Anime Saimoe Tournament 2011 – An early look

Saimoe has not started yet, but since it is about time for Saimoe 2011, I will go through several characters and shows that can (or cannot) push through in this tournament. First, let’s look at veterans that will not be in this tournament:

Nanoha and Fate are very important characters in this tournament. Nanoha was the winner of 2005 and Fate was the runner-up of 2006. They haven’t been doing very well since their wins, but they’re going to have to wait another year if they want to recapture the title since they did not make an appearance this year. Maybe in 2012 or 2013 depending on when the second movie comes out.

Another important franchise in this tournament is Hayate no Gotoku. Nagi was the runner-up in 2007 and 2010 and Hina-chan, who some people consider as a top contender in Saimoe, always seems to get screwed somewhere in the tournament. Unfortunately, they too will have to wait another year to get their revenge. The Hayate(/Negima) movie is coming two months too late for this tournament, so they are not eligible in this tournament.

Saki has been an annoying force for many contenders in this tournament. Unlike Negima, which has lots of girls but few contenders that advance, Saki has lots of girls and many contenders that advance. They managed to get 2 girls in the quarterfinals for the past two years and managed to even get 4 girls in the Elite 8 in 2009. Well, they won’t have a chance this year since it’s been over a year (almost two) since the anime showed. They’ll have to wait until the next season starts (yes, it was announced several days ago).

Now this last one is a little weird for me to put, but Toradora’s Aisaka Taiga was the winner of the 2009 tournament. She didn’t get a chance to defend her title last year since Toradora didn’t show last year. However, in one episode of Ookami-san (which is eligible this year), Taiga-chan, Ami, and Minorin made a surprise cameo. Unfortunately, I don’t think that will be enough for eligibility. I might be wrong. If she is not eligible, she’ll need her older self, Ookami Ryouko-chan, to do well. (UPDATE 7/19: Actually, I just noticed that they are eligible. Their official entry is “The student called ___-san”)

Now on to anime and characters that matter this year. First, let me talk about this year’s veterans (underlined shows are shows with at least one character that I think could possibly win the tournament):

K-On!!: You know, K-On is still extremely popular. Even if it has been many months since K-On!! ended, they are still dangerous forces in this tournament. Will they win a second year? There is a good possibility since the field this year isn’t as strong as previous years. And since there is the movie coming out, they can go at it again next year.

Angel Beats!: Angel Beats! managed to do well last year with Yui-nyan taking 1st in one preliminary and Kanade-chan taking 2nd in another preliminary. Unfortunately, they fizzled in the three-way group finals. The two might have  a chance this year, but they have time against them, an enemy for most late spring/summer anime. This will most likely also be their last year so hopefully make the best of this tournament. I’ll try my best to vote for Yui-nyan whenever I can!

Index/Railgun: Mikoto-chan should have a good chance this year, as long as she doesn’t get placed with a Hougako Tea Time member, which will make her run a lot harder. Index might have a better chance this year than last year since this year was her series, but I think Mikoto-chan is the strongest in this group. As for the black horse of last year, Saten Ruiko-chan, she might have a chance, but she was only in an OVA, so her chances are not as good as last year.

BakaTest: Not a particularly strong group, but they did do okay last year with the sisters Minami-chan and Mizuki-chan, the death cook, Himeji, and the childhood friend that will not take ‘No’ for an answer, Shouko, advancing to the second round. They would have done better if Hideyoshi was part of the tournament, but of course, I’m kind of joking. They had an OVA earlier this year and will have an anime this summer so their chances are okay. Not strong, but okay.

Shakugan no Shana: Shana-chan always managed to make it to the final match of each of her groups. I wouldn’t say Shana has the strongest chance this year since she only was in an OVA many months back, but I would say that she will do better than maybe the BakaTest gang, especially since it is Kugimiya Rie.

Strike Witches: These Pantsu Witches did okay when they were in the tournament two years ago, but they didn’t go too far. Same will probably happen this year also.

