Arguably Round Three’s most important match. For the first time we’ll get to see if there’s still any semblance of resistance left against the Puella Magi. There are no combo-votes, split-votes, or any handicaps, bonuses here, just a pure one-on-one match against the second-seeded Miki Sayaka and the twelfth-seed Char.
The latter has shown some signs of being able to muster enough votes when the situation needs it (Round One versus Erio). She’s been underwhelming the previous round though, which puts her capacity to beat Sayaka in question. Sayaka has been ripping through the rest of the field after being threatened in the Prelims for first place honors in her group. Char is the obvious underdog here, and she’s gonna have to pull a Mikoto-esque Round One performance in order to overcome one of this year’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It’s possible, but it’s really going to be hard. We might be looking at the first “upset” here. But given how the first eight matches have gone, I’m skeptical.
One of the round’s most predictable match (bordering on Madoka-Ika matches’ predictability). Same-series matches tend to be like that. For what it’s worth, Haqua is ranked ninteenth this round, while Ayumi is borderline 31st (of 32). So yeah, free pass for Haqua.
Top seeded Mami versus the 23rd-ranked Yoshika. Could the gap actually be closer than that? Yoshika has a couple of good wins in her belt, but they’re no Mami-esque massacres. This is gonna hurt a lot for the Strike Witch as Puella Magi continues to own them. I guess it would be an achievement for Yoshika if she can limit Mami to a vote percentage of 58 percent, because that’s basically her average for the first three phases of the tournament so far…
The other match for October 13 will actually be a good one as well. It’s as close as you can get stats-wise between these two. Shirayuki is 20th, while Yuuko is 21st. Both have been surprising so far, Yuuko will be most remembered for dealing Shana her first non-Block Final loss, while Shirayuki has been sneaked up on both highly-favored foes Nako and Cecilia. So yeah, it’s really tough to call this one – a virtual coin flip. I’m going with Yuuko to pull it off. I think Shirayuki has the stronger faction (only by a little bit), but Yuuko’s win over Shana still stands out to me the most. Snap call right there, but I’m not really sure…
Index lies at the number 16 spot while Haruka is down at 24th place. Haruka’s had a series of good wins, including that thriller against Yui, but I can’t help but think she’s way overmatched against Index, who is looking to make up for all those Round One disappointments from years past. And with a bracket-busting win against Kirino, there’s no doubt in my mind she’s gonna get to the Block Finals.
Five versus eighteen, but it might actually be closer than that. One way to see how Kokoro will fare against Kyouko is the prelims, the first time a relevant encounter between Milky Holmes and Madoka Magica has occured. In that one, Sherlock came about 40 votes shy of Kyouko. If Kokoro is stronger (which I think she is), she might come a bit closer, but Kyouko has dealing as of late, including a record-setting trouncing of poor Shirley. This might be a good chance to take out her out, but I see such attempts as futile. Kyouko to prevail in a match that will probably be as close as the Prelims encounter between her and Sherlock.
Scarlet Ammo versus the Red Camelia might be the best candidate for an upset in a statistical standpoint. I think Aria is stronger than Houki, but the latter ended up ranking higher (14th and 11th, respectively). This might have been buoyed by Houki’s recent routs of weaker foes timed with high profile matches. Aria, of note, though, has posted the higher overall vote percentage by a few points. So it might not be warranted to call this an upset if Aria gets it. These two are evenly matched though I still see Aria as the bigger threat and I think she’ll pull through in a highly-contested affair (especially since it coincides with Kyouko-Kokoro match).
Kuroneko has overcome tougher foes, so there’s not really much to say in this No. 6 vs. No. 28 match except it’s cruise control for one of the strongest members of the “resistance.”