Milky Holmes stalwart Akechi Kokoro nipped To Aru Kagaku no Railgun’s Uiharu Kazari to claim first place in the second group of Anime Saimoe Tournament 2011 First Preliminary Round. Trailing Kokoro and Uiharu are Konjiki no Yami (To-Love-Ru), Erica Hartmann (Strike Witches) and Kirishima Shouko (Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu).
Sixth to twelfth place finishers were Eucliwood Hellscythe (Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka), Takahara Ayumi (Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai), Isurugi Mio (MM!), Hakase (Nichijou), Shichijou Aria (Seitokai Yakuindomo), Agnes Boulange (Shukufuku no Campanella) and Kannagi Noel (Sora no Woto), all advancing to the Main Draw.
1st – 252 votes – Akechi Kokoro (Kokoro-chan) @ Milky Holmes
2nd – 248 votes – Uiharu Kazari @ Raildex
3rd – 239 votes – Golden Darkness (Yami) @ Motto To Love-Ru
4th – 206 votes – Erica Hartmann @ Strike Witches 2
5th – 190 votes – Kirishima Shouko @ BakaTest
6th – 184 votes – Eucliwood Hellscythe @ Kore wa Zombie Desuka?
7th – 173 votes – Takahara Ayumi @ Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai
8th – 171 votes – Isurugi Mio @ MM!
9th – 158 votes – Hakase @ Nichijou
10th – 155 votes – Shichijou Aria @ Seitokai Yakuindomo
11th – 140 votes – Agnes Boulange @ Shukufuku no Campanella
12th – 90 votes – Kan’nagi Noël @ So Ra No Wo To
Disastrous performance from Eucliwood which pretty much establishes her as mid-tier since she can’t even best Shouko, Erica, or Yami which were all pretty much in the middle tier in strength last year and even this year. At least I got the right call that Milky Holmes is for real, at least for the moment, as Kokoro (one of the faction’s two aces) gets the job done. Score another one for the rookies. The rest of my calls are pretty much on the money except for Setsuna and Rei which “at least” finished in the sixteenth-eighteenth place range.
Enough chatter with this “alright group” and let’s move on to…
The first of the more interesting prelim groups in Saimoe will feature a clash between the expected major powers in this year’s tilt. Expect the vote totals to rise dramatically as seasoned Saimoe veteran and Raildex ace Mikoto tries to hold off the challenge of newcomers and super rookies Akemi Homura and Ika-Musume. Also joining the party are three of OreImo’s role players: Ayase, Saori and Sena. Consider the aforementioned six as locks. Mikoto’s clone 10032 is almost guaranteed to make the main draw as well, along with Strike Witches’ Gertrud, Steins;Gate’s Amane Suzuha, and Yakuindomo’s Mitsuba (JUDOOO!). That makes nine, and I expect the remaining slots to be filled in with K-ON’s Nodoka, Hyakka Ryouran’s Jubei, and Milky Holmes’ Zenigata.
Exciting round, if you ask me, and I’m sure this will be one of the groups that will set the tone for the rest of the tournament. I expect Biribiri’s veteran prowess to take one home for Railgun, although in retrospect I should have put Homura above Mikoto in the preseason rankings. Anyway, moving along, Homura will probably finish second, and Ika-Musume third. Ayase should clinch fourth place, followed by #10032. It should be anyone’s ballgame from hereon, with the ones mentioned earlier jockeying for position.
That’s my take, let’s see what Lun has to say…
THE REAL DEAL: Before the prelims commenced, there were many doubts on the strength of the Milky Holmes series. I wasn’t too sure myself, but I did expect Kokoro and Sherlock to be the better performers. And oh boy, Kokoro did just that, even better than what I’d expected. Those dubious polls that showed how well MH was received in Japan can now be considered legit.
THE DUD: Eu. Her vote count today is far below expectations. Based on her dismal performance today, it seems very likely that KoreZom aren’t going to be serious contenders for this year’s crown. However, I’m not writing them off just yet; we have yet to see Haruna, who is the ace of this show (at least in the Saimoe arena since she’s a tsun pettanko).
ON THE NEXT GROUP: Shit gets real in Group 3 as the ever-popular Biribiri takes on two highly-regarded newcomers, Homura and Ika-Musume. Ayase from OreImo joins in the mix too, so we’ll be able to see the strength of 3 major factions over here. It’s a tough one to predict, but I think BiriBiri should just be able to edge Homura out for top spot. Ika simply has to finish at least in 3rd position to confirm her status as a serious contender.