Negima: Really, it seems like Negima never has a chance despite the fact it has a lot of girls and it’s a pretty popular manga, but what can I say. Maybe the movie will lift their profile for next year’s tournament, but it would be wishful thinking to see Negima past the first round, with the exception of maybe Evangeline.

ONE PIECE/Naruto/Bleach/FMA/Dragonball: They are popular, but they don’t have a chance, just like every year. The only way they can do well is if a lot of mainstream anime watchers overseas participate, but that’s not happening.

Reborn: Again, pretty popular, but they won’t have a chance. This is also their last chance until the manga gets far enough to justify a new season. I really, really hope that my Chrome Dokuro can at least advance past the prelims, so please vote for her! Please!

To Love-Ru: Yup, the manga that makes you wonder why it hasn’t been banned yet by “that Tokyo governor”. They’re not the strongest of the veterans, so I don’t expect them to go far, maybe up to the second or maybe even the third round, depending on who they face.

Now on to the newcomers of this tournament:

Lotte no Omocha: I wouldn’t say that Lotte (or Asuha) are strong contenders, but Lotte does have a little bit of an advantage since she is a Kugyuu character.

Hidan no Aria: Now this does has much more potential. We have our Kugyuu tsundere, Aria-chan, our ecchi lover, Riko-chan, our yandere, Shirayuki-chan, and our quiet character, Reki-chan. I don’t know if Aria-chan can make it past the likes of K-On!!, but she is certainly a top contender.

AnoHana: This is a bit tough. This show is pretty popular, but with the exception of Menma-chan, I don’t think they have a great chance. But as I implyed, Menma-chan might give some trouble in this tournament.

Infinite Stratos: This has some potential with five (or six or more) girls that have a good chance with Laura and Charlotte having the biggest chances of doing well. They also have what I believe is the best minor character of this year’s tournament, Nohotoke Honne-chan (aka Nohohon-san).

A Channel: Run-chan and Touru might have a chance, but they won’t be going too far in this tournament considering who they have to face.

Ookami-san: I think that Ryouko-chan has the biggest chance of advancing because she is Taiga-chan in the future, maybe Akai Ringo. But truthfully, they don’t have a chance.

OreImo: Another big contender in this tournament. Kirino-chan and Ruri-chan (aka Kuroneko) are certainly the top contenders in this anime and you can see a war brewing if they are in the same group. They could possibly beat HTT and Misaka-chan if they wanted to.

GOSICK: I actually didn’t watch GOSICK yet, but from what I’ve been observing, Victorique is certainly a strong loli contender in this tournament. I can’t talk too much more since as I said, I didn’t watch GOSICK.

Kore wa Zombie desu ka?: With Yu-chan, Haruna-chan, Sera, (and to a lesser extent, Yuki-nyan/Tomonori/Mael Strom), they could have a decent chance. Unfortunately, they aren’t as popular as one could hope they would be. But I do hope that Yuki-nyan does well, she’s one of the best in my mind, of course behind Chrome-nyan.

Shinryaku! Ika Musume: Who doesn’t love a squid that fails at invading? She’ll do much better invading this tournament, but I don’t think she’ll win.

Denpa Onna: Erio-chan has a decent chance, but she does have stiff competition to face. I’ll be rooting for Ryuushi (リュウ『コ』やっちゅーに!).

DOG DAYS: A cute dog princess, a rough lion princess. Plenty of cute girls but not going to be a strong series here.

Panty & Stocking: Pretty popular, especially over here, but I don’t believe the two will be going far.

Puella Magi☆Madoka Magica: If the HTT girls to lose this year, it will be because of these magical girls.

Yumekui Merry: Who doesn’t like a cute dream demon who likes showing off her navel? Merry and the other girls should make it to the actual tournament, but I don’t think they’ll be going too far.

That’s pretty much it for now. Remember, this is what I think and this will probably not reflect what will actually happen, seeing that I’m not that great at calling these things. I’ll try to cover the whole tournament, but seeing that I’ll be in Japan during part of the preliminary round, I might not be able to cover some of the groups in time. At least I’ll be able to vote without problems during that time.

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