Saimoe 2010 Power Rankings: Prelim One Edition

While waiting for the Second Prelims, I figured the time is nigh for a Power Ranking overview on how each series has fared compared to how well I expected them to do back when I was doing the  preseason preview. And since this is Saimoe, even the Prelims weren’t deprived of the surprises we’ve come to expect from the tournament. Definitely, this is shaping up to be one Saimoe for the ages!

The rankings are based on overall First Prelim performance. Numbers on brackets indicate how I initially ranked them in the preseason preview. With that out of the way, let’s begin…

20 (19) Fate/Stay Night

Saber @ Group 6 (8th place)
Rin @ Group 12 (8th place)

Well, I might actually meet that earlier prediction that the FS/N populace will be wiped out after second round. Grouped against strong competition, the two flagships of the series could not hang on, against hte likes of Nanoha, Nodoka, Hinagiku, Tenshi, among others. Simply put, it does not bode well for them in elimination rounds.

19 (NR) Sora no Otoshimono

Nymph @ Group 15 (6th place)
Ikaros @ Group 1 (7th place)

Here we have the first of the rookie factions looking to make their mark in Saimoe. Well, it was a stern initial test for Nymph and Ikaros, and I thought they held their own against big-name franchises K-On, Working, Bakemonogatari, Angel Beats and the rest. Maybe in an easier group they could have fared better than what the numbers tell us, but the only real way to prove it is in the elimination rounds.

18 (NR) ToLoveRu

Mikan @ Group 6 (5th place)
Yami @ Group 6 (7th place)
Yui @ Group 15 (7th place)

For a Saimoe faction at it’s third year, I thought TLR did decent given the circumstances. Like FS/N and SnO, its heavy hitters were bunched against the tournament favorites, but they did not do terribly against Hayate, Bakemonogatari, Shana, K-On, among others. The fact that they are mid-tier at best is hard to deny, but in a good draw, they could do some damage.

17 (15) Taishou Yakyuu Musume

Koume@Group 16 (4th)
Akiko@Group 9 (4th)

Well, I actually expected more, but this is not bad at all. Granted Group 9 and Group 16 aren’t exactly the hardest groups ever, Koume and Akiko faring well at the position they were given can possibly mean that they are capable of beating the ones in the lower rung of the hierarchy. We’ll see.

16 (14) Hanamaru Youchien

Yamamoto Nanako@Group 5 (2nd)
Anzu@Group 9 (4th)
Hiiragi@Group 7 (5th)
Hinagiku@Group 7 (7th)

Winter’s 2ch hit managed a respectable performance. Unexpectedly, the best placing character was Yamamoto-sensei herself, albeit in an extremely easy group. They won’t be beating the likes of K-On or Angel Beats soon, but they certainly can win in a favorable draw.

15 (17) Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Rena@Group 11 (5th)
Rika@Group (6th)

Why hello there, Rena and Rika. As the years passed by, their power has regressed, but Higurashi won’t go down without a fight, that’s for sure, in their last hurrah. In any case, the series has one championship in their trophy case, and that is more than enough. Rena will take many home as many as she can, before going out.

14 (10) Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu

Himeji@Group 16 (2nd)
Shouko@Group 6 (6th)
Minami@Group 8 (8th)

Man, BakaTest is missing Hideyoshi badly. Their ace, Himeji could not even beat the fifth strongest Hayate character, and though Hayate looked really good in the prelims, it just goes to show that BakaTest is not at the level that can win the championship. They’ll be beating the second prelim q’ers, for sure, but it’s gonna be hard come second or third round.

13 (16) Hidamari Sketch

Yuno@Group 4 (2nd)
Miyako@Group 4 (3rd)
Hiro@Group 2 (3rd)
Nori@Group 4 (6th)
Nazuna@Group 4 (7th)

This one is tough to gauge. I would have loved to see how they will fare against the elite, but it seems that Hidamari has been invigorated by the addition of Nori and Nazuna, despite being in its fourth year of Saimoe eligibility. The good times may not have be over yet for Yuno and Miyako, and I’ll definitely be ranking them higher once they start beating characters from tournament favorites. But for now, they have to sit out of the top ten.

12 (18) Mayoi Neko Overrun!

