Kagami Claims Saimoe Supremacy

Hiiragi Kagami, alias HIIRAGIIIII, has emerged as the winner of 2008’s Anime Saimoe tournament. All the more impressive was that her victory was over her own sister Tsukasa, in what is sure to remembered as a fierce battle where blood was not thicker than moe.

Kagami’s status as the Moest means a few things. Remember that neither Kagami nor anyone else from Lucky Star took the title last year. Generally after the first year if your show is truly just a flash in the pan you don’t get much further, but here we see the Lucky Star cast drive down harder than ever. So Lucky Star may not be the most enduring show ever, but it’s not as ethereal as some might hope.

Also of note are the high placements of Kawazoe Tamaki (Bamboo Blade), who made Top 8, and Hinamori Amu (Shugo Chara!) who was a force so powerful she had to be stopped by the tournament winner Kagami.

I know a lot of people who might have liked to vote couldn’t due to some of the intentional barriers put in place, but I hear there’s an (arguably!) more important vote coming up in the near future…

Ogiue Fails to Make Anime Saimoe 2008

Sadly, our great goddess who blesses us with an imagination most vivid is unable to enter the main tournament of Saimoe 2008. She fell on August 1st, though not without a fight, achieving 11th place for the day, 2 spots short of the crucial 9th place slot that would have gotten her in. With no new Genshiken anime on the horizon, it looks like Ogiue’s path to being called the Moest has been halted.

Oddly enough, while she has not performed well in any Anime Saimoe so far, she did remarkably well in a Manga Saimoe years ago, reaching as far as quarter-finals before falling to Kawazoe Tamaki of Bamboo Blade.

It’s possibly that while many people find Ogiue to be a good character, they do not find her to be moe.

That is, of course, their loss.

In Praise of the Tamanator

I have been quite taken in by the character of Kawazoe Tamaki from Bamboo Blade.

I basically like how she’s quiet but not emotionless, that she’s not meant to necessarily evoke a sense of mystery unlike other quiet characters such as Yuki from Haruhi or Ruri from Nadesico. She’s a girl with simple words and simple needs. She loves her father, she loves making friends, and she has a strong sense of right and wrong reinforced by years of watching shounen anime.

She’s innocent, and even a litttle naive, but she’s not stupid. She’s adorable in a way that makes me want to be her friend too.

Caught up on Bamboo Blade

That is, up to episode 17.

At this point one of my main reasons for watching is to see what’s really, REALLY up with Miya-Miya.

I’ve also seen some people accusing Tama-chan of being too powerful, similar to say, Ryouma from Prince of Tennis. I’ve never really had a problem with those kinds of main characters, as not every main character has to be an underdog.

Bamboo Blade is its name, and Tama-chan is its star

I’ve been told that in any story there is always only one true protagonist as much as it would seem otherwise. It’s not necessarily the character who gets the most screen-time. It’s not the character who acts as narrator. It’s not even the one with the most prominent lines, but the character who moves the story along the most. Even when there seems to be multiple protagonists, in the writer’s mind there is only one.

I know I said otherwise previously, but I’ve come to realize that Isaac Dian is the main protagonist of Baccano! because he has by far the most influence on characters in the story. Even though Morikawa George, creator of Hajime no Ippo, has said that he treats his manga like every character is a main character, the mere fact that it’s titled “Hajime no Ippo” says otherwise. And in Bamboo Blade, of which I’ve watched the first seven episodes, Kawazoe Tamaki is the lead.

Tamaki has a clear purpose in the story, even if it’s the result of watching too much anime: protecting justice from evil. Even though she’s managed to repel evil, i.e. those two older boys in the club, it’s a never-ending battle, at least in her mind. Her actions, more than any other characters’, move the story along, as she is the one primarily responsible for transforming the ragtag Kendo Club into a workable team. As much time and emphasis that Koujirou gets, he acts more as a fairly passive narrator.

So with that in mind, I have to say that Tama-chan makes for a wonderful protagonist. I hope to see her speed-eating and kendo skills even more.

Hopefully it will involve ramen.