Saimoe Round One action continues after a brief break…
Block C kicks off with a bang as the top two factions collide. Rise shouldn’t affect the outcome here, which should be a Kyouko win, as Shizu isn’t just one of the more popular characters among the Achiga mains. One thing’s for sure though, this match will bring the very best out of these two series so the vote totals could be at the 300 for each at the very least.
Prediction: Toshinou Kyouko
Tough match to call. This is pretty much Potte vs. Kanon although this could very well play out like the previous Chris-Nori-Sae match. Difference is, Tamayura is newer, while KamiNomi is still KamiNomi.
I expect that 2ch will favor the newer characters over the older ones (do note that Tamayura isn’t exactly *new*), but that possible split vote is making things really difficult to call here. As it is, I’m going with Kanon here in a very close match, counting on her, being one of the most popular KamiNomi girls, after all.
Ringo’s the odds-on favorite here, but Kao-tan with the Tamayura combo vote could cause the former some trouble. Nichijou’s an afterthought so Hakase wouldn’t be much of a factor.
Strike Witches showed some of its luster with Minna winning a straightforward match, but this one isn’t that simple. Kokoro won a group last year (and some matches too) but Milky Holmes is nowhere as good as it used to be (at least in the prelims, anyway). The rookie here is Hare, who got in while the other GC mainstays didn’t. I’m picking Eila here in what should be a really close three-way – somewhat reminiscent of the recently concluded Run-Ritsu-Ami bout.
Both Kokoro and Eila came from very tough groups and did decent, which makes this one even harder to call. Time to roll the dice.
A rather easy match for Hisa – just prepping her up for the inevitable rematch against Hayate’s Maria, I guess.
Ah, this should be good. Ui’s out to get her first win in Saimoe (ever) and the Ice Witch stands in her way. It’s not easy to count out Suruga either with that series mojo. As it is, I figured that K-On will probably do enough to ensure that Ui finally gets the job done after getting shafted in a series of tough round one matches (not that one’s any easier, still).
More good matches. Chinatsu might not be one of the higher-tiered YuruYuris but still shes is one, and that gives her enough punch already. Same goes for Lucchini. Kuuko did really good in the prelims, as well.
It’s about time that Nyaruko gets its first series win, but Kuuko will have her work cut out for her.
I just don’t see Lotte losing here. ANALYSIS!
Interestingly, Erica’s on the same match day as her 2011 quarterfinals opponent. Erica did show off some of that firepower in the prelims, finishing third. Yune and Sonya won’t be easy targets though. In fact this could be a shootout. I’d say this is one of the more intriguing matches for me as these three look evenly matched. Experience (and series mojo) will triumph though, with Erica barely squeezing through (much like what she did for the most part of 2011).
More Tamayura! After Isumi succumbed to a less heralded opponent it’s tough to say that Maria will easily take this. I’ll probably change my mind depending on how Tamayura fares in the block opener, but one thing’s for sure – Laura isn’t winning this one. Hayate’s probably going to be more wary now to avoid any sort of upset shenanigans so Maria it is.
Sherlock-Mayuri-Asuha would’ve been interesting in 2011. Well, it is still somehow interesting this year – only to see which faction has regressed the least – making it one match that’s rather difficult to predict.
I’m going with the proven (and Yukarin-powered) Asuha to continue the winless spells for Sherlock and Mayuri. Might have to use an Akarin here for fantasy though. That’s how unsure I am about this one.
Serenity, Peace and Ai – interesting names in a match the outcome of which is not as interesting. Rest in Saimoe peace, Gruier and Ai.
Houki seems to deliver when IS needs it the most. Rinko’s gonna make it harder for her, but even though Houki’s just a 2nd prelim qualifier this time, she did finish the furthest out of the IS characters last year (Top 16). Caveat though is that one of last year’s top 16 finishers already got ousted this year. I say Houki will survive to see another round.
Mainly Mashiroiro vs. Nyaruko, with the former still looking for its first win. This would be one of Mashiroiro’s best chance to get a win though, although Kurei (with the spirit of Toshinou Kyouko within her, same VA, etc) won’t just lay down easily. The Prelim Group test is in favor of Sana in this one and consequently I’m giving her the nod as well.
Yasuna already bested one of the top witches in the prelims (Erica), she shouldn’t really have much trouble here against Barkhorn.
After Chris’ (absolutely) impressive showing against the Hidamaris in Block B, it would be just negligent to dismiss Hibiki’s chances here. Still, Chihaya’s the better singer though so she will win. (Yeah, really). This match will be better than initially expected in any case.
Imai Asami combo! Unfortunately for Kurisu, Mihoko’s on another level. This would’ve been a fantastic match if Steins;Gate was as strong as it was last year. It would take something as a monumental as a timeline shift to change the outcome that is already set in stone – a win for the captain.
Prediction – Mihoko
This match day just gets better as Louise is one of the more entertaining Saimoe figures in history. A bane of Sakis not named Nodoka, this time she aims to prove that prelims performance is null and void in the case of an angel named Arakawa Kei. Vote percentage is in favor of Kei but only because she’s in a much easier group than the the dreaded Group Nine from which Louise hails. It’s a familiar territory for Louise – another win, and closer to the Kugimiya classic part whatever that a good amount of Saimoe voters would like to see. (Or do they?).
More Saki action as Hajime comes to the plate against Phantom Arsene and Suzu. Two factions on the freefall against the best of them all. It’s easy to see who wins this one.
C-c-combo breaker – that’s what Madoka aims to be as more Sakis get involved. It’s going to take a lot of guts to beat the Saki combo, but I think Madoka can do it. Both Teru and her did well in the prelims – however I found Madoka’s performance to be more impressive. It’s going to be close, but Madoka will send Teru packing.
I learned the hard way that Saimoe doesn’t give birthday girls any favors (see Ritsu). Makoto will try to defy the odds and rekindle the Idolmaster magic once again on her birthday. I’ll take the pessimistic route here – you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Makoto’s getting one, but Karuta’s the one who will be doing the eating. I’d be glad to be proven wrong on this one.
OO-OOOH. Ro-Kyu-Bu’s experienced a lot of hiccups with the upset loss of ace Mokkan, but I’d say they will rebound nicely with Hinata holding court. This is Ogura Yui’s year after all.
Nagi’s going for her all time seventeenth win, and how easy it is. She will not be denied.
The combo will not help Hiroe obviously, but it might be enough to push Touka through over Saber.