Saki, instead of pushing through for the second season, decided on making some sort of spinoff side story about Nodoka’s pals in elementary, breaking their way through nationals. Let me go straight to the point: this spinoff is just nowhere near as fun as Saki was. The series isn’t done yet (3 more episodes to go) but so far all I can say is that while it’s been a really fun watch, I’d rather watch the Kiyosumi girls fight it out in the nationals. The first 6-8 episodes were all useless build-ups that go nowhere which really got frustrating.
The Achiga girls are as interesting as a plastic bag and Akado is a fucking terrible coach. Still they pulled it off really well towards the end as we finally witnessed the terror that is Miyanaga Teru. I swear, everything interesting about this series is the references to the original and the best characters are the ones not in Achiga. I was nowhere even rooting for Kuro in the Teru onslaught, nor was the creators since all the spotlight went to our brave hero, Toki from Senriyama. This series would be 10 times more interesting if it was Saki-Senriyama hen with Toki as our main lead. I swear, the way she fought towards the end, even to the point where she sacrificed herself so that other players will win, is amazing. Another notable character is “Subara”, who was a sacrificial pawn to the team, who really won my heart despite losing so badly in the Teru onslaught match. Maybe because she wasn’t all whiny-whiny like Kuro was.
Achiga-hen got the wrong main characters and wrong pacing, but they did get the focus correct. Maybe Studio Gokumi knew that the Achiga girls were boring as fuck and decided to rush everything so that we’d have 5 episodes of the ”good” bits. That’s some terrible storytelling but hey at least I didn’t get a bad aftertaste towards the end. Now air those 3 episodes already and announce season fucking 2!
Execution: 29/40 (Got everything wrong when it comes to storytelling but at least we got 5 really awesome episodes towards the end because of this.)
Engagement: 29/30 (Sports anime always gets me excited and Achiga is no exception despite all its faults. The last 5 episodes were full of adrenalin rush. )
Characters: 15.5/20 (Achiga girls are boring as fuck, Akado is a terrible coach but they do have amazing side characters which were pretty much the focus towards the end.)
Production: 8.5/10 (An upgrade from the original. Studio Gokumi got a lot of experience from A-Channel I guess.)