By the way, for easy reference, here’s the translated bracket courtesy of chaosprophet.
Now, continuing from where I left off ^^,
Block E: Eve [Black Cat] vs. Misaka Mikoto [To Aru Majutsu no Index]
It’s kinda hard to call this match, because both have the habit of squeaking by their opponents throughout the tournament. Let’s see: Eve defeated Horo by two votes, then won over Mizunashi Akari and Alice Carroll because of the Aria split votes, then edged Kotegawa Yui by a single vote to get to this point of the tourney. On the other hand, Mikoto won by a hairline against CCS’Daidouji Tomoyo, then by four against Psyren’s Amamiya Sakurako, and then by five against Hayate’s Nishizawa Ayumu.
Ultimately I’m leaning towards a Biribiri win, basing on the quality of the opponents they defeated. But then again, like their previous matches, it should be close.
Block F: Ika Musume [Shinryaku! Ika Musume] vs. Haramura Nodoka [Saki]
Here we have another tricky matchup. Take this to Anime Saimoe, and it should be easymodo Nodocchi, but alas, MS is a different metagame altogether. Ika Musume, defeated two former quarterfinalists to get here: Rozen Maiden’s Kawashiba Tomoe, and WaqWaq’s Matsuda. In addition, she bested Index. Nodoka, meanwhile, bested Hayate’s Isumi and Negima’s Setsuna along the way.
For some strange reason, I see the “Squid Girl” winning here. I think who she defeated trumps the accomplishments of Nodoka, taking into account the nature of MS. Saki has not been a dominant force in MS as compared to their run in AS, that also counts for something as well.
Block G: Minami Haruka [Minami-ke] vs. Kiri Komori [Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei]
Picking Kiri to advance to the Final Eight here. My basis would have to be the relative difficulty of their paths to get here. As amazing as Haruka is, she arguably has the easiest bracket out of the sixteen remaining, while Kiri had to contend with Kirino Chiba of Bamboo Blade and Sawachika Eri of School Rumble. Also, I’m under the impression that SZS has a stronger series mojo here as compared to that of Minami-ke’s. Hence, Kiri to win.
Block H: Kawazoe Tamaki [Bamboo Blade] vs. Katsura Hinagiku [Hayate no Gotoku!]
Hands down, the most interesting match of the round. This one is hard to predict, and could go either way. Both are very strong characters, although Tamaki, in the MS stage, has more experience, in fact, she’s shooting for a rare achievement: her third straight trip to the Quarterfinals. And to get here this year, she had to deal with Saki’s Stealth Momo, SZS’s Itoshiki Rin and K-On’s Akiyama Mio. Not an easy bracket in my book.
On the other hand, Hinagiku’s past MS experience has been choppy. She lost in Round 1 in 2005, and Round 2 in 2007. But considering Hayate has now shot in popularity in the manga populace, this year’s Hinagiku is quite different. She routed her 1st and 3rd Round opponents, while surviving a split vote with Saki Kijima to beat Saki’s Fukuji Mihoko. In addition, she’s the only remaining character in this list to have topped the two preliminary rounds going into the main draw. So Hinagiku has been impressive, but Tamaki is a very tough foe.
I’m calling it 51-49 in favor of Hinagiku for now though, but i won’t be surprised if Tamaki returns to the Elite Eight once again.
There, I’ve got Manga Saimoe covered for the meantime, and to recapitulate, here are my projected quarterfinalists:
Suigintou and Suiseiseki of Rozen Maiden, PSYREN’s Tenjuin Frederica, the eponymous Sakura Kinomoto, SZS’ Kiri Komori, Ika Musume, that Certain Scientific Railgun, and Katsura Hinagiku of Hayate no Gotoku.
My top three bets for the winner would have to be Sakura, Suiseiseki and Hinagiku. It all depends on the shuffled brackets though, so let’s see first how the quarterfinals would go.