combination Attack: With Toki. During the Captain's match, she was able to see a fairy Toki that can tell her the tiles she will be given and the highest points she can win. Fairy Toki will only be able summoned three times.
- 11th-Hour Superpower: Ryuuka receives a much more limited version of Toki's foresight... due to Toki rubbing off her face on Ryuuka's thighs so often. Unbelievably, the anime adds one more: a type of heat vision, where she can sense her opponents' body temperature, which helps her predict their reaction to her moves. While active, Ryuuka's eyes gain neon purple rings inside of them, making them glow with the same eerie color. Added likely to lend her some independence from Toki's loaned ability, upon which she was wholly dependent throughout her run.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
- Friendly Enemy: To Team Achiga. After recognizing Kuro as one of the girls she met at the rest stop (with the rest of Team Achiga, who tried to help Toki after seeing her collapse), she starts cheering for her, and is pleased when they get through the National quarterfinals.
- Genki Girl: She's generally quite cheerful and excitable, especially in stark contrast to the relatively melancholy Toki.
- Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: In Saki Biyori she admits that she's bad with scary stuff, and chooses to watch the film in English, because it would be scary enough even if they don't understand the plot. By contrast, Toki has a much more understated reaction to when the zombies finally arrive.
- Informed Ability: Ryuuka is Osaka's highest net point gainer, beating Sera, Hiroe, Kyouko and Kei. She gets second in the semifinals match, but doesn't succeed in makin second.
- Lap Pillow: Serves as this for Toki, which is also why she got some of Toki's foresight.
- My Greatest Failure: Losing the semifinals hit her hard, more so now that she is a twelfth-grader, even though she knows the team still has a fifth-place match to play. As she confides to fellow twelfth-grader Kyouko (whose team Himematsu was also narrowly eliminated from the finals), she still spontaneously cries over it.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Toki.
- Say My Name: Screams Toki's name when she was over exerting herself, and after being knocked unconscious.
- Tears of Remorse: After finishing the semifinals in third place, she was last seen a disconsolate mess. Chapter 157 of the main series shows that she still hasn't gotten over the loss, as she spontaneously tears up whenever the issue comes up.
- Unbroken Vigil: She stays with Toki after she's hospitalized, until Izumi makes her come back for her match, literally having to pry Ryuuka away from her bedside. Toki wakes up after Ryuuka has left.
- Worf Had the Flu: Hiroko worries that Ryuuka worrying about Toki's condition, especially since she had to leave for the finals before Toki came to, means that Ryuuka isn't playing at her best.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Grade A.
Voiced by: Arisa Noto
Sera is another of Ryuuka and Toki's friends. An unabashed tomboy, Sera would rather walk around in a t-shirt, shorts and a long coat than wear her school's default uniform, which is why she is embarassed when Hiroko forces her to wear it for her matches in the Nationals. Like Ryuuka, Sera is one of the first to learn of Toki's hidden ability, and is obviously concerned whenever her friend uses it, fully aware of the toll it takes on Toki's already weak body.
Sera prefers scoring with big hands built up over several turns, which makes her the opposite of Ako, whose playstyle focuses on scoring quickly with relatively small points.
- The Ace: She was Senriyama's best player until Toki overtook her. She doesn't mind though and is happy for Toki's achievement.
- Badass Normal: Sera is an exceptionally skilled mahjong player and was named Senriyama's ace player on her second year.
- Bifauxnen: Her short spiky hair, masculine clothing and extremely tomboyish personality make her look like a cute boy at first glance.
- Boyish Short Hair: *Has the short hair befitting for such an unabashed tomboy.
- Custom Uniform: Sara wears the top of a gyakuran and shorts instead of the usual blouse and skirt combination. Apparently, she's exempt from the dress code in most circumstances, but Hiroko forces her to wear the uniform for matches.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- Friendly Enemy: With Ako, much to the latter's discomfort. She also has a similar sort of rivalry with Hiroe.
- Heroic BSoD: According to Ryuka in a chat with Himematsu's Kyouko, following their semifinals loss, despite fighting off her tears, Sera never ate anything until lunch and was also unable to sleep.
- Insulted Awake: After hearing that Hiroe is concerned about her, Sera is infuriated enough at Hiroe saying this despite Hiroe's team also having lost to snap out of her Heroic BSoD and wolf down her dinner, determined to "kick her ass." Ryuuka, who delivered the message, merely smiles in response.
- Luminescent Blush: Often has one when she's forced to wear the uniform.
