I’m really not feeling this spinoff. You might as well call it a ripoff since these new cast are just a bunch of phonies.
Achiga-hen’s good at building up. It’s technically as good as the original when it comes to this aspect. It hits the right notes on how to make me feel excited on what’s to come. It uses hints and foreshadowing like no anime can. But while Saki delivers with very intense mahjong battles, Achiga delivers with . . . more buildup. It just builds off and builds off to the point where you realize ” Why bother even building up a certain scene in the first place?”.
Achiga-hen’s characters are charming to an extent but they are in no way as interesting as the girls in Saki. It really hits when the real main cast gets a cameo. It’s like these new characters are complete throwaways when shown with Nodoka and Saki. Heck when the whole Ryuumonbuchi cast appeared, I was like ” Fuck these girls, I want Koromoe!!”
The fetish meter, admittedly is pretty consistent. While we don’t get characters that blush in every single part to make you feel all tingly like how Saki does it, you do get new ones like that main character and her clothes complementing her blushing knees and bubbly personality, or long hair with big boobs, short hair with small boobs, different hair styles matching different clothes and body proportions => Saki always nails it to the point where they’ve created a standard for themselves.
The most important part of Saki though is the mahjong battles. While we finally got a bit of it in Episode 4 and 5, it still just doesn’t live up to Saki and friends. The powers are getting repetitive and stupid (not much on the stupid since all Saki characters are guilty of this) and the way the match plays just feels too “paced” I guess. The slow parts and the intense parts are given equal time which is supposedly good but it just kills off the game somehow. I don’t know but in Saki, the matches were pretty drawn out in more than an episode.
So yeah, Achiga-hen does NOT live up to Saki.