Thoughts on the 2009 Anizone Best Moe Tournament in Korea

I was quite pleased with the turnout for the Korean vote. What impressed me was the staying power of a few shows, namely Lucky Star, Spice & Wolf, and-dare I say it-the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. There were voters who still like Yuki Nagato, who finished eighth overall in the tournament. I can suspect that the North American and European voters were solid in keeping these characters in it.

Kagami has to be a surprise. A lot of people were hoping for her to conquer Korea just like she conquered Japan last year (albeit she got help from her younger sister Tsukasa). She came painfully close to achieving this.

Taiga won the bulk of the European Union states and the Commonwealth countries that participated, Latvia, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, Malaysia and Japan. Kagami got the American vote, and also won Spain, Italy, Russia, Korea, China, Thailand, Greece, Chile, Taiwan, Finland, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia

Taiga Aisaka of Toradora! now has a chance to pull off what Suiseiseki was able to do in 2006: win both the Anizone and 2chan tournaments. A 1809-1806 victory got her the crown. That capped off a day where she also won her round in the ISML and her quarterfinal clash with Isumi Saginomiya. Taiga is a character poised to leave a legacy like Haruhi, Fate Testarossa, C.C., Nanoha Takamachi, Shana, Konata Izumi...Yo. If there was a Saimoe Hall of Fame, I'd put her in on the first ballot.

The tournament in Korea also gave rise to some new faces entering the ISML next season. Ui Hirasawa is considered to be the perfect opposite of her sloppy older sister Yui...and yet she made the quarterfinals. Azusa Nakano, the youngest member of the band "Hokago Tea Time" (as they are known at Sakuragaoka), rode on Sawako Yamanaka's cat ears and tail apparati to finish third in the tournament. That's pretty good.

Ushio Okazaki may have long odds to stay in the tournament next season, but it makes the point clear that Clannad's not gonna go anywhere anytime soon. Her fourth-place finish at this tournament means that the Key franchise will be a force to be reckoned with next year. Did I mention that the big five of Nagisa, Tomoyo, Kyou, Fuuko and Kotomi will be back too? Mother and child...in the ISML. Good lordy, it's a family affair.

Meanwhile in Japan, there will be someone finishing in the top three from Saki. Well, there has to be. This show has swept the land of the Rising Sun like you wouldn't believe. The likes Nodoka Haramura and Mihoko Fukuji will likely be up against Aisaka for the crown.

And these four will be going after each other next season, so treat the rest of the 2chan campaign as a sneak peek for what's to come. Oh yes, and Yui got the nod too to qualify. That also brings to mind this: Yui Hirasawa is still alive in the tournament as of this post. She