Traditionally, there will be a detailed recap after every round, but work commitments coupled with the fact that I’m still recovering from a cold (not the deadly Japanese variant) and frustra still MIA-ing mean that I do not have the time to come up with one. I’m also unable to provide detailed statistics either since I actually wasn’t planning to be heavily involved in the Saimoe coverage this year, until frustra’s absence forced me to step in. Fortunately, gerjomarty has done an excellent job over at saimoe.info, so you can get your stats fix there.
That said, this year’s Saimoe is actually looking much more interesting than what I’d expected initially.
So just a brief summary:
- Madoka’s still the series to beat with all their main girls qualifying
- The Saki series is still going strong, but only the more popular characters from Achiga-hen + Nodocchi are performing, with the rest flopping
- Yuru Yuri and Haganai are enjoying themselves more this year, and they sense an opportunity given the Champions’ Curse afflicting Madoka and Saki
- Representatives from Chu2Koi and Henneko are still expectedly the new faces to look out for, along with Watashi from Jinrui
- Raildex is actually doing pretty good, with the Railgun main four impressing
- Others who are doing decent though not spectacular include Love Live, Ro-Kyu-Bu, Little Busters, the main Garupan girls etc.
- Hayate, Vividred, Hidamari Sketch amongst the worst flops in the main round
So let’s get on with the preview, and what a way to kick off the second round:
Iwai should be out of the question, so this is a match between Mami and Yozora. Yozora is like a different being from what she was last year, having put in massively improved performances. Mami is still a strong competitor from one of the strongest series in Saimoe, though she does have the Champions’ Curse hovering over her head. That said, with three Madoka magical girls in action today, it should provide enough ammunition for Mami as she seeks to gun down Yozora.
Ah, this is a tough one. Back in 2011, you would probably expect Madoka to be sacrificed for Homura based on their popularity levels then, though that might not hold true now. That said, Madoka has managed to go all the way to the semi-finals in 2011, so supporters might make way for Homura so that the latter has a share of the success. Besides, Homura has some unfinished business, as there was a feeling of injustice to her early exit in 2011 due to the BiriBiri cheating scandal.
Of course, there’s also a chance for Ayase to hijack the party, especially if the Madoka faction are caught up in two minds and are unable to split the votes effectively – the repechage system actually makes it harder for them as they’ll have to balance it such that they’ll achieve a 1-2 finish, leaving Ayase last. However, knowing their efficiency and sheer strength compared to Oreimo, the magical girl supporters should be able to find a way here.
Mori Summer vs Ika Musume will be the battle to watch out for here, a very promising new face versus a squid girl who still has a lot of support despite the lack of air-time. The latter’s invasion plans came undone in the second round last year, and tbe same fate probably awaits her here as she’s up against the 2nd strongest character of the strongest debutant series this year.