SM2010: Quarterfinals

Group finals are over and the draw is made, tomorrow starts the Saimoe 2010 Quarterfinals and this year we have a pretty unique lineup of old and new characters alike. First in this preview is the competing characters.

Group A Winner - Nagi Sanzenin

Nagi Sanzenin – Hayate the Combat Butler
Debut – Saimoe 2007
Previous Best – Runner Up (2007)

Since placing second in 2007, Nagi’s run of the next four tournaments has been up and down. On average, she always makes it to at least the group finals each year, but her power to remain into the finals usually ends up depending on who goes up against her. Last year she was defeated by Nodoka Haramura (Saki), and the year before she didn’t make it to the group final even, being clipped by Tsukasa Hiiragi (Lucky Star) in the second round. However, being a character who is a “token tsundere” and voiced by Rie Kugimiya, she took advantage of the new voting format and tactical voting to slip into the finals this year. However, stacked up against many newer and stronger opponents, Hayate fans will have to make every vote count if they want her to win.

Estimated Power Level (1-9001):5700

Group B Winner - Shana

Shana – Shagukan no Shana
Debut – Saimoe 2006
Previous Best – Semi Finals (2006)

Another longtime Saimoe contestant, “token tsundere”, and voiced by Rie Kugimiya, Shana is more or less in the same territory as Nagi when it comes to the tournament. Debuting a year earlier, Shana’s advantage is she has enjoyed fairly consistent popularity, but also falls to newer opponents from newer series each year, falling to Tamaki Kawazoe (Bamboo Blade) in 2008, and sat out 2009’s tournament as she had no series airing. What has hurt her the most in relevance is the fact that a third Shakugan no Shana series is still on hiatus after being announced several times, leaving her and other series populars, such as Yoshika Kazumi, able to get into the main tournament, but never able to get much farther than that. Watch out though, Shana will be a force in the final to reckon with, and although she may not win all, she will make her opponents fight for their victory.

Estimated Power Level (1-9001):6200

Group C Winner - Nodoka Haramura

Nodoka Haramura – Saki
Debut – Saimoe 2009
Previous Best – Semi Finals (2009)

Hot off of last year’s romp in the finals, Big N’ Busty Nodoka Haramura once again puts herself back into the finals for the second year in a row for Saki, a series that for the second year has fielded over 10 contestants in the main round, however only a few make it to the end, and this year once more, Nodoka makes it to the end having defeated many tough characters, including many from her own series. Nodoka’s power lies in her pseudo-tsundere personality, and huge tits. Her ability to move through this year’s finals will hinge on if Saki fans can square up against the powerful K-ON! and Railgun factions whom fielded two tough opponents in the finals. She also faces Shana for her first match in the finals, so Saki fans will have to deal with a powerful older character universally liked by even Saki fans themselves.

Estimated Power Level (1-9001):5800

Group D Winner - Koromo Amae

Koromo Amae – Saki
Debut – Saimoe 2009
Previous Best – Quarterfinals (2009)

The second Saki character in the finals is none other than Koromo Amae, who returns again with Nodoka for the second year in a row contending for the top prize. Her child-like charm and psuedo-tsundere personality help drive her past many tough battles in earlier rounds, including Kuroko Shirai (Railgun) and Kurimu Sakurano (Seitokai no Ichizon). Her force in the finals remains to be forseen, as last year in the same position, she fell to K-ON’a Yui Hirasawa by a narrow margin. This year she squares off against Railgun’s Ruiko Saten, and judging from the fact that the mighty Fate Testarossa couldn’t topple Saten, Saki fans will need to put everything into this match to take a victory.

Estimated Power Level (1-9001):6100

Group E Winner - Aoi Yamada

Aoi Yamada – Working!
Debut – Saimoe 2010
Previous Best – New Entry

Nobody expected the Ceiling Cat to do so well in this tournament, much less defeat favored Angel Beats! Kanade Tachibana in a photo-finish for the newbie. Personality wise, Aoi is sort of the wild card character in Working! having established herself as a character of many personas and traits. Her power in the finals will vary, and many believe she will not last beyond her final debut as she goes up against K-ON’a Azusa Nakano, who was elevated quite high after K-ON’s second season ending on TV. If she does somehow manage to beat Azu-nyan, she will become more powerful than you ever imagined.

Estimated Power Level (1-9001):5555

Group F Winner - Mafuyu Shiina

Mafuyu Shiina – Seitokai no Ichizon
Debut – Saimoe 2010
Previous Best – New Entry

One random series that isn’t “Top Tier” among many makes it to the finals to seemingly taunt the rest. Last year it was Louise from Zero’s Familiar, the year before, Hinagiku Katsura from Hayate the Combat Butler contended in a sea of Lucky Star, Clannad, and Bamboo Blade. This year we’ve had the fortune of having seven unique series for the eight finalists and Seitokai no Ichizon fielded Mafuyu Shiina. Some consider her the “troll vote”, much like Aoi, used to tactical vote down stronger opponents or set up others for better victory, but Mafuyu has a secret following that only a few seem to understand, and the rest don’t know how she got there. Unfortunately for her, she has Nagi to contend with in her first match. Should she survive, she has either Koromo or Saten to contend with. Will she be the one, or will she be the troll vote?

Estimated Power Level (1-9001):5556

Group G Winner - Azusa Nakano

Azusa Nakano – K-ON!
Debut – Saimoe 2009
Previous Best – Round 3 (2009)

Team K-ON! has, since debuting in 2009, varied luck in fielding their ever-popular series into the Saimoe finals. Last year top-tier Yui was able to make it all the way to the final battle, but lost to Toradora’s Aisaka Taiga. Azusa had the unfortunate fate of losing well before that to Taiga in the group finals. The other girls have not been able to post higher than the second round except for Mio this year, who came close, but was sacrificed by fans for Azusa to beat Railgun’s Mikoto Misaka. Azusa has many things going for her this year, she remains relevant in the series due to focus of her character in the second season, her “-nyan” which has earned the catch-phrase YES WE NYAA, and the fact that her tears in the final episodes brought her sympathy votes as being the cutest thing one ever did see. She is probably the strongest contender in the finals, and projected by many to win all.

Estimated Power Level (1-9001): 9002

Group H Winner - Ruiko Saten

Ruiko Saten – A Certain Scientific Railgun
Debut – Saimoe 2010
Previous Best – New Entry

Not known for much else than being the Level 0, baseball bat wielding, best friend of Uiharu, Saten has succeeded where the rest of the Railgun cast failed, in defeating not one but two top-tier characters, K-ON’s Tsumugi Kotobuki and Lyrical Nanoha’s Fate Testarossa. While she has quite the fanbase on /a/ and other foreign sites, which drove many of her votes, it remains to be foreseen if she has the momentum to work in the finals. Many are projecting a showdown between her and Azusa in the final match, which no doubt would be one of the best matches this tournament has seen.

Estimated Power Level (1-9001): 0

Quarterfinal Draw

QF1: Nagi Sanzenin v. Mafuyu Shiina
QF2: Koromo Amae v. Ruiko Saten
QF3: Shana v. Nodoka Haramura
QF4: Aoi Yamada v. Azusa Nakano

Honestly, this is going to be one hell of a finals when you consider previous years have been largely dominated by “favorite series” such as Saki, Lucky Star, Clannad, and Bamboo Blade. This year we have seven unique series, three of which are brand new characters to this year and three others were new last year. Only Shana and Nagi are multi-year veterans and their viability will rest on popularity and anti-tactical voting. Many are predicting a Saten/Azusa final battle, and I’d be inclined to jump on that one as well.

My predictions for the finals:

Predictions for the Final Matches

QF1: Nagi Sanzenin v. Mafuyu Shiina
Mafuyu made it on anti-votes and a small dedicated base, but when it comes to Nagi, who has been in this game for awhile, many samefavoritefags may consider voting for her instead. On the other hand, Raildex fans will consider voting Mafuyu in order to place her in better line for Saten to crush in the Semifinal. I’m going to side with Nagi on the off chance that butthurt Hayate fans will zerg rush this one FOR THE MOTHERLAND HINALAND.

QF2: Koromo Amae v. Ruiko Saten
Those who wish for a Saten v. Azusa showdown will vote her up in this match, those who remain loyal to Koromo and Saki will vote for her in this match. Honestly, given Saten’s momentum in the tournament, and how she defeated Fate, I’m going to side with her on this one.

QF3: Shana v. Nodoka Haramura
This one is a toughie. Shana is pretty powerful as a character and contender, not invincible, but the fact she was able to topple Nanoha, who has won this thing before, means something is pushing her up this year. Nodoka is a fan-favorite, but much like last year, I think she will fall to any character that has a bigger base pushing it. That said, Saki fans would be wise to vote her up and then vote Aoi up in the last fight. Oh tactical voting, you card!

QF4: Aoi Yamada v. Azusa Nakano
I like Ceiling Cat, but this is probably got to be the weakest fight ever, unless some serious tactical voting happens, yes, we nyan.

I’ll elaborate on the semifinal and final predictions in those reviews.

Last but not least, if you noticed the new layout on my Google Sites page for the finals, it will be a fully operational battlestation by tomorrow in time for the opening match. Work is also progressing on the barebones for TL;DR Saimoe but I don’t expect to have that site posed for operational status for awhile still.

Good fight, good night.


2 thoughts on “SM2010: Quarterfinals

  1. Pingback: saimoe update blog

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