Slowly, the first preliminary phase starts to close, and the second preliminary will unfold momentarily. Because this is one of the first-to-last rounds of this preliminary phrase, the girls here have to try their very hardest to perform at their upmost level to gain a spot at Regular Season. Gaining a spot earlier than later is a major advantage here. Those that pass earlier do not have to fight anymore to prove their worth. It is similar to a sense of relief when their share of the work is done. Everyone else will have to reshuffle and try again at the next preliminary phase, fighting for their lives once again. Here are my predictions on who is going to Regular Season and who will have to try agian:
Nova 1: I am pretty sure it is fair to say that Tachibana Kanade is going to enter Regular season from here. The girl has shown time and time again what a dominant force she is. Even in the beginning of the Preliminary rounds, she still has not lost her touch by decimating her opponents with an over 5000 vote score. There clearly is no one in Nova who could try to take down this angel unless massive anti-voting commences. Until then, she is going to walk through this one with ease. Possible girls to look out for in the second and third prelims are Riko and Elsie.
Nova 2 – Another no brainer here. Gokou Ruri should have no problems getting first place and making it to regular season here. After an impressive showing last year, it is good to see that her strength continues to be unwavering. She seems to be the one of the few contenders to be able to get close to Kanade, but, in the end, may drop out due to voice actor split. Characters to look forward to for the next preliminary rounds are Ayase and possibly Shiori.
Nova 3 – Eucliwood Hellscythe should have no problem getting into Regular season from here. Eucliwood has shown some impressive abilities since the start of her ISML career. Sure she might not be as dominant as girls like Ruri and Kanade, but her strength is, by all means, not to be messed with. Besides, I doubt and of the characters here are going to take her out in her current condition. Other girls to look out for in the next preliminary rounds are Erio and possibly Asami.
Nova 4 – While it appears to be interesting at first, the outcome of this match is more or less the same. Yui is going to win this one with ease. Her popularity continues to surprise me in that we originally see her as one of the shaky mid-to-high tier character in the beginning. During post season, she seemed to have solidified her place as one of the stronger beings to look out for as well. Girls to look out for in the future here are Yozora, Haqua, and possibly Haruna.
Nova 5 – Nakamura Yuri, without question, should be able to take this one home. The main three Angel Beats! characters are clearly making the statement that their popularity is not going to drop just yet. Other girls to look out for come the next Preliminary rounds are Kyouko and Madoka.
Nova 6 – Charlotte should have no problem winning this one. The girl has had some surprising staying power as possibly the only girl out of her series to do this well. We may be able to see her again for many ISMLs to come. Some girls to look out for during the remainder of Preliminary are Fear and possibly Kanade.
Stella 7 – Predicting who is going to make it in at Stella looks much easier compared to Nova with about a one or two match toss-up. Former Tiara bearer Akiyama Mio should have to problems getting out of this one with a win. She still remains a dominant force to be reckoned with. Plus, the rest of her competition are not that strong as well. Characters to look out for in the later Preliminary rounds are Holo and Tsumigi.
Stella 8 – This appears to be tricky at first, but it may not be so in the long run. Suzumiya Haruhi looks to be the favorite to win this one and make it to Regular season. However, there are some people that are speculating about the strength of Illyasviel. While true that she has gotten a major boost thanks to Fate/Zero and/or Carnival Phantasm, but I do not think it is going to be enough to take this god down. Illya seems to be the only one here who shows a decent shot at making it to Regular season.
Stella 9 – Senjougahara Hitagi should have no trouble making it through in this one. I highly doubt Tomoyo has a shot at taking her down now that Nisemonogatari is also showing some scenes featuring her. Other than Tomoyo, other girls that may be able to make it to Regular season are Kuroko and Ritsu.
Stella 10 – In a very similar fashion, Nadeko should not have an excuse on passing this round with ease in a similar manner as Stella 9. Kyou looks to have no chance on taking her down. The other girl to look out for during the second and third preliminary stage is Nagisa.
Stella 11 – Saber should have to trouble winning this one and quickly cementing a spot in Regular season. Fate/Zero has done wonders for Illya, so I am sure someone like Saber, who has appeared almost every episode of it, should have no troubles getting in from this phase. Other girls to look out for during the Preliminary phase are C.C. and possibly Yami.
Stella 12 – Stella 12 is probably the trickiest match to figure out who is going to win this match. After a surprise victory over Yui, Last Order seems to be the girl to look out for. On another side, there is Tohsaka Rin. While she did not appear much herself during the Fate/Zero series, she still shows an excellent performance in terms of strength. On the down side, Rin has been in second place twice compared to Last Order. Both characters should have no problem getting into Regular season, but from here, I would guess that Last Order would get into Regular Season first. Other than Rin, Nymph seems like someone to pay attention to during the Preliminary period.