ISML Season Kicks Off...With A Bang!

The 2009 International Saimoe League season started with fireworks in all 32 cities, over six continents, taking part in the first battles of the race for the tiara. After all the competitors were introduced in their respective arenas, the action began in earnest.

In Katowice, Poland, Kotomi Ichinose of CLANNAD was able to use her violin to outdo Touhou Project's Patchouli Knowledge in a 1318-577 blowout. Istanbul, Turkey saw Lucky Star's Tsukasa Hiiragi steamroll Touhou's Aya Shameimaru, 1260-632. Yuki Nagato, a few days removed from helping Nagisa Furukawa get back into form for the tournament, showed that she lost none of her poise in a 1232-729 rout of Kanon's Mai Kawasumi in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Sakura Kinomoto, a tried and true competitor in these tournaments, took Akari Mizunashi to school in a 944-688 thumping in Moscow's Red Square arena.

Hanyuu Furude of Higirashi no Naku Koro Ni was no match for the always-fearsome Shana, who left sparks of flames in her wake outside Tokyo Tower, 1279-759. Newcomer Mikoto Misaka from To Aru Majutsu No Index sent shock waves past Shiori Misaka, 916-803 in Mexico City. Sayuri Kurato of Kanon was sliced and diced into submission by Hinagiku Katsura of Hayate the Combat Butler, 1124-698. Tomoyo Sakagami of CLANNAD nearly doubled-up Maria in New York City, 1272-647. Hanyuu's sister, Rika, fared better in a 1004-964 thriller over Mikuru Asahina of the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya in Shanghai, China.

The people of Lagos, Nigeria were treated to a sensational battle between two new entrants. AIR's Misuzu Kamio sent Marisa Kirisame and her Master Spark flying, 916-839. Nagi Sanzenin, Hayate Ayasaki's master, showed that she was ready in a 1100-605 schooling of Shugo Chara's Amu Hinamori in Los Angeles. Index L. Prohibitorum's debut was a doozy, edging newcomer Yuuhi Katagiri of Akane Iro Ni Somaru Saka, 805-779. Suigintou of Rozen Maiden slashed her way past Kanon's Ayu Tsukimiya, 1057-813 in Seoul. As the cries of "Uguu" were raining down in the Korean capital, the grunts of Saber (Arthuria Pendragon) echoed in Karachi, Pakistan against Holo from Spice and Wolf. A large wolf was no match for Caliburn, Saber's sword in a 993-894 victory.

C.C. of Code Geass was at it again, this time defeated Nayuki Minase of Kanon, 1190-740 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Higurashi's Rena Ryuuguu made it business as usuall against Negima!? holdover Evangeline McDowell, 1145-620 in Manila, Philippines. The franchise of the Haruhi Suzumiya series, Ms. Suzumiya herself, sent the closed-space blue monster to sweep aside CLANNAD's Mei Sunohara, 1274-732. Shiki Ryogi of Kara no Kyoukai notched her first win of the campaign with a 910-720 victor of Azumanga Daioh's Ayumu "Osaka" Kasuga in Jakarta.

In Paris, Shinku wasted no time in defeating Alice Carroll of ARIA, 878-781. Kagami Hiiragi, the defending 2chan Saimoe Champion, thumped Louise Francoise Le Blanc De La Valliere, 1349-617 in London. Hayate Yagami made her debut a smash hit, defeating comrade Vita 882-608 in Lima, Peru. Fresh off being restored to full health by Haruhi, Nagisa dismantled Makoto Sawatari, 1236-444. Defending champion Fate Testarossa Harlaown kept her unbeaten streak from last season going with a 1257-428 laugher over Kirino Chiba in Bangkok. Bogota, Colombia saw Anya Alstreim made it a Code Geass sweeep with a 866-755 debut vivtory over Tamaki Kawazoe.

Touhou didn't leave empty handed, though. Even though Remilia Scarlet was embarassed 1023-706 by Nanoha Takamachi in Toronto, Canada, shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei kept hope alive with a 916-869 victory over Chii in Santiago, Chile. Konata Izumi of Lucky Star was too good for Konjiki no Yami (a.k.a. Golden Darkness), winning 1229-703 in Kinshasa, Congo DR. Algiers, Algeria was the site for Suiseiseki's first win of the campaign, a 936-866 win over Toradora's Minori Kushieda. Ami Kawashima and Taiga Aisaka were more successful. Kawashima defeated Kannagi's Nagi, 896-782 in Milan, Italy. Aisaka upstaged Fate/Stay Night's Rin Tosaka, 1020-915.

Finally, to wrap up the day's action, in a battle of CLANNAD compatriots, Kyou Fujibayashi outlasted Fuuko Ibuki in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1073-577.

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minhtam1638, Team Rocket Elite, minhtam1638, and Juice of the International Saimoe League contributed to this report.

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