A-Channel earned its first Anime Saimoe Tournament 2011 win after Tooru rallied past Nichijou’s Shinonome Nano in the penultimate group of the First Prelims. Rose (Dragon Crisis) and Tachibana Isana (Yumekui Merry) shared third place while Nakagawa Kanon (Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai) finished fifth.
Following closely at sixth and seventh were Dog Days’ Yukikaze Panettone and Infinite Stratos’ Laura Bodewig respectively. Fortune Arterial’s Tougi Shiro ended up in eighth, and Ookami Ryouko (Ookami-san Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi) in the ninth spot. Rounding out the top twelve were Minna Dietlinde-Wilcke (Strike Witches), Salsa Tortilla (Shukufuku no Campanella) and Shinonono Tabane (also from Infinite Stratos).
1st – 250 votes – Tooru @ A Channel
2nd – 245 votes – Nano Shinonome @ Nichijou
3rd – 211 votes – Rose @ Dragon Crisis!
3rd – 211 votes – Isana Tachibana @ Dream Eater Merry
5th – 203 votes – Kanon Nakagawa @ The World God Only Knows
6th – 198 votes – Yukikaze Panettone @ Dog Days
7th – 193 votes – Laura Bodewig @ Infinite Stratos
8th = 187 votes – Shiro Tougi @ Fortune Arterial
9th – 173 votes – Ryouko Ookami @ Ookami-san To Shichinin No Nakamatachi
10th – 172 votes – Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke @ Strike Witches
11th – 163 votes – Salsa Tortilla @ Shukufuku No Campanella
12th – 160 votes – Tabane Shinonono @ Infinite Stratos
Ohoho. That was certainly an interesting match. Nano was leading the whole day (unexpectedly) and then Tooru suddenly just rallied. Isana and Rose tying for third is interesting, giving a languishing Yumekui Merry faction some dose of hope. Kanon posted a solid outing for KamiNomi given the playing field. The biggest surprise though was Laura falling as low as seventh. I couldn’t have imagined this happening, although her being one of the less popular IS girls might have been a red flag.
In any other case, it went as expected. The bets I considered made it, with the exception of one, so 147-33 moving forward.
And we’re finally here. Kaname Madoka goes for the MadoMagi sweep in Group Sixteen but it won’t be easy. Standing on her way is Index, who was second in 2009 to Hinagiku and 2010 to Yui (AB) in their respective prelim groups. See the trend here? Anyway, even second place would be hard to come by for Index as also joining the fray is IS’ Shinonono Houki, who is seeking to give IS it’s second prelim win and enter the Main Draw with plenty of momentum. Then there’s Menma, who seems to be primed for success with the good showing of Anaru in her group. Finally, there’s Haruna who looks to salvage a dreadful prelim performance for Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka with a fine one of her own in the finale.
I’m picking Madoka to win here on the heels of the impressive showing from the series as a whole, and what an appropriate stage to do it. Of course if Houki can land a knockout blow here then consider a message sent. In any way, this is a statement game for those involved and the hype for this one is not misplaced.
So who else will be taking their ticket to the big dance ahead? Count Mikan (TLR), Sanya (Strike Witches) and Cordelia (Milky Holmes), all of which are logical choices if you have been tracking the performances of their series so far in this stage. I think Shimada Hazuki (Baka Test) is also a safe bet here, so that’s nine of twelve.
I’m going with Mayuka (Onii-chan no Koto) , Sawako (K-On) and Yukimura Chizuru (Hakuouki) to complete the cast at this point. Yin, (DTB), Erika (Precure), Karina (Tiger and Bunny), Kaede (Kampfer), Kitou (A Channel), Rio (Sora no Woto), Kondou and Bonbori (Zakuro) all have an outside shot to make it directly.
And that’s a wrap for the prelims, I hope we have a great conclusion to here as a springboard for the Main Draw which will begin… two weeks from now. *groan*
Uh yeah, there’s the 2nd prelims. and the drawing of the :random: bracket. We still have shit to do in between those two weeks. Stay tuned.
SMOKESCREEN: I was hoping for something interesting to happen and I got it today! Nano was on course on a shock victory, having taken the lead throughout the day before the eventual Tooru win (as seen here). Still, that was an impressive result for Nano, especially since the Nichijou girls were not even considered as major contenders. Rose and Isana get joint-third spot, providing some light at the end of the tunnel for their respective series.
FACTION WATCH: I didn’t expect Laura to finish seventh, but I’m not surprised either since she is one of the weaker IS girls in terms of popularity. Also, her result today pretty much confirms my speculation that IS will not be a team force, but more character-focused. Yukikaze was able to finish sixth, not too bad a result for Dog Days, but the top guns for this series are still gonna face tough times when pitted against stronger newcomers.
ON THE NEXT GROUP: Finally, we’re at the end of the first preliminary round, and boy, what a way to end it off. The final Puella Magi makes her stand, and it’s none other than Madoka herself who would attempt to complete a sweep for her series. She’ll be facing some competition though from the likes of Menma of AnoHana , Index herself and Houki of IS who’s probably just behind Char in terms of popularity for the series. Outside bets include Cordelia of Milky Holmes, who’s the third favorite among the MH girls, Sanya, the top ace of Strike Witches and Haruna of Korezom, a series that hasn’t done too well. However, the tensai masou shoujo is the ace of her show, so something might just happen. Despite the seemingly intense match-up, Madoka should be able to claim top spot based on faction power alone, but the tussle for the positions that follow it would be an exciting prospect.
Top 3 Prediction: Madoka, Menma, Houki