So heres some info on what went down at SBO in BlazBlue! Basically I was gonna bug HeartNana for details regardless, but considering there was hardly any info released I figured I wouldnt be the only one who wanted to know more. I did edit the chatlog a lil bit, but mainly to make it more readable. Anyway, here it is:
<ShardZ> Lets talk about LCQs first - were there any particularly notable players that entered that?
<HeartNana> Well, looking at the brackets, I only knew a few of the players in it
<HeartNana> one was mashy Noel, who somehow managed to beat his first opponent. He was really happy and seemed really excited when he told me, so I’m happy for him.
<HeartNana> Next, was Kaqn, who I’m sure everyone knows
<ShardZ> of course! how’d he do?
<HeartNana> He won 2 or 3 rounds before he lost
<HeartNana> Stunedge also participated, but ended up getting knocked out in the first or second round.
<HeartNana> and then there was this Noel player who did well at the a-cho SBO qualifier, but he lost to a Jin player
<HeartNana> and the last two people I knew conveniently had to play each other first round
<HeartNana> those two were Tall Litchi Man and Fubarduck
<HeartNana> The TLM vs Fubarduck match was pretty interesting
<HeartNana> TLM went into it thinking that Fubarduck had no idea what he was doing, and couldn’t do the combos because once Fubar hit him, he didn’t burst and tried to break out of the throw, and ended up getting reset. He still won the first round, though.
<HeartNana> Second round, TLM bursted right away when Fubarduck hit him, and then Fubarduck got him in the corner with carl and had the winning combo, but then when he jumped to do the airgrab, it whiffed and so he dropped the combo, and Tall Litchi Man came back
<HeartNana> Fubarduck SHOULD have won the second round, but for whatever reason, his airgrab missed, it was really heartbreaking
<HeartNana> Galileo (Tager) and Nyamo (Bang) were both there, too, but they didn’t enter the last chance qualifier. Tall Litchi Man ended up losing to Kaqn I believe.
<ShardZ> btw, do you remember the name TLM enters under offhand?
<HeartNana> its in katakana, in romanji its pretty much “Lucky”
<ShardZ> As in, thought he was lucky he got a gaijin 1st round.
<HeartNana> Well, he’s not cocky at all, and he’s a really nice guy, so I doubt he was thinking that.
<ShardZ> Fair enough. Just the general stigma that foreigners aren’t very good?
<HeartNana> For the most part, it’s true, sadly
<HeartNana> But I tend to underestimate anyone who I’ve never seen/heard of before, so isn’t it normal?
<ShardZ> I guess so.
<ShardZ> So anything else interesting happen in LCQs?
<HeartNana> Well, I noticed that there was a huge lack of broke tier characters. There was an arakune or two, but for the most part, it was all mid tier characters.
<HeartNana> So it came as no huge surprise to me that a Ragna made it through
<ShardZ> Making it 3 Ragnas that qualified.
<ShardZ> It seems like there’s a lot of strong players in the US that use Ragna, so it’s interesting that not very many managed to qualify in Japan.
<HeartNana> He’s a somewhat weak character that was popular at first, but then his popularity seemed to die down
<HeartNana> At least in Kansai, there’s actually very few Ragna players at all, much less really good ones.
<ShardZ> Hm, what makes him weaker? Can’t get in on the top 3?
<HeartNana> I think it’s more that he’s not cheap enough. He doesn’t have unfair damage, unfair wakeups, godlike setups, etc. He’s Straightforward, yes, but doesn’t have anything that really makes him stand out compared to a lot of the other characters who have far more potential. Essentially, he hasn’t evolved much at all since Day 1 aside from the use of Blood Kain.
<ShardZ> Alright. But nonetheless, Shuta managed to win LCQs with him. I heard that at this point there was one too many qualifiers so he actually had to play another match before fully qualifying.
<HeartNana> Yes, the LCQ was set to play against Goryu’s Nu first round
<HeartNana> more like in the 0th round
<ShardZ> Yeah, Goryus being the Arcade UFO qualifier from NorCal. Did you see how that match went?
