Category Archives: Bishoujo Gaming

Gakumas Impressions, The First Month

Barely one month in, there’s enough about the Gakuen IDOLM@STER game beyond the pre-release hype cycle to talk about the first new brand for the IDOLM@STER series in 6 years. It’s fun! Also I need some place to flaunt my gacha rolls?

On that note, I was able to pull every P SSR thus far, except for Kotone’s current banner (Big Bang) and the base Kotone SSR. (I farmed the base Kotone P SSR since.) I guess the game and I are just not into her? It was not immediately clear to me why you would roll for P SSRs, but they do have stronger items, higher starting stats, and generally stronger special skill cards. Maybe the “end” goal in this game is also just PVP where you assemble groups of 3 teams going head to head with other idol teams. I don’t know.

A key thing about the game is that much of the game is locked behind the P level progression. This includes many powerful SR and SSR skill cards, not to mention the “pro” produce mode. What you can do in this game is different than many prior IM@S games, so it’s worth spelling it out a bit before going forward.

Most IM@S games you gacha for characters and outfits, but in Gakumas you gacha for outfit, music, and SSR skills. It’s more like IDOLY PRIDE in that the cast of characters are limited and they are outright available to play with, or close to it. Having the SR and SSR P cards do help make getting a good produce run easier, and you can make stronger memories.

Memories are the output of each produce run. Each memory carries with it a skill card that can be used in a subsequent run, a set of skills to boost your run when you use that memory, and a deck+items for PVP. Oh, you can also take a photo from the final performance of each run to use as the icon for that memory. So yes, the game surrounds memories.

The gameplay, being a roguelike battle card game, the skill cards are important as a tool to carry over on each run. There are some strats here where you play normal mode to get a B or B+ memory with just 1 SSR+ so you have a 50/50 rate to obtain the same SSR+ (or SR+) in your deck in the output memory. Rather than whatever a higher scoring run requires, if you aim low, you can get by with just 1 SSR. It’s something worth trying once you get a special card that you think you really want to keep, because you also have to thin your deck with various tricks yet still get as much stat as possible.

Playing it more normally, you’d want to just play a lot and hope the inherited (lack of a better term) skill card is the one you want, and upgraded if possible. At higher score levels you can get more boosts for your subsequent runs, so ultimately you want memories that have both skills you want and as many highest tier of boosts you want (and of the right types).

The split between (P)roduce SSR and (S)upport SSR was introduced through Shiny Colors, so it’s nice to see they basically carry that idea into Gakumas. In Gakumas both P and S SSRs are the same banner too, so it’s already quite a bit less exploitative than either Shinymas game. There is so far the base banner and the new banner, which has a rate up on the new cards, and seems like the new cards are not in the base banner. The free roll tickets also seems to only work on the base banner so I wonder how often they would update it…or reset the rolls on that.

Support SSRs are basically like memories, except they only carry either an item or a skill card, and have much stronger boosts that maps to the support card’s level. You need to earn blue support tokens to spend to level them up, which you get from achievements and runs, and the plethora of stores/kuji pools in the game.

From a gameplay perspective, this is Slay the Spire, IDOLM@STER version. Stats play a big role on your midterm and final scores, but winning the training games efficiently is also how you can get big stats. Having to carry less slots for gameplay means you can carry more slots for stats, also. But that’s pretty much it for that–we are gatekept by level 60 SSRs being so hard to obtain right now (as you need up to 5+1 borrowed).

From the usual content delivery machine point of view, Gakumas is unlike previous entries in that it’s a lot more anime-like. Maybe that’s just QualiArt for you, but the main commu is basically shuraba-kei writing from the OreImo anime scriptwriter, played out as a video that you can stepwise skip line by line. Some would say this is “Iori-core” especially with Saki being the lead Red character. Temari is a big dork and Kotone is more the audience perspective. The drama ensues. The game postures the character-specific commu based on affection levels which are unlocked by specific achievements. During a produce run you can unlock them in the middle of the run and it presents a continuous story to you. It’s got this “anime as you play” vibe especially when you get the “ending” commu at affection level 10, complete with a ED sequence.

