Catching Up with Manga Saimoe Part I: Block Finals A-D

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The 3rd Manga Saimoe is now on its Block Finals stage, and I figured that since the competition is now heating up, it’s time for updates and some commentary.

Block A: Suigintou [Rozen Maiden] vs. Yami (Golden Darkness) [ToLoveRu]

Rozen Maiden has won this tilt before, and looks like they’re set to repeat Kanaria’s feat. Suigintou has been on a tear, beating Mikan Yuuki and Ayanami Rei on her route to a Top 16 berth, receiving relatively high total of votes. On the other side of the bracket lies Yami of ToLoveRu. She has beaten the first Manga Saimoe Champion (Kukuri of Mahoujin Guru Guru series), as well as Bamboo Blade’s Miyamiya.

Still, unpredictable as MS has been, I’m expecting Suigintou to lead the charge for yet another Top 8 for the dolls.

Block B: Ikeda Kana [Saki] vs. Tenjuin Frederica [PSYREN]

Here we have an interesting encounter. Unlike in Anime Saimoe this year, Saki has not been as dominant here in MS, although they managed to field in a lot of characters for this year. Kana is one of the two remaining Saki characters. She overcame K-On’s Hirasawa Yui, GA’s Yamaguchi Kisaragi and Higurashi’s Ryuugu Rena to get here. However, equally impressive is the tsundere lass from PSYREN, Frederica who was able to beat Hayate’s Sanzenin Nagi in a match which garnered the most number of votes s far this year.

Odd as it is, I’m expecting Frederica to emerge victorious here, on the heels of an amazing upset of Nagi.

Block C: Suiseiseki [Rozen Maiden] vs. Evangeline A K McDowell [Negima!]

Suiseiseki seeks to be the first “triple-crown” winner, by winning Manga Saimoe as well, after being crowned moe queen of Saimoe and Best Moe back in 2006. The way things are shaping up, she might as well do it, as she’s been smoking competition. First, she knocked out the defending champion Kanaria, followed it up by routing Negima’s Miyazaki’s Nodoka, and then again, another blow-out with Saki’s Takei Hisa as victim. Attempting to stop her is the eternal vampire Evangeline, who has managed to go deep in this event before. This year, she defeated, among others, Asahina Mikuru and the Mysterious Girlfriend, Urabe Mikoto.

Nevertheless, Suiseiseki is the overwhelming favorite here, although I’ll also gladly take an Evangeline victory.

Block D: Maria [Hayate no Gotoku!] vs. Kinomoto Sakura [Card Captor Sakura!]

Nice match we have here. Hayate has not done well in the past Manga Saimoes of 2005 and 2007, and it seems that they are destined to erase those misconceptions this year, until Round 3 happened. Nagi, Saginomiya Isumi, Segawa Izumi and Nishizawa Ayumu all lost their matches in the Round of 32, and only Maria and Katsura Hinagiku remain on Hayate’s quest for the title. Maria’s resume for this year’s tourney is the conquest of Souseiseki in the opening round, then Negima’s Ayase Yue, and finally Hikaru no Go’s Fujisaki Akari.

But I don’t like her chances against Sakura. Moe enthusiasts know that Sakura is the first-ever Anime Saimoe champion. Sakura’s been impressive this year as well, and much to the chagrin of Hayate fans, she has been beating them all tournament long. First, she dispatched of Aizawa Sakuya, then followed it up by blowing out both Miyanaga Saki and Kagami Hiiragi, before concluding with a rout of Izumi.

I consider Sakura as one the favorites to win it all this year, and although Maria might give Sakura a hard time, I don’t see the latter going down in this fight.

That’s all for now, I’ll be posting Part II tomorrow. ^^,

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