Saimoe’s at the homestretch, and the remaining matches are guaranteed to be epic. After coming close for many rounds, for the first time, I actually aced all my predictions, but that doesn’t really make me happy because I went 1-3 in picks as Isumi and Koromo (and Louise) crashed out. We’re now down to four, and I can say that these four deserved to make it far based on objective merits.
First off, we have Taiga vs. Nodoka. I thought both performed well in their previous matches, as Nodoka was back in her routine 200-plus point thrashings, and Taiga is consistent as usual. In fact, nobody’s come really close to Taiga in all her matches, while Nagi gave Nodoka a hard time in Round 4.
Comparing Nagi to Taiga, personally I think Taiga is stronger, but not by that much. Will that little bit of leverage be enough to elevate her against Nodoka? My instincts tell me not. Although Taiga may be primed for championship as many others predict a Taiga-Yui finale, I can’t help but think that 2ch will go for the “lulz” ending and carry Nodoka all the way to the finals. At this point stats don’t actually matter that much since both are relatively in the same tier, and going by my beliefs, Nodoka will be leading the charge for my projected Saki x2 finale. For the record though, I’m supporting Taiga (for the last time by the way, since I will be championing whoever wins the Mihoko-Yui showdown).
The second semifinal matchup features a proven winner and my “dark horse” – Yui vs. Mihoko.
A perusal of the several analyses and quick thoughts by the Saimoe community has Yui being tagged as the favorite here. After all, she has many things going her way at this stage, the most important one, being in a “second match.” This means that she has the advantage over Mihoko if Nodoka wins, since traditional logic dictates that the voters wouldn’t want a same-series final. Yui has also defeated major players on her route here, and much has been said about this already.
On the other side of the spectrum is Mihoko. Admittedly, I didn’t pick Kyapten to make it this far in the early stages, as I predicted Biribiri over her. But how far we’ve come I guess, as now I’m actually kicking logic to the side and predict that she will actually defeat Yui. This is not completely devoid of basis though. Truly, she’s completely an X-factor, but that’s what makes her scary. And she’s been silently routing opponents while proving that she’s more popular than her co-star, Kugyuu-powered Tacos. Also, it seems that the 2ch polls didn’t lie. Kyapten is on top of the list, and it apparently told the story to the outcome of that match.
As for the other reason why I think Mihoko will win? Again, 2ch has this penchant of going for the “Troll Ends” like they did last year when they went for the Applefield end. They will very likely do it again. In any event though, these matches are tough to call, although I might be the only one picking Mihoko to win that other match…
Haha, oh wow. MS was the complete opposite as I actually went 0-4 in predictions here. It’s really hard to judge on how things work here. But I was wrong when it mattered, so yeah, I’ll gladly take the 0-4 prediction because Hinagiku won.
The opening match is Suigintou vs. Komori Kiri. The latter is very lucky to get this far, but credit to her for winning when it mattered. However, it’s the end of the road for our favorite hikkikomori unless massive strategy enters the fray as Suigintou is the massive favorite here after defeating Suiseiseki, who once again falls to a doll in the quarters after suffering the same fate in 2007 to Kanaria.
Pink vs. Pink. Hina vs. Nodocchi. For the third straight round, the most interesting match has Hinagiku in it. I kid not, bias aside, because she’s up Haramura Nodoka who recently posted the highest vote count in the tournament so far in her win over Frederica. But Hina actually caught a break because it’s not on the same day as Nodoka’s AS match.
I believe Hina will still win though, despite Nodoka notching the highest vote count. I think Hina is capable of reaching those numbers as well, since Nagi managed to do so against the same Frederica albeit in a losing effort. Also, looking back Isumi managed to almost beat Nodoka in the earlier rounds, which makes me feel a bit more confident about Hina’s chances, since it’s obvious that Hina’s more popular than Isumi. I was also impressed on how Hinagiku actually posted the biggest win margin in this round, against the legendary Kinomoto Sakura, no less. So yeah, I think Hinagiku will win it here to set up a spicy showdown with Maria… er.. Suigintou for the Finals.
Lastly, here’s the poster for the Taiga vs. Nodoka matchup. Sorry for the Kugimiya Rie puns, it can’t be helped. lol. Also, I’m still staying with the old school, weathered poster, this time with 100% more textures and 100% widescreen. Yeah. Maybe i’ll post an alternate version later. Maybe. For now, I hope you like ^^,