Kousaka Kirino, the first half of Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai’s dynamic duo, debuted in successful fashion as she topped Anime Saimoe Tournament 2011 Preliminary Round Group Six. Finishing second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively, are Makise Kurisu (Steins;Gate), Saten Ruiko (To Aru Kagaku no Railgun), defending champion Nakano Azusa (K-On!) and Astraea (Sora no Otoshiono).
The rest of the main draw qualifiers are Amakusa Shino (Seitokai Yakuindomo), Nagatsuki Sanae (Shinyraku! Ika Musume), Tsurumi Chiriko (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai), Tooyama Saku (Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Tokugawa Ieyasu (Sengoku Otome) Sawanatsu Kotone (Softenni) and Oikawa Tsurara (Nurarihyon no Mago).
1st - 380 votes - Kousaka Kirino @ Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai 2nd - 355 votes - Makise Kurisu @ Steins;Gate 3rd - 327 votes - Saten Ruiko @ To Aru Kagaku no Railgun OVA / To Aru Majutsu no Index II 4th - 306 votes - Nakano Azusa @ K-ON!! 5th - 238 votes - Astraea @ Sora no Otoshimono series 6th - 213 votes - Amakusa Shino @ Seitokai Yakuindomo 7th - 203 votes - Nagatsuki Sanae @ Shinryaku! Ika Musume 8th - 182 votes - Tsurumi Chiriko (Tsuruko) @ Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai 9th - 177 votes - Tooyama Saku @ Tantei Opera Milky Holmes 10th - 164 votes - Tokugawa Ieyasu @ Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox 11th - 158 votes - Sawanatsu Kotone @ Softenni 11th - 158 votes - Yuki-Onna (Oikawa Tsurara) @ Nurarihyon no Mago
So the zombie apocalypse didn’t happen (yet). Those following the interim counts earlier (including me) have been misled as it reflected early that Kirino is lagging behind Kurisu, Saten and Azusa. Then once the official tally has been announced it was finally revealed that Kirino is for real, and she is ready to contend for this year’s crown.
With that, finally a correct prediction (we 1-5 now), though personally Kurisu should have won it. I’m still surprised that she can hang with the big guns from last year and Kirino herself, so this is obviously a good omen.
From this outcome we can also conclude that K-On must have declined even further than Raildex did as Azusa could not even beat Saten. Then again the burden of being a defending champ is tough and that might have been the reason she didn’t get that many votes.
Correctly called 10 of the 12 qualifiers (61-11) now. I considered Kotone having the chance to make the cut, and she did, while Dog Days’ stock continues to plummet as Leo couldn’t even make it in. I completely overlooked Tsurara as well. Now we go from one of the stronger groups to…
Group Seven. This group is really weak. Expect the vote totals to drop to Group One levels in this one. I don’t think Angel Beats has fallen to the point that their ace will get beaten in a group like this. So I guess this is just a matter of determining who will go second to Tenshi. think the following are locks in arguably the weakest preliminary group so far.
Nako and Minko – like Ohana and Yuina before them, these two will definitely qualify directly to the main draw.
Yuuko – Run did decent, and although Yuuko seems to be weaker than her, the quality of this group is enough to give her a good chance.
Ui – K-On. And that is that. She also won a prelim group last year, so in a weak group like this she should finish second.
Itsuwa – Raildex. Same thing. Probably gunning for third place.
Charlotte Yeager – SW is sitll doing decent so just like 2009, she’ll be just fine in the preliminaries.
Nori – Hidamari. The Hidamari main contingent has been hanging around in the bottom half of succesful Main Draw entrants and that won’t change as Nori is set to make it there.
Eight locks so far, as for the remaining four, it’ll probably Fortune Arterial’s Sendou Kaya, and Kore wa Zombie’s Seraphim, Tama-nee + Sasara (ToHeart).
I figure Sheryl Nome (Macross) and KamiNomi’s Nagase Jun will try to catch up with those four there. Probably Black Rock Shooter + Yomi too, same with OreTsuba charas, (most likely Asuka): they’re in the mix as well. Lastly, Hata (Yakuindomo). That’s it for this group, not much firepower, let’s just see how it goes.
THE BATTLE OF 2CH: Kirino and Kurisu are known in their respective series to lurk 2ch boards, so it was undeniably a funny occasion as the two battled it out today, with Kurisu appearing to lead the proceedings most of the time. Saten and Azusa was involved in the mix too, but at the end of the day, fake votes pretty much distorted the whole picture, and it was Kirino who emerged victorious. Still, Kurisu’s performance was impressive, given that she has less faction support than the other three.
GAME OVER: Azusa finished 74 votes behind Kirino and 49 votes behind Kurisu, which is a clear indication that she is suffering from the Saimoe Champion syndrome. No chance for a repeat, definitely.
FACTION WATCH: Sanae and Tsuruko finished in 7th and 8th respectively, which was not really impressive. Ika and Anaru will have to stand on their own if they are to go far in this tournament. As for Dog Days, Leon’s no show today meant that Milhiorre’s victory was character-focused rather than as a result of strong series support.
RELIEF: frustra and I haven’t had much luck since the Prelims began, so we were expecting to go 0-6 in terms of prediction for top spot since we hardly saw Kirino at the top throughout the day. The orange-haired tsundere did bring an end to our duck eventually, though there was a notable air of dissatisfaction…
ON THE NEXT ROUND: After two days of intense action, a less heated affair. Hardly any big names in here; Kanade/Tenshi is probably the biggest name here, but Angel Beats has been in a slump so far. Characters competing against her would be K-ON!!’s Ui, who has the imouto factor and the previous experience of topping a prelim group, albeit a weak one. Then there’s the unknown strength of Nako and Micchi from HanaIro – Ohana topped her group, but can her other two comrades perform as well? Yuuko from A-Channel and Sera of KoreZom is also an outside bet, though Korezom disappointed the last time out. There’s so much uncertainty riding on this group, but I think Tenshi still has enough mojo to edge this one out.
Prediction for Top 3: Tenshi, Ui, Nako