The Gamble Is Afoot: Greatest M ~Mahjong Tournament of Eminent Figures~ Volume 2

Greatest M ~Mahjong Tournament of Eminent Figures~ starts with a premise that sounds like something out of a Type-Moon Fate series parody: What if famous figures from history competed in mahjong to inherit God’s position? And while there actually is a Fate mahjong series as well, this one works from the headline-worthy premise of having a cute anime-girl depiction of Helen Keller as the protagonist.

Volume 2 continues the story along largely expected lines: big hands being played by bigger personalities. Helen Keller’s “Miraculous Girl” title and ability are explained as her being able to stand up to even the greatest obstacles through her bond with Anne Sullivan—the moniker actually refers to both of them at once.

The results of the second match are decided off-panel, with a genderswap Toyotomi Hideyoshi emerging from a one-sided victory. While I’m not well versed in Japanese history, I’ve never seen the idea that Hideyoshi was really a woman, so I wonder where this might be going. In any case, the manga goes straight into the third match, which features three big names from France…and the world’s most famous detective.

Le Chevalier D’eon, Marie Antoinette, and Jeanne D’arc are all famous figures (and all three have been characters in anime and manga already), so it’s no surprise that these three would end up in Greatest M. However, for all three to be at the same table is a curious move. Moreover, the fourth seat—Sherlock Holmes—opens up the realm of possible contestants to not just historical figures (embellished though they might be), but also fictional characters. The Fate comparisons stay strong. I’m fond of all the character designs here, especially Jeanne’s battle-weary look, but the depiction of Sherlock is downright theatrical.

This manga could easily wear itself thin, but the third round also introduces the idea of alternate rulesets that can potentially spice things up. In this case, you can give a “Jong Command” and order your opponent to either discard a specific tile, force them to call a discard and open up their hand, or make them reveal their wait. It’s sort of like Go Fish, only the penalty for guessing incorrectly is losing 10,000 points. Especially with Sherlock in the picture, I expect a lot of predicting opponents’ motivations and deceptive strategies. That said, I actually expect there to be a twist, and for Sherlock to not make it through—possibly due to the chaos of mahjong itself. 

At this point, part of the fun of Greatest M is seeing just who will compete. What are the odds of Jesus showing up…?

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