It’s time for the First Four of the Anime Bracket! Also known as the “joke round” because we know none of these characters is going to win a match in the actual bracket. Unlike the NCAA tournament, the Anime Bracket’s First Four are a matchup of all the #16 seeds. In essence, it’s a “losers’ bracket” that enables some of the least-popular characters a chance to win a match. Let’s go through them.
Shinichi Izumi (Parasyte) vs. Ken Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul)
As bad as Parasyte was (and it was bad), it wasn’t quite as bad as Tokyo Ghoul. Shinichi was at least a pretty relatable character. Kaneki and Tokyo Ghoul went down a hole never to appear again. I think this is actually a pretty easy win for Shinichi, who will move into the first round to face Rei Ayanami.
Abel (Trinity Blood) vs. Kirara (Samurai 7)
This is a case of the Anime Bracket’s rules complicating things. Kirara from Samurai 7 only gets in because I’ve watched the minimum number of episodes (6) for Samurai 7 to get into this tournament. She simply hasn’t had enough screen time for me to get to know her. Abel had an entire month of watching back a few years ago. Because of that, I’m going with Abel.
Mira (Dimension W) vs. Banagher (Gundam Unicorn)
Yikes. We are truly scraping the bottom of the barrel with these two choices. I don’t want to pick either of these two characters from horrible anime series. Gundam Unicorn has to be the worst of the Gundams, there’s no way anything could be worse. And Dimension W was one of the weirdest yet biggest bombs on the Toonami schedule. I’m going to go with Mira just because her series had just a bit of potential that we never got to see.
Ryuk (Death Note) vs. Kudelia Aina Bernstein (Gundam: IBO)
Why is Ryuk (and for that matter, every Death Note character) slotted in the #16 seed every year? The reason is simple: none of the Death Note characters are ones that I really got attached to. They serve a temporary purpose and then they get killed off. Obviously Ryuk is an exception, as is Light, but I hate Light, and Ryuk is more of a comic relief guy despite his imposing presence. You could make an argument for L, but L is like Julius Caesar – he gets killed halfway through his own play. What the heck, there’s no way I’m picking a Gundam character, why even argue this any longer.
So there you have it. There are no points for correctly picking the First Four, but now you know who the #1 seeds will face in Round 1, which starts tomorrow. It’s a nonstop week of Anime Bracket action starting Saturday, and you don’t want to miss any of it!