Part of what makes it more anime-like is that there is a lot of interaction between idol from the get go. We have the head-turning move of introducing us to the True Red character, Ume, who is more of the archetypical main IM@S red character, then to show us that Saki is actually the main Red. After reading the SSR+level 10 commu for both Saki and Ume it became really clear that until late in the production process, Ume was really the main character and Saki was the ultimate rival. They switched it partly because Ume herself is a bit countercultural in the way she is like Saki, and ultimately Saki would make more sense as the main character if things played out that way. So yes, things are playing out that way. This is not to mention the wide spectrum of cast members. China, Hiro and Temari are all quite eccentric and their interactions with everyone are amusing. Well, I guess so are Saki and Ume.

It’s hard to not praise Gakumas for sticking to being an IM@S game yet going against the grain in all the right ways. Maybe it’s not perfect, but overall it is doing everything right. I guess the gameplay itself is a bit of mixed bag because it is Slay the Spire, which is a popular genre-specific game. I guess it is part of the 2020 zeitgeist with board games being more popular in Japan as well as with indie games, but I suppose it works.

And in a similar vein, while I put in about 40 hours in Slay the Spire before taking a hiatus, you can also hit the content cap by getting to level 10 affection for every character in Gakumas. It probably will also take roughly 30-40 hours! Not bad for a free to play gacha game where none of this is gated per se, it just takes longer without stronger cards. The time-limited events thus far are kind of not in a set pattern, and it all seems to be the trivial “get stronger by playing the game more” kind of thing. I guess we will see what the future brings and if this franchise has the sauce for longevity.

For what it is worth, I’m still not 100% decided who to oshi–still leaning towards Rinami because it’s what I like, but the Ume is the riceball rolling straight into my heart. It is definitely a good problem to have.

Gakuen Idolm@ster has Dropped

Everything that needs to be said about Gakuen Idolm@ster can be found on Twitter/X. There’s also this wonderful thin slice on the visual contents side from Sakugabooru–feeding us 9 proper music videos will do this. I personally enjoy the music, not only because “Hajime” is the most IM@S song I’ve heard since Starlit Season, but also because each of the 9 felt like some Asobinotes persons took each one and ran.

Between QualiArts lifting IDOLM@STER into the 2020s, that we are onboarding into an official Discord server, or that ultimately the game still isn’t available in another language besides Japanese, there’s a lot to be said of the game that is both a content delivery platform that Ps are familiar with, and idol-slay-the-spire strapped on top of a gacha game engine. The first banner and event already dropped, 1 week into launch. I spent a lot of Acen avoiding to play it, and a lot of Animazement playing it….which speaks more to which con is more laid back than the other and less about how compelling the game is.

I have not much else to say than, again, finally IM@S is a game that is new. It is so hard for Japan to create something new but still maintain what was great about the original, yet they are able to do it from time to time in spectacular fashion. I ate up the pre-launch promo like a child in a candy store, waking up early for each character reveal. The rivals, the Chokaigi streams, the daily video drops, it was a lot of fun. This doesn’t even mention the curve ball like Apple Music’s regular show. Or Chihaya.

So yes, the Famitsu in-depth interview confirms that the lead creatives are otaku influenced by works from the 00s, which explains why the vibe feels like the 00s. It answers many of the questions.

As for the game… it is a card game roguelike, in terms of getting the performances/practices. You raise the idol by using P items and building the deck, and gaining stats (ViVoDa) by achieving a certain number of points during audition or practice. There’s the full uma inheritance thing with 4 cards you can bring with you each produce trip, plus stats/bonuses from those previous runs. Support and P gacha cards add more special cards or items (persistent artifacts/items) plus other bonuses to stat/health to your game.

It’s also a lot of fun. I know some might want to have a more long-form roguelike experience (closer to STS) but I like this shorter format where you can really grind in small chunks. Each run takes about 30 minutes. The SSRs gate the songs for each idol in this game which is an unusual trick versus the previous games. The idol performance, as you roguelike your way each time, improves until you get to the True End.

Gakumas is all clicking and firing on all cylinders. Shiny Colors anime or Miriani may be for “existing” fans, but so is Gakumas in a way. It’s so fun to see how this game came into existence and to me it isn’t how different it is as an imas game, but how much it took from the past and made it its own that seems amazing to me.

IDOLM@STER 18th Stream, SideM Thoughts

This is just the thoughts from this particular Producer, so take it as you will. Just reacting to some other folks from this morning (evening JP time on July 25) when the 18th anniversary stream dropped its usual payload of news and inter-brand interactions.

