Aug 13, 2020
Sarron (All reviews)
One of the things you realize when you start playing mahjong in real life is that there is a huge deal of psychology mixed into it. Poker is a tiny mosquito beside the giant that is mahjong in the psychological department. Every call tells something about the player, every way they touch their tiles tells comething about the player, every detail about how they declare riichi tells something about the player. In my opinion, mahjong is a game where personality shines through and those with courage take the reins of the battle and either win or die. This is how this manga, with a very simple art style, manages to flesh out their characters amazingly. I recall it was Plato that said "you will learn more about a man by playing a game for an hour than talking to him for eternity" and I think mahjong it's the ideal game to get to know someone.

With that introduction out of the way, Ten absolutely nails this facet of mahjong. The characters are really strong even though their backstories are barely explained. That's the strenght of mahjong, you don't need to explain someone's story to understand them, to feel their wishes and wants, to feel their fears and their anxieties.

But not only is Ten good because of mahjong, it is excellent even when there is no mahjong involved. The last arc, usually the most important arc of a manga, is completely devoid of mahjong. It only involves the characters having one last conversation, and it is the most amazing part of the manga. Truly a masterpiece to be read.