- Out of Character Is Serious Business: When she and the rest of the team are concerned that Masae is upset with them (she isn't- she's busy thinking about what pet to get for her daughters), Sera wears a skirt while inviting Masae to lunch.
- Shonen Hair: She has the spiky hairstyle reminiscent of traditional Shōnen protagonists.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Cera", "Sara" and "Cela" are the three main spellings of her first name. This page refers to her as "Sera" due to it being a more naturally Japanese name.
- Stock Shōnen Hero: Her overall appearance and personality might as well be a homage to traditional Shōnen protagonists.
Voiced by: Maho Matsunaga
Izumi is the youngest girl in Team Senriyama, which, given its relative size, is a big deal. She is also a self-declared powerhouse freshman, in spite of a nasty encounter with Nodoka during last year's Inter-Middle High.
- Blunt "Yes"Hiroko: "This year brought some amazing first-years like that, too, but... do you really rank yourself among them, Izumi?"
Izumi: "That's what I keep telling myself."
- Heroic BSoD: After her match, she's reduced to mindlessly repeating "Thanks for the game" while in shock over how things turned out, unnerving her opponents.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: Izumi wears a sleeveless version of her school's usual serafuku.
- Oh, Crap!: When she realizes she's the only freshman in the Sergeants' match against three strong players, all in their third year. And again upon realizing that they're attacking at full force, disallowing her to win any hands. And again when she realizes Hiroko misread Yuu's playing pattern, resulting in the latter winning a large hand.
- Pride Before a Fall: After her defeat in her semifinals match, Funakubo said to her that she shouldn't get too full of herself in calling herself one of the best first year players, because she's far from matching the likes of Awai and Saki.
- Tempting Fate: Her announcement that she's the Number 1 Freshman currently in the finals. Guess who gets sniped by Sumire immediately afterward?
- Unknown Rival: To Nodoka, ever since their run-in during last year's Inter-Middle Nationals, so much so she is the first person to come to her mind whenever people talk about Team Kiyosumi.
Voiced by: Manami (TV series) and Sachika Misawa (extra episodes)
Hiroko is the niece of Masae, cousin to the latter's daughters, Hiroe and Kinue of Team Himematsu, and their planner and researcher. She routinely collects information on potential opponents throughout the Nationals, and formulates strategies to counter or neutralize their particular playstyles. This includes opponents that have "unusual" draw patterns, like Kuro's propensity for drawing dora tiles. In the anime, she becomes interested in Arata, "for the sake of research", due to the unusual distribution of her draws, and she wants to study it further.
Hiroko usually uses the data she gathers before and tests it out on other players. While she may be flexible, shes limited to only those data she had successfully gather and has a hard time going against people with flexible styles (like Mairu) or people with insufficient data (like Arata).
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Her research proves invaluable for both her team's game plans and her own plays. See below for an example.
- Attack Its Weak Point: She analyzes Seiko's habit of discarding 1 and 9 tiles, as well as honor tiles when defending, and uses that to her advantage.
- Badass Boast: Her thoughts for Seiko Matano during their matchIf you think too little of me, I'll make you go bust regardless of the data.
Yum. Your data is so tasty. I'll bleed every last bit of it from you.
- And in another round:
- Brutal Honesty: She doesn't mince words when telling Izumi that she messed up in her semifinals match, or that she's not in the same league as Awai or even Saki.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
- In-Series Nickname: FunaQ, an abbreviation of her last name.
- Ms. Exposition: She's typically the one who outlines her opponents' draw patterns, and once complains when she gets preempted on her explanation.
- Not So Different: After Hiroko advises Izumi not to overestimate her own abilities and compare herself favorably with the other powerhouse freshmen, Izumi asks back if she's speaking from personal experience.
- One Steve Limit: There's also a Hiroko from Nodoka's middle school, although this one is in an entirely different age group.
- Perpetual Frowner: Her default expression is a slight frown.
- Right Behind Me: In Saki Biyori, she delivers a New Year's card to her cousin Hiroe, announcing her intention to drop by at 10 AM; Hiroe opens the card at that exact time, and Hiroko announces her presence immediately afterward.
- Slasher Smile: Hiroko gets some seriously messed-up smiles during her match, particularly every time Team Shiraitodai's Seiko makes a move.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Wears these to emphasize her role as the brains of Team Senriyama.
- The Strategist: She's responsible for Senriyama's game plans and continually researches and analyses her opponents.
