One of Hisa’s playing style is waiting for bad tiles, that is, purposely choosing the worse (winning) wait when given the choice to choose to discard different tiles to go to tenpai. As noted by her teammate, Nodoka Haramura, that playing choice is counterintuitive to her wanting to win her hand, giving her a less % of the possible discard to win on, hence a lower chance for her to win, especially ie when Hisa chose to wait on a single wait as opposed as a five sided wait. However, often noted in commentary after Hisa’s victory on bad waits, that her decision tend to be correct in hindsight, ie, with her opponents holding on her tiles if she went for the better waits. While those whole commentary was just placed to put Hisa on a pedestal, it does shows the nature of the mahjong game, especially in Saki universe where character can call on gods to win hands, of how Nodoka is not always correct (something that she get punished for in Nationals). However, her decision to choose bad waits, as seen in the confusion that her style have caused in other, is just one way where she controls her game not using ability but just being really cunning.
As seen in the Prefectural Tournament Finals, her playing style caused confusion to all her opponents, especially Kazekoshi’s Bundou. Furthermore, her cunning plays caused Ryuumonbuchi’s Hajime to question her similarity to Koromo. Yes, Koromo. While Hajime later concluded that Hisa does not have the same monster class ability, as Koromo, that questioning does show the control that Hisa had in the game, one that is obtained through psychological attacks. With that, I also expect that her bad mahjong manners, with her slamming tiles as she declares self-win, is another method where she pronounce her control of the mahjong game, saying something along the lines of “This is my playing ground, I get to do whatever I want.”
However, what I like about her playing style is how she, like us, do get crappy hands at times that just never seem to connect, getting the same, or related tiles that you just threw out. In those times, her plays are rational, like how she decided to switch strategy (even if it lands her in furiten). And the fact is that, Hisa’s play are logical and rational most of the times, and even in those times, she isn’t weak at all. She was able to give Mihoko difficulties years ago, was able to fully take one of her opponent’s team during Nationals, preventing the vice-president match from happening. In summary, all these just points to how realistic her plays are, of how she does get bad hands and take advantage of it, how she controls the game with moves that are less in power but more in confusion.
If Saki exemplified the people with monster-class abilities and Saki Achiga showed the importance of knowledge of your opponents, then Hisa Takei would just be an ok character in Saki, overshadowed by people like Saki and Koromo, which she is, but would be shown as one of the best players in Saki Achiga. Yes, she does not seem to be in the spotlight as often, but heck, I’d say she is as strong as, or close to, the people that get all the spotlight.
Talking about mahjong, I have created a new site: Aniblog Tenhou, and will hold the first Aniblog Tenhou Tourney on that website latter this year. Currently, I’m asking for both participants and staff for the Tourney.
For participants, you just need to be an writer or ex-writer for an anime/manga blog: Instructions and sign up are here.
And there are no restrictions for staff. Instructions are here.