Form of the Dragon

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko’s Mifune Ryuuko debuted in fantastic fashion, throttling both Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai’s Kurusu Kanako and Seitokai Yakuindomo’s Mitsuba Mutsumi to storm to the Second Round of Anime Saimoe Tournament 2011. Ryuuko’s win sets her up for a next round date with Hanasaku Iroha’s Shijima Sui and Strike Witches’ Gertrud Barkhorn.

Tiger and Bunny’s Huang Pao-Lin also advanced to the next round, flying past Infinite Stratos’ Shinonono Tabane and Moshidora’s Houjou Ayano.

In the day’s final match, Iroha overcame an early deficit to edge Minakami Mai (Nichijou) and Angelene (To Aru Majutsu no Index).


1 298 Mifune Ryuuko @ Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
2 120 Kurusu Kanako @ Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai
3 75 Mitsuba Mutsumi @ Seitokai Yakuindomo
1 223 Huang Pao-Lin (Dragon Kid) @ Tiger & Bunny
2 185 Shinonono Tabane @ Infinite Stratos
3 81 Houjou Ayano @ Moshidora
1 182 Tsuchiura Iroha @ Onii-chan no Koto nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!
2 171 Minakami Mai @ Nichijou
3 150 Angelene @ To Aru Majutsu no Index II

Let’s start of with that Ryuushi demolition derby. Not only did she win, she styled (to quote my match preview) Mid-tier characters didn’t even graze her, and sets her up as one of the favorites to win the block. If this is what Denpa Onna is capable of, then what more for Erio? This really makes me even more excited to the inevitable Char-Erio match. Let’s see if the other more prominent factions are wary of the damage Erio and Ryuushi can bring.

Second match could have gone either way. Of course in retrospect I’ll be saying that I should have not changed my original prediction and gambled with the Kid, but in the end I’m glad that the Dragon Kid pulled it off to keep me from getting blanked in the “picks” list. Nothing much to say about this one really, except that IS couldn’t carry Tabane in proving further that IS is more of character-focused instead of faction-focused (HanaIro, etc).

The last match was by far the most entertaining one, Mai got trolled in the end. Same with Angelene who was leading for the entirity of the match until Iroha rallied (which to be honest, I kind of expected).

So for a supposedly underwhelming match day, it ended up being more insightful. Not bad.

Predictions: 2-1 (13-8)
Picks: 1-2 (6-15)

Let’s proceed to my take on the final day of Block B, Round One, the highlight of the block, saving the best for last, etc.

Being the highlight day, of course, makes the predicting these matches even harder. As usual, round preview pasta in italics.

Group 4    2nd    301    40.51%    Kotobuki Tsumugi @ K-ON!!
Group 7    18th    87    13.02%    Yutaka @ A Channel    668
Group 7    2nd    293    43.86%    Tachibana Kanade (Tenshi) @ Angel Beats!

>One of the more exciting matches of the opening round features two series going downhill. Mugi posted better prelim votes, but Kanade had a better percentage. Mugi lost to Ohana, while Tenshi lost to Nako. I think Tenshi wins this as part of Angel Beats’ last hurrah. Can’t immediately count out somebody who last year had potential to do great things in Saimoe. With respect to Mugi though, she also came close to knocking out Saten last year.

>At the end of it all though, I think the K-On characters that can actually beat Tenshi in an essentially one-on-one match are Azusa, Yui and Mio (questionable, since she lost to Tenshi in the prelims last year).

Well, I’m gonna bet on Kanade in this one. Looking at the trends of the opening round, I just can’t ignore how terrible K-On’s side characters performances have been in Saimoe (Nodoka and Jun). I think this will end up reflecting to Mugi too. The fact that Angel Beats stumbled too complicates matters.

With that in mind, I’m just gonna go with the flow, and follow the conventional Saimoe logic that ace from a weaker show beats a supporting character from a stronger show. Tenshi it is, just like 55 of my fellow readers did. I hope we got this!

