Kirino Chiba, Runaway Star of AGP ’09

How does a character from a rather obscure show make it to the AGP ’09 finals? I’m talking about you, Kirino Chiba of Bamboo Blade.

Bamboo Blade was a great, fun sports show about kendo, and even had awesome sentai homages. However, compared to the juggernauts of 2008, it was destined to die a quick death, until a few souls ran motivated campaigns that swayed legions into their favor.

My bracket had Nagisa beating Kirino at Round 2. It was a realistic choice–I didn’t like Clannad as much as Bamboo Blade, but I figured Nagisa to be a strong combatant in the contest, with timing (her show was still airing by then) and viewer recall in her favor. However, I voted Kirino anyway, and she won, pleasant surprise.

Who’d imagine that my harmless amusement would quickly turn sour when on the next round, Kirino faced against Kara no Kyoukai’s Shiki, whom I favored. TYPE-MOON hate festered and a strong anti-vote appeared, which helped Kirino a lot. She won narrowly by a margin of one vote. I gritted my teeth and counted on Tsugumi to crush her next round.

And then Tsugumi lost. The match thread was only 4 pages, with only average campaigning from both sides. Maybe Kirino’s earlier victories had gained her some loyal supporters, people who’ve been swayed to watch Bamboo Blade, and liked what they saw. Suddenly Tsugumi’s advantage had dwindled and she received a sound whooping. Fuck.

For the semifinals, I went behind Minorin not just because she was the character I had set at the top of my bracket, but because I geniunely loved her. I had the tools. I had the words. I had the pics. But I still lost. Kirino still won, that sunny hussy. I was enraged beyond words, and my carefree Bamboo Blade love turned into hate.

I decided to cool my head off by not voting until the last few hours (which in AGP-speak is called sniping), and ran a short Taiga campaign. In the end, Kirino’s capacity to pull off upsets had angered a lot of people, and along with Toradora’s innate popular advantage, the bokken beat the shinai.

However, in hindsight, Kirino’s run this year was a great indicator of what’s good with the AGP. Kirino didn’t win because she and her show were truly awesome (and thus needed little campaigning, instead relying on pure popularity/meme value), she won because of hard-fought campaigns. It’s what sets the AGP apart from any other character polls out there–since a sizable portion of our voters aren’t even updated with current fansubbed anime, campaigns do a lot in garnering support, which is more than half of the fun in the AGP. After all, who’d imagine these ingenious works from dm? Or Excalibur and a flying goddamned shark getting far?

All in all, I had a lot of fun. We hate you and the shows you like. See you next year, AGP!

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8 Responses to Kirino Chiba, Runaway Star of AGP ’09

  1. omo says:

    campaigning is srsbzns?

  2. ghostlightning says:

    I liek Kirino

  3. TheBigN says:

    Then you should have voted for her, gl. :V

    In hindsight, I think I really should have written a long post about what I thought made Kirino a strong character, and who knows? That might have swung the final in her favor. 😛

    Either way it was a good run for her, and for Taiga as well, though I can’t help but think her show ending around the time of the AGP really really helped her cause. I had Horo going all the way, man. ;_;

  4. dm00 says:

    Thanks for the kind pingbacks.

    I had a Horo vs Shiki final match, but something about Kirino’s campaign clicked with me (it helped that Ginko was getting creamed in the other match). I didn’t watch Bamboo Blade until the AGP was almost over, but now it’s one of my favorite series of the recent past. I’m glad both the manga and anime have been licensed.

    AGP was a lot of fun this year.

  5. oioi, don’t forget the guy who started the Kirino campaign! I really would’ve liked Tama-chan, but as a semi-loli she probably couldn’t have gotten as much support. I didn’t think Kirino had even a small chance, especially against Shiki and Minorin, but I just wanted more people to watch Bamboo Blade SO BAD. As a matter of fact, I like almost EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER that Kirino went against more than her, but I still voted for her every time and campaigned for her up until all those fucking toradora spoilers flooded the threads.

  6. schneider says:

    The main reason why I wasn’t able to get into the Kirino bandwagon was that she was the second least intriguing character for me (Saya takes the last place), and I’m more of a Tama-Rin-Braver kind of guy. That, and Miyako won last year and while that doesn’t disqualify sunny blondes at all, it makes me go “meh, they’re at it again.”

  7. TheBigN says:

    To be honest, if things didn’t look like they were headed for an all-Toradora final, then I probably wouldn’t have put so much weight on Kirino as I had. It brought a little more emergency in the situation to me. 😛

  8. dm00 says:

    As I said in that other place, I seem to be more a Kirino/Sayako/Miyako partisan. Or maybe even Miyako/Kirino/Sayako. Miyako’s dual-personalities was a joke that didn’t grow old for me.

    I’ll admit that I hadn’t paid much attention to the Kirino campaign until Ginko started trailing Taiga by so much. Like TBN, an all-Toradora finale didn’t appeal to me much. But then, neither did Minori all that much.

    And Kirino was so much fun.

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