<HeartNana> I didn’t, because right after my match finished, I was escorted to the side and went outside the arena to grab my stuff, find my friend Dan, and then go up a few floors and find seats, so by the time I got in to watch more matches, it was over already. Whether it was on the big screen or not, I don’t know, I believe the Shuta was playing against Maria’s Arakune at the time when I got in, so it was already decided.
<ShardZ> Ah, alright. Speaking of your match, I believe you played Inoue, a top Tokyo area v13 first round?
<HeartNana> Yea, he was my first round match.
<ShardZ> Definitely an uphill battle for Noel. How were you feeling going into the match?
<HeartNana> As usual, with JP tournies, I wasn’t very nervous. I’ll admit that at Evo, on the big screen, my hands were shaking, but I wasn’t nervous at all this tournament.
<HeartNana> Overall though, I was excited to be playing a top player first round. While it may have been harder to win, had I gotten the win, it would have meant a lot more to me.
<HeartNana> Though everyone in SBO was really good, and nobody is free. Everyone had to win a tourney to participate, so there’s no underestimating anyone.
<ShardZ> Very true. So how did that match play out?
<HeartNana> Well, the first round, he did a lot of the vector beam move, which traps me in place, pretty much, and just shot swords at me. I tried to take some risks to hit him because I had to get in or I wouldn’t be able to win, but none of those risks ended up working out, and I got worked pretty hard the first round.
<HeartNana> Second round, I played pretty well, my risks ended up working out for the most part, but he got a few critical hits. It came down to both of us with very little life post-burst, and he hit me before I was able to hit him I guess
<HeartNana> It was really close, and it’s a shame I didn’t get that round, because I felt like he was indeed beatable, but at least I proved that I wasn’t free. I was happy with how I played, and overall, I feel like if I was just a little better at the game, I could have had the match.
<HeartNana> I was talking with Inoue a little before the match tho, and he was saying that he was really nervous.
<ShardZ> Why was he nervous?
<HeartNana> Biggest tourney in Japan, big stage, tons of people watching, camera people all over our match filming not only the match, but our reactions to the match.
<HeartNana> It was an intense situation, and it’s only natural for a person to get nervous before any performance in front of a large audience.
<HeartNana> He was surprised to hear that I don’t really get nervous at these tournaments, and I had to tell him that I’m the weird one for NOT getting nervous, haha.
<HeartNana> The coolest thing about our match tho, was that it was on the big screen. Because it was on the big screen, the announcer talked about both of us for a little.
<HeartNana> He mentioned that Inoue is considered the top player with the top character, pretty much.
<HeartNana> Then he said that I’m a foreigner, yet I qualified in Japan, which is quite rare. I was also one of the first qualified in Kansai. He then took my comment that was in the Tougeki Guidebook which said “Kyara ai araba IT’S ALL RIGHT” (If you have character love, IT’S ALL RIGHT"), and said something along the lines of:
<HeartNana> “We’ll see if that’s true…FIGHT!!”
<ShardZ> Haha, awesome.
<HeartNana> it was just really cool that he talked about me, and mentioned my comment, which happens to be a play on the morning musume song “Ai araba IT’S ALL RIGHT” (“If there’s love, IT’S ALL RIGHT”)
<ShardZ> Slight tangent, but you said your reactions were being filmed. On the SBO DVDs I haven’t seen footage of the players themselves before the finals before. Was that something new to this year?
<HeartNana> well, if there’s a really good reaction, like someone puts their head in their hands after losing, or someone does a dance after winning, that gets thrown up on the big screen for a little
<HeartNana> Keep in mind, on the DVDs, it might show just the matches, but being there, there was a big screen where you got to see more. There were announcers in past SBOs before the finals, but you never saw them on the DVDs, just the matches, right?
<ShardZ> Yeah, pretty much.
<HeartNana> So there’s a lot you get from going and watching in person that you can’t get, even if you get the DVD, methinks.
<HeartNana> Plus it was a new venue this year, so they had a better setup
<ShardZ> They were using a larger space this year?
