One of the most dragged out Saimoe in recent years is finally reaching an end as we’ll witness the Final today. For the third year running, we have contestants from the same series battling it out for the crown. No matter what happens today, the Madoka series has cemented their place in the Saimoe record book as one of the greats – they’ll be the first series to win two Saimoe tournaments – something the Nanohas and Rozens of the past came close to achieve, but didn’t.
Of course, there is some form of resentment seeing how the Madoka faction has dominated proceedings yet again. Yup, the lack of competition has certainly made things dull, especially since we’ve gone through this for three straight years now, but at the end of the day, these two girls probably deserve their spot in the finals based on their excellent performances throughout the tournament.
So let’s get down to this: Madoka vs Sayaka. These two best friends have crossed paths before back in the quarter finals of 2011, where Madoka beat Sayaka by 44 votes. It had a nervy end if you might remember, with Madoka’s final rush was eventually enough to see her through back then. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see something just as tense today.
Madoka’s route to the finals, just like the tourney, was dragged out more than necessary – a Round 2 exit caused by the Madoka faction’s only hiccup of the tournament meant that she had to go through the repechage round to return to the fold. Of course, things could have been very different if the Saki faction had not subsequently screwed up Block B (which still remains one of the major turning points of the tournament, something I’ll touch upon again in the post-tournament wrap-up), but they somehow did and the rest is history. Madoka returned in style, conquering repechage with ease, then avenging her defeat against Ayase and proceeded to take out Kuroneko and Kyouko.
Sayaka’s route to the finals was pretty straightforward – she was handed the easiest block amongst the Madoka girls and as such was able to reach the Final 16 easily. Her carefree run was supposed to come to an end at the hands of Mami, but Sayaka was surprisingly able to overwhelm her as the Madoka faction decided that Mami already had her fair share of victories.
So, two different paths – some may argue that Sayaka has had the easier route to the Final based on the opponents she has faced, while other will argue that the repechage round was an equally easy way for Madoka. Well, it doesn’t really matter though, since the Madoka faction pretty much annihilated everyone in their way.
So, who’ll emerge the victorious one here? The fact that Madoka has the higher popularity here and MC power should give her an edge over Sayaka, but the latter must not be underestimated, since she did beat the monstrous Mami after all. However, Mami was already a champion while Madoka is currently not, and as such Sayaka will probably run out of luck here.
The last time a character from Block H emerged victorious was back in 2004, where the first intra-series Final took place. On that occasion, the MC of the show… lost.