|“||In this corner I will build a mountain. For in this game, only I shall be rolling the dice!||”|
—Yuuki Kataoka, to her semi-final opponents
|Japanese name:||片岡 優希|
|School:|| Kiyosumi High School|
Takatoobara Middle School
|Grade:||First-year high school|
|Debut:||Saki chapter 1|
|Voiced by:||Rie Kugimiya|
|Live-action actor:||Aika Hirota|
|Main skill/ability:||"Taco power"|
|Favorable condition:||East prevailing-wind round|
Yuuki Kataoka is a first year student at Kiyosumi High School. She has been friends with Nodoka Haramura since middle school. Yuuki deeply loves tacos and any food with a name similar to taco. Yuuki even told Nodoka that she choose to go to Kiyosumi simply because the cafeteria sells tacos. She likes being a comedian, especially when she interacts with Kyoutarou Suga. Yuuki stars in her own miniseries that appears at the beginning and end of each of the manga's published volumes.
Yuuki has a very short and child-like appearance. She has short orange hair with two short pigtails and blueish-green eyes. In addition to her Kiyosumi uniform she wears thigh high white stockings. She also wears a cat-like ornament around her waist that mimics her expression and sometimes mimics her entire speech. Starting in the national quarter-finals, she starts to wear a cape before and during her matches, stating that it looked cool on her.
Despite being a first year in high school, Yuuki is very child-like. She seems to be obsessed with Nodoka's large breasts and wants larger ones herself. She is flirtatious towards Kyoutarou; whether this is because of an actual attraction or because she likes to poke fun is unknown. She is also protective of her friends: during the nationals when the media says that the Nagano prefecture has been dropping in power, she gets angry because she feels that they are making fun of her friends and she vows to make them pay.
She is also quite prideful, as Nodoka noted that she wouldn't let herself cry in front of other first-years, but was willing to cry when only Mako and Hisa were in the room.
Playing Style / Abilities
Yuuki's speciality is the East Wind round, where she plays much better mahjong, in contrast to her poorer performances in the South Wind round. In addition, she almost always starts as the dealer (the East Wind seat), which allows her to score a large amount of points early in the match through dealer repeats. In addition to her affinity to the East Wind, she also has an affinity to tacos, which she says she requires to play mahjong properly (she also jokes that she wouldn't be able to maintain her human form without eating tacos). Other foods that sound like "taco," such as octopus sausages ("tako" is octopus in Japanese) also serve to fulfil this purpose, although she is not as strong if she ate actual tacos. Yuuki is the type of player who needs to build up her "flow", over long periods of time her luck and speed increase and decrease like a wave.
Yuuki's typical style is to keep her hand closed and declare riichi when she can, though she has been shown calling tiles and advancing her hand this way, although to varying degrees of success: in the first episode she called for a honitsu 2000 pts hand, but in the first round of the prefectural tournament she called for a double-ton dora 4 haneman. Her tendency to keep her hands closed, however, led to her achieving high scoring hands within a few turns (compounding yaku like tsumo, ippatsu, and ura-dora in conjunction with her riichi), building a huge lead. This also pressures other players into thinking they must abandon higher scoring hands in favour of fast, lower scoring hands in order to just win any amount of points back.
At first, Yuuki was susceptible to changes of the flow, with Jun and Mihoko proving to be difficult opponent's due to their control over flow, but as of the National Tourney, she is shown to not mind changes in flow as much (although they still hinder her a little).
In the semifinals, it is shown that Yuuki practised and can use a high-pace style of play, in which she calls tiles to advance her hand quickly but winning considerably less points than before due to the open nature of her hands. This in effect does two things: gain points for Kiyosumi and prevents the other schools from making a move, as it capitalises on Yuuki's high luck and concentration in the East round. Satoha also noted that this style of high-pace play was probably created to combat Teru Miyanaga in the Finals, and that whoever came up with this was determined to win. She also considerably increased her defensive skills, being willing to lower her hand's value in order to play safer, and coming out of the first half of the semifinals with a relatively small point loss despite getting hit with the dealer penalty from Suzu's baiman and Satoha winning several hands during her dealership in the South round.
When her speed and luck are at their peak, she can even pressure Japan's #1 and #3 best high school players to collaborate with each other just to scrape together a cheap winning hand to move the east round as quickly as possible.