Fumino@Group 13 (2nd)
Nozomi@Group 14 (3rd)
Chise@Group 8 (6th)

One of the tournament surprises so far. These stray cats look dangerous, and are capable of pulling a memorable upset. Well, the main three fared highly and Chise could have done better were it not against Hayate, Bakemonogatari and Working. So far I am really impressed, let’s see if they can keep it up

11 (11) Seitokai no Ichizon

Mafuyu@Group 4 (1st)
Elis@Group 9 (3rd)
Kurimu@Group 1 (4th)
Minatsu@Group 4 (5th)

I thought SeiZon is one of the dark horses for this year’s tournament, and for a good reason. Well, it’s all good so far, although it appears that they are still a notch below Working, K-On and Bakemonogatari. Still they can beat the rest of the field and again, I have the belief that one of them can make it to the Top 24, or maybe even better, given the right path.

10 (8) Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu

Yuki@Group 11 (1st)
Haruhi@Group 15 (5th)

SOS-dan is back in Saimoe, but noticeably weaker than their 2006 counterparts. Well, Yuki managed to overcome a feisty challenge by Uiharu and Saki. The committee (of one) still can’t help but believe that the window of opportunity for Haruhi to win that coveted title has closed, presumed until proven otherwise. I still stand by my prediction that Yuki will reach the block finals and that’s it.

9 (5) Working!!

Poplar@Group 1 (2nd)
Yamada@Group 14 (2nd)
Inami@Group 8 (4th)

I thought it could have been better, but my initial thoughts on Working!!’s strength is off. True, they are top tier, but not that top tier that can win it all. I was under the belief that Inami was the ace, but Poplar appears to fit the bill, but she couldn’t overcome Azusa. Inami got bested by Nagi, Hitagi and Maria by a fair margin, so the distance between the factions seem evident. It still won’t change the fact that Working!! can still make it deep, but it also won’t shake off the belief that they will fall short.

8 (3) Bakemonogatari

Hitagi@Group 8 (2nd)
Nadeko@Group 1 (3rd)
Tsukihi@Group 3 (3rd)
Mayoi@Group 11 (4th)
Karen@Group 3 (4th)
Suruga@Group 14 (4th)
Shinobu@Group 14 (5th)
Tsubasa@Group 1 (6th)

Great prelims for Bakemonogatari overall, qualifying all their characters in the main draw. Noticeably they couldn’t win a group, but Hitagi came close. Off the bat I thought Bakemonogatari would be huge in this Saimoe, but in the Prelims so far, their performance is not that monstrous. Well, maybe my expectations were heavy. I expected a prelim win or two, but Hitagi and Nadeko weren’t in the right groups. For now, this is how far they will go, though I will not hestitate to put them up a few notches once they start winning big in the main round. Solid, but not spectacular, but you can notice the strong series mojo from this one.

7 (2) Angel Beats!

Yui@Group 7 (1st)
Tenshi@Group 12 (2nd)
Yusa@Group 5 (3rd)
Yuri@Group 15 (4th)
Shiina@Group 10 (5th)

They may only have one win, and Tenshi lost that huge first round match against Hinagiku, but I cant write off the fact that Angel Beats! is still a force to be reckoned with. I think AB’s big three can still go deep, although Tenshi being one-of-the-favorites-to-win-it-all campaign might have lost a bit of momentum. For the prelims, anyway. High is the likelyhood that AB will regain momentum once we get to the elimination rounds.

6 (6) Saki

Koromo@Group 9 (1st)
Mihoko@Group 14 (1st)
Touka@Group 3 (2nd)
Hisa@Group 10 (2nd)
Saki@Group 11 (2nd)
Momoko@Group 6 (2nd)
Yuuki@Group 12 (3rd)
Nodoka@Group 6 (3rd)
Hajime@Group 7 (3rd)
Ikeda@Group 6 (4th)

Well, for a series who qualified a whopping 14 characters to the Main Draw (and it’s only the first prelims[!]), maybe sixth is a tad too low, but I thought the performance of the other six remaining series were more impressive. Last year’s best performing, record-breaking faction (albeit they did not win it all), appears to be weaker this year, but maybe it’s just me. I’m sure though they will still have it tough beating the top guns of the higher-ranked factions in this tournament, hence they are only at sixth, for the meantime.

5 (4) To Aru Kagaku no Railgun

Mikoto@Group 2 (1st)
Saten@Group 10 (1st)
Index@Group 7 (2nd)
Uiharu@Group 11 (2nd)
Kuroko@Group 12 (5th)

The vote counts might be deceiving, but Mikoto and Saten routed their opponents. Their groups may not be the hardest, but they aren’t the easiest ones either. The two have the highest vote percentage in the Prelims, and I think it’s a great indication of strength since their groups weren’t that competitive enough to attract a huge number of votes. Railgun is living up as one of the contenders to the throne from what he have seen, and that consistency from their main characters are amazing. What’s needed to take it to the next level is to beat the stronger factions where it matters – which they haven’t done yet – in the prelims, and in the inevitable elimination bracket.