I’m lurking in a couple community discord servers for IDOLM@STER. Some SideMs are gnashing teeth. Others are just putting them to perspective. You can see some of that in the Youtube comments. I think perspective is important, as it can highlight the way forward out of this hellish situation. But I think some empathy and compassion is good. More over, these emotions and momentary problems are probably something that will come and pass with time, without us doing a whole lot.

One thing I noticed is that many of these online communities are surrounding the core game product. This is Deresute, MLTD, the Enza Shiny game, and what have you. Players of the console 765Pro games kind of dissolves into the background as old(er) people who bring up obscure data points (see above about perspective) but it’s not tangibly linked to the community. The band of IDOLM@STER branding is not that strong.

I think this is invariably the case when all it takes is a smartphone or emulator, and Qooapp. All these free-to-play games have no doors, effectively, other than being in Japanese. And just like how anime culture in America is a rainbow regurgitation of the same thing in Japan, a lot is lost in the translation. Or more precisely, a lot is missing in the localization of a media mix IP, that wasn’t even localized to begin with. Localization outfits are just publishers, they are not marketing firms with a hand in the media mix pie who want to sell rights to merch or whatever it takes to do SideM Ice Cream.

I would feel way less secure as a SideM P if all I had was the game and not the concerts, the live streams, the music, the anime, the comics, and the fandom at large. I really think this is part of the answer to Bannam dropping the Growing Stars game, but not much of this has come. Anyways, it has been disconcerting for some Ps and things have remained uncomfortable.

I remember seeing the SideM announcement at MOIW 2014 intermission. I was there at my first IM@S concert and still feeling a bit overwhelmed. Yes, even back then, we, collectively (Japan?), know that joseimuke stuff was taking off. Women buying 2D dude merch was a bigger thing than it was ever before. It was a force to tap into, if you are an opportunist. So at some level, SideM joining the fray was already a bit, let’s just say, sus, fundamentally.

At any rate, SideM fits this scheme, and I bemused around then, even, that Bannam was a tad late. But the dice were cast, and we’re in it together. Will IDOLM@STER as a business translate well as joseimuke content and media mix strategy? Despite hindsight being mostly 20/20, I think the answer is still unclear. To some degree, we see where it was successful. We also see the missteps.

I think one clear thing we can say is that Bannam executed the SideM vision with some urgency. Vision 2.0 started with IDOLM@STER 2, which introduced us to Jupiter. These guys are the lynchpins for the SideM franchise and connects us from today back all the way to origin. SideM also provided a home Akizuki Ryo, which we cannot say enough to thank for. Maybe this is at SideM’s cost as a female-pandering franchise, but ultimately it was just one person in a group with 46 or 49 idols. These are, in the big picture of the 18 years of IDOLM@STER, large, franchise-altering moves. They’re on par with Shiny Colors dropping a new unit every year from 2019 to 2022. But I didn’t think Bannam and the SideM team played this up well. Maybe because they were urgently trying to solidify this brand?

I believe urgency was why SideM took the path of Million Live, almost carbon-copy from web game to app game. It was definitely why SideM had a TV anime first, well before Million. But did this urgency pay off? I’m not sure. I can say that the transition to the app game did more to harm it than any other decision for the series, because SideM LIVE ON ST@GE was not up to the quality and standards set by the other games in the series. If rushing was a big factor towards the cause of it, it was just a bad decision.

In 2021 we got SideM GROWING STARS, which is being shut down this month. The circumstances surrounding the shutdown is still a mystery. But we probably got here only because the mistake that was LOS. Still, we should properly credit who credit is due: Bannam needs to own the bad treatment for this franchise at the closing of the game. SideM now does not have a game platform to put all the character content on top of. I think that’s actually okay, but it invites envy and criticism.

Objectively speaking, what SideM is doing is becoming more lean and agile. New character media mix franchises often start this way: announcements, casts, recorded songs and drama. But this is sort of the opposite business strategy for IDOLM@STER, one that hasn’t really happened until the launch of Shiny Colors. It is still a really weird way to see an IDOLM@STER brand exist. How can players be players without an ongoing game? Until this existential issue is resolved, it stands to reason that SideM players and producers are going to have their undies in a knot.

Given this blog and I am very silver-lining oriented, this is the best spin I can put on it. Bannam did what they could, they pushed the franchise and hit all the high notes until the Covid years. There is not much left to execute for SideM in the Vision 2.0 game plan.

