2017 Anime Bracket – 1st Round, Part 4

First and Second Rounds

The first round of the 9th annual Anime Bracket wraps up here on Tom-foolery!

#6 Orihime Inoue (Bleach) vs. #11 Karin Ishida (Shangri-La)
Orihime: 2009 E8, 2010 S16, 2011 S16, 2012 R32, 2013 R64, 2014 R64, 2015 R64, 2016 R32
Karin: First year in tournament

I love Orihime, I really do. There’s no reason she hasn’t gone farther in this tournament. On the same token, Karin is a fantastic character from an even more fantastic anime. And just a couple weeks ago, I was thinking Karin might reach the Final Four. But IchiHime, right? I’m one of those big-time IchiHime shippers… oh, but what the heck, Karin has a teddy bear named Pudding that “talks to her”! Orihime can’t beat that.

Winner: Karin

#3 Ryoko Hakubi (Tenchi Muyo!) vs. #14 Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Ryoko: 2009 R32, 2010 R64, 2011 R32, 2012 Champion, 2013 S16, 2014 R32, 2015 R32, 2016 S16
Roy: 2009 R64, 2010 R64, 2011 R32, 2012 S16, 2013 R32, 2015 R64

Ryoko actually won this gig in a March five years ago when I was obsessed with Tenchi Muyo! I watched everything – even the Pretty Sammy OVA. Roy has never been a big-time favorite of mine, but he was always the best of the bunch of the original Fullmetal Alchemist gang. This year he got an automatic bid based on my split of FMA and FMA: Brotherhood. Ryoko is still more beloved in my heart by far.

Winner: Ryoko

#7 Tomoyo Daidouji (Cardcaptor Sakura) vs. #10 Izumo Kamiki (Blue Exorcist)
Tomoyo: 2009 R64, 2010 E8, 2011 R64, 2012 S16, 2013 R64, 2014 R64, 2015 E8, 2016 R64
Kamiki: 2015 E8, 2016 R64

Tomoyo (who I’m now officially calling by her Japanese name) is one of those Cinderella stories who’s had so much success that she’s no longer a Cinderella. She’s Gonzaga, if you follow college basketball to know who and what that means. Kamiki was hot off my watching Blue Exorcist in 2015 and went really far as a result. But I haven’t seen the second season of Blue Exorcist yet, so she remains on the shelf, while Tomoyo starts what could be another long run.

Winner: Tomoyo

#2 Sango (InuYasha) vs. #15 Honoka Sakurai (Suzuka)
Sango: 2009 F4, 2010 F4, 2011 E8, 2012 F4, 2013 E8, 2014 S16, 2015 R32, 2016 S16
Honoka: 2012 R32, 2013 R32, 2014 R32, 2015 R64, 2016 R64

In this tournament, there really is no surer bet besides Rei Ayanami than Sango. She’s been so successful for so long, that betting against her is a fool’s errand. And was Honoka even in Fuuka, the sequel to Suzuka? Whether she was or not matters not. Sango advances easily.

Winner: Sango

BOYS Region

#6 Ira Gamagoori (Kill la Kill) vs. #11 Leorio Paradinight (Hunter x Hunter)
Gamagoori: 2016 R32
Leorio: First year in tournament

Gamagoori got off to a good start in this tournament with his first-round win last year. Unfortunately, he runs up against a red-hot rookie in Leorio. Leorio may be 4th out of 4 when it comes to popularity of Hunter x Hunter main characters, but he’s #2 in my book, and that’s good enough to advance him in this battle.

Winner: Leorio

#3 China (Hetalia) vs. #14 Biscuit Griffon (Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans)
China: 2012 E8, 2013 S16, 2014 R32, 2015 R64, 2016 R64
Biscuit: First year in tournament

It’s the first year in the tournament for Biscuit, and it’s not a good one. Even though Hetalia is dead, China still holds a special place in my heart. Biscuit is part of a series that just had to be in the tournament because I’ve watched enough episodes. An ugly yet easy win for China.

Winner: China

#7 Sosuke Aizen (Bleach) vs. #10 Syaoran Li (Cardcaptor Sakura)
Aizen: 2009 R32, 2010 E8, 2011 R64, 2012 R64, 2013 R64, 2014 R32, 2015 R64
Syaoran: 2010 S16, 2011 R32, 2012 R64, 2013 R64

Syaoran has the huge benefit of my Cardcaptor Sakura rewatch, while Aizen lacks the benefit of my Bleach rewatch since I hadn’t gotten up to his big scenes yet. Thus it ends up being an easy upset for Syaoran.

Winner: Syaoran

#2 Armin Arlert (Attack on Titan) vs. #15 Mugen (Samurai Champloo)
Armin: 2015 E8, 2016 R32
Mugen: First year in tournament

There haven’t been any major seed upsets in this tournament thus far. This is the final chance at one. Will Mugen be the Cinderella of this year? … No. Good job getting into the tournament, Mugen, but I still have to go with Armin, who is one of the few characters who is most like… me.

Winner: Armin

That’s it for Round 1! See you tomorrow for Round 2!