- You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: She usually calls Masae, her aunt, "Coach" out of respect, but in Saki Biyori, she switches back to "Auntie" when under the impression that Masae's having problems, and says that her family could help.
The faculty adviser for Senriyama's mahjong club, mother of Team Himematsu's Hiroe and Kinue, and maternal aunt to Hiroko.
- Accidental Misnaming: The Crunchyroll subs have her introducing herself as "Atagoma Sae".
- Badass Creed: Her quote, seen above.
- Canon Immigrant: First appears (and is named) in the finale of the anime, before she's even shown or named in the manga (chapter 13 to be precise). Prior to it, all mentions of the Senriyama adviser has always been as "that woman".
- Dare to Be Badass: In one of Toki's flashbacks, when addressing the new members of the mahjong club, she tells them that it's entirely possible for new members to become team regulars in their first year, so they should be proactive.
- Implausible Deniability/Lame Excuse: In Saki Biyori, she tries to get out of admitting that she didn't write her New Year's cards for her daughters, first by hiding them behind her back, then by claiming that she deliberately put them out in the new year, so that she could convey her "new feelings."
- The Maiden Name Debate: She kept her maiden name after being married, and passed it down to her daughters.
- Nepotism: She hopes to avoid any rumors of this regarding her niece Hiroko's presence on the team, but Sera tells her that people will make those rumors anyway.
- Open-Minded Parent: When her daughters ask for a pet in Saki Biyori, Masae accepts almost immediately, albeit while thinking about it in the previous chapter. This obviously comes as a bit of a surprise to her daughters, who were prepared to offer to do housework and even get down on their knees for it.
- Stern Teacher: She's somewhat serious and no-nonsense, prompting Toki to remark that "she's serious" during her first meeting with Team Senriyama. Despite this, she also shows herself to be quite warm from time to time, such as checking on Toki in the hospital, seemingly pleased with Hiroko's performance, and comforting her niece after their loss.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Hiroe got her looks, while Kinue apparently inherited her hair color and figure.
Shindouji All-Girls' High School — Fukuoka
Hailing from Fukuoka Prefecture, Team Shindouji is the embodiment of the "Every Year They Fizzle Out" trope in the Saki universe — it has a long history of consistently reaching the Nationals, only to falter as early as the first eliminations round (its last highest-placed appearance was at the semifinals ten years ago, of which color commentator Risa Noyori was a player), with last year's loss being the worst of the lot. To prevent a repeat of last year's performance, Shindouji fields a player with unbelievable luck instead of their fifth strongest player as their vanguard in the hopes that the team survives long enough against Teru Miyanaga.
Its current lineup is composed of third years Yoshiko Yasukouchi, Hitomi Ezaki, Himeko Tsuruta, and Mairu Shirouzu as well as lone second year Kirame Hanada.
Team Shindouji ultimately came up short, placing dead last at the National semifinals Side A, but at least that was the highest they attained so far since at least Risa's batch a decade ago.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Last year's tournament was the worst lost for Shindouji and this year isn't all that great for them either as the last place finisher in the semi-finals. This year, however, has them competing for 5th place alongside Senriyama, Uzusan, and Himematsu.
- Every Year They Fizzle Out: Shindouji has been the Fukuoka representative for many years, but always gets eliminated quite early in the National tournament.
Voiced by: Satomi Arai
If there's a word to describe Kirame, it would be "unflappable" — even in the face of such opposition as Teru, she will never back down from a good fight, despite earlier firsthand experience as to Teru's sheer power. Originally from Nagano, she also used to be Nodoka and Yuuki's upperclassman back in Takatobara Junior High, but moved out to Fukuoka just in time for Team Shindouji's disastrous try for the 70th Nationals.
As Vanguard, she counteracts her opponents' strategy. Her special ability is to avoid hitting negative scores during games. Even though she's not strong enough to be in Shindouji's main team, they still chose her over its fifth-strongest player on account of her sheer luck.
- Awful Truth: Mairu didn't put Kirame on the team because she thought Kirame was good enough, but because no matter how badly she was outmatched, she would be able to survive the Vanguard phase without going under 0. Subverted in that she doesn't let it bother her, and is glad that she's proven useful in a way.
- Born Lucky: The very reason she was placed as Team Shindouji's Vanguard.
- Catchphrase: "Subara", a shortened version of "subarashii" ("marvelous"). A joke in Saki Biyori has her filling this in on a Mad Libs-style script for an advertisement for the club.Mairu: "Catchphrases are unfair..."
