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