4 (9) Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha

Nanoha@Group 6 (1st)
Fate@Group 13 (1st)

Can’t ask for a better return. The army of two is back and still maybe even better than they were in 2008. Considering that they are in their “original” form. Maybe it is oh so fitting. Nanoha outclassed the Saki contingent in her comeback, even the former semifinalist herself, Nodoka. On the other hand, while Fate didn’t exactly meet top-tier characters in her 2010 debut but she did what was expected by destroying that group. So yeah, the aces looked really strong in the initial tiffs, but shit gets real now. Let’s see what they do.

3 (1) K-On!

Azusa@Group 1 (1st)
Ui@Group 5 (1st)
Yui@Group 15 (2nd)
Mugi@Group 15 (3rd)
Mio@Group 12 (4th)
Ritsu@Group 4 (4th)

The top seed may have teetered a bit by being surprised by the series next in rank, but they’re still their dominant self. Azusa opened the round by a statement win over Bakemonogatari, Working and Seitokai no Ichizon, while Ui showed they are capable of annihilating weak groups by routing Group Five. Mio might have not met the lofty expectations yet, losing in that anticipated 12th Group clash, but they have surprises from within with a much stronger Mugi. Yui settled for second in Group Fifteen, but still, K-On as a whole has done the job as duty called. And yes, they can get votes in droves, so I think they are still formidable as ever.

2 (10) Shakugan no Shana

Shana@Group 15 (1st)

In the most-heated matchup in the First Prelim, Shana definitely delivered. Outperforming the highest ranked character last year with a respectable amount of votes is a guaranteed place at least in the top five of the rankings, especially when that character is on its second series and have the huge advantage of exposure. Not to mention the fact that Shana is already at its fourth year of eligibility, which is almost an eternity in Saimoe. The faction  of one is still at full force, and considering that the one who gets the highest amount of votes in the prelims tend to do well, expect Shana to remain high in this charts until the flame gets snuffed out (which might not happen).

1 (7) Hayate no Gotoku!

Hinagiku@Group 12 (1st)
Nagi@Group 8 (1st)
Izumi@Group 3 (1st)
Ayumu@Group 16 (1st)
Isumi@Group 9 (2nd)
Maria@Group 8 (3rd)
Sakuya@Group 8 (5th)

I contemplated of whether to put Shana or Hayate on top of the list, but in the end the latter won out. It could have been either way, but I leaned on the fact that Hayate won two huge matches, as well as a showcase the overall efficiency of the team so far. And I’m genuinely surprised that Hayate still can pull off these wins when they should’ve faded in their fourth year and lack of airing time. Six of the nine characters finished at least top three in their group. Four of them won their groups. Hinagiku and Nagi had statement victories against K-On!, Saki, Angel Beats, Working, Bakemonogatari and the rest. It’s just impressive no matter how you look at it. Of course, this means nothing unless it is followed up by wins where it really matters. They haven’t crossed paths with Shana and Nanoha yet, and things might change quickly. But in the end, this ranking is all about the performance in the preliminary rounds, and there’s not much to dispute that HnG is on top.

Preliminary Round Two is set to begin later. I won’t be making predictions this time, but I’ll be sharing my impressions as usual. See you then~


7 thoughts on “Saimoe 2010 Power Rankings: Prelim One Edition

  1. uis_kana July 26, 2010 / 2:38 am

    Where Nazuna frustra ? she get 2nd so maybe working will rank up… Oh well joke…

    • frustra July 26, 2010 / 3:28 pm

      Uh yeah, forgot about Nazuna getting third, sorry about that. Still won’t improve their current rank though. 😛

  2. Xellos-_^ July 27, 2010 / 5:17 pm

    the Hayate character got a boost early this year form the Athena Arc, which highlighted both Hina and Nagi very well. Without the A-tan arc i think the Hayate group would have score lower. Although Hina and Nagi would still have score very high.

    • frustra July 28, 2010 / 10:03 am

      perhaps. but then, how come it couldn’t boost Athena (who had to work through in the second prelims) considering she’s the focus of it after all?

      • Xellos-_^ July 28, 2010 / 8:13 pm

        only reason i can think of is that A-tan hasn’t had any real screentime.

  3. Victor August 6, 2010 / 4:24 am

    yahoo! HNG is going up!!that rocks

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