Eyes on the prize.
1位 288票 水瀬伊織＠THE IDOLM@STER
2位 171票 長野原みお＠日常
3位 159票 永水女子の黒髪を首元で2つに括った選手（神代小蒔）＠咲-Saki- 阿知賀編 episode of side-A
1位 417票 園城寺怜＠咲-Saki- 阿知賀編 episode of side-A
2位 192票 瀬名愛理＠ましろ色シンフォニー -The color of lovers-
3位 74票 御庭つみき＠あっちこっち
1位 324票 見崎鳴＠Another
2位 260票 杉浦綾乃＠ゆるゆり
3位 73票 リアス・グレモリー＠ハイスクールD×D
This result is confirmed.
Things went as expected – easy wins for Iorin and Toki, while Mei had to gut it out against Ayano before pulling away in the end.
Idolmaster is now 2-for-2 – we know that this won’t last long, but still so far so good. A one hundred point cushion at this point is nothing to scoff at, when you think about it.
Toki shows off her championship form getting past the 400-vote barrier for the first time in this year’s(!) tournament. Not that Sena Airi’s a pushover either, since Mashiroiro has been at least decent this year (based on the prelims only, of course). She only takes the record for the best vote% so far this year, nudging fellow contender Akari out of the top spot in that department.
Story of the day has to go with Mei over Ayano. We’ve seen flashes of Mei brilliance when she almost stole the Group One win, and she strikes again with another one here, employing once more a final push to put her over the top. Obviously, Ayano couldn’t follow through Akarin’s victory, but she did battle well until the last stages of the match.
Predictions: 3-0 (16-2)
Picks: 2-1 with Ayano losing (12-6)
Yuno-Azusa-Sakurako is definitely the big one here, and it’s really hard to go through this one with a lot of variables.
Azusa has to avoid the ignominy of being the first former champ to go out in the first round in two consecutive tournaments thereafter. K-On also looked reinvigorated, but the warning sign here is that it was a weak group compared to others in terms of “threat” density. So they could’ve easily just gotten the votes because there were not much options to choose from.
Yuno is looking to continue the same honor that Isumi previously flubbed – perfect Round One record, but this is obviously her toughest one yet. She has Nazuna for the combo advantage – but has it really mattered much this year so far?
Sakurako belongs to a top faction this year so she’s got that boost. And Yuruyuri will be looking to rebound after the demise of Ayano’s Saimoe campaign.
I decided to stick with how I initially going down in the block preview post, so Azusa to eke out a win here to show that K-On is really back. But it won’t be really surprising if Sakurako gets this as both Azusa and Yuno are past their prime, or Yuno getting it based on combo logic. All three have a lot going for them, but only one can win (inb4 tie).
The other matches also have a lot of trickiness in them as well – it’s easy to underestimate Shirayuki due to Hidan no Aria’s downward spiral after last year’s solid showing – and Shinobu hasn’t shown herself as something to fear either. But still, I’m gonna go with Shinobu – again coming from the super tight Group One – so she’ll likely be better than what her numbers show.
Lastly, I have Yozora finally getting one win for Haganai after their past struggles, because she has the best faction among the three here and the best finish out of them (and almost a P2 group winner too, like Round Two-bound Yuka from Natsuiro.
It was certainly a closer battle than the numbers depict, with Mei only winning it after a very strong final rush. It was also interesting to see the combo votes the duo had with Toki – Mei had 172 while Ayano had 150 – just a difference of 12. So yeah, this pretty much confirms that Mei’s prelim performance wasn’t a fluke and that she is definitely a threat to look out for.
So moving on, Yuno-Sakurako-Azusa is definitely the highlight of the day. All three performed very well in their preliminary groups – Azusa won her K-ON!-dominated group, Sakurako emerged 4th in one of the most packed prelim group while Yuno did so too in a decent group.
Sakurako’s been receiving lots of screentime lately in her show, but unfortunately I think she’ll come up short against the pro veterans here. Ayano’s performance yesterday wasn’t an encouraging sign for her, and after all, she was riding on Akarin’s votes in her prelim group. Now down to Azusa and Yuno – what counts against Azusa is the simple fact that she’s already won it, even if this is probably going to be her last time competing. Yuno has had a pretty solid record but her powers are slowly waning too. However, I think she still has what it takes to scrape a victory here.
ALSO WILL WE SEE YOZORA CHOKING AGAIN?
Pick: Shinobu, Azusa
Prediction (15-3): Shinobu, Yuno, Yozora