Well, that was quite an entertaining fourth round, capping off with an epic clash between Sanzen’in Nagi and Haramura Nodoka to set up Saki vs. the Coalition in the final rounds of Saimoe. Before moving on though, here are my notes on the previously-concluded round:
- Saki sets another record, with 4 contestants in the Quarterfinals, breaking Clannad’s performance last year, and at the same time denying the Kugimiya Rie end. The draw also didn’t yield the possibility of Mahjong end, thankfully.
- Nodoka is for real. The Girl on the Internet proved that she can also win tight matches after cruising for the past three rounds.
- HnG falls short again, but sends the most unlikely girl in the quarterfinals, Saginomiya Isumi. So for the third straight year, a character from Hayate reaches at least the top 8 – a testament to their consistency. But the quest for the actual crown gets stalled again as Isumi faces tall odds against Taiga in the first tiff of the final rounds.
Saimoe Quarterfinals Preview
Isumi vs. Taiga – Taiga is the overwhelming favorite here. The only chance Isumi can win is if both the Yui supporters and Saki supporters pool all their votes to the former, but that is not going to happen. This is the most predictable match of the round.
Nodoka vs. Louise – I’ve counted Louise time and time again, and I will do so once more here. The Queen of Upsets is once more the underdog against a tournament favorite, and this is the strongest opponent she will be facing. Louise winning will be akin to her victory over Suigintou two years ago, but I don’t see it happening. I think it will be a statement win for Nodoka.
Yuuki vs. Mihoko – Toughest match yet for both these competitors. Yuuki and Mihoko have been routing opponents all tournament long. But this match will not be a rout. That’s the only thing certain, because this has to be the toughest matchup to predict. Tacos has the KugiRie backing and we know how much Japan loves their DFCs. However, Kyapten has been gaining popularity in the 2ch polls lately and is the current number one. I am under the impression that Mihoko is the dark horse of this tournament: no one has really been picking her to win it all. She’s strong, but not championship strong. This match will be the tell a lot about both characters, but I think Kyapten will prevail in the end. Just a hunch.
Yui vs. Koromo – Koromo’s on a roll, but she drew a very tough opponent in the QF. Yui is seemingly primed to become this year’s Saimoe, essentially accomplishing the checklists necessary for Saimoe champions. I’ve outlined this before in my previous article with Taiga fulfilling those requisites, and I think Yui does so as well. Like Isumi before her, the only chance of Koromo is the influx tactical votes, but this won’t happen since each Saki win in the upcoming matches will greatly diminish her opportunity to make it to the semifinals.
In sum, my predictions and picks will be:
QF1 Taiga : Isumi
QF2 Nodoka : Louise (i want a repeat of Suigintou 2007)
QF4 Yui : Koromo
Even though my favorites are out and the remaining ones are doomed by this draw, I like how the bracket shaped up, although for selfish reasons I wanted an Isumi-Louise matchup for Isumi to have a “fair” chance. This year’s Saimoe is shaping up to compete with 2006 and 2007 Saimoe’s as the best ever, so I hope it doesn’t end with an anticlimactic finish.
Manga Saimoe Quarterfinals Preview
I actually went 7/8 prediction wise in the Block Finals. Now comes the hard part again, predicting this draw, while hoping that my remaining picks win.
Suiseiseki [Rozen Maiden] vs. Suigintou [Rozen Maiden] This could go either way, but I’m a big fan of how Suiseiseki has been making it look so easy so far. So Suiseiseki to win. The winner will meet either:
Komori Kiri [Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei] vs. Misaka Mikoto [To Aru Majutsu no Index] Again, tough to call, because this is MS, and not AS, where Misaka would cruise if that would be the case. Anyway, I’ll hazard a guess and go with my instincts, with Misaka coming out with the W.
Kinomoto Sakura [Card Captor Sakura] vs. Katsura Hinagiku [Hayate no Gotoku!] I’ve mentioned in my preview that Sakura has been defeating HnG characters all tournament long, but I hope Hina will put an end to that streak. The chances are much better since Sakura had to settle for a gamebreaking rush to rally past Maria, and we know that Hina is stronger than Maria when Saimoe is concerned. I still think, much to my heartbreak, that Sakura will win, but maybe Hina can pull through. I’ll still go with my original predicted champion, Sakura to take this match. But if Hina passes this test, she has a strong chance of winning it all.
Tenjuin Frederica [PSYREN] vs. Haramura Nodoka [Saki] I’ll underestimate Nodoka once again and go with a PSYREN win. I’m basing this on the fact that Saki is not as strong in MS as it was in AS, and Frederica seems to be really a strong girl in this tournament. Hard to call this one, but Frederica it is for me.
Miscellaneous, Useless Thoughts : Match Poster Take 3
Personally, I like how this one turned out. Out of the three variations of, I guess this will be the regular one for next year, as this was easier to create than the first take with the power level stuff. I tried to make this one a bit of old school, but not that old to take away the colors. I’m not yet sure how a monochromatic version of this poster will turn out. And yeah, thinking of match titles still take me ages, and it has to be the hardest part of the process, lol.
Now time to watch Sasameki Koto and Kimi ni Todoke, I guess. ^^