With round 2 in the history books, we’re down to 24 anime vying for dominance in this double-elimination tournament. The first six seeds are all sitting pretty in the winners bracket, along with two surprise comedies rounding out the current top 8. Speaking of 8, precisely that many shows were just eliminated in the losers bracket, and that many more will suffer the same fate in the coming weeks. Unlike this past round, where seeing shows get eliminated hasn’t been all that painful, there are some killer matches coming up that can only crown a winner at the expense of another deserving competitor. Let’s preview a few of them right now.
Matchups to watch for:
Watamote (#2) vs. Hoozuki no Reitetsu (#26): Watamote finds itself in the featured match section for the second straight week, this time against another comedy. Assuming that tournament favorite Mushishi defeats Sabagebu! next week (and given how strong the girls with guns series has been so far, that’s hardly a given), the winner of this match will be the only comedy to advance to winners semifinals. Hoozuki is one of two currently undefeated shows that was originally seeded in the bottom 25% of the bracket, and it’s looking to extend that winning streak as far as possible.
Rozen Maiden (#19) vs. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (#8): On the surface, these two shows couldn’t be more different. After all, one is about dolls and their masters fighting, and the other is about beefy dudes with supernatural powers fighting, but the keyword there is “fighting.” These are two series whose specific focus is combat, and they’ve both taken pains to set up their respective conflicts through these first three episodes. Looking at the bracket, whichever anime wins this match has a decent shot at making Top 8, but the loser will place an inauspicious 17th.
Silver Spoon (#13) vs. Barakamon (#7): The similarities here are plenty: both anime are beloved by the blogosphere, both star a city boy coming to grips with country life, both include heavy doses of comedy in each episode (to varying degrees of success), and both can be categorized under the nebulous umbrella that is “slice of life.” Unless one of these shows has an absolute clunker of a fourth episode, this will be the toughest decision I have to make during the next round.
And now, let us bow our heads and say a prayer for the first of many fallen series in this Best of 2013-2014 tournament:
Ace of Diamond (#24)
Ao Haru Ride (#22)
Gatchaman Crowds (#20)
Gundam: Reconguista in G (#32)
Knights of Sidonia (#18)
The World Is Still Beautiful (#23)
Tokyo ESP (#30)
R.I.P. in pieces.
NEXT UP: Mushishi vs. Sabagebu!, One Week Friends vs. Ping Pong