Introduction ArcYuuki is first introduced when Kyou brought Saki Miyanaga to the mahjong club to play a few rounds. She then explains to Saki just how amazing Nodoka really is before starting the game. After three defeats, her and Kyou say again how amazing Nodoka Haramura really is. The awakened Hisa Takei then calls them naive and tells them that Saki was manipulating her score on purpose, causing Nodoka to run after her and Yuuki to call Hisa mean. The next day we see her relaxing in the sun before she is called to play against Nodoka, Saki, and Mako Someya. After a hot start by Yuuki the others explain that she is a genius in the East but gets tired as the game goes on and makes mistakes, which is what happens. After finally getting Saki to play seriously, Yuuki remarks how freaky Saki is after seeing her win. A week after Saki joins the club; Yuuki tags along with Kyou and Saki to the mahjong club. After another defeat, she pouts because she can't win, but during the next game she wins thanks to Saki's help.
Training Camp Arc
She appears along with the other first years eating lunch together. In the club room after Hisa announces they are going to participate in the prefectural tournament, Yuuki checks the playing records of the opponents they may face. She is taken aback by the play records of Ryuumonbuchi's Koromo Amae, but says that it's alright because they have Nodoka. She is present later that evening in a maid costume trying to appeal to Kyou, but to no avail. Hisa then reveals to her that sending Nodoka and Saki to the mahjong parlor was a set up. Later the training camp kicks off with Hisa explaining the weak points of her first years and what they need to do to work on those areas. Yuuki, being bad at counting points, is given arithmetic drills to complete before she can play. We are then shown flashes of the training camp up until the day of the preliminaries. In the anime, Saki, Nodoka, and Yuuki travel to a nearby waterfall and discuss how they want to continue being together. They also appear together in a hot spring and Saki sees a shooting star, causing Nodoka and her to go back to the bath to try and see one too. Fifty minutes later they are forced to come out after nearly fainting. In their room, she talks about the stars and (in the manga) she wonders if there's a taco formation somewhere.
Prefectural Tournament Arc
She enters the tournament hall with the rest of Kiyosumi and later wonders where Saki is. After Saki is found, Hisa, the club president, gives a motivational speech and announces the order in which she registered the team, with Yuuki being the vanguard. When Hisa explains the rules, she realizes its better to have your strongest go first, however the real reason she goes first is because she is poor at calculating points.
Leading off in Kiyosumi's first tournament match, she quickly gets into the groove using her "taco power" and demolishes the competition. When she runs out of power, she safely coasts in. Later, during Nodoka's flashback, Yuuki is shown at the training camp making fun of her because she can't sleep without her penguin. When Saki ends her battle early, helping Kiyosumi to advance to the second tournament round, Yuuki enthusiastically congratulates her. She appears again during lunch getting prepared for the next match and again later that night celebrating with her team for advancing to the finals. At the ramen stand she questions Nodoka's ability to eat the noodles.The next day before the final team match, she realizes that she didn't bring enough tacos to tide her over for her lengthened battle. Before she leaves for her battle, she orders Kyou to go buy her more tacos. When she places her taco on a tray, Jun Inoue eats it thinking that it's a present for her. Devastated, Yuuki begins to cry but is comforted by Mihoko Fukuji and given a lunch box which has tako-san wieners in it, which also give Yuuki power. Despite being fired up for the first hanchan, she gets off to a rocky start thanks to Jun zeroing in on her and winning most of the hands in the game. During the intermission, Kyou delivers her tacos and after eating them she has a conversation with Kyou and is re-engergized. After another suprising taco powered slow start, Yuuki remembers at training camp she was pouting because of being defeated but Hisa gave her a speech about not giving up and afterward her spirits are restored. But afterward is still having trouble with Jun. Mihoko then opens her other eye and helps clear the way for Yuuki's tiles to pass. She then starts winning but very soon Mihoko starts taking control and wins running away to end the battle.
Depressed she enters the waiting room and after Saki and Nodoka leave, cries her heart out while being comforted by Hisa. She is seen throughout Mako's battle commenting about her teammate while laying on Hisa. When Kyou gets back from shopping she quickly gets up and helps explain what happened with Mako and how the score ended up. She is again seen throughout the others' battles briefly commenting on them and is shown celebrating with the rest of Kiyosumi upon Saki's improbable win.
Individual Tournament *Anime Only Arc*
After learning Kiyosumi is going to the Sports Land pool as a reward, Yuuki is seen breaking up Kyou's Nodoka fantasies by promoting her own swimsuit to the uninterested boy. At the pool she jumps into the water next to Kyou and makes him be the motor for her inflatable raft. She then swims over to Nodoka to let her know her breasts float too much. Later minus the upperclassmen Kiyosumi wonders the hall looking for the VIP room and runs into Ryuumonbuchi. After a bit of an exchange they go back to the pool and continue to play.When the individual tournament starts, Yuuki dominates the competition because they only play east prevailing wind games, which is her speciality. She in first place at the end of the first day and is when interviewed says that she will continue her winning ways. On the second day, with a full stock of tacos, she does well until she faces off against Kazue Nanpo, to whom she loses badly. She is then shown to be depressed at lunch. Yuuki's matches afterward are briefly shown but she fails to get into the top three to advance to the nationals, but is glad that Saki and Nodoka made it.
