Matsumi Yuu tops current record vote total
Okay first of all so sorry for this very delayed post as I was totally busy with my own stuff in reality hence no time to update the blog. I been following AST results tightly though with that of ISML too. ISML is heading to its final regular season round and I will be talking more about that later after the AST recap.
Since it’s been a long time I update and the sheer amout of matches that took place, I am sorry to say that I will only be doing a summary of each block and I hope that will suffice. So sorry once again!
BLOCK C RECAP
Top Vote Count Winner:
Shizuno Takakamo (Saki Achiga Hen Episode of side A) – 409 Votes
Shizuno not only took this Block’s Round 1 with style but also substance as she swept aside TOSHINO KYOUKO of YuruYuri with around 40 votes to spare. Not a total blow out but with Shizuno not being one of Saki’s main Aces being able to prevail in a early showdown of Saki-YuruYuri (Hint hint at Toki vs Akarin) shows that Saki’s game is to win this time round after failing twice. YuruYuri suffers yet again despite Akarin’s win with the exit of what arguably is their second best they have to offer in this Round 1 showdown.
Yune ousting last year’s Semi Finalist Erica in Round 1
Erica or rather Strike Witches may have slide abit since last year’s performance but for Erica to lose in her opening bout is sort of an upset. Last year she prevail against 2 opponents with razor thin vote margins but this year that same razor thin margin turn backed on her as she lost by 4 votes. This sorts of prevent a rematch with Lotte (who won her match quite convincingly) after their quarterfinals bout from last year which went the way we all knew.
Block C generally went the way I thought with only Maria and Kokoro failing to progress to Round 2 showing how much their series has regressed since 2009 and 2011 respectively. Hisa didn’t styled as much as I thought a possible backlash of Shizuno’s win over Kyouko but lets just see for now. With TOSHINO out of the way this block will seem to be taken by either Hisa or Shizuno unless Lotte or Yayoi has something to say about it.
BLOCK D RECAP
Top Vote Count Winner AND Notable Upset
Makise Kurisu (Steins;Gate) – 439 Votes
Fukuji Mihoko (Saki Achiga Hen Episode of side A) – 364 Votes
With Shizuno opening Block C with style over one of their nearest rival faction this time, Kurisu up their game with a resounding win and upset over Fukuji Mihoko (Kyapten!) ousting one of Saki’s ageing but if not stronger Aces. This win also would help Steins;Gate greatly as they have been experiencing a slump too as seen from Prelims. What would had been a Saki-Hayate showdown (Mihoko VS Nagi) has been denied and Kurisu has done her job of denying Saki of this Block to take. Nagi should be able to capitalize on this now unless Louise or even Kurisu give her a tough road to securing another QF berth.
Block D went the way I would have thought for most of the time but Kurisu-Mihoko definitely qualifies as one of the major upsets of the tournament this year now. It was no Homura-Mikoto but a Round 1 exit of such a high profile Saki character indicates 2012 would not be the Sakimoe like Saimadoka was in 2011. With only Hajime left in this block after further Saki losses by Teru,Atago ,Kei and Touka (and Tomoki lol not that it was unexpected) after the shock upset, Saki has lost the chance to secure this block and the QF berth. Hayate will most probably benefit from this and help save a fast falling Hayate in 2012.
BLOCK E RECAP
Top Vote Count Winner:
Yuu Matsumi (Saki Achiga Hen Episode of side A) – 639 Votes
Sure these numbers may be inflated thanks to the Sakimoe match up (Arata-Yuu-Usuzumi) but breaking the 600 vote point (along with the 500) proves alot for our scarf ace. It also provides a nice boost for Saki after a disastrous showing in Block D. With this statement Yuu has booked her Round 2 berth against Taiga and Yui which will prove very interesting as we will see whether Taiga can prove her worth as a champion against a rising star of Saimoe and it is a rematch of 2009’s AST Finals between Taiga and Yui. Yuu’s 639 vote count is scary but Round 2 starts on a clean slate and can she keep up the momentum? We shall see.
