Saki’s Amae Koromo sank the hopes of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun’s Saten Ruiko, and in the process advanced to the Semifinals of Anime Saimoe Tournament 2010. Koromo put an end to Saten’s inspiring run by jumping ahead early into the match and unleasing a decisive rush to ensure victory after the latter rallied to make it close. This marked the third time since Round Three that Koromo posted a triple-digit margin of victory, and also Koromo’s eighth career win. With the victory, Koromo will next Hayate no Gotoku’s Sanzenin Nagi for a slot in the Finals of the tourney.
In the lower half of the draw, Shana and Saki’s Haramura Nodoka will battle today for their second career semifinal appearance.
1st 931 votes | Amae Koromo @ Saki
2nd 825 votes | Saten Ruiko @ To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
Well, finally Koromo faced a tough foe, and she delivered in spades. I am impressed and very happy with this win, as I finally got a great end in the top four. So I was wrong in expecting that Koromo will crumble like she did last year, but gotta say, she is for real. Saten after all ran the tables early in the tournament and pulled off wins when she needed them. Except this time, Koromo proved superior, and it was a a deficit that Saten almost came back to, but in then, it wasn’t enough. Also, it was an expectional feat by Koromo to go further after nabbing a quarterfinal slot last year, she’s in the semis, and maybe even further than that. The last one to do such feat was Tsukasa, who after her 2007 QF appearance, went all the way to the finals in 2008. The kicker: same VA as Koromo – Fukuhara Kaori. Lol at that. Man that match with Nagi is gonna be very good, and I’ll talk more into that later in the week, when we actually get there.
Let’s get to business on this one.
Quarterfinal Preview: Shana v Nodoka
How Nodoka got here:
- one of the only two quarterfinalist who didn’t win her prelim group, Nodoka lagged behind Nanoha and Momo to finish a modest third
- trailed 2/5th into the match against an unheralded Sakura Akari (Jewelpets) but eventually called in reinforcements to win comfortably in the closing stages of her round one match
- won the all-saki round two match against fellow former semifinalist Fukuji Mihoko and Kunihiro Hajime. surprisingly, this match wasn’t even close
- destroyed Maria in what was supposed to be a split doom with Kataoka Yuuki, and with the win, reaffiriming her ace status of Saki (only Momo or Koromo might argue on this one) in the third round
Nodoka will be going for a rare feat: the first character ever to achieve consecutive semifinals appearances in Saimoe. She’s also gunning for her ninth all-time win. I’m impressed with her performance so far after a “slow start” i.e. not winning her prelim group. But now comes the toughest part yet… she’s going against Shana, who got here by:
- Topping all characters in votes received in the preliminaries, and in the process winning a packed group which had 2009 finalist Yui, as well as Mugi, Haruhi and Yuri
- Beating Yuri again by about 50 votes (albeit low vote counts)
- Expectedly styling on Nazuna and Ryou (overkill on the back of the Kugimiya Rie combo
- Continuing her mastery of Takamachi Nanoha, with a comfortable win (read: more than 50 votes)
Shana will be trying to go again for a tie with Nagi for second place in the all-time wins record. She’s also shooting for a second semifinals appearance after falling short against eventual champ Suiseiseki in 2006. And once again, it goes without saying she’s in the hunt for her first moe tournament crown (yeah, i’m counting the Big Three only, you know what these are)
So, as much as I don’t really find these characters as “moe”, on a Saimoe spectator standpoint, this has to be the most intriguing matchup we have in the QFs. These are two aces with so much to fight for. They’ve put up monster numbers when the need arose – Shana upped her vote count against Nanoha, same with Nodoka despite the split with Yuuki against Maria.
Subplots to consider: aside from records to chase for both girls, Nodoka is 3-1 against the successful Kugimiya Rie-VA’d girls: last year she downed Louise and Nagi, but fell to Taiga who went on to become the champ. This year, she already defeated Yuuki, and now the first Kugyuu character which rose to Saimoe fame stands on her path. Nodoka will also be looking to defy the Saimoe standard fo a DFC girl winning the whole crown. And appropriately she has to against one to proceed further.
So who’s my pick to win this match? Tough choice really. Initially I went with Shana, I should be sticking to that. Considering that Shana defeated Nanoha who bested in Nodoka (in the prelims, albeit), it’s logical to go this way. But man, seriously this is hard to call. Could Nodoka be heralding a change of direction in Saimoe, I wonder.
And as hard the match is to predict, I’m even more stumped on who to support… what Nodoka has going for her is that she’s VA’d by Koshimizu Ami, and she has pink hair. Also, them thighs. As for her mahjong play, many have criticized her as boring – in a show of mahjong hax, her knowledge of the rules is only what she has to offer. I actually am not that enraged by this at all, but her character is just.. zzz. Considering how much the Saimoe demographic loves DFC, her consistently good performance is quite an abberation. On a strategic viewpoint – I’d rather have my characters (Yamada or Azusa in this part of the draw) face a weaker one.. but the problem is I don’t know who is the weaker of the two. Consequently, I’m stumped.
For Shana, I lremember loving her occasional dere moments but season two left a bad taste in my mouth that I kinda have a fuzzy memory of what those moments were. Also, I’m conflicted on if I want a perennial winner to finally win it all (Shana fans I know will feel really good about this); my trollish side though wants to see her coming close and keeping on falling short a running joke in Saimoe (much like Hina, durr, but the latter actually won the other two of the big three, so yeah) Also, the Kugimiya roles I’ve really liked are (the most dere of the big four) Nagi, and even more so, Kagura (appropriately the non-tsundere role) – I don’t know I just couldn’t get into tsundere that much (true enough, most of my moe list consists of non-tsundere roles except probably for Hina, who isn’t really one [this is debatable, but eh])
With much ranting aside, I’m considering abstaining, but lol, I haven’t abstained in moe matches in a long while. My, why did the Saimoe gods pair one against the other?
In the end I decided to predict Nodoka for her reputation as the Rie killer, and appropriately, a complete anti-thesis of the Rie-powered charas that have been dominating Saimoe. The one she failed to slay was Taiga, but I feel Shana will fall to her. Well, we’ll find out whether or not Nodoka will signal a different wind, or if we’re gonna see the end of a Saimoe abberation.