One more match to go before the Elite Eight is officially confirmed for Saimoe ’09. As we await the for such outcome, I will be outlining the remaining possible “endings” for this year’s tournament.
East Wind End: Kataoka Yuuki
Since Prelim 1, Yuuki has been eating her opponents alive each and every match. Chances are, as long as the matchups remain in the East, Tacos cannot be stopped and win it all, fittingly earning her the title “Undefeated of the East.” In all intents and purposes, as long as Yuuki keeps posting monster numbers, it’s very much possible be this year’s Saimoe.
Odds of getting this ending: Very High
Missing End: Saginomiya Isumi
Probably the rarest of all the endings here, I find it hard to see this happening. However, the possibility of this ending may very well be outlined since the beginning of the main draw, when Mio fell, and suddenly the bracket opened for Isumi. Add the timely influx of anti-Saki hate, and so we have this ending. Now, all she has to do is to keep banking on strategy votes, because as much as I love Isumi and find her moe, meeting a true heavyweight in the Quarterfinals pretty much guarantees that the odds of her winning is, you know, lost.
Odds of getting this ending: Very Low
Troll End: Louise de la Valliere
Who would have thought that Louise will get this far? After a sketchy performance in the preliminaries, time and time again she has proven that she cannot just be counted out. But why troll end? Admittedly, it will be a troll end only to some of the anime community. Louise has always eliminated many favorites along her way in the campaign (mine too, by the way), and this year she seems to have a penchant for ousting more favored Saki contestants. Many find her extreme tsun to be quite annoying, but still she has her fervent followers. Simply put, some, if not most of the community doesn’t like her, but why does she keep winning? A perfect ingredient for a troll end.
As long as she keeps meeting Saki characters, she might as well keep winning, but once she draws Yui or Taiga, it will take a boatload of luck and anti-votes to keep her chances afloat.
Odds of getting this ending: Low
Good Girl End: Amae Koromo
I would love to get this ending, because Koromo is such a good girl. Or not. Either way, Koromo has been on a roll in Saimoe ever since she prevailed in her nailbiter against Segawa Izumi. She has posted winning margins of more-or-less 200 votes in her last three matches. But to make it to the very end against stronger competition, she will need some sort of leverage, but still it will be very difficult. She can bank on her rising popularity in the 2ch popularity polls, but still she’s not the strongest out there.
In any case, I find it hard to place her in medium odds of achieving this ending, as much as I want to, so I’d be conservative and place her odds of winning as the same of Louise.
Odds of getting this ending: Low
GITAH End: Hirasawa Yui
If Saimoe suddenly loses its unpredictability, we might as well have our GITAH end, for KyoAni’s second consecutive Saimoe win. The makings of a champion are here: beating a probable future foe (Taiga) in the preliminary (see: Kagami); consistently high vote totals regardless of opponents; beating a former champion (Rika); beating a strong opponent (Hinagiku); and pretty much doing what was expected. Now all she needs to do is resist the incoming tactical votes, and no doubt, we have a musical for our finale.
I’m quite sure the others are now seeing Yui as a legitimate threat, so if she meets a dangerous foe in the quarterfinals, it’s going to be a tricky contest. I’m still standing by my theory that Yui will win it all this year, and I guess it’s alright if my favorite girl put out an epic fight against her in the end. However, I still prefer an ending or two over this one. 😀
Odds of getting this ending: Very High
Tiger End: Aisaka Taiga
This is one of those endings that will make a good Saimoe story, even though I’m not a fan of Taiga. Let’s see: maneuvering to prevent a troublesome split? Check. Surviving said split? Check. Beating a powerful opponent from a powerful Saimoe series? Two checks. Having only one shot to win it all? Check. Quite a beautiful scenario for Taiga fans would have to be her beating Yui in the finals in an epic matchup, after losing to the latter in the preliminaries. Depending on the outcome of the Nodoka match, I’d put Taiga as number three for the highest odds of becoming this year’s Saimoe.
Odds of getting this ending: High
Desu End: Fukuji Mihoko
I like Kyapten, but I find it hard to believe that she’s on track for a Saimoe ending. I can’t really put the right words for it, but I don’t see her winning it all. Even though she’s been on auto-pilot after that match against Biribiri, it’s hard to actually gauge her actual strength. We’ll find out soone enough once she faces stronger opponents. For what it’s worth, she’s on top of the Saki popularity charts in 2ch last I looked, and she’s been getting consistent amount of votes for each period. Whether that translates to Saimoe success is another story.
For now, she’s quite unpredictable, and I guess it will all depend on the matchups, as always.
Odds of getting this ending: Medium
Normal End: Haramura Nodoka.
Obviously this ending hinges on whether or not she’ll withstand the challenge of Nagi, and by how much she wins. But considering that Nodoka has made it all look easy so far, it’s not hard to see her winning it all this year as well. Discarding all the possibilities of upsets and the outcome of the other matches and their opponents, and just going by sheer numbers and statistics, Nodoka belongs on the highest echelons of Saimoe strength. Normal, and anticlimactic conclusion, honestly.
Odds of getting this ending: High (provided she beats Nagi ofc).
Redemption End: Sanzen’in Nagi
This has to be my favorite ending. I’ve supported Nagi hard in the closing days of Saimoe 2007 and as a confession, the pain of losing is still there. Of course, the best way to erase the stigma of would be to go to the finals, and win it this time. Certainly, it would have to be earned.
And I think Nagi has been earning it since. Her draw has been unkind, as Rena is a tough opponent for a second round matchup, I think everyone would agree on that. And Nagi made it look easy. On her third round she had to face off against Saki herself, and won with a decent margin. And if she’d beat Nodoka today, the possibilities suddenly open. If is the keyword though. Honestly, I hope she pulls through. But it will be a struggle.
Odds of getting this ending: Medium (provided she beats Nodoka).
Other miscellaneous endings, which would be funny if they happened:
Kugumiya Rie end: Taiga, Louise, Yuuki and Nagi in the final four. Who the winner will be won’t matter.
Mahjong end: The fitting end was spoiled by Louise and Isumi a round earlier, so Saki fans would have to contend themselves with a final four of Yuuki, Nodoka, Koromo and Kyapten.
Saimoe’s almost at its conclusion, let’s see whether we’ll have a satisfactory ending. I certainly hope so.