<HeartNana> Yes, it was much larger, and in a much more convenient location
<ShardZ> Very cool. Back to the tourney though, I think there’s just 1 other US player we didn’t talk about yet - Kid Viper, the Jin player who qualified at Planet Zero. I believe he played against another Jin named Konan first round?
<HeartNana> Yes he did
<HeartNana> He actually won the first round. Once he was up a round, they showed it on the big screen, but then he lost the next two rounds.
<ShardZ> Awh, and that was it for the American players.
At this point we decided to just go through the brackets so HNana could pick out whichever matches he remembered watching.
<HeartNana> Masutani (Bang) vs. Ke-chan (Rachel)
<HeartNana> that was the first match on the big screen. Ke-chan is a kansai player that I play against a lot
<HeartNana> Masutani I played a couple times at Mikado, he beat me at first, then I started to beat him. So both of these players are about the same level as me imo. But in this tourney, they were both really nervous it seemed and both played like crap.
<HeartNana> Kechan won the first round, masutani won the second round, and kechan won the last round.
<HeartNana> Quite unexciting, they put it up there cause it was Bang, but it ended up not really showing much imo.
<HeartNana> Shonen (Litchi) vs. Zero (Hakumen)
<HeartNana> This one was cool because 0 actually won the match. Shonen did some decent combos and some interesting stuff, but 0 just straight up countered the right things, and did 5000 damage combos.
<HeartNana> 0’s counter game was so good, and I think that’s what allowed him to make it to the 2nd round.
<HeartNana> Kouji (Tager) vs. Kogatan (Jin)
<HeartNana> Kouji played like crap
<ShardZ> Doh, and that was the only Tager there.
<HeartNana> If he got a super throw, or even a regular tager buster, the crowd would have went nuts, but he didnt really get to do much of anything. It was against a turtle Jin who IMO wasn’t playing that solid either. It’s a shame because everyone wanted to see Tager win.
<HeartNana> I at least wanted to see him do SOMETHING, but he lost without even being able to really do much of anything.
<HeartNana> Next match I saw was the heartbreaker match
<HeartNana> it was Shuta vs Maria
<HeartNana> Shuta won the first round by straight up beasting with Ragna against Arakune
<HeartNana> 2nd round it was close, and he got arakune to burst
<HeartNana> he had the winning combo
<HeartNana> he had BC all he needed to do was hit dash punch…but it didnt come out…and arakune made a comeback
<HeartNana> and won not only that round
<HeartNana> but the next round
<HeartNana> It had to have been the worst feeling ever, because everyone was cheering for Shuta and he HAD IT, but yeah…
<HeartNana> Bonus Game (Rachel) vs. Toriatsukai-chuui aka Handle with Care (Arakune)
<HeartNana> that was rachel vs Arakune, quite boring, rachel wins
<HeartNana> I watched Mekasue’s match vs Bleed. He got the first round, but was unable to get the 2nd and 3rd round. I was really rooting him on, but 1 match single elim is really unforgiving…
<HeartNana> Denpa (Taokaka) vs. ANG (Nu)
<HeartNana> Denpa got owned
<HeartNana> It was like “yay, nu wins”
<HeartNana> pretty much
<ShardZ> damn. this ain’t melty.
[Denpa is a top Melty Blood player, won SBO in 2007 along with Yuu]
<HeartNana> well, the tier diff between Satsuki and the best in melty isn’t as high as Tao and Nu methinks lol
<HeartNana> Eru (Rachel), the kansai player, beat Tokido (Arakune) first round
<HeartNana> That was pretty cool
<HeartNana> last first round match was
<HeartNana> Ren (Jin) vs. Keshigomu (Noel)
<HeartNana> ren played kinda cocky imo
<HeartNana> like he was running forward and just holding forward, which didn’t really work out, seeing as how he lost
<HeartNana> he kept getting hit by overheads
<HeartNana> its crazy because I’ve played aganist Ren a ton, and he seems to never fall for anything, but whatever this Noel did, he seemed to fall for, it was weird
<ShardZ> Wasn’t he pretty much the best known Jin there?
<ShardZ> And ended up being the only player to lose to a noel.