So, because I have nothing to lose if I am wrong, you should take the following prediction as far or as close as you want. I suggest that the 6th franchise in IDOLM@STER canon might be also joseimuke. KominoP said it started 5 years ago. What started 5 years ago? So again, I have nothing to lose if I’m wrong, it’s going to be joseimuke, and 2.5D oriented. I mean it makes sense. It’s the one arrow missing in the quiver of the IDOLM@STER franchise. I want real life Haruka tripping on stage, just like how I really enjoyed my time at the Umamusume stage performance. SideM did rodokugeki. Is this why IDOLM@STER was so slow to this punch?

Because, on paper, the only threat to IDOLM@STER is Umamusume. Bang Dream is for kids! D4DJ is … also for kids. IDOLM@STER is for boomers! Love Live is actually just not-iM@S and belongs to Bandai Namco anyways. That’s why the franchise want to expand and add, it needs to grow to replace the warm bodies that will graduate from the series because invariably, as long as SideM or Million or 765Pro continues to exist, Bannam will make mistakes along the way. Rightfully so, it’s okay to quit when these entertainment IPs stop being entertaining.

Except Cinderella Girls–it continues to grow, and Cygames seemed to have hit the winning formula. Doomposting, unvoiced Producers continue to cause chaos and rub people the wrong way as entitled pricks. One person’s bug is another person’s feature, I guess.

Princess Connect! Re:Dive Global Woes

Tribal outfit Yui

This post is really more about me, but I think there’s something to take away for anyone. In short, I’m getting less and less happy about playing Princess Connect! Re:Dive (Priconne for short) Global, and a big part of it is that I also play JP and I also play several other mobile/gacha games out there. You might too, or not. Anyways, in 2022 what is going on in Priconne Global is just irking me, and I’m writing this to get it out of my system.

For background, I played the Japanese version of Princess Connect! AND I am an active player of Japanese version of Princess Connect! Re:Dive, in addition to the Global version. The company managing and developing the game, Cygames, manages its own release in Japan. Cygames also licenses the game for local distribution. Notably, the mainland China release became very popular a few years back (how time flies…). There are also Korean, Taiwan/HK, and Thai releases until the Global/English release about a year ago. Crunchyroll Games handles the Global release.

I really enjoy the game! Enough to play the same game twice. In a nutshell, Priconne is very much a “content” driven RPG where regularly the game updates with events, main story quests, and new characters, all which builds on previous revealed content to tell a story to describe its kind-of mysterious world. Being a player of the OG Priconne game, that predated Re:Dive, it’s pretty natural for me to get drawn in to the setting and the layers of mysterious things around it. I also had more time to take to the wide cast of characters so everything was mostly familiar to me from the get go for Re:Dive. You can read more in my earlier posts.

The various regional localizations of Priconne has to also follow this content release strategy where everything is slow-dripped at a certain pace. Some “down time” that the original release had was cut, but most of that was in the first year and things don’t really slow down after that. For reference, we celebrated Priconne JP’s 4th anniversary just earlier in the month. [You can buy this sandwich press lol.]

Being a popular Japanese game is fine, but it isn’t a chart-topper–more like Priconne’s niche is being easy to play, deep if you want to dig deep, and a lot of top notch QOL-ness come with the game. In a way the best comparison I can make is that Priconne is the Everquest-to-WoW leap from all those painful Asian farm-for-everything-based-off-a-guide mobile games. Even later entries (like, say, Konosuba, which is quite new! Or Kirara Fantasia, etc.) are significantly more painful to play. Priconne remains a standard bearer to make mobile games less of a menu hell, that the UX has to be a key deliverable to keep a game relevant in the 21st century. It is the kind of game that can allow players to play other games, because it takes so little time comparatively.

That said, nobody says you can’t play Priconne based on spreadsheets and spend hours to farm everything–many people do precisely that. When China opened up to the game (noteworthy for having local-only releases of characters based on lol Hashimoto Kanna) this only intensified. In fact it’s probably safe to say the CN player base is larger than the JP player base at this point, especially from an oversea perspective.

I am quite thankful for all the Chinese players who sank their love, hard work, time and money into Priconne! Overall they have enriched the experience with things like the currently-best Arena database and other guides. Some are outright better than pro sites like Gamewith when it comes to meta and dealing with fast-moving or player-based changes.

