The Mania.com tradition that is the Anime Draft is upon us once again. For the 2011 installment of the game there are an even number of 20 participants, and this will be my fourth year playing. Last year I entered the draft with one of my favorite characters in anime with Sora Naegino
of Kaleido Star
, and used the theme of building a group of athletic characters to form a soccer club. The members of my team had varying degrees of success - some performed great while others tanked - and in the end I finished in the bottom half of the table in 13th place.
This year I decided to enter the draft with a character from a more recent anime. The character is from a show that was streamed on Crunchyroll last fall, and quickly became a character that I grew to like with each and every episode.
My first-round pick for the 2011 Anime Draft is Ika-Musume
of Shinryaku! Ikamusume
Ika-chan is a squid girl who claims to be a "messenger of the sea". Frustrated that the oceans (a.k.a. her home) are constantly being polluted by humans, she decides to invade the surface world with the goal of world conquest to exact revenge on humanity. However, she soon realizes that she doesn't stand a chance as she is clueless about the surface world and alone in her conquest. In a failed attack she ends up breaking a side of a wall at a nearby beach house, and ends up slaving away as a waitress to help pay off the damages. Ika-chan is known to be very stubborn, insists that eventually she'll be able to conquer humanity, has a fear of sharks & whales, loves shrimp, can spew out ink at will, and can use her blue hair as tentacles.
Ika-chan quickly became a favorite character of mine with her clueless attempts at world domination and her cute demeanor. But what I really loved about her was how well she interacted with the other characters in the series, mainly with Eiko and Chizuru. She proved to be a pretty lovable and fun character to watch.
I was debating as to what theme I wanted to use for this year's draft and what type of team I want to build around Ika-chan. Originally I wanted to build a team of blue-haired characters to go with Ika, but I felt that this would be too difficult for me to accomplish. So I decided to play the angle of "helping" Ika-chan in her dream of conquering the world and exacting revenge on humanity by assembling a team that can help her in her quest. Of course getting the characters that I want will depend on my draft position when the drafting phase stars, and which characters will be available. I'm hoping that Ika-can and her band of Squidvaders will help catapult me to the top half of the Anime Draft table this season.