The bottom half of the main draw is still underway, but I figured it’s already about time to post about the top half of the draw. I’d say that the upper part of the bracket is a strange mix: there are some intriguing matchups, but on the other hand, there seem to be virtual byes. one thing’s for sure: Saki will (again) dominate this round.
Just a note on construing the stats: Prelims 1 had about 1000 characters, Round 1 had 386 and Round 2 had 96. Also, who they previously defeated are also a factor, but of course you guys already know that 🙂
A3-1: Minami Chiaki (Minami-ke) vs. Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke (Strike Witches)
Chiaki to win easily. Strike Witches has been mid-tier throughout the tournament so far, and i don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon. Chiaki, on the other hand is high-tier. Statistically speaking, Chiaki is at a huge advantage and that should translate to a W.
A3-2: Kataoka Yuuki (Saki) vs. Hoshina Utau (Shugo Chara)
Unfortunately for Utau, she’s going to be crushed here. The numbers don’t lie: Tacos is too powerful at this point, and she should continue to hold the title of Undefeated of the East after this match is through. Personally though, I find Utau the superior moe, but this would be the swan song for her in this tournament…
B3-1: Ikeda Kana (Saki) vs. Ibuki Fuuko (Clannad ~After Story~)
An ominous sign for the remaining quarterfinalists from last year: they all have hard matchups, beginning with this one. Kana has started slow, but she has been on a tear lately, beating last year’s finalist Tsukasa and a strong character in the form of Horo. Fuuko dealt with the veteran Yuno, but without a doubt, Kana had the bigger catch. And that trend will continue, I believe. Of course, Fuuko has been underestimated before, like last year when she defeated Fate Testarossa. But this year is different, and I don’t see any upset on her part this year. Instead, I see another Saki character advancing to the top 16 in what’s becoming to be the one of most dominating performance by a single series in Saimoe.
B3-2: Saginomiya Isumi (Hayate no Gotoku) vs. Nagi(Kannagi)
I was rather impressed by Isumi’s win last round, and she didn’t fall victim to another upset bid. Again, that trend will look to continue as she has a rather easy-looking matchup this round against Nagi this round. Indeed, upsets are possible, but I don’t think it will be one of those cases. Isumi has already passed the Minami-ke test, while Nagi hasn’t beaten anyone strong yet. Ergo, I think Isumi has a very great chance of advancing to the Best 16.
C3-1: Louise (Zero no Tsukaima) vs. Sonozaki Mion (Higurashi)
Louise will win over Mion easily. The latter has rather been blessed with easy matchups, while the former conquered Saki’s Hisa. Unless something weird really happens, Louise is returning to the Best 16. On a side note, I rather see this match as a throwback match… Louise Top 8’d 2007 and Mion was 6 votes away from doing the same in 2006. Good times, by the way.
C3-2: Fujibayashi Kyou (Clannad ~After Story~) vs. Touyoko Momoko (Saki)
Ah, this is one of the hard to predict matchups: Kyou is one of Clannad’s best, while Stealth Momo is emerging to be one of the stronger ones from Saki. Hard to tell who will win, but I’m leaning on Momo to prevail for now. Saki is rolling, and as aforementioned, Clannad is sinking. Expect high vote totals on this one, and it’s going to be close, I think, because Kyou is on a much higher level than Kotomi who Momo previously defeated.
D3-1: Tsukuyomi Komoe (To Aru Majutsu no Index) vs. Hinamori Amu (Shugo Chara)
Pink vs. Pink. Cool and Spicy is my prediction to emerge victorious over Komoe. Index fans might try to make things difficult for Amu, but I’m convinced that she is better than that. In any event this is an important match for Amu as it will determine if she’s good enough to challenge the girl on the other side of the block…
D3-2: Amae Korome (Saki) vs. Hanyuu (Higurashi)
…I’m referring of course to the Koromo. While Hanyuu is hoping to return to the Best 16 for the second consecutive year, I just don’t like her chances this time around. Koromo is on the heels of a rout of HnG’s Sakuya, and although Hanyuu did an impressive win on her own, it’s against much easier opponents. Against Koromo, she won’t do the same. True, she will give Koromo a nice fight, but I think Koromo has clinched this block right from the beginning when she defeated Izumi in a squeaker. That’s it, unless 2ch proves this theory wrong.
That’s it for now. Blocks E-H preview to follow in a few days 🙂