Unfortunately this also means by the time Global gets its latest content, that stuff has been juiced by every other release that started before Global. Unless you go out of your way to not look up anything, there’s nothing about the “meta” (as opposed to “being what’s popular” but the game on top of the game) that hasn’t been spoiled from start to finish. This is the unfortunate thing about Priconne–it was a game where almost all the hints you need to be successful are in the game by default. There are tons of ways to experiment on your own to figure out the game, and now in English you can read and experience that yourself…but few probably will.

That isn’t really a big problem by itself, if one at all. As someone who plays JP Priconne, I still enjoy playing Global despite having first-person knowledge of everything that’s going to happen in the game. It’s as if I know what the FAQ says, but I didn’t have to follow one. Instead, what I miss is all the things in a game that was constantly honed over 4 years that isn’t in a drip-release game that is the same game 3 years behind. Many of the QOL changes in Priconne JP would be so great in Global, as I am feeling exactly those pains now. Funny thing is, by the same token Priconne JP has evolved on top of those QOL changes that the meta-meta is about different things, so a different pain is setting in.

The best example I can provide is the Clan Battle. Basically clans are guilds, and you and your clanmates have a certain numbers of tries to beat up NPC bosses to rack up the highest cumulative score. A game-wide ranking battle among all clans ensues, once a month. It requires a lot of individual coordination and a fair amount of teamwork to compete in the top 10%. That said, for the rest of us, it still can be gleamed by spreadsheets, but Priconne has this “recommend” feature that builds in the teams you can use right in the game, basically bypassing the need for them for most players. This once-a-month event is really the main reason why a lot of people are hard in, as it is also one of the biggest draw from the OG Princess Connect game (clan versus PVP). One thing you need to do a lot in CB is trying out various teams. In JP, we can use 4x speed. But in JP the game is about finding teams that don’t all use the same meta (in the slang sense) characters, so there’s a lot of jigsaw-puzzle-type sort of matching going on. In Global right now it’s dur-derp given the much fewer combination of characters available to work with, but Global doesn’t have 4x… It doesn’t even have “recommend to select” as a feature yet–it’s not even about knowing who to use (derp), it’s having to pick it out of your character list. Again, trying out teams is arguably the most time-consuming part of CB, and it can be tedious. Why not make this easy already?

Basically, not only Priconne Global is a pre-COVID mobile game showing its age compared to Priconne JP, it’s a pre-COVID mobile game showing its age compared to its contemporaries. I tried Blue Archive JP when it launched and I liked it, but it clearly had a lot of launch problems (and I stopped). A year later now I am playing the Global release, and I am having a blast. In a lot of ways BA is a step down for me compared to Priconne (long story here), but it has a façade that is clearly built in this decade. I don’t know, that should count for something–a whole lot, probably, especially for an gacha galge. And to heap on top of that, Priconne Global has nothing truly new to look forward to, unless you count hand-me-down UX improvements that Global could have had much sooner rather than later? Or having all of its meta and meta-meta game juices squeezed out by millions of Japanese and Chinese players before I can enjoy it in English? I am waiting patiently for my New York Carl memes. Maybe Crunchyroll can self-insert its mascot like Hashimoto Kanna’s characters in Priconne CN, lol.

[That said, BA meta is a PITA too and unlike Priconne, not knowing that meta is almost killer. There are hints to what to do to play the game well, but the gameplay depth just doesn’t get served by the game’s façade, so you really have to engage a community and do external research to get somewhere. Also, BA PVP is utter trash, coming from Priconne. You can tell the creators of Shadowverse at least knows how to apply basic rock-paper-scissors balance tricks to a gacha game architecture. I can go on, but BA is basically superior despite its many shortcomings–largely due to that façade.]

As I said, this is more a “me” problem than a general problem. If I bothered to love Priconne’s commu (ugh) I probably would play Global to enjoy its fun translations alone. And they are fun. I just can’t stand how Priconne dialog UX insists to animate no matter how fast you click on it, so it’s really slow (relatively) to scroll through a bunch of one-liners, sound effects, or one-worders. I still have countless reasons to love the game–this is why I play it in Japanese despite being unable to navigate it well in a foreign language in the very first place. It also happens to turns out that, the reason to not play Priconne Global is because a superior version exists, and that’s the Japanese release.

