Continuing from what I started a few days ago. First up-
Fate/Stay Night – One of the returnees from the golden 2006 era, F/SN however returns to a completely different battlefield, having to contend with the likes of Tenshi, Mio and Mikoto. I suspect Saber and Rin are not that strong as they used to be in the Saimoe and the faction will probably be wiped out after round two – a testament to how cutthroat competition this year will be.
GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class – This show appears to be popular in Japan, with the OVA once topping the anime DVD charts. GA will likely be strong, but not top tier. Still, I’d like to believe this is Hidamari circa 2007’s spiritual successor – racking off wins only to lose closely to stronger characters. That’s not a bad thing because I don’t think people will be expecting to do great things in Saimoe, but I have good faith that Noda Miki and Kisaragi can prove naysayers wrong. I won’t be surprised if either Kisaragi or Noda will make at least the 3rd round, and in fact I’m predicting it that way.
Hanamaru Kindergarten – purportedly this Gainax show is one of the most popular shows in 2ch during the Winter Season, but for some strange reason, the sales didn’t end up proportional to such fanfare. Still that does not take away the fact that Anzu, Koume and Hiiragi are wildcards and could potentially send brackets into chaos. Either that, or these Gainax babies will be bounced in the first round. I’m going to give the show a benefit of the doubt though, and speculate that they at least one of them will reach round 2.
Hayate no Gotoku!! – nope this won’t be Hinagiku’s year too. Hinagiku’s quest for “Saimoe Slam” a.k.a. winning Saimoe, ISML and KBM, remains elusive, as a weakened Hayate faction can only hope for good draws to make it far in their fourth year of Saimoe appearance. Nevertheless, they had their chances the past three years for the crown, and the window of opportunity appears to be closing. In addition, Saimoe is a tournament in which fresh faces thrive, and the Hayate characters at this point in time no longer fit the bill. Hence, I’m expecting quick exits from what has been one of the most consistent franchises in saimoe history. No top eight appearances this time, although one of the big three will end up in the top 24.
Hidamari Sketch – like Hayate before it, Hidamari debuted in the Saimoe scene in 2007 and has appeared in every year since. But unlike Hayate, Hidamari has remained constantly in the middle of the pack for the past three years with their best outing taken care of Yuno (4th round in 2007). What’s different this year is that Hidamari has introduced new characters and the great DVD sales have been a welcome sight. Regardless, I think Yuno remains the flagship of Hidamari, and how far she goes is how far the show will go. My instincts tell me they won’t go far though, but it remains to be seen if Hidamari has one more run in it. Hidamari out in the second round, is the verdict, for now.
Heartcatch Precure – Precure shows are the always the highest rated TV shows in Saimoe, but they fail to translate that to Saimoe success with the exception of Misumi Nagisa back in 2004. Tsubomi and Erika will try to follow Nagisa’s footsteps, but that is too much of a tall order to ask. A second round win will be generous, and greatly appreciated, but the way things are going, Heartcatch will most likely get broken in the first round.
Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni – Rena will try to take one (home) for the team that will be making its fifth consecutive Saimoe appearance. It really has been a long way since Rika triumphed back then and this is the final chapter for Hinamizawa.
Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou – This is one of those shows that is hard to tell on how the characters will fare. Im going to rely on the fact that this year, it bears repeating, is possibly the most competitive field EVER. Hence the future for “Color Wars” look gray although they are capable of winning a round or two. It would be a pleasant surprise if Green or Yellow can somewhat do it. I’m expecting that if any of the colors would reach the top 24, it would be Red.
Ikki Tousen – the odds of the the show making it to the second round is iffi.
Kaichou Wa Maid Sama – Ayuzawa Misaki won’t be bossing around this year’s Saimoe class. First Round.
Kanamemo – The show is badly positioned, having aired in the worst possible time – Summer 2009. I like Kana, and together with Mika they will try to make headlines in Saimoe, but the realist in me feels that the cast is old news, moe-tournament wise, and hence first round, it is.
Koihime Musou – the show raised some eyebrows last year with their charas winning against supposedly “favored” characters. Still it doesn’t change the fact that the road to Saimoe has to go through the Favorite Five, at the most, or Elite Eight, at the very least, and Aisha, Koumei and the rest just won’t be up to the challenge.
Kobato – Madhouse + Clamp for the modern moe era. Still, no go. Call Sakura and Tomoyo, and maybe we’ll talk.
And that’s a wrap for part two. Next time, K-On, Nanoha, Saki, and more.