No Disappearing Act

Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu’s Nagato Yuki returned to the Anime Saimoe Tournament 2010 with a victory as she overcame an early lead by To Aru Kagaku no Railgun’s Uiharu Kazari to earn first place in Group Eleven of the Preliminary Round. This was Nagato Yuki’s Saimoe reappearance after losing in the quarterfinals in the 2006 tournament. Yuki’s win also prevented a second consecutive top place honors by the Railgun series.

Tied with Uiharu at second place was Miyanaga Saki. Hachikuji Mayoi, hailing from Bakemonogatari finished fourth, and Ryuugu Rena of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni ended fifth. The rest of the qualifiers were Hinamori Amu of Shugo Chara, Koume of Hanamaru Youchien, Chika of Hidamari Sketch, Amano Saki of Kanamemo, Shannon from Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Ishigaki from Taishou Yakyuu Musume, and lastly, Mayoi Neko Overrun’s Tsuzuki Otome.

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So in the end, Yuki held her own. I don’t know how to evaluate the Haruhi series’ strength at the moment considering that Yuki should have blitzed by this group. Needs more data. However, I shouldn’t be surprised on how Uiharu got close to winning, considering that the Railgun mains have been destroying their group and an Index cameo was enough for second place. Still, I am amazed. It was right to call Railgun as one of the bigs this year. Saki ended up second yet again, a noticeable regress from last year’s record-breaking performance, but they still have it.   The rest went as expected, although I ended up 9 of 12 in my calls, they weren’t horribly outplayed in this tough group. Picks ended up 5-5-0, nothing lost, nothing to see here, except a little smile 🙂

Proceeding to more important matters…

Group Twelve Preview

Projected Rankings:

  1. Tachibana Kanade
  2. Akiyama Mio
  3. Katsura Hinagiku
  4. Kataoka Yuuki
  5. Shirai Kuroko
  6. Furude Rika
  7. Tohsaka Rin
  8. Tsukuyomi Komoe
  9. Chika
  10. Wilhelmina Carmel
  11. Bachou
  12. Matou Sakura

It does not get better than this. Five of the major Saimoe factions in this tournament are all represented, and for most of the, their most powerful characters. Angel Beats has Tenshi, one of the favorites to win the whole thing. AB mojo has looked powerful, as evidenced by many of their characters qualifiying. Now their best has come, and Kanade has to be favorite to win this group, as well.

K-On! has Mio. Although she has yet to earn her first Saimoe win, the K-On fandom will definitely be pushing for her redeem last year’s debacle. Hinagiku, of course, needs no introduction, although her shortcomings in Saimoe has been well-documented, she still has a 2008 semifinals appearance with her. And with Hayate looking strong  after the impressive performance of Nagi and others against heavy-hitters, this mainly three-way fight for the top spot just became even more interesting.

The ever-present Saki has Kataoka Yuuki, who was also a quarterfinalist last year. She’d certainly be no pushover, and will make things interesting here. We have a surging Railgun faction, this time Shirai Kuroko representing. Railgun has nabbed [three] first place finishes in the Prelims so far, and while it is certain that Kuroko won’t be taking this one, she’ll be looking for a spot in the top four or five, that’s for sure. Komoe was in the Top 32 last year, so that pretty much means she also garners a slot.

Rika Furude, 2007 champ is also here. As well as 2006 quarterfinalist Tohsaka Rin. They won’t be styling as they used to in the old times, but their shoo-ins for the main draw this year. I think the others who will be  securing their slots will be Koihime’s Bachou, Hidamari’s Chika, Shakugan no Shana’s Wilhelmina Carmel and Matou Sakura of FSN.

For my ideal votes, going with Hina-Tenshi-Alice-Wilhelmina-Erza-Kuroko-Chika-Rin-Isara-Komoe combo.

  • Hina is obvious, top on my list. Nuff said about that.
  • Tenshi’s the highest ranked new character in my list this year, so she gets an automatic pass. Mapo Tofu ;A;
  • Alice is an awesome character with awesome VA (note: Ayako Kawasumi)  and awesome legs.
  • Wilhelmina is a Itou Shizuka vote ~de arimasu
  • Kuroko because of DAT VOICE. Satomi Arai \o/
  • Erza for being the best character in Fairy Tail, and of course, Ohara Sayaka.
  • Chika for Kugyuu, Isara for Kuwashima Houko, Komoe for Pink Loli, and lastly Rin for zettai ryouki

And so it begins, one of the most anticipated matchups in this year’s prelims. Let’s have a great one.

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