Sometime after the tournament we see Yuuki again as she interrupts Kyou's fantasies bragging about her sexy underwear that she's going to wear at the uncoming festival and telling Saki and Kyou about the planned second training camp. When she has her own boob fantasies, Nodoka interrupts her telling her that they're going to study all day. She then runs off causing Nodoka to give chase. Later in the club room we then learn that she has failed her math test and Nodoka along with Saki agree to help her study for make-ups. After they learn they are banned from the club room they try various different study places but get nowhere thanks to Yuuki's distractions. They decide to head to the public library and due to a storm are soaked on the way. In the library she interrupts Saki and Nodoka's conversation by crying that her tacos got wet and she tries to cancel the study session but to no avail. Everyone except Hisa is shown waiting for her to finish her test and when she does they all head to the festival. She is then seen winning a race up stairs against Kyou and spots a taco stand. When the fireworks start Yuuki wishes upon them that the training camp serves tacos. It is then revealed that she passed her make-up tests and gets to go to the training camp.
Combined Training Camp Arc
At the beginning of the training camp, she is shown during her free time playing with Kana Ikeda. The next day she is briefly seen playing and winning a hand against Jun Inoue but with the results unknown. Later when her middle school friends (Maho Yumeno and Hiroko Murohashi) arrive at the camp, she comments on their match with Nodoka and Saki even giving Maho a taco so she can copy her ability. After the match she is seen playing around with Nodoka.
National Tournament Arc
In August Kiyosumi arrives at their hotel in Tokyo for the nationals. Yuuki, having free time decides to have a bath with the other first years and finds Kazekoshi's Kana there. After wondering what she is doing there, Koromo Amae and Touka Ryuumonbuchi enter as well. She is next seen when Kiyosumi goes in for the tournament draw; wanting to go to the nearby park and later wondering where the lost Saki is. During the rest of the free time she is shown with Kana and Koromo eating at a restaurant. During the first round at tournament hall she is with the rest of Kiyosumi in the waiting room and receives Kyou's homemade tacos. While watching the video sent to Hisa by the Vice-President of the student council she notices the familiar faces wishing her luck in the nationals. Yuuki along with everyone else (minus Saki) is watching matches on TV commenting on how strong Shiratodai is.The next day in the tournament waiting room we see Yuuki eating her tacos and leaving a bit early for her battle telling everyone she needs to "fix her appearance". As she makes her way to her battle wearing a cape, a reporter wants a word with her, however his partner stops him telling him that they only need to worry about Haramura and that Nagano is weak. This infuriates her because to her it's like they're making fools of her friends and runs toward her battle wanting to show them that they were wrong.
When her battle starts off, she becomes the first dealer and despite attempts to disrupt her, wins quickly. Yuuki then thinks back to the training camp to where Koromo tells that to overcome her weakness just finish the match in the east prevailing wind round. She then declares that the second rotation will not happen. She proceeds to win big off the next two hands by Suzu Ueshige, but then is worried when Komaki Jindai awakens, saying she felt a lot like Saki. With this Yuuki is on her toes until it's revealed that Komaki is weak when she's awake causing her to play into Suzu's hand and ruin Yuuki turn as dealer. Wanting to end the match while still in the east round, she decides to take a chance and declare riichi. This however backfires when Shiromi Kosegawa wins a haneman tsumo. Later Yuuki is still in the lead and wants to finish strongly so she declares' another riichi (because she had no yaku). This once again backfires when Jindai falls asleep again and wins big off of her to end the battle.
Afterwards, she returns to the Kiyosumi waiting room and is depressed. She is then cheered up by Hisa and later Mako promises to make them pay. She is later shown after Hisa's match wishing Nodoka luck and a bit after eating a taco watching Etopen get kicked around. She is again shown before the start of Saki's match wishing her well. After the captain's match and Saki's return, she is there with the rest of the team to greet her. When Saki explain that she is late because she had to give an interview and got lost, Yuuki notes that she hardly said anything during the interview.