- Genki Girl: A walking source of bountiful energy for the otherwise somber tone of Team Shindouji.
- Enemy Mine: With Toki. Not that anyone had any choice, as it's the only real way for her to ensure no one drops below zero in the match against Teru.
- Girlish Pigtails: Wears her hair like these, as if emphasizing her cheerful, optimistic personality,.
- Graceful Loser: As the rest of the team cries over their loss, Kirame wipes what few tears she has in her eyes as she offers them some tacos given by Yuuki when they met earlier inside the bowels of the competition venue.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Playing vanguard in the National semifinals is a guaranteed death sentence when one of the opponents is Teru. Still, she accepts and is even glad to be of use for her team. In the actual match, she's the one losing the most points to Teru, but keeps at it in order to give Toki an opening. This results in putting a stop to Teru's win streak twice; first with her winning 1900 points, and second in which her calls allow Toki to win.
- I Let You Win: Inverted in one play and played straight during the second. Toki allowed her to win 1900 points in one hand. The second time was when she calls four times, allowing Toki to win a hand. This is justified because these situations allowed them to get a moment of respite from Teru's rampage.
- Keigo: It's noted that Kirame speaks very politely, even to younger students, and wishes she could have a friend she could speak more casually with.
- Plucky Girl: Has to be this, to be able to face Teru again despite experiencing what Teru is fully capable of. Even when Toki and Kuro begin to despair, Kirame remains in high spirits.
- The Pollyanna: She overheard her seniors talking about the reason she is put into the team, and it doesn't bother her one bit. In fact she says she's ready to be the best damn sacrifice in the name of Team Shindouji's survival.
- Sacrificial Lion: Her entire purpose as Team Shindouji's Vanguard. Even if she is not good enough a player, her sheer luck nevertheless brought her into the team.
- Sempai Kouhai: She was the sempai to Nodoka and Yuuki's kouhai.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Her luck is such that no matter how many points get taken from her, she never falls into the negative. Kirame's happy even about being used as a sacrifice because it means that her ability, which doesn't do much to help her win, is actually proving useful for once.
Voiced by: Megumi Takamoto
The ever-nervous Sergeant and fourth-strongest player of Team Shindouji
- Anime Hair: A rare example in this series, which compared to its parent actually uses realistic hairstyles for the majority of its introduced characters.
- Attack Its Weak Point: While Yuu's strategy is to counteract and attack Sumire directly, Yoshiko's strategy is to disable Sumire from using her "Piercing Arrow" playstyle.
- Nervous Wreck: Most of the time. Given that she once faced the fearsome Sumire, this is unsurprising.
- One Steve Limit: Shares a name with a professional player, whose surname is Kainou.
- Taught by Experience: Facing Sumire once, she adjusted her playstyle into getting and forming a quick and easy to get hands, even though the hand itself is quite cheap.
Voiced by: Yuiko Tatsumi
A senior player for Team Shindouji who always seems to sip a drink, and their third-strongest player. She thinks everything bad is the governments fault.
- All There in the Manual: Her name wasn't revealed until a scan of the anime's production note was appeared.
- Anime Hair: Wears her hair in sheep-like curls, making her one of the few exceptions to the series's preference for more normal hairstyles.
- Class Representative: In Saki Biyori, it's implied that she is one, since it's mentioned that she ended up missing half the club meeting because she was in a meeting with the class reps.
- Cloudcuckoolander/Conspiracy Theorist: Hitomi thinks that the reason why Shindouji went back from 3rd to 4th place in the Lieutenant match was because of the government.
- Gilligan Cut: In Saki Biyori.Hitomi: (enthusiastically) I'll take it from here! Mister Shindou's adventures won't end just yet! (cut to her handing the journal to Yoshiko)' ...or so I thought, but I'm getting tired of this... You hande the rest.
- Padding: In-Universe — in one strip in Saki Biyori, she runs out of things to write in a round-robin journal when it's her turn, putting in "Mister Shindou" when she's frustrated about how to fill all the white space, a move that ends up taking on a life of its own.Mairu: "I would've preferred blank space."
- Terrible Artist: In Saki Biyori, "Mister Shindou's" parents are set apart by the father having a bowtie and the mother having a ribbon, but it's hard to tell which accessory is which, or even where the neck is.
