1st 272 votes Kaname Madoka @ Puella Magi Madoka Magica
2nd 250 votes Kuroneko (Gokou Ruri) @ Ore no Imouto ga Konna Kawaii Wake ga Nai
Now that’s more like it. Although Kuroneko came up short in the end, she managed to put in a spirited battle against a Madoka representative unlike most of the other contestants before her. She even threatened to beat Madoka at one point, but the goddess was able to hold her ground and withstand a strong comeback from Kuroneko to set up a all-Madoka clash with Kyouko in the semi-finals. As such, the Madoka series is already guaranteed a spot in the finals – a great achievement for them.
As for Kuroneko, a good second campaign in general – she has hardly put a foot wrong throughout the tournament, but ultimately series strength does play a part and the Madoka faction was simply stronger than the support shown for Oreimo characters.
Toshinou Kyouko @ Yuru Yuri
Watashi @ Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
The only quarter final match not involving the Madoka girls, and as such it’s probably the most interesting one. Both are making their first appearance in the Final 8 – Kyouko having came through the repechage round to make it here, while Watashi is the last one standing amongst the new entrants in this year’s tournament. Probably a fitting portrayal given that Watashi exists in a timeline where she’s one of the few humans left on this planet.
In terms of her Saimoe performances, Watashi has done exceptionally well for a character who doesn’t have much series backing. She is reminiscent of 2011’s Ika Musume, who was doing well on her own too before losing out to Mami, the eventual champion. Watashi might get a chance to face that very same champion, provided she gets through Toshinou Kyouko first.
For Kyouko, she has had to come a long way to reach this stage – a wait that stretches back from the previous year, where she was unfortunate to get knocked out in the previous round after being tipped to do well along with Akarin. Her personal vendetta against Saki then began – she started off by beating Koromo this year, but was eventually made to suffer for that as the Saki faction voted in favor of Mokkan in the second round. However, she had the final laugh, knocking out Arata and Ryuuka in successive matches in the repechage round to return to the fold. Having had to go through so many trials and tribulations to reach the quarter-finals, Kyouko supporters will be hungry for success here.
So will Kyouko’s perseverance finally bear fruit, or will Watashi survive to see another day? Who’ll be the last contestant to stand up against the Madoka faction? This match should, hopefully, be a cracker.