Infinite Stratos continued its free fall in Anime Saimoe Tournament 2011 Second Round as Cecilia Alcott was beaten by a red-hot Hotogi Shirayuki (Hidan no Aria) in the final Round Two Match for Block F. Shirayuki led early by a sizable margin and endured a last-ditch effort by Cecilia in the final hours to set up an encounter with an equally-blazing Yuuko from A-Channel.
Haqua d’Rot Herminium also grabbed her share of Saimoe spotlight as she helped Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai maintain its perfect Second Round campaign. Haqua defeated the final Hanasaku Iroha survivor, ace Matsumae Ohana to forge a Block semifinal encounter with fellow KamiNomi representative Takahara Ayumi.
1 336 Haqua du Lot Herminium @ Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai series
2 301 Matsumae Ohana @ Hanasaku Iroha
3 66 Hasegawa Hirano @ Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
1 318 Hotogi Shirayuki @ Hidan no Aria
2 289 Cecilia Alcott @ Infinite Stratos
3 85 Asaka Hinata @ Jewelpet Sunshine
Well, that’s Saimoe for you. There were certainly signs of this happening, but it’s obvious I didn’t act on it accordingly with my predictions. Shirayuki proved to be really dangerous and worthy of at least Top 32 berth after dispatching two equally-respectable foes in Nako and Cecilia. And speaking of the latter, there’s a danger that she will lose the way Infi has been struggling lately, and it proved to be true enough as she couldn’t muster enough votes to complete the comeback. Infi is still stuck on one win this Round (a hard-earned one, even) after virtually sweeping their first round matches. And as for Hidan no Aria, if there’s anything I got right from my preseason preview, it’s that HnA is a faction worthy of the dark horse title. (Saimoe humor likely will have Shirayuki losing to Yuuko next round however).
And then there’s KamiNomi, who I grossly underestimated from the get-go and its characters continue to punish me for that. Haqua proves me wrong again, with a comeback victory to join the ranks of Strike Witches and Sora no Otoshimono as ultimate frustra-prediction trolls. Enough meta though, I say I’m really impressed with KamiNomi, lucksack or not (draws, etc). At least one of its representatives will go to the Block finals, and even two provided Elsea does her business. HanaIro crashes out with a thud after an inspiring Prelims performance (more ammo to the Prelims-means-nothing school of thought!). I guess it also went to my preseason prediction that HanaIro won’t do much, just like AnoHana. Funny how things even up.
So that concludes Block E and F. Now for more interesting matches going our way:
Raildex flopped against the top seeds of the tournament, I can see the same happening here against the second strongest faction (arguably). I don’t see a Madoka-class thrashing but there’s still gonna be a comfortable margin for Kirino. Index has faced top-tier characters before, and let’s just say that her track record against this type of characters is not good…
Kanon vs. Houki is interesting considering how well KamiNomi has been doing lately, and how many heartbreaks Infi has experienced in this round. Kanon, one of the more popular characters in KamiNomi has a legitimate chance of swinging the match in her favor here. In fact, I can see it happening. I suppose it’s time to make a switch from my initial call and go from Houki to Kanon. (It would be hilarious though if after this Houki goes on to stop the KamiNomi sweep).
Again, to conclude, MST results. Double Haqua win for the day. That is all.
1 57 Haqua du Lot Herminium@Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai
2 36 Shirley Madison@Shirley
3 20 Amano Ai@Denei Shoujo
4 19 Kitaouji Satsuki@Ichigo 100%
1 55 Saginomiya Isumi@Hayate no Gotoku!
2 45 Yune@Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
3 21 Sanzen’in Nagi@Hayate no Gotoku!
4 12 Fujibayashi Kyou@CLANNAD series
1 39 Mizuhara Koyomi (Yomi)@Azumanga Daiou
2 33 Ioroi Renzu@Mushishi
3 30 Nishizawa Momoka@Keroro Gunso
4 28 Idei Furato@Sakura Tetsu Taiwahen
Well, shit. The imagined scenarios I put forth yesterday turned out to be true. Ohana was made laughing stock by Sayaka backers who boosted her numbers in Round 1, and they probably had a hand in her defeat in this match-up. That said though, I won’t discount Haqua’s strength – she did beat last year’s champion after all.
While TWGOK’s been defying expectations, IS continues to do so too in a negative manner, and their second-best representative has been knocked out by Shirayuki. So Shirayuki’s win over Nako was no fluke, and it probably wasn’t assisted by Cecilia backers in Round 1. It’s very likely that a certain other big faction has been pulling the strings in this block.
So moving on to today’s match-ups, well this is gonna be difficult. Just like Ayumi, Kanon could be yet another TWGOK girl to benefit from IS’s slump. With Aria fans eager to set up a possible clash with Kuroneko in the block finals, Houki might be in deep trouble here, but I think she will win it here.
As for the other match-up, Kirino vs Index. One for those who are eager to witness a snipe. Index is probably Raildex’s second strongest representative in this round, so she could put up a resistance against Kirino. However, Oreimo’s terrifying duo are able to attract the neccessary large votes needed in a tight contest like this, and Index is no Biri-Biri either. I think Kirino will edge this one.
Picks: Kirino, Kanon
Prediction: Kirino, Houki