SM2010: Flamethrower Beats

So the tournament kicks off with a bang as this year’s grid is a lot different, where previous years has usually split up each group into two halves that competed with each other for the final, this year each group will whittle its way down to one person, who will square off again the opposite group until the final 8 are standing. I’m not sure if this means a final round is eliminated, as in previous years there was a Final 16 that would eventually be whittled to 8, 4, 2, and then the winner, so my guess is they eliminated a final round making it 8-4-2 this year. So, as AS.org pointed out, “tactical butthurt” will be on the rise this year.

Group A and B – 8/3 was mostly new to the party, but camps were clear. Out of the new debuts, Kureha Suminoya (Sora no Woto) and Kaede Mizuno (Nyan Koi!), sadly both lost by small margins to Miki Noda (GA ~Geijutsuka Art Design Class~) and Nazuna (Hidamari Sketch). I figure of the Nyan Koi! gang, the twintails will probably fair the better out of this considering not many of the other characters made it to the main round.

Group A and B – 8/4 debuted several more series and potential heavy hitters, with Working! girls Kyouko Shirafuji, and Yachiyo Todoroki, and Mayoi Neko Overrun’s Kaho Chikumaen. A Todoroki and Kyouko showdown was rather humorous given the characters premise in the series, but Todoroki took the win in a three-way contested match, leaving the manager in last, with only 36 votes. Clannad powerhouse Ryou Fujibayashi, who placed in last year’s “Sweet 16” but lost to Saki‘s Touyoko “Stealth Homo” Momoko, and made it to the C final in 2008 only to lose to Kagami Hiiragi (Lucky Star) whom went on to win 2008. She will no doubt be a force again this year.

Group A and B – 8/5 kicks off the fun as Kazumi Yoshida (Shakugan no Shana) makes her 5th appearance in the tournament but always falls short of making it past Round 1 or Round 2, her strongest showing being in 2006 when Shakugan no Shana debuted. Angel Beats! star Yuri Nakamura, as well as Miyuki Irie debut, as well as Rinko Kuzaki (Omamori Himari) and titty-tastic Selina Iori Flameheart (Ladies X Butlers), but also making her 5th debut is the one and only Shana (Shakugan no Shana). While in recent years she hasn’t made much of an impact, she is still a crowd favorite and managed to hold that line to eliminate Yuri and Rinko, with Selina coming in last with a mere 69 votes. Hidamari Sketch favorite Yuno cruises well past her three contenders to move on.

Group A and B – 8/6 had another good matchup, putting veteran heavies Hanyuu (When The Cry), Mikuru Asahina (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) against newbies Junko Hattori (Demon King), Tomomi “Queen Bitch of the Universe” Saikyou (Ladies X Butlers) and Mayoi “The Snail” Hachikuji (Bakemonogatari) along with a couple others. Surprisingly, one of those “others”, Nymph (Sora no Otoshimono) managed to edge out 60 votes over Hanyuu to win the match, and poor Junko winds up in last with not even 70 votes. The Snail manages to take a commanding win over Mikuru showing the potential power of Bakemonogatari which is shaping up to be a major contender this year as it was a fan favorite among elevens as well as /a/tards and /w/tards. Queen Bitch however, places last with 7 less votes than Flameheart, sounds like Ladies x Butlers will not fair well in this tournament.

Group A and B – 8/7 is where the real fun begins, as former powerhouse Nanoha Takamachi (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha) returns from a hiatus to make more friends from this year’s contenders, and this time is back to being young again (pre-StrikerS), which will no doubt be a factor as she faces off against “Archer’s Keeper”, “Gamefaqs”, and “Maid B” in what was no contest for the Raising Heart-wielded mage. Side A pits Sora no Woto‘s tank girl Noel Kannagi against Bakemonogatari‘s Nadeko Sengoku and a couple of other characters no one cared about, sadly Noel could not stop the Bakemonogatari train as it scored another win early on.

Next Week – 8/8 through 8/11: “Tsubasa Cat” is out on the prowl, Isumi may always get lost, but somehow 2ch always finds her, especially when she is up against “The Trap” Karou Daichi (Ladies vs. Butlers) and “Mask the Money” returns for yet another heist, and maybe she won’t lose to “Tits McGee” Nodoka this year.

Edit: I’ve finished the template for this year’s posters:

Alternately, you may have a delicious example of how this format will work:

Still working on the Final 8 and Final 4/2 designs, but they might contain similar themes. The design is somewhat based on the versus loading screen from Starcraft 2 with fonts from the game and other self-inflicted designs. The background colors will be different this year instead of the dull gray from last year.

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