The defending champion. A Quarter Finalist from 2011. A promising debutant.
Well, that’s not a bad way to kick off this year’s proceedings. All eyes on Kuroneko as she takes on Toki. The last time these two made an appearance in the prelims, they were miles ahead of their competition – and their final standings definitely reflect their strength they had demonstrated then. With Toki now suffering the Champion’s curse, Kuroneko has the chance here to grab pole position – but you just get the feeling that it’s not going to be easy task.
Then there is Maki from Love Live, one of the series that is expected in some quarters to be one of the more successful debutants in this year’s tournament. She’s probably one of their aces too, having ranked top in the franchise’s recent popularity polls. Here’s an early chance for her to shine, but the early optimism might take a turn of the worse if she fails to perform here.
However, the first day of the prelims are always an unknown, especially with the lower voter turn-outs in the first few days of the tournament. Not many expected Mei to finish 2nd in the opening day last year, and Milhiore to top her group in 2011.
But with a bit of competition, that could change, as we’ve seen in 2010 where the winner of the first prelim group turned out to be… the champion.
As for the rest, we have Tohka from Date A Live and Suzuno from Hataraku Maou-sama, two characters from the previous season who will hope to capitalize on their freshness. There are a few significant pairs that would complement each other’s votes: Yui and Iori from Kokoro Connect, Kigu and Tetora from Joshiraku – both having aired last Summer. Saki from Ro-Kyu-Bu, Yui from To-Love Ru, Kana from Minami-ke, Komari from Lil’ Busters, Masuzu from OreShura, Azusa from im@s, Eu from Korezom, Elly from Milky Holmes, Shion from GJ-Bu, Noir from Dog Days, Lizbeth from SAO and Sasha from SnK will also be in the mix for the qualifying spots.
Prediction (Top 3): Toki, Kuroneko, Maki
The rest: Tohka, Komari, Masuzu, Kana, Suzuno, Kigu, Shion, Kotegawa Yui, Iori, Eu, Elly
Also, a reminder that the fantasy game is on, so give it a go if you feel like it!