Final Eight Arc
Early in the morning Nodoka wakes Yuuki by mentioning that Kirame Hanada's match had already begun. Nodoka then wonders why the alarm didn't go off and Yuuki tells her that she turned it off because she wanted everyone to rest up after the win the previous day. When they dress they head to watch Kirame play on tv. After greeting Hisa, she tell her that she could've woken them up. After receiving permission to go to the playing hall, they awake Saki. On their way there they stop and notice that Saki is not following them. After Saki tells them to go on ahead, they reluctantly do so. At the playing hall, they realize that the vanguard match is over and should have stayed at the hotel. She then tells Nodoka that she loses her calm when she gets excited and that it is her one flaw. Nodoka however tells her that she has many flaws. They are then overheard by Junko Nishida who recognizes them. After not being able to get in to watch the matches, Junko offers them a seat in the press box. On their way she mentions that she hopes that the person who fainted during the vanguard match wasn't Kirame. They then meet Nodoka's old teammates from Nara. Yuuki then remembers all the times that Nodoka has mentioned them from before. At the press room they are feed lunch by Junko and her friend. When Nodoka tries to explain her relation to Achiga, Yuuki tell her that she's been beating around the bush. Later when Junko and Kumiko see pictures of Nodoka's past they mistake a young Ako Atarashi with Yuuki. Before the start of the semi-finals Kiyosumi gathers and heads to the tournament hall. In the waiting room, Kyoutaro questions her about the cape and she says that it'd be a shame not to wear it. Hisa then tells her to go get them before she heads off to her match.
The match begins, with Yuuki as dealer yet again. She accelerates the game by calling tiles and wins off of Usuzan High School's Naruka Motouchi, who says she'd never have made the call that Yuuki did. Rinkai Girls' High School's Satoha Tsujigaito knows that there have been times when Yuuki opened her hand so that she could win faster and wonders if this was merely one of those times. Ueshige Suzu says that the other day she was unprepared, but today she has advice from a pro about how to deal with Yuuki's style of play. However, she is surprised when Yuuki begins calling tiles again, winning a cheap hand, unsure how to deal with such a flip in style. Naruka says that she can go on the offense too if Yuuki's hands are fast but cheap, while Satoha now knows for sure that Yuuki has flipped her style completely. Yuuki states that she'll build a mountain in her corner, and be the only dealer in the game. At the start of the next hand, Yuuki calls tiles yet again, however, Satoha joins in, calling tiles as well. Satoha even manages to seal Yuuki's hand by calling a kan on the 3-man that Yuuki needed to complete her sanshoku, and making her wait the 1-man and 2-man left in Yuuki's hand. However, Yuuki instead decides to keep an empty tenpai by keeping her 1-man and 2-man to prevent herself from dealing into Satoha's hand.As the hand goes to a draw, Satoha thinks she's still underestimating Yuuki, and smiles at the challenge. The match goes to a couple more exhaustive hands. In the 5th bonus hand of the first East round, Yuuki laments how she was unable to call tiles, and reached a closed tenpai. She declares riichi for at least a mangan, Suzu plays defensively, and Satoha calls Suzu's discarded tile, cancelling Yuuki's potential ippatsu. Naruka is scared and decides to also play defensively; however, this causes her to play right into Satoha's hand. Yuuki is surprised at the turn of events, as Satoha went as far as to halve her odds at winning by cancelling Yuuki's ippatsu and targeted the other players by keeping the tile that Yuuki discarded (utilising the furiten/genbutsu rule) and using that as her wait. Yuuki attempts to make quick work of the second hand in the East round, but ends up drawing Satoha's winning tile, and decides to bail. She ends the 3rd and 4th East rounds quickly, playing much like Ako Atarashi with quick hands. It is noted that of the 8 hands in the East round, Satoha won 1, and Yuuki won 4, with the other 3 hands being draws.
In the South round, she decides to play defensively, wanting to keep as many of her points as possible; however, during her east seat, Suzu finally gets her "explosion" and wins with a baiman making Himematsu 2nd with a short gap to the top. Suzu soon overcomes Yuuki in points with her renchan, however, Satoha uses Naruka to knock Suzu down into second. Satoha herself then proceeds to steamroll her opponents, going on a renchan of her own, consisting of several fast and extremely expensive hands, putting Rinkai first over Kiyosumi. Suzu begins to fight back, winning another explosive hand, bringing Himematsu back into second, leaving Kiyosumi in third with a negative point total. Yuuki remained quiet throughout the entire South round.
After the match, Hisa thanks her for trusting to her and says she did well in the South second round. While Yuuki is clearly disappointed with her negative point total, she says that Hisa's word is final and that she will always do as she asks. She is present to welcome Mako back to the room and says it's time to restore her energy. During Hisa's match, she was elated that Hisa was able to defend against Choe Myeonghwa's potential yakuman. At the beginning of Nodoka's match, she questions Usuzan's tactics and says they should go for more points and declare riichi, although if Yukiko had declared riichi, she would've gone under 0 by playing into Megan's hand.