2017 Anime Bracket – 1st Round, Part 3

First and Second Rounds

On to the next part of the first round! We will stick to the EVA Region and the MAIN Region.

EVA Region

#6 Leafa (Sword Art Online) vs. #11 Tsuruya-san (Haruhi Suzumiya)
Leafa: 2014 S16, 2015 S16, 2016 E8
Tsuruya: 2009 R32, 2010 R32, 2011 S16, 2012 R64, 2013 R64, 2014 R32, 2015 R64, 2016 S16

Tsuruya-san has had tons of success in this tournament for such a minor character. It’s really amazing how many matches she’s won. But having just watched the Sword Art Online movie, which gave Leafa some ample time on screen, there’s no doubt about who I’m going with here.

Winner: Leafa

#3 May Chang (FMA: Brotherhood) vs. #14 Anri Sonohara (Durarara!!)
May: 2011 S16, 2012 F4, 2013 E8, 2014 E8, 2015 S16, 2016 R32
Anri: 2013 S16, 2014 R32, 2015 R32, 2016 R32

Neither of these characters has ever lost in the first round entering today. I need more May in my life; I miss her dearly. Sadly FMA: Brotherhood is one of those anime that I’ve forgotten a lot about. As for Anri, Durarara has made a comeback with a second season… only that I haven’t seen it yet. So until I see it, Anri’s going to struggle, and May wins it here.

Winner: May

#7 Siesta (The Familiar of Zero) vs. #10 Nonon Jakuzure (Kill la Kill)
Siesta: 2016 S16
Nonon: 2016 S16

Both of these characters made it to the Sweet Sixteen in their first tournament appearance a year ago. Siesta has the big benefit of being “best girl” in The Familiar of Zero. Nonon suffers a bit from Kill la Kill being put on the shelf, so to speak. I think this one ends up being a lot easier of a win for Siesta than would have previously been expected. She’s just so moe.

Winner: Siesta

#2 Soi Fon (Bleach) vs. #15 Hiyori Moritani (Kotoura-san)
Soi Fon: 2009 S16, 2010 R32, 2011 E8, 2012 E8, 2013 E8, 2014 E8, 2015 E8, 2016 E8
Moritani: First year in tournament

Soi Fon remains one of my all-time favorite characters, yet she just can’t get into the Final Four. Will this year be her year? Moritani would probably have won this matchup had this taken place a year ago, after Kotoura-san was fresh in my mind. But for now, she’ll have to settle for simply getting into the tournament. Soi Fon wins quite easily.

Winner: Soi Fon

MAIN Region

#6 Kaname Chidori (Full Metal Panic) vs. #11 Rukia Kuchiki (Bleach)
Kaname: 2010 R64, 2011 R64, 2012 S16, 2013 E8, 2014 F4, 2015 R32, 2016 R32
Rukia: 2009 R64, 2010 R64, 2011 R32, 2012 R64, 2014 R64, 2015 S16, 2016 R64

Wow, we are really splitting hairs here. See, this is what the MAIN Region is all about – two main characters who have so many strengths. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Full Metal Panic, but Kaname’s great character is still fully entrenched in my mind. Rukia of course is strong in her own way; she grows stronger as the series goes along. Ultimately, it’s Rukia’s growth and the fact that I was watching Bleach that gets her into the second round of this tournament.

Winner: Rukia

#3 Satsuki Kiryuin (Kill la Kill) vs. #14 Yukino Miyazawa (Kare Kano)
Satsuki: 2015 R64, 2016 Champion
Yukino: 2009 R32, 2010 R64, 2011 R64, 2012 R64, 2013 R64, 2014 R64, 2015 R64, 2016 R64

This is obviously a total mismatch. The defending champion against a character who I haven’t watched in nearly a decade. Yukino gets in because of my rule about having watched at least 6 episodes of a series. That rule may have to change. For now, Satsuki cruises by, with little trouble here.

Winner: Satsuki

#7 Allison Whittington (Allison & Lillia) vs. #10 Kyon (Haruhi Suzumiya)
Allison: 2016 R32
Kyon: 2009 R32, 2010 S16, 2011 S16, 2012 R64, 2013 R64, 2014 R64

Kyon is back in this tournament after a two-year absence. His first-round opponent is the upstart Allison Whittington, who came off hot in 2016. This year, I’m trying to choose between the calm, cool-headed Kyon and the fiery, unpredictable Allison. It’s a tough choice, but I’m going with Allison here.

Winner: Allison

#2 Homura Akemi (Madoka Magica) vs. #15 Shinichi Izumi (Parasyte)
Homura: 2013 Champion, 2014 Champion, 2015 F4, 2016 F4
Shinichi: 2016 Play-in

This is about as easy of a choice as it gets. Homura is one of my all-time favorite characters, while Shinichi only gets into this tournament because Parasyte had to have someone. The only surprise here is that Shinichi got into the field as a #15 seed instead of having to scrape by in the play-in round like he did last year.

Winner: Homura

Stay tuned for the conclusion of the first round of the 2017 Anime Bracket!