Sanya winning over Hinagiku and Yumi winning over Erio
Hayate continues the freefall after Hinagiku is the first to earn the dubious distinction of falling in Round One as Prelim winner this year. What could have been her year is cut short by Sanya which is seen is most probably orchestrated by the Saki movement. After all Yumi and Yuu’s match happened with Hinagiku’s so rather then letting any chances again Saki decided to snipe out one of the most dangerous opponents that could derail their chances.
Yumi as mentioned also provided an upset of her own by denying Erio yet another Round 2 berth and with style too scoring 460 votes. Scary for a second prelimer to be able to not only score such a high score but also knocking out a fairly strong opponent too while doing so. Denpa Onna is denied Saimoe success again after Erio’s loss to Charlotte last year thanks to Saki this time round.
Other then Hinagiku and Erio’s Round One exit the rest pretty much went as expected. iDOLM@STER continue to show a strong showing which was surprising given their poor prelim performance and they could be faction that stops Saki in their dominance. With Hinagiku’s exit the block is pretty much Yuu or Taiga’s taking (whoever wins their Round 2 showdown) unless IM@S continues strong and stop them in their track. Unlikely though but perhaps things could change after Round 2 starts. I personally hope Charlotte could take this block but with IS’s slide and lacklustre showing in Round 1 not to mentioned Yuu/Taiga, it is unlikely. If she does it it would indeed be one of 2012’s major upsets.
BLOCK F RECAP:
Top Vote Count Winner:
Kuro Matsumi (Saki Achiga Hen Episode of side A) – 384 Votes
Though not as stellar as her sister’s scary 639 Vote total, she too top her block’s round 1 vote total continuing Saki’s dominance. Her match is not without scare though with Subaru providing a surprising resistance but in the end Saki’s game proved better yet again.
Seraphim winning over Kobashiri
Well not a high or even mid level tier competition but given that the numbers was totally against Seraphim (being a second prelimer and all) her win constitutes an upset legitimately. Not that the winner of this match would prove block defining moments but at least KoreZon remains relevant in Saimoe for another round after Haruna’s unfortunate draw with Tsumugi-Ryuuka.
All the Prelim toppers passed through as expected with Nadeko unable to keep up with Nyaruko and Tsumugi choking up in her rematch against Ryuuka where 1 vote separated them back then in their prelim group. With a Kuro-Nyaruko-Ryuuka and Chitanda-Ririchiyo match looming in Round 2 this block is getting interesting which is dubbed the Group of Death. Would a split hurt Saki chances in the match between them and one of the best non saki championship material contestants in Round 2 or would Kuro/Ryuuka pull through would be interesting to watch. In any case the winner of the two match up would only book another spot to face off yet another prelim topper in Round 3 hence indeed the Group of Death.
Not forgetting SUBARA too her side of the block is also proving to get interesting as we see can she fend off a surprise IM@S showing just to book another early Saki-YuruYuri showdown. Saimoe 2012 is proving to get real interesting and with Saki meeting challengers from almost every round is 2012 really shaping up to be Sakimoe or actually could the resistance proved successful this time round? Stay tune as AST moves to last two blocks of G and H.
Saki continues their dominance except with Block D disastrous showing which sort of proves Saki isn’t as invulnerable as PMMM last year. However though Saki still have plenty of Aces to spare unlike PMMM and it could proved enough to take the championship this time round. Interesting Round 2 match ups looms for Saki though and if they fail in Round 2 against other strong contestants of non Saki series I would declare that Saimoe 2012 IS NOT Sakimoe 2012.
With only G and H to go it is safe to say most series had experience slumps after their debut year with obvious exceptions to Saki. Hayate has fall very far compared to their previous era of glory with the exit of numerous reliable such as Maria and Isumi and also the shocked upset of Hinagiku. Like Shana and Taiga and perhaps Akarin it is up to Nagi to bring her series further in Saimoe this year and for her case I would think she has the highest chance out of these Army of Ones to secure her QF berth.