During the captain's match, Saki finally starts winning hands and Yuuki is extremely excited that she won a pursuit.
National Championship Arc
When Yuuki finds out that Kazekoshi played Achiga, she says that they would make perfect spies and can now give them information about Achiga. She then takes a bath. When she gets out, Hisa tells her not to play mahjong until her match tomorrow.
She then finds Nodoka by herself and on her phone. Yuuki asks her if she is playing a game but it is an email sent to her by the people who taught her how to play mahjong. Nodoka then gets a call from Kirame and puts it on speaker phone so Yuuki can join the conversation. After thanking her for the tacos and talking about losing so many points, Yuuki declares that she will defeat Teru for Kirame. The call is soon ended thanks to Himeko Tsuruta telling Kirame about a meeting she has to get to, both Nodoka and Yuuki notice that Kirame is friendlier to Himeko and smile to each other.
The next morning Nodoka wakes up Yuuki to watch Kirame's match. They get dressed and greet Mihoko and Kana before sitting down to watch the match. They then view the match to the end and leave to prepare for theirs.
Walking into the arena, Yuuki changes her hairstyle to that of Kirame's. She tells Nodoka that she feels like this will help her inherit her energy and take revenge on Teru.
Before the finals start, Hisa gathers her teammates and thanks them. The teams all gather for the starting ceremony and the finals begin. Yuuki tells Saki and Nodoka that she will do her best and sits down for the game. Before the game begins, she thinks back to the strategy that Hisa had designed for her. Hisa tells Yuuki that they will adjust her pace and tenpai speed.
Yuuki begins as the first dealer and gets double riichi, leading to a quick haneman tsumo. Yuuki is unfazed as Teru uses her mirror ability, and doesn't give Teru a chance to begin winning by not discarding any tiles in the 1st bonus of the 1st east, saying to herself that this is revenge for Kirame, and wins a Tenhou yakuman. Yuuki continues her dominating speed the next hand by getting a double riichi and even with Satoha trying to stop her. Yuuki then manages to win a small tsumo hand to increase the point gap. On the next hand she keeps calling tiles until she gets another small tsumo win. With the next hand she begins to notice Teru and Satoha working together. However, it is Kuro that stops the win streak with a tsumo win, with a strange fog around her.
With Yuuki's dealership taken away, the other players think they can make something happen, only for Yuuki to make the first move in the next two hands, winning quickly over Satoha and declaring riichi on the second turn of Teru's dealership. However, Teru decides to concede her east dealership and play into Satoha's cheap hand to move the East round further along. With Kuro and Satoha winning the remaining turns, the match moves into the south round.
Yuuki decides that she will shut things down and defend for the entire round. She says that she'd like to try and act like she wants to win but she remembers Hisa's advice about Teru and plays very cautious. While she doesn't have any safe tiles, she plays into Satoha's hand but avoids playing into Teru's.
Despite their best efforts, Teru finally wins her first hand during Satoha's dealership, and continues to win the next 8 hands as well, unleashing her own yakuman. Yuuki, Kuro, and Satoha work together during Teru's dealership to end it with a quick hand, but Satoha takes the final hand, ending the first hanchan of the vanguard's match.Yuuki gets fully charged from Kyou's tacos and head outs. She once again hits a Tenhou to begin the round off. However, her luck turned for the worst when all three opponents start winning. Kuro in particular ruins Yuuki's dealership with her fast, hard hitting hands. Yuuki begins to give up and try only to play defense but notices Teru and Satoha not give up. This inspires her and she pushes herself away and spins the chair. Yuuki regains her fighting spirit and her hands get better. Despite this, Kuro gains another tsumo victory. The next hand Yuuki thanks Achiga girls for being there for Nodoka and hits everyone with a tsumo win. Satoha wins the next two hands but then Teru begins her win streak.
- Yuuki Kataoka was the captain of Takatoobara Middle School's mahjong club during her third year.
- Over the course of two hanchan, Yuuki has lost the least amount of points possible with -100 points in the national quarterfinals.
- Despite Yuuki's tendency to be the first dealer, the first game we see her playing has her in the North position first, meaning she'd be the last dealer.
- Yuuki is the only member of Kiyosumi's team to be shown having only negative scores at the National tournament (although it is implied she won in the first round, that was skipped over in the manga and anime).
- "If I run out of tacos, I can no longer maintain my human form."
- "Nodoka should learn to use her titties before her tiles, I say."