Voiced by: Yui Kano
Last year's ace and Captain, who failed Team Shindouji last year due to her inability to measure up with the other aces. It was she who suggested the plan to use Kirame as a sacrificial pawn, in hopes of surviving the Vanguards' match and then using their four strongest players to retake the lead.
Currently the second-strongest in the team, her and Himeko's ability is called the "Tsuru no Ongaeshi" ("Return Of Gratitude of The White Crane"); hers is individually called "Reservation" — if Mairu binds herself and win a han, on the next match Himeko is guaranteed to win it with twice the hand. The downside is that she had to rely on Mairu, so if the latter loses, Himeko will have a more difficult time winning, and at 1 han at best. of them were a terror in the Inter Middle.
- Broken Ace: She's a skilled player, but she blames herself for last year's devastating loss.
- Brutal Honesty: Bluntly told Hitomi that it's her fault for losing so many points in the semifinals. During Kirame's round, she tells Himeko that no matter how they look at it, she's not in a good situation.
- Casual Kink: Her power includes being bind up by chains... suggestively. She also blushes when she's bound up.
- Club President: Her title in the club. Even Himeko, her best friend, refers to her by her title rather than her name.
- Combination Attack: Mairu and Himeko's ability is very threatening that the only reason Team Shiraitodai only found out their ability is when Teru faced on against Mairu during a match on a previous year.
- Deadpan Snarker: Spends a good portion of her appearances in Saki Biyori commenting on the wackiness of her teammates (and even then she's Not So Above It All).
- Determinator: She's dominating the Vice-Captains' match to the point that Funakubo was stating that she's "winning too much". It's because even if she wins with low hands, the low hands doubles in Himeko's match.
- Girlish Pigtails: Wears her hair like these, bound together with ribbons.
- Hair Decorations: A hairpin and two orange ribbons.
- I Did What I Had to Do: She makes Kirame as their vanguard solely because she knows Kirame will never go into the negative. Himeko says that Kirame would be depressed if she knew the reason of her inclusion to the regulars. Mairu agrees but states that there was no better alternative if they wanted to win.
- Meaningful Name: Mairu's name means white.
- My Greatest Failure: It's implied that she blames herself for Shindouji's poor performance last year, forcing her to pawn away Kirame as a sacrifice.
- Not So Above It All: In Saki Biyori, particularly when she turns an entire page of her round-robin journal red in an attempt to decorate it, and complains about Kirame writing a comic in the journal... because she stopped when it was getting good.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue oni to Himeko. The two are nicely contrasted in their appearance in the second Achiga-hen opening, when they are back to back and arm-in-arm, with Mairu having a more placid expression and Himeko having an energetic grin.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Himeko. More apparent with Himeko, though.
- The Stoic: She's fairly calm and level-headed, even when things look bad for her team.
- The Worf Effect: Her ability is said to be fearsome on its own. When pitted against the likes of Teru, however, she proved to be a pushover.
- Writer's Block: Suffers this in Saki Biyori regarding Kirame's "Mister Shindou" comic in the round robin journal.
Voiced by: Asuka Oogame
Himeko is Mairu's best friend since middle-school, strongest player and Captain of Team Shindouji, known for wearing a uniform that has a sleeve too long for her.
She and Mairu specialize in combination moves — when Mairu successfully binds a han, a key appears before her during the round in her turn, and if she uses it, shell be able to win it double the han. Hers and Mairus linked ability is so powerful that it was able to override Awais 5-6 shanten ability.
- Affectionate Nickname: In some translations, she calls Mairu "Prez".
- Combination Attack: With Mairu.
- Cry into Chest: Last seen weeping into Mairu's arms after she fails to help bring Team Shindouji to the National finals.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Mairu binds herself, Himeko would "feel" it, and whenever she does, she'd blush hard and her legs will quiver... like how a girl would be like if she climaxes.
- Hair Decorations: A pair of hairpins.
- Hand-Hiding Sleeves: Not as much as some of the examples, but they go up onto her hands, and you can barely see her fingers out of her sleeves when she curls them or makes a fist.
- Meaningful Name: Himeko's name means crane.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red oni to Mairu.
- Right Behind Me: She says that Kirame would be upset to hear about being drafted as a sacrifice for the team while passing under an overpass that Kirame is sitting on. Kirame, however, doesn't reveal herself or get upset.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Mairu. They have been together since middle school.
- Stating the Simple Solution: In Saki Biyori, she asks why they even need a comic strip in the round robin journal, and when popular demand forces them to bring it back, she decides to write an ending to the series.