1 383 Erica Hartmann @ Strike Witches 2
2 255 Astarotte Ygvar (Lotte) @ Astarotte no Omocha!
Well, we’re seeing shades of Minamoto Chikaru here in Strike Witches’ Erica Hartmann. What a sterling performance. Living on the edge. Four votes away from being booted out in Round Two. Three in Round Three. And she comes back here with her most impressive win yet. Against Lotte, who vanquished stronger foes before. It’s hard to make sense out of this, but that’s why carry out the matches. This is how Saimoe just goes, you never know how it’s gonna be until you see the “一致 ” in the Saimoe Management thread. A surprising match indeed. One, because Erica won. And two, because she won with ease, leading all the way.
Looking at the overview chart, I can’t recall any character in recent memory who has finished unimpressively (i.e. not first, second or third in her prelim group, and Erica finished fourth in a weak group), and reach this far, except yes, the fabled Minamoto Chikaru (Louise did finish fifth in her prelims in 2009, but she did Top 8 before that in 2007). So Erica fans out there, savor it, this might be the last victory for her, but what a sweet ride it was. Also one has to ask, where did the 200-something votes of Lotte in the previous round go?
Anyway, let’s move on to the next round, and I can’t state enough how important this will be. I’ve said my piece about this match in the preview, and won’t bother repeating myself, but the bottom line is: this will be the second most-voted match of the year (second to the infamous Mikoto-Homura match), or it might even exceed that. If Mikoto-Homura set the tone to start the tourney, then this match Kyouko-Kuroneko match will be the turning point.
EDIT: It’s also amazing how far Erica has come: from a girl that finished 108th in her Prelim Group (Group Eleven, she missed the prelim 2 cut), garnered only 7 votes way back in 2007 to someone who has now has a Top Four finish under her belt. Really proud.
Well, that was a shocking result. Erica continues to defy the odds again, but like many other Saimoe followers, I was surprised that Lotte could garner only 255 votes when she’s capable of 400+. Some might argue that Lotte’s count was boosted by strategic voters in the previous round, but she managed 400+ in her match against Kurisu too which didn’t have much importance at all in terms of tactical voting. Opinions or conspiracy theories anyone?
In any case, well done to Erica for making it this far. A great feat accomplished by the Strike Witches, and it’s always pleasing to see an underdog overcoming the odds.
So today’s the biggie: Kyouko vs Kuroneko, a crucial match-up that will probably determine the fate of this year’s tournament. Kuroneko’s the strongest non-Madoka girl left and probably the only one who can stop a Puella Magi from winning the crown now, considering the fact that Ika Musume is a far more uphill task of having to overcome two of the strongest Puella Magis to reach the finals.
The Madoka faction will be out in full force today as they seek to make the finals an all-PMMM affair. Kuroneko, on the other hand, will receive backing from those who wish to see competition right up till the end. Both competitors can turn up the heat when required – Kuroneko broke into the 400+ vote territory in the previous round (against Houki), while Kyouko garnered 500+ votes in a tricky encounter against Kokoro during the third round.
It’ll be a close one, but I think Kyouko will nick the win over here. However, if Kuroneko’s able to beat Kyouko by a decent margin, she’ll be in pole position to win the tourney this year.
MST Results for the past three days:
10-25: R2, Day 3
1 96 votes Kashiwaba Tomoe@Rozen Maiden
2 74 votes Ikeda Kana@Saki
3 33 votes Mizunashi Akari@Aqua / Aria
1 118 votes Suiseiseki@Rozen Maiden
2 60 votes Ryuuguu Rena@Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series
3 23 votes Yuuki Mikan@To LOVE-Ru
1 95 votes Yamamoto Nanako@Hanamaru Youchien
2 57 votes Hasegawa Chisame@Mahou Sensei Negima! series
3 32 votes Kamiya Kaoru@Rurouni Kenshin
R2, Day 4
1 89 votes Nagatsuki@Sanae Shinryaku! Ika Musume
2 73 votes Tomoe Mami@Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica series
3 14 votes Senoo Kaori@Saki
1 79 votes Haqua du Lot Herminium@Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai
2 70 votes Sakura Kyouko@Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica series
3 25 votes Shihouin Yoruichi@Bleach
1 85 votes Kinomoto Sakura@Cardcaptor Sakura
2 39 votes Sonozaki Shion@Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series
3 38 votes Kirishima Eriko (Elly)@Megami Ibunroku Persona
10-28: R2, Day 5
1 97 votes Ika Musume Shinryaku!@Ika Musume
2 36 votes Haibara Ai (Miyano Shiho)@Meitantei Conan series
3 22 votes Miyazaki Miyako@Bamboo Blade series
1 62 votes Saginomiya Isumi@Hayate no Gotoku!
2 50 votes Sonozaki Mion@Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series
3 29 votes Kondou Mayuka@Onii-chan no Koto nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!
1 83 votes Kataoka Yuuki@Saki
2 36 votes Kurimi Rina@Pretty Face
3 28 votes Koga Itami@Medaka Box