Saimoe season has started, and it’s time for some serious business. Nope, this ninth installment of the Saimoe tournament won’t be setting records for the biggest Saimoe ever, since the field has been reduced to 288 players in the main draw. However, I believe that it’s going to be one of the most competitive Saimoe ever, and the second major change for this year has something to do with that. Saimoe is down to six rounds of action now, meaning , the block final matches are going to be triple-threat showdowns. I think this really helps the stronger characters as they become less susceptible to hate-votes, but on the other hand, the contending series will have to be wary and vote strategically to avoid split votes.
With my initial impressions for this year’s changes out of the way and while still waiting for the nomination period to end, for the meantime, I have prepared a season preview divided in five parts, the first of which i will be posting after the jump, arranged alphabetically by notable eligible series, accompanied by my impressions and predictions on how they will do on the upcoming tourney.
Angel Beats! – I consider Angel beats to be one of the contenders for this year’s crown. This show has been 2ch’s spring season darling, second only to K-On insofar as amount of discussion and speculation is concerned.
The major players are Yuri, Yui and of course Tachibana Kanade a.k.a. Tenshi. I think the latter is top-eight material, and there’s been a lot of moe moments involving her. Those who have followed the show will know why Tenshi is one of the girls to beat in Saimoe. I, for one, welcome our new Angel overlord. Barring a match-up with one of the other heavyweights (Mio, Misaka, et. al) I see no reason why Tenshi will not reach top eight.
Arakawa under the Bridge – while this show is popular to the extent that it is the 3rd most tweeted anime (K-On of course on top of the list) – i don’t think that will translate to Saimoe success. Nino, Maria, Stella and P-ko, as adorable and awesome they can be, won’t be able to hold their ground against the masters of the field. Although I like this show, the characters will be 1st round fodder at best, unfortunately.
Baka Test – This has been one of the more popular light novels around, adhering to the latest trend of light novels doing well in Saimoe ground (see Toradora circa 2009). I foresee Baka Test to be another one to follow that trend, although I was quite surprised when it the BDs/DVDs did not do as well as let’s say Railgun. Nevertheless, Himeji and Shouko should lead the Baka Test assault on the bracket rounds, only to fall short to K-On, Bakemonogatari, Haruhi and the aformentioned Railgun heavy-hitters. If only Hideyoshi was eligible…
Bakemonogatari – Bakemono will be one of the top five “factions” in Saimoe this year. For some reason, SHAFT which has not housed a lot of top-eighters in Saimoe, is poised to finally break through and send one for the win even, thanks to Bakemonogatari. Let’s see what Bakemono has going for it – enormously successful DVD and BD sales, generally well-received and yeah, this is also a light novel adaptation. Hitagi and Nadeko will lead the pack, with Mayoi not far behind. These three are expected to plow through their brackets, and it will be a major disappointment if one of them fails to place one in the penultimate rounds.
B Gata H Kei – as i was gathering images for Saimoe i couldn’t help but notice the scarcity of fanart for B Gata H Kei. and the fact that it’s relatively not a popular topic for discussion in 2ch does not really help its cause, so it’s pretty safe to conclude that Yamada and Co. are going to exit early and it would take a miracle for the characters of this show to reach the 3rd round, seriously.
Clannad – how the mighty will fall. once this show has placed three entries in the final round. last year, they were decimated quickly, and now, the show is here due to Kyou and Ryou’s eligibility thanks to an OVA. As much as I love Kyou (and her thighs), the time has come for this show to pass the torch. Prediction: Kyou – 2nd round, Ryou – 1st round.
DRRR! – while Durarara has experienced commercial success, that does not necessarily translate to Saimoe success. Nevertheless, I still find DRRR worth a mention here. Anri and Celty should be able qualify for the main draw, only to succumb to stronger opposition.
That’s all for now, and for part II, I’ll be covering Hayate no Gotoku, Hidamari Sketch, Hanamaru Kindergarten, and Fate-Stay Night, among others.