Maybe this is also reflective of an information asymmetry. Maybe unlike AAA vidya discourse, there isn’t something like this holding together all the Asian gacha mobile games in English. Or rather, people (often self-professed “gamers” lol) are too busy complaining about censorship and lootboxes to talk about things that are actually important to players? If Priconne JP is not available to you or you refuse to deal with its barriers, so be it. Knowing the forbidden knowledge in this way may worsen your experience if you only play Global. But in a way these gacha games live in ghettos, and that’s messed up. Most players don’t engage in a whole lot of it. Maybe people in the QooApp community (or similar) can speak to this, but that audience is really skewed a certain way due to race and geography (and not available on IOS). If people came away with a bad impression of Priconne Global because it’s not as good as its contemporaries, I understand it, but it is also a form of injustice because Priconne is a much better game than Priconne Global.

There, I’ve had my say. Maybe it’s finally time to hang it up and reclaim my average of 15-20 minutes a day of playtime.

PS. If you’ve been enjoying S2 of the anime in the past couple weeks, this is basically the heart of the setting that carried me from OG to Re:Dive, early on. I hope they explore also more the OG universe, but I doubt the anime will get anywhere close even if 4 more cours were added. The whole lead up to the end of “Act 1” of the main story is a lot of fun. Possibly magic they may not fully recapture ever again…speaking as someone who wasn’t too allured by Act 2.

Million Live Theater Days Closet, Round 2

Just want to talk about the now-ongoing voting for the next round of outfit SR cards for Theater Days. Happy Christmas, New Years, and cheers to another day commemorating the late civil rights leader.

Million Live Closet Reburn logo

For background and recap, the mobile-rhythm-idol-gacha game IDOLM@STER MILLION LIVE: Theater Days (MLTD hence) has an election where players can earn ballots and vote for one of the 5 choices of outfits to be available (in gacha, but at least it’s not impossible to get for free) to be implemented in game later on. The second election has started today featuring the same 5 outfit choices from last election in 2019. Like last time, the voting is separated by each idol, but the choices are the same: a spring “one-piece” dress, a “china outfit” dress, some kind of swimsuit, a waitress or “maid” outfit, and whatever “sexy spy” meant. Spirited debate between players did occur in 2019 and will occur again, although every character now only as 4 choices as 1 of them have been implemented. Overall it took about a year for everyone’s Closet SR to be added to the game, although some were faster than others. It took about another year for the Closet cards to be added to the medal pool (free to play pool). There has been like 3 support tickets since in which you could have picked it up, so I don’t think it’s particularly egregious, given that the voting itself is part of the fun.

Unlike 2019’s election, we now actually know what the outfits look like and what the card art looks like, as well as the gist of the commu you get from pulling the card. This has further lowered the stakes of the Closet voting “game,” but the long wait time since 2019 means there’s still some significant incentive for Producers to rally up behind their ideal outfits. To me, a core aspect of IDOLM@STER game series is collecting the various outfits, so this event keeps being relevant to many players, yet still in a way that is “gloves on” versus, say, the annual Cinderella Elections. No P loses out on anything important in the end.

Thanks to Fleur from one of the MLTD discords I can read some tea leaves after the initial hours of voting, and give my own opinions on all of them. I will also highlight some meta undercurrents, as they say. This is super early impressions, so things will change!

The 2019 election breakdown was:
Spring One-Piece: 14
China Dress: 21
Swimsuit: 2
Maid“: 10
Spy: 5

For one, there were some close battles from the first election that will leave the losing team seek re-election. I think most of them will end up winning, especially the second place outfits that were, as I put it, “on the right side of history.” Not every character’s Spring Dress or China Outfit looked good, I think that’s the big lesson learned. Only two idols selected the swimsuit, and waitress was significantly under-elected given people didn’t know what it really was. Both of those outfit categories can run a wide range, but now we know what they are. That being said, I’m still not sure if anyone else would look as good in that specific swimsuit as Karen.

To sum it up, though, the overall trend this year will be Maid versus One Piece. This would be the default template to break out of, whatever the P-hiveminds decide for each idol. Part of it is the aforementioned dynamics from 2019, but part of it is just math, as the possible choices are reduced.

I will walk the rest through one by one, with my favorite pick for each, plus what I project the eventual winner is using the very limited, unreliable, current data. Disclaimer: this is extremely preliminary data from less than a day’s worth of voting. Things will definitely change for some of these, especially ones projecting for One Piece dress.

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