Group 4    4th    263    35.40%    Mine Riko @ Hidan no Aria
Group 9    4th    211    28.06%    Mael Strom (Tomonori) @ Kore wa Zombie Desuka?
Group 2    4th    206    36.72%    Erica Hartmann @ Strike Witches 2

>Another spicy mid-tier match to accompany Block B’s main event for the opening round. Or maybe not. I’ll go with Riko this one, as again, KoreZon has been disappointing. If it was Yoshika or Sanya representing SW in this match the decision would have been harder, but I guess Riko guts it out in the end with a close win. One thing Erica has going for her? Combo votes with Mio, but will it be enough?

Another tough match   – three characters finishing fourth place. Hmm.

We can put Tomonori out of the equation though, as Kore wa Zombie has just decided to tank out of the tourney. So I believe it will be down to Erica and Riko. Erica has combo votes to support her case, as well as a recent resurgence of Strike Witches (we saw Gertrud styling over Shiori the day before). Riko is an unproven entity in the main draw (Hidan no Aria, in general).

To be honest I still haven’t done my research on the Strike Witches Power hierarchy, so I’m not so sure I can bet on Erica and her combo votes. Sticking with Riko just to test the waters on how dangerous Hidan no Aria can be. Perhaps 2ch will like the fresher face to thrive in this matchup and I have Hidan no Aria as a dark horse bet anyway. I’m gonna walk the walk, and Riko it is.

Group 11    5th    181    28.11%    Sakamoto Mio @ Strike Witches 2
Group 1    11th    110    20.18%    Togame @ Katanagatari
Group 12    8th    179    28.14%    Aioi Yuuko @ Nichijou

>I definitely think it will be enough to aid Mio’s cause as the numbers of Yuuko and Mio are surprisigly similar. If that’s the case then combo is the edge.

This is where combo votes might work out for the Witches Brew Crew (sup Milwaukee). Anywaaay, yeah, by process of elimination, out goes Togame, and we’re left with Mio vs Yuuko. Sympathy votes will definitely go Yuuko’s way and 2ch might want her to advance just for the sake of having her go 1up over Mai (who lost). So there is that factor versus Mio’s combo.

Let’s go with Mio nonetheless. Can’t see both witches losing at the same day. (Though it has happened to other factions before iirc).

TL;DR: Great match day to close out Block B. It’s gonna be hard to predict as well. Good luck to Hartmann, Yuuko and Tenshi though.
Predictions: Tenshi, Riko, Mio

So yeah, Saimoe-related match day MTG cards to cap this off. Those who play the game should be familiar with these, and to see  what the actual cards look like, search them in Gatherer.

For what seems to a low-key affair, it was sure a topsy-turvy one as Mai, Angelene and eventual winner Iroha engaged in a tight three-way contest. I was taken aback when Angelene was supposedly leading during the early stages, thinking that the Raildex faction has been truely holding back their support during the prelims and only demonstrating them now, but alas, it wasn’t enough in the end. It was quite a tussle between Pao-Lin and Tabane too, but my analysis turned out to be right as the side IS characters do receive significantly less support than their stronger comrades.

So it’s finally time for the most anticipated first round match-up for Block B. Kanade of Angel Beats versus Mugi of K-ON!!. During the prelims, both series didn’t reach the heights they did in 2010, with Angel Beats perhaps suffering an even greater decline. But Tenshi is the ace of the series here, so she still has strength in her left. Mugi is no push-over either, and for all we know, the K-ON!! faction might spring back to life, just like the Raildex faction did in the opening day of the main round. Of course, they still do have the slight disadvantage of having won it the previous year. It’s gonna be a close call, but I’m somehow feeling good about Mugi’s prospects here.

The other two groups feature a Strike Witch apiece. With Korezom failing to impress at all, Erica’s main competitor would be Riko. Both did well in relatively weaker prelim groups, so we could have a tight-contested match-up on our hands. As for Mio, she’ll have to battle Yuuko for top spot. Neither Sakamoto nor Yuuko did well in the prelims, with the former having to ride on the popularity of Yoshika. So the question is: will block voting be sufficient for the two Witches today? Barkhorn’s performance against Shiori was somewhat impressive, but her popularity level is higher than that of Erica and Mio – and for Erica, she is facing a tougher opponent. I think it’ll not be enough for Erica, but perhaps the combo votes will be enough to see Mio through.

Picks: Kanade, Tomonori, Mio
Prediction: Mugi, Riko, Mio

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