Thursday, March 20, 2014

2014 Anime Bracket: Day 1

So it begins. Today's first round will include the following 16 matchups:

TENCHI region

#1 Ryoko Hakubi vs. #16 Ciel Phantomhive
#8 Kyon vs. #9 Teletha Testarossa
#5 Ayeka Jurai vs. #12 Olivier Mira Armstrong
#4 Orihime Inoue vs. #13 Kirino Kousaka
#7 Rei Hino vs. #10 Honoka Sakurai
#2 Homura Akemi vs. #15 Kei

BLEACH region

#6 Madison Taylor vs. #11 Kyoko Sakura
#3 May Chang vs. #14 Rukia Kuchiki
#7 Misato Katsuragi vs. #10 Sousuke Sagara
#2 Yoruichi Shihouin vs. #15 Yukino Miyazawa

HARUHI region

#1 Haruhi Suzumiya vs. #16 Sayu Yagami
#8 Sosuke Aizen vs. #9 Minako Aino
#5 Meilin Rae vs. #12 Prussia
#4 Ryoko Asakura vs. #13 Ami Mizuno
#7 Pen-Pen vs. #10 Liechtenstein
#2 Sango vs. #15 Lina Inverse

And here we go!

(NIT: not in tournament)

TENCHI region

#1 Ryoko Hakubi vs. #16 Ciel Phantomhive
Ryoko: 2009 2nd round, 2010 1st round, 2011 2nd round, 2012 Champion, 2013 Sweet 16
Ciel: First-ever tournament appearance

Ryoko won it all in 2012 and became forever enshrined on the banner of this blog. Ciel gets in via my watching of 4 episodes of Black Butler this past summer. Ryoko of course is a fantastic character who has no problem defeating Ciel in this first round.

Winner: Ryoko

#8 Kyon vs. #9 Teletha Testarossa
Kyon: 2009 2nd round, 2010 Sweet 16, 2011 Sweet 16, 2012 1st round, 2013 1st round
Tessa: 2009-2011 NIT, 2012 2nd round, 2013 Sweet 16

Kyon once was a power player in this tournament, until the Endless Eight torpedoed the Haruhi series and ruined his chances. Tessa's had some success since I first saw Full Metal Panic, and I definitely still like her. I prefer her big-time in this first-round matchup.

Winner: Tessa

#5 Ayeka Jurai vs. #12 Olivier Mira Armstrong
Ayeka: 2009 Sweet 16, 2010 1st round, 2011 1st round, 2012 Elite 8, 2013 1st round
Olivier: 2009-2012 NIT, 2013 1st round

Ayeka has been feast-or-famine in this tournament over the years. Olivier got in for the first time last year. It's been a long time since Brotherhood, but I still remember Olivier fondly. Ayeka's had her time, but it's not now. Olivier takes this first-round matchup in an upset.

Winner: Olivier

#4 Orihime Inoue vs. #13 Kirino Kousaka
Orihime: 2009 Elite 8, 2010 Sweet 16, 2011 Sweet 16, 2012 2nd round, 2013 1st round
Kirino: First-ever tournament appearance

Orihime has been slowly declining in success, just as Bleach has been as well. Kirino gets in after I saw the first 6 episodes of Oreimo this summer. And while the fate of the Oreimo series is still up in the air, Kirino definitely left a good impression on me. Orihime hasn't had anything to speak of in a long time. It's an easy win for Kirino - so much that it isn't really much of an upset.

Winner: Kirino

#7 Rei Hino vs. #10 Honoka Sakurai
Rei: 2009 Sweet 16, 2010 Sweet 16, 2011 1st round, 2012 2nd round, 2013 1st round
Honoka: 2009-2011 NIT, 2012 2nd round, 2013 2nd round

Sweet Honoka in Suzuka doesn't get enough love - especially from Yamato. I was a big fan of Sailor Mars back in the day - a really big fan - but that was a long, long time ago. Thus I've got to go with the innocent Honoka for this win.

Winner: Honoka 

#2 Homura Akemi vs. #15 Kei
Homura: 2009-2012 NIT, 2013 Champion
Kei: First-ever tournament appearance

What a first-ever appearance for Homura in last year's tournament! She went from unknown commodity to the blog's banner! For Kei, who I chose over Kaori as the Akira tournament champion, her first-ever appearance isn't nearly as great, as she runs into an absolute buzzsaw.

Winner: Homura 

BLEACH region

#6 Madison Taylor vs. #11 Kyoko Sakura
Madison: 2009 NIT, 2010 Elite 8, 2011 1st round, 2012 Sweet 16, 2013 1st round
Kyoko: 2009-2012 NIT, 2013 2nd round

Can Madison make another miracle run through the tournament? She's made a couple of great runs over the years. However, she goes up against Pocky-chomping Kyoko, who won last year as a #15 seed, and this year wins again as a double-digit seed in the first round.

Winner: Kyoko

#3 May Chang vs. #14 Rukia Kuchiki
May: 2009-2010 NIT, 2011 Sweet 16, 2012 Final 4, 2013 Elite 8
Rukia: 2009 1st round, 2010 1st round, 2011 2nd round, 2012 1st round, 2013 NIT

Rukia was the last "at-large bid" to the tournament, meaning that she was the last character in of any anime series who had multiple characters in. She runs into May Chang, who of course is a powerhouse in this tournament. This is a bad matchup for Rukia, who doesn't even have a chance.

Winner: May

#7 Misato Katsuragi vs. #10 Sousuke Sagara
Misato: 2009 Sweet 16, 2010 Sweet 16, 2011 1st round, 2012 1st round, 2013 2nd round
Sousuke: 2009-2011 NIT, 2012 Sweet 16, 2013 1st round

Misato was very successful very early on in this tournament's history. Of course, it's been a long time since any Evangelion watching for me - I haven't seen "Q" yet. Sousuke Sagara enjoyed that great year in 2012 for Full Metal Panic... and he ekes by in round 1 this year.

Winner: Sousuke

#2 Yoruichi Shihouin vs. #15 Yukino Miyazawa
Yoruichi: 2009 1st round, 2010 Final 4, 2011 Final 4, 2012 1st round, 2013 2nd round
Yukino: 2009 2nd round, 2010 1st round, 2011 1st round, 2012 1st round, 2013 1st round

Can you believe that Yoruichi's been to 2 Final Fours in her tournament history? Because of that, she's seeded as high as #2. She has no contest in round 1, against a character from an anime I haven't seen in at least 5 years.

Winner: Yoruichi

HARUHI region

#1 Haruhi Suzumiya vs. #16 Sayu Yagami
Haruhi: 2009 Elite 8, 2010 Runner-up, 2011 Runner-up, 2012 2nd round, 2013 Final 4
Sayu: 2009 1st round, 2010 1st round, 2011 NIT, 2012 1st round, 2013 NIT

We all know who's winning this one, so let's talk about Haruhi's history in this tournament: 2 runner-up finishes, and last year a berth in the Final 4 but no championship yet again. She's always been one of my favorite characters, yet she's never been able to get her face on the banner of the blog. Will she be a bridesmaid forever?

Winner: Haruhi

#8 Sosuke Aizen vs. #9 Minako Aino
Aizen: 2009 2nd round, 2010 Elite 8, 2011 1st round, 2012 1st round, 2013 1st round
Minako: 2009 1st round, 2010 1st round, 2011 1st round, 2012 Sweet 16, 2013 2nd round

Aizen had his grand finale on Bleach (for now), and I missed it. That's not a good omen for him, but he goes up against a Sailor Moon character, and who knows how long it's been since I've seen Sailor Moon. This one is a win for Aizen.

Winner: Aizen

#5 Meilin Rae vs. #12 Prussia
Meilin: 2009 1st round, 2010 Elite 8, 2011 2nd round, 2012 1st round, 2013 2nd round
Prussia: 2009-2012 NIT, 2013 Sweet 16

Prussia's run to the Sweet 16 last year came in one of my final hurrahs in cosplaying Hetalia. My Hetalia cosplays are pretty much ruined from use and I don't plan on cosplaying them again. As for Meilin, well, I like her voice actress, Nicole Oliver, and that's enough to give her this win.

Winner: Meilin

#4 Ryoko Asakura vs. #13 Ami Mizuno
Asakura: 2009 2nd round, 2010 Sweet 16, 2011 Sweet 16, 2012 1st round, 2013 Sweet 16
Ami: 2009 1st round, 2010 1st round, 2011 1st round, 2012 2nd round, 2013 1st round

Both of these girls have been incredibly consistent in this tournament. For all of Asakura's success, she hasn't made it past the Sweet 16. With her bunny-suited figure hanging on a wall scroll near where I sleep each night, it's easy to pick her.

Winner: Asakura

#7 Pen-Pen vs. #10 Liechtenstein
Pen-Pen: 2009 2nd round, 2010 2nd round, 2011 Sweet 16, 2012 2nd round, 2013 1st round
Liechtenstein: 2009-2011 NIT, 2012 2nd round, 2013 2nd round

Despite being a mere mascot, Pen-Pen won at least one matchup every year until last year. Liechtenstein is only a bit character in Hetalia, meanwhile, not much more important than Pen-Pen - but I'll give her the slight nod here.

Winner: Liechtenstein

#2 Sango vs. #15 Lina Inverse
Sango: 2009 Final 4, 2010 Final 4, 2011 Elite 8, 2012 Final 4, 2013 Elite 8
Lina: 2009 NIT, 2010 1st round, 2011 1st round, 2012 1st round, 2013 1st round

Our final 1st-round matchup is an easy win for Sango, who's never come up short of the Elite 8 - but never reached a championship either. What will her fate be this time around?

Winner: Sango

More 1st-round matchups to come tomorrow (probably)!
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