(Now updated with the Saimoe Postseason Report)
Congratulations to Tomoe Mami, the Anime Saimoe Tournament 2011 champion!
1st – 512 votes – Tomoe Mami @ Puella Magi Madoka ☆ Magica
2nd – 435 votes – Sakura Kyouko @ Puella Magi Madoka ☆ Magica
Going into the match Mami was the slight favorite to win over Kyouko, having overcome the goddess herself, Madoka. Though it went as expectedhow it got there was not according to script. For instance, Mami appeared to trail Kyouko early, but those turned out to be well-placed fake votes and the former had indeed seized the advantage due to an early rush. The lead ballooned soon enough, but still within reach. Kyouko went on to rush first in the final hour but it wasn’t, and after Mami’s trademark Tiro Finale rush, she held on to the lead for good and become the 2011 champion.
This result is confirmed.
Check back later, for final thoughts and year-end report!
- Favorite/Best Matches?
- Surprises? Disappointments?
- How did your characters do?
- Tournament fixes?
- Tournament will be remembered for what?
- What series are you expecting to make a big splash next year?
- What’s next for us?
- LuniazKun’s tournament wrap-up
I had to ask, but looking back, there are a good amount of good matches in the tournament, per round, even. Here’s 2ch’s list of their favorite matches. My take on some of them:
Obviously, Ika Musume-Mami had a Finals feel to it, since it was the last realistic chance to avoid a non-Puella Magi winner, and the tension for that before the fakes were removed was off-the-charts. In the end Ika couldn’t overcome the two requirements to overcome a Magi: not to fall behind by too much early, and beat the final rush. The same fate has befallen Kuroneko in her match against Kyouko, which is again, also a highlight match of the year.
Going further there are a great amount of nailbiters. Erica had two amazing matches, and her surviving round after round is definitely one of the surprises of the year. Madoka-Mami had its great share of suspense as well, which was surprising because traditionally it’s rather easy to call who’s gonna win intra-series matches. Not this one.
From the earlier rounds, there were great ones like Kurisu-Ai // Kurisu-Lotte // Mayuri-Himeji. So yeah, Steins;Gate has to be the most hard-lucked faction this year. So close, but not just enough.
I ended up agreeing with most of 2ch’s list.
Erica making the Semifinals. I’ve repeatedly raved about this, and even though she’s not my favorite Strike Witch (she’s second in the list though, behind the glamorous Shirley). I know given the unpredictable nature of Saimoe it is bound to happen to a character of her caliber, but something like this (she debuted in 2007 because of SW OVA), is just hard to believe, and always a pleasant surprise.
K-On shutout. yes, a series hailing a former champion, get a lot of flak and anti-votes, but I am not expecting them to go out this fast: the draw did end up screwing them as everyone in the group had a share of difficult/dangerous matchups, but for a series as dominant the year before not to score a single victory, I find it surprising (note: even Lucky Star did not get completely shutout after Kagami won the year before).
Homura/Shana/Kirino/Erio bowing out early. It just isn’t Saimoe without its share of sudden exits and upsets. Homura’s will end up standing out the most since it was a bit aggravating for her fans if Mikoto fan/s really cheated (circumstantial evidence points towards “yes”). How much would havoc would Homura have wrecked if she did not fall victim to such cheating, we’ll never know, but the Saimoe gods just roll that way.
As for Shana, it was surprising because she doesn’t just lose in the early rounds. Except this year. So yeah. Erio’s? Well, debatable, but I can say it was a good match against Char. Azusa? Surprising, because she’s the defending champ (and they don’t often lose in the opening round) and she was comboing with former finalist Yui.
I have a great amount of characters that I have supported throughout the tourney, but like last year, I had my so-calle Saimoe Signature Seven (which used to be my AnimeSuki sig, but wound up being an idolm@ster seven right now.
In any case, my seven fared like this (picked only those who debuted in this year’s tourney, btw)
1.) Ika Musume – QF (lost to eventual champ Mami)
2.) Kurisu – R3 (Lost a heartbreaking match to Lotte)
3.) Char – R3 (overpowered by Sayaka)
4.) Victorique – R3 (lost to Mikoto before the code gen tightened up)
5.) Ohana – R2 (lost to a surprising Haqua)
6.) Shiori – R1 (Routed by Barkhorn)
7.) Saku – R1 (Beaten by another favorite, Windex)
Pleased to see Yuno taking charge and making Top 16 again, move into top 10 in all-time wins, and helping Hidamari break past 25 win-plateau. Same with Index getting past her Round One curse. Ritsu and Kurumi Erika got expectedly crushed though.
Well, there were tell-tale signs that the Saimoe administration this year wasn’t as good as 2010 (despite the now-maligne three-way block finals introduced that year).
The tournament began later than expected, and part of that had to do with the official character list eligible not being finalized in time, leading to delays and further revisions of the list. So yeah, it was not off to a good start. And coupled with the foreign IP bans, we’re just left to watch as 2ch did their thing. I can’t really blame them from locking up participation from outside, may it be due to the scars of the past not healed yet (most notably foreign voting altering the outcome of the Rika-Nagi final), or because of the attempted bouts of cheating.
In any case, I still think that most of Saimoe’s setup is still to my liking. I love the idea of the random draw/lack of seeding, the voting process (along with the voting dynamics a.k.a. fake voting + rushing), availability of trackers, and the quick release of results. There’s a reason I’m still covering it up to now despite the dwindling vote totals, which to be honest, I don’t really look into that much (though having higher ones definitely make the matches much, much more compelling.
With that, here are my Saimoe 2012 wishlist:
1.) Better administration/management, which is where it all begins. 2009’s was ideal, I don’t really remember any mishaps from that one (aside from the Koromo-Izumi match taking longer than usual to process due to mismatch in the coderesz).
2.) Expand to the main draw to 512 characters. They came close to adopting it last year and this year. I can see their reasoning not going with it, due to logistics issues or due to it making the tournament drag on a little longer than they want to. But still, 512 characters represented in the main draw is congruent to one of the original aims of Saimoe: to represent as many shows as possible – a moe festival, so to speak. From a personal standpoint, I’ve been introduced to many shows thanks to Saimoe: Gargoyle of Yoshinagas, Strawberry Panic, Kaleido Star, Aria and the list goes on. And expanding the Main Draw-eligible characters will have a non-negligible effect to attain such aim.
And there are many characters out there that should have been in the Main Draw, but because of the stringent 288-character limit, didn’t have a chance to shine. Lastly, to address the schedule issues, they can just always hold additional matches per day to account for such restrictions. In fact, more matches will likely lead to an increase the odds of having more memorable battles.
3.) Don’t ban us, but I think that might be asking too much.
Every Saimoe tournament has its share of memorable moments and contributes to Saimoe lore in their very different ways.
Naturally, we will always remember Sakura as the very first winner of this tournament in 2002. 2003 saw the smallest amount of participation, because all the series that appeared in 2002 weren’t eligible. And it crowned Riku as champ, who was also the first champ who failed to defend her title in the opening round.
2004 had the famous Rosemary Applefield coup, beating the protagonist Nadja. 2005 ushered in the birth of the tournament’s most intense rivalries: Nanoha vs;. Rozen Maiden. And it will continue for years, including a faction rematch in 2006. And in that very 2006, we saw the biggest match the tournament has to date “Thrilla in Moenila.” And the Suiseiseki’s infamous deployment of fakes to overcome Yuki. And of course, Chikaru’s unprecedented run.
2007 arguably featured the best Finals match ever. And a very controversial one at that. 2008 had the first real steamroll in Saimoe as Lucky Star’s Hiiragi twins proved too much for traditional powers and newcomers to handle. 2009 had Taiga and Saki’s inability to close out the tournament despite dominating much of it. 2010 had Azusa and she wouldn’t be denied without a Taiga to stop her.
And now, 2011 is SaiMadoka. And their record-breaking run. And that the character with the least screentime won it all. And the “healthiest” one even. And since I do care about VA’s too, I’m happy for the Mizuhashi Kaori win. Again, I’m also happy for Erica’s Cinderella run.
And pretty much what most of you guys mentioned: 1.) the lack of true faction having the power to oppose the Puella Magi. (Oreimo wasn’t strong enough. Ika is an army of one. Raildex was too old already (3 years in Saimoe). 2.) Once more, people will also remember this for the low-vote totals especially for the final.
Having been through a lot of Saimoes, I can’t really say that this is the best Saimoe ever. But again, there are a lot of hallmark moments too, but it defiinitely won’t beat out the classic 2006 or 2007. I wanted more series representation in the Top Eight, but there are many variables that led to that not happening. Like Madoka just being too good this year.
Looking forward to 2012: Lots of new players again, as well as returning powers: Saki, Shana, K-On and Hayate will be back, just to name a few. (Yes it’s easy to overlook some series at this point). But I’m more excited of course to the new blood that will be put once again into the test. It’s evident that I’m an Idolmaster fan, as you can see from the banner, so I’m looking forward to them making a big splash next year. I can also see Haganai doing good, same with YuruYuri and RKB (MoeHoop). There’s also Winter and Spring 2012 to account for, so who knows maybe the winner will come from those two seasons again (like Madoka).
Overall, I’ve been mostly happy with how the 2012 coverage went along. I can surely say that I did better this year than last year, but because I have had more help this year. Which segues into the credits roll
1.) LuniazKun – introducing the fantasy game, and picking up the slack when I wasn’t available (which happened a lot more this year compared to last year), and just for sharing his Saimoe writeups in general
2.) chaosprophet – translations which made it much easier for me in the long run.
3.) ando – vote tracker, and for introducing us to Saimoe in the first place (a loooong way back in 2006)
4.) Saimoe Anon – comprehensive site, posters, charts and the good ideas he has shared along the way. And his s/a/imoe threads which was always a good source of entertainment.
5.) Saimoe blogging colleagues – Delta, anisu, ahelo, among others who also provided interesting Saimoe insights in their blogs
6.) Readers and reader participation – really thankful to those who voted in the weekly polls, played in the fantasy game and those who commented (i.e. Shmion and co.), and those who joined #firstname.lastname@example.org to chat with us – Made this long grind fun in retrospect
7.) 2ch – for hosting this crazy tournament which still manages to captivate me even after all these years.
We’ll strive to improve the coverage even further, but it’s still a long way ’til 2012. Hopefully, things fall into place when the time comes.
Still in the pipeline:
1.) Update the Saimoe Overview Chart
2.) Update the Champions Archive page
3.) Make a Saimoe glossary/quick chart so newcomers can jump right in to know what this is all about.
So yeah, let’s see what I can do about MST which is not yet over, but I’m gonna take a week-long break first from blogging before I jump into that again.
Congratulations to Tomoe Mami for winning Saimoe2011! She has certainly impressed over the past few months with a series of fine performances, and she sealed her status as the best performing Puella Magi in the tournament with a solid win over Kyouko.
Now that the champion has been crowned, I’ll just review some of the points/events that occurred during this year’s Saimoe:
The main talking point of the tournament. The show’s immense popularity spilled over to Saimoe, and in truth, they were the only faction that were efficient and proactive in this year’s tournament. The possibility that there might not be any sequel was probably another crucial factor here, with PMMM fans leveraging on the peak point, but even if there were to be a sequel or a spin-off of some sort, expect the PMMM faction to rise again. Their performance have been absolutely brilliant – reminding me of the time when dolls and a certain other magical girl show took center-stage in Saimoe. (In fact, the dolls are still kicking ass in Manga Saimoe)
Other factions DOKO?
This year’s Saimoe was severely lacking in faction wars. In the previous two years, we have had some great rivalries between several series such as Saki, Hayate no Gotoku, K-ON and Raildex. The latter two featured in this year’s tournament, but both failed to impress. We expected Infinite Stratos and Oreimo (and laughably, even Korezom before the tourney started) to be the main resistance against the Madoka girls, but none were able to do so, with the exception of Kuroneko.
Restrictions were tighter than ever this year, resulting in lower vote counts. I know that the Japanese want to make the tournament their ‘own’, but foreign votes do help to spice things up a lil’. I hope that they will review their policy, but I’m not expecting much.
The disappearance of Astarotte Ygvar
Lotte has been able to garner 400+ votes in crucial matches in the previous rounds prior to her quarter-final clash against Erica, so it was a shock when she only managed about half the amount in that match. Data mining has shown that Lotte did not receive a boost in total votes by Kanade in her match against Kurisu, so Lotte’s strength was indeed legit. It’s still a mystery where her supporters went to. Hmm…
Biri-Biri cheating scandal
Last year, it was Nagi. This year, BiriBiri was the subject of multi-voting by crazed fans, a move that propelled her to victory over Homura in the first round. I think – had it not been for the multi-voting saga – Homura would perhaps have been the best performing Puella Magi in place of Mami. The 585 votes she garnered that day was only beaten by Kyouko’s and Mami’s tally in the quarter-finals.
Series that impressed: Madoka // Strike Witches // TWGOK
Series that disappoint: K-ON!! // Infinite Stratos // Oreimo
Individual performers that impressed: Mami // Erica // Ika Musume // Kuroneko // Lotte
Shock results: Lotte-Erica // Shirayuki-Cecilia // Yuuko-Shana // Haqua-Ohana // Erica-Rin
Pulsating matches: Kurisu-Ai // Charlotte-Erio // BiriBiri – Homura // Kuroneko-Kyouko // Madoka-Mami
Finally, I would like to thank:
-2ch for hosting the tounament
-frustra for being a BASED SHISHOU
-ando for hosting the vote counter once again
-saimoe /a/non for being awesome as always
-other Saimoe bloggers, such as Delta and Anisu, for their insightful posts
-Shmion for stat-crunching
-/a/ for providing lulz
-#email@example.com, some cool peeps in there
-everyone who participated in the fantasy game
and finally, everyone who has been following the blog during the span of this tournament. Thanks for the support, and we hope to see you again soon!
true moe lies within your heart, and nothing else can change that fact
*** download links ***
- saimoe reporter vol. 2 covering AST 2011 – ttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=OGPOIQIO
- saimoe.wordpress.com posters and charts – ttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=1QMDJ368
- animesaimoe.org posters and charts