Let’s get to it: who will win in the first round of the Anime Bracket?
#1 Rei Ayanami (Evangelion) vs. #16 Shinichi Izumi (Parasyte)
I wish I could tell you this was the year a #16 beat a #1, in particular the #1 overall seed. Oh, wait – it did! But that was college basketball. Rei is just too good to go down early. She wins this one with room to spare.
#8 Rio Takeuchi (Spiral) vs. #9 Konata Izumi (Lucky Star)
Both are first-timers in this tournament; Rio was a fantastic villain in Spiral, and then she turned into one of the “good guys” in a sense as the story progressed. Her anime left on a big cliffhanger. Konata was the “star” of Lucky “Star”; it’s hard not to like her character. But ultimately I’m going with the one who left me with more.
#5 Satsuki Kiryuin (Kill la Kill) vs. #12 Anri Sonohara (Durarara)
Satsuki was the champion of this whole thing just a couple of years ago. How she fell to only a #5 seed is beyond me. Anri still has some potential; I haven’t yet seen the second season of Durarara. It’s facts like that which make this tournament impossible to predict. I’m going with the seasoned veteran who has everything to gain.
#4 Tomoyo Daidouji (Cardcaptor Sakura) vs. #13 Duck (Princess Tutu)
This might be the biggest upset in this year’s tournament’s first round. Duck wins this one due to the fact that I haven’t yet seen the Clear Card arc (I’m waiting for the dub) and the fact that I look back fondly on Princess Tutu. Most years, Tomoyo makes a long run, but she’ll have to wait a year.
#6 Leafa (Sword Art Online) vs. #11 Armin Arlert (Attack on Titan)
How Leafa dropped to a #6 seed is beyond me. She’s almost always a contender in this tournament. She is winning points with me recently thanks to the fact that I got Sword Art Online: Lost Song the video game. Meanwhile, Armin was marginalized big-time in the second season of Attack on Titan. He got maybe two minutes of screen time the whole season. That’s not going to win him any matches here.
#3 Kuniko Hojo (Shangri-La) vs. #14 Yukino Miyazawa (His and Her Circumstances)
As much as it’d be fun to pick Yukino because I’m now watching Kare Kano, I just can’t go away from the girl who won it all last year thanks to her amazing performance in Shangri-La. Some day I’ll get someone else to watch Shangri-La. Until then, Kuniko is just going to keep on winning.
#7 Sayaka Miki (Madoka Magica) vs. #10 Victor Nikiforov (Yuri on Ice)
Let the record show that Sayaka was the final character selected for this year’s bracket. She got in as the sixty-eighth character I selected; the reason her seed is so high is because there are so many automatic bids this year. (I choose the auto bids first, then fill in the rest of the bracket with “at-larges” or multiple-bid choices from anime series already represented.) In any case, Victor wins because of the strength of Yuri on Ice.
#2 Ryoko Hakubi (Tenchi Muyo) vs. #15 Motoko Kusunagi (Ghost in the Shell)
I really, really want to pick the Major. I’d love to have a bracket-busting upset. But let’s be honest; while I enjoy Ghost in the Shell to an extent, the Major doesn’t blow me away as a character. She’s a fine character, sure, but Batou could have made it in just as easily. I’m picking Ryoko because of all her experience, but she only escapes this one in overtime.
That’s all for the EVA Region; stay tuned tomorrow for the HARUHI Region!