Time to finish up this second round! Unlike the first round, the second round really divides between which characters are real contenders and which ones are just lucky. Very few make it through Round 2 who don’t have what it takes to win it all. Here we go.
#1 Asuka Langley Soryu (Evangelion) vs. #9 Ryo Hayakawa (Princess Nine)
It’s the bottom of the ninth and Asuka is up to bat. She’s swinging for the fences, as she always does. This time Ryo throws her the lightning ball – and Asuka hits it! But the ball goes foul. Then Ryo throws two more to her, and Asuka misses each time. That’s right, Ryo, after a character arc journey that endeared her to me, is moving on to the Sweet Sixteen.
#4 Ryoko Asakura (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) vs. #5 Haruka Tenoh (Sailor Moon)
Can you believe at one time Sailor Uranus was actually my least favorite Sailor Guardian? Now she’s my very favorite. And in this case, she blows right past Asakura into the Sweet Sixteen.
#3 Priscilla Barielle (Re:Zero) vs. #6 Meiling Li (Cardcaptor Sakura)
Tomoyo of Cardcaptor Sakura fame didn’t fare too well this year, losing in the first round. That’s not how it goes for Meiling, who takes advantage of an easy first two rounds and makes it into the Sweet Sixteen. Sorry, Priscilla, but we’re not sure if you’re just a one-year wonder.
#2 Soi Fon (Bleach) vs. #10 Sena Kobayakawa (Eyeshield 21)
Betting on Soi Fon seems to be a safe bet, but not this year. Bleach’s chances of getting a character in the Final Four decrease by every year that goes by, including this one, where Soi Fon finds herself run over by the running back of Eyeshield 21 fame. It’s Soi Fon’s worst performance ever, but only because Sena is such an interesting character to follow on the gridiron.
#1 Sango (InuYasha) vs. #8 Tomo Takino (Azumanga Daioh)
You know what, I really should pick Sango here. If not for Sango, I don’t know if I’m even an anime fan today. But who cares about that right now, because all I care about is Tomo making fat jokes about Yomi and getting away with it. Tomo is just nuts, and I love her for it. Sorry, Sango, maybe next year.
#5 Ryuko Matoi (Kill la Kill) vs. #13 Jet Black (Cowboy Bebop)
If I don’t have a dream today where Ryuko shows up, I’m not sure I pick her to win here. But she appeared in my dream, probably because of Gon’s voice actress who is the same for her. And as a result, Ryuko squeaks by Jet, who puts up a big fight before going down in double overtime in the second round.
#3 Rem (Re:Zero) vs. #6 Izumi Himuro (Princess Nine)
While I’d love to pick another Princess Nine character to go far, there’s just no one as significant to anime as Rem has been in the last year and a half. She’s become one of the faces of anime. Now, if she’ll only get a second season in order to shine brighter…
#2 Homura Akemi (Madoka Magica) vs. #7 Aisha Clan-Clan (Outlaw Star)
All I can hear in my mind right now are the sounds of a rambling Ctarl-Ctarl telling me how great the Ctarl-Ctarl are. I love Homura, but we know how Rebellion shattered Homura’s character and likewise split the fan base. I have got to go with the Ctarl-Ctarl to continue her run here.
So here’s how the Sweet Sixteen shake out:
#1 Rei Ayanami vs. #5 Satsuki Kiryuin
#6 Leafa vs. #10 Victor Nikiforov
#1 Haruhi Suzumiya vs. #5 Rin Tohsaka
#3 Kurapika vs. #10 Hinako
#5 Haruka Tenoh vs. #9 Ryo Hayakawa
#6 Meiling Li vs. #10 Sena Kobayakawa
#5 Ryuko Matoi vs. #8 Tomo Takino
#3 Rem vs. #7 Aisha Clan-Clan
#5 seeds are 8-0 so far!