<HeartNana> i favored him for top 8, but yeah, sbo, 2/3 rounds
<HeartNana> Dora (Bang) vs. Zero (Hakumen)
<HeartNana> Dora did that trick where he sets up the kunai dash things, and then kept doing elbow into crossup j.C like, 4-5 times in a row
<HeartNana> 0 practically didn’t do anything, and Dora swept that match
<HeartNana> Ke-chan ended up beating Souji, the best known Arakune. Go Kansai!
<HeartNana> Ikemen (Nu) vs. Diechan (Litchi)
<HeartNana> Diechan was REALLY close to losing, but managed to come back. It was pretty hype. The dude is too cool.
<HeartNana> Inoue losing actually wasn’t on the big screen, and I didn’t know until it showed up on the brackets they showed
<ShardZ> Yeah, vs Mebo’s tao. Beat you then lost. What a jerk. lol
<HeartNana> Yeah, he was supposed to win the whole thing, lol
<HeartNana> For E block, I forgot which match they put up. A lot of Rachel/Arakune/Nu, so it was boring
<HeartNana> After this was to see who gets in Top 8
<HeartNana> Dora beat Tsukasa’s Nu, and that was really hype.
<HeartNana> Tsukasa is a friend, so I was rooting for him, but everyone was cheering on Dora, and he played really well and deserved the V
<HeartNana> Ribaia vs Fumo
<HeartNana> Fumo was losing, but then came back
<HeartNana> It was a shame because Ribaia was the guy I was hoping could represent Kansai, but he ended up losing to Arakune
<HeartNana> I think while Nu is good against Arakune, Ribaia does poorly against the character
<HeartNana> And when they got to top 8, Fumo said “Kansai Nu’s need to improve” or something along those lines
<HeartNana> everyone was all “OOOH”
<HeartNana> Ok, let’s go through top 8 matches:
<HeartNana> kakutoubishinTaokaka (Nu) vs. Dora (Bang)
<HeartNana> Dora got Nu’d
<HeartNana> Kyaku (Carl) vs. Diechan (Litchi)
<HeartNana> that one was really close, with carl barely taking it. But litchi vs carl is kind of a turtlefest so it was kinda boring.
<HeartNana> Fumo (Arakune) vs. BLEED (Litchi)
<HeartNana> As a contrast to the turtle litchi die-chan played against Carl, BLEED played super aggressive Litchi, and I was like “wow, did they speed the game up just now?”, that’s how fast he moved her
<HeartNana> He won one round, but still lost to bugs.
<HeartNana> Eru (Rachel) vs. Chou (Nu)
<HeartNana> Rachel vs Nu
<HeartNana> Nu won
<HeartNana> kakutoubishinTaokaka (Nu) vs. Kyaku (Carl)
<HeartNana> Kyaku perfects the first round, loses the 2nd, perfects the 3rd round. GDLK
<HeartNana> Fumo (Arakune) vs. Chou (Nu)
<HeartNana> Arakune vs Nu, one of them [Fumo] wins, wasn’t really exciting
<HeartNana> Kyaku (Carl) vs. Fumo (Arakune)
<HeartNana> worst/most boring stupid match of the tournament
<HeartNana> it was carl not really able to do anything and arakune turtling and cursing
<HeartNana> it was so boring and dumb, and probably the worst SBO grand finals that I’ve EVER seen
<HeartNana> and there we go, fumo = winnar
<HeartNana> BB top 8 = zzz
<ShardZ> Looking at the brackets though, it seemed like Fumo had about as hard of a bracket that you can have as Arakune.
<ShardZ> 2x arakune, 2x nu, rachel, litchi, carl
<HeartNana> yeah, but like
<HeartNana> its arakune
<HeartNana> so who the fuck cares
<ShardZ> lol fair enough
BONUS SECTION (aka HNana talks about Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2 top 4 for like 5 seconds)
<ShardZ> hirob, let’s talk about ah2
<HeartNana> alright ill make it quick so i can go home
<HeartNana> the best team won
<HeartNana> hands down
<HeartNana> but a girl got 2nd
<HeartNana> and that was cool
<HeartNana> time mei fang is insane
And that was pretty much it! Thanks for reading.