After a hectic week of cute collegiate competition, the tournament picture has become much clearer than it was in the beginning. Upsets were had, and countless NCAA bracket predictions were left in shambles, including mine (which shouldn’t be surprising, considering the method I used to pick my teams). While I have been a bit too busy to keep up with watching the games on television, I always had one eye on my smartphone’s sports ticker app to see who went through and who went home. Let’s take a look at each of the divisions with moe goggles once again!
Aquamarine Division (Top-Left)
As expected, Angel Beats powerhouse Tachibana Kanade handily made her way through the first two rounds, claiming victory over respectable opponents in Yamada Aoi (Working!) and Elsie (The World God Only Knows). She will meet Akemi Homura (Madoka Magica), who defeated two Baka to Test girls in Shimada Minami and Himeji Mizuki in her respective rounds. Black Rock Shooter beauty Kuroi Matou eliminated the other Aquamarine Baka to Test entrant in Kirishima Shoko in the second round, and will face an emerging upset favourite in Haqua du lot Herminium (The World God Only Knows), who took care of business against the 15th seeded Amaha Miu (Mashiro-Iro Symphony), one of two first-round shockers which saw a second seed packing. I expect Tenshi to continue her torrid rampage to the final four, claiming victory over Haqua in a very intriguing quarterfinal match.
Amethyst Division (Top-Right)
The Amethyst division was uneventful with regards to upsets, with only a 6-3 seeding upset with Kaname Madoka over Aragaki Ayase (Ore no Imouto), which doesn’t really feel like an upset at all. She’ll face Charlotte Dunois (Infinite Stratos), in an attempt to avenge against France-tan’s victory over fellow puella magi, Mami Tomoe. Goko Ruri (Ore no Imouto) handily dispatched her first two opponents in Anjo Naruko (Ano Hana) and Matsumae Ohana (Hanasaku Iroha), and will face the meaty Kashiwazaki Sena (Haganai), who had a close victory in the second round over the hentai tensai shoujo, Makise Kurisu (Steins;Gate). While Kuroneko has a reasonably clear path to the final four, France-tan will have to keep up against a quality opponent in Madoka, who seems to have made a contract to wish herself into the later rounds. This division is up for grabs, and will have fantastic games that are worth watching. Anyone can come out of this one, but I predict Kuroneko will be the representative still.
Topaz Division (Bottom-Left)
The Topaz Division saw yet another second-seed in Kosaka Kirino (Ore no Imouto) fall to a 15th seed, this time to the apple of Noitamina’s eye, Kaga Rin (Usagi Drop). However, Rin fell to the mysterious Shionji Alice (Kamisama no Memochou), who took advantage of her second round matchup in a rather NEET fashion. Alice will square off against the Girls Dead Monster former frontwoman Iwasawa Asami, who took care of business against my supposed Cinderella pick, Sakura Kyoko (Madoka Magica). I look forward to a possible GirlDemo quarterfinal between her and Yui, who will have to win against the other entrant from Haganai, HanaKana polychrome Hasegawa Kobato. While it’d be unwise to bet against any remaining Angel Beats girl at this point in the tournament, Alice has shown that she is no pushover, and has a very good chance at making it through. Detractors should take note.
Sapphire Division (Bottom-Right)
Other than the first and second seeds in Eucliwood Hellscythe (Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?) and Victorique du Blois (Gosick) going through the motions into the round of sixteen, the sapphire division was filled with upsets left and right. First was 12th seed play-in character Hotogi Shirayuki (Hidan no Aria) beating Gasai Yuno (Mirai Nikki), and ridiculously cute Yune (Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth) taking the crown from Inori (Guilty Crown). The popular 10th and 11th seeds, Shinomiya Shiori (The World God Only Knows) and Taneshima Poplar (Working!) knocked off their higher-seeded opponents, with Poplar becoming so popular that she also beat 3rd-seeded Haruna (Kore Zombie) in the following round. She’ll be working even harder to beat another top seed Victorique, as well as Yune against Eu. Chances are astronomically against these low seeds to continue further, but I won’t be upset if these two tiny troublemakers continue with their upsets. A 1-2 quarterfinal is expected, but would be rather boring. Eucliwood vs Poplar would be a far more exciting match.
Onwards to the Elite Eight
The sixteen girls highlighted in bold throughout this post are knocking on the door to the quarterfinals. Every top seed in each division is still alive, and an unprecedented two 15th seeds made it to the second round, with only Charlotte and Victorique representing the remaining 2-seeds. Surprises so far include Yune and Poplar in the Sapphire division, and an intriguing 10th seed in the Aquamarine division, which should really be called the Haquamarine division. Alice has the best shot out of these low seeds to represent the final four, though nobody will be surprised if she does make it out of Topaz. Alice and Angel would be a fantastic final four match, as would Kuroneko versus anyone from Aquamarine.
The matches air on Thursday and Friday. I simply can’t wait for the end of the week to come, even though my brackets are in shambles thanks to a crazy Aquamarine division. How are your brackets doing?