What an incredible randomized draw! Every matchup tells a story! The tournament is months old, and we've finally reached the quarterfinals. Who is left?
Back when there were 32 girls left, I picked the eight I would like to see in the quarterfinals. They were Kobato, Akari, Cure Peace, Nagi, Kuro, Yuu, Nodoka and Shana. Well, I got 4 out of 8, which is twice as good as if I had just thrown darts at a dart board blindfolded. Kuro, Yuu, Nodoka, and Shana survived, accompanied by Toki, Hisa, Saki, and Louise.
Back in my original post about Saimoe 2012, I predicted Nodoka would win it all, but hoped that Shana would win. So I still have two picks in the running and there are only 8 girls left out of hundreds. That's pretty accurate forecasting! But I'm not done yet, the quarterfinals draw has given both Shana and Nodoka a great chance to advance yet another round. In the end, there are six Saki characters, 3 from the original and 3 from Achiga-hen, and two characters voiced by Rie Kugimiya, both in their anime swan songs because their stories are already done, making for a very slanted final 8 lineup.
Here are the remaining matchups:
Louise vs. Toki. We have to assume Toki will romp here. The winner of this match will face the winner of:
Nodoka vs. Saki. What a matchup! The two best friends and rivals from the original Saki series, who are destined to fight each other in the individuals tournament in the manga, end up facing each other in Saimoe instead! This is a picture perfect matchup. We'll finally be able to determine on the battlefield which of these Saki protagonists is truly the most popular of them all. I'm going with Nodoka, since I predicted she'd win the whole shebang after all. But even if she beats Saki, overcoming Toki in the semifinals will be a monumental task.
On the other side of the brackets we have:
Kuro Matsumi vs. Yuu Matsumi: Are you kidding me? The older sister and the little sister have to face each other? What a tragic twist of events! Fresh off of celebrating the fact that both got into the quarterfinals, both teammates and family, now they must turn their knives on each other and ruthlessly eliminate the others' hopes and dreams?? Who is the better sister? Yuu wears a scarf, but Kuro has those beautiful tear-filled eyes. Is there any way to choose? I'll go with Kuro here, but my heart sinks because I really loved them both. This is a tragedy more poignant than Shakespeare could have ever imagined.
If Kuro wins, she'll be facing the winer of:
Shana vs. Hisa. Shana has been extremely lucky so far. Every step on her way to the quarterfinals, she's managed to be just barely stronger than her opponent for the round. And now yet again Shana gets to face easily the weakest member of the Saki cast, Hisa Takei, Nodoka and Saki's upperclassman and the mahjong club president. I never thought Hisa could get this far, but surely this time Shana will take her down. I was sure Shana would lose out here in the quarterfinals, but because of this miraculous draw, Shana might just have it in her to keep on going. Now she'll just have to aim for the finals and total victory.
We'll have to wait until October 29th to know the winner of the last quarterfinal. It's going to be a high-tension week!
That isn't the only reason to be excited this week. While we wait for The World God Only Knows oav to be subtitled, three new episodes of Idolmaster are coming out, presumably the final ones? In addition, the world outside of Japan will finally get to see the Strike Witches movie, which comes out in blu-ray in a couple days. It'll still take a while to be subtitled, but at least the light is at the end of the tunnel. Saimoe, The World God Only Knows, The Idolm@ster, and Strike Witches? Sign me up.