After a quick break we’re back to Saimoe prelim round action with an equally quick preview of what to expect from the next group.
Group Nine is quite an underpowered group, but that it doesn’t make it any easier to predict who’s gonna prevail. Akiyama Mio will try to give the veterans their first win after the first half of the prelims was swept by newcomers. Her most notable challengers will be a Kugyuu-powered Astarotte Ygvar from Lotte no Omocha, a show that doesn’t pack a lot of power, but that is deemed irrelevant because it is THERIE. The other one which has a legitimate shot of making it nine in a row for the rookies is Tomonori/Maelstrom/Yoshida Yuki, representing Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka, which has so far underperformed but I think she’s one of the top guns the show has to offer.
Now the question is who will be coming out on top. The way K-On has been stumbling it’s very much possible that Mio will also lose this (in the same vein that Yui lost badly. So it all comes down to Tomonori vs. Astarotte. One has a stronger faction backing her but the other is an ace. But I guess Astarotte has more of a winning pedigree behind her (Kugmiya, tsundere and all that jazz), and that will be enough to make her squeak past Tomonori and Mio.
As for the rest of the qualifiers, while not an equally easy task predicting, I see a few names that stand out:
- Musujime Awaki and Sasha Kruezev – Raildex keeps filling in slots with these side characters
- Charlotte – would have been funny if she was in the same group as Mami, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be but with the way Madoka has been unstoppable recently, they’re gonna go all out to force this witch in the main draw.
- Takanashi Nao (Ochinko) – main character, I think she has a shot to make it directly considering that this is a relatively weak group
- Sawatari Fuu (Tamayura) – same here
- Moriyama Shiemi (Ao no Exorcist)- popular new (shounen) series plus Hanakana – might be enough
- Yoshimoto – Tokunyan trolled her way, for Yoshimoto it’s hard to tell, but maaaaaaaaaaybe she just has enough to sneak through
- Hiramatsu Taeko – Korezon support would probably be sufficient?
Man this group is just so bad I don’t know who to consider making it for the last slot and had a really hard time choosing.
Maybe Satellizer (but Freezing has been horrible so far in Saimoe), Honoka (Precure, for old time’s sake, but just not enough firepower), Miyamae Kanako (Mariaholic, I don’t know if they are still relevant enough), Msyu (C) and Sunako (Shiki) but lol noitaminA stinks in Saimoe except for AnoHana, Komaki (lolTH2) and Run (TLR). Then there’s Bridget Evans from Oreimo, which is a strong series but she barely had enough screentime.
In the end I’m just gonna go with Yamada Maya simply because she’s an Infinite Stratos support character with a decent amount of screentime.
And we’re done for now, and gonna move on to Group Ten tomorrow, which promises to be waaaaay more interesting than this one.
A borefest here, with the last of the K-ON!! five Mio taking on the KugiRie-powered Astarotte. Other possible contenders for the top spot is Tomonori of Korezom and Awaki of Raildex, which isn’t saying much actually. However, I think Tomonori’s ahead of Sera who was in the Korezom packing order so she might still be able to threaten. Charlotte from Madoka is in the mix too, so if Madoka fans feel like trolling (especially given the fact that Mami is just right beside this group), it might just turn out to be lulzy. I’m also interested to find out if Yamada-sensei from IS would be able to qualify directly, seeing that this is a weak group. On the basis of Chifuyu-nee’s performance a few days ago though, I’m not expecting much from her as I’m suspecting a character-focused approach for the IS girls rather than series support as a whole. Back to the two main contenders, the Astarotte series has been doing poorly in terms of BD/DVD sales, but I’m still gonna go for a Lotte win, seeing that K-ON!! is in a slump as of late.
Top 3 Prediction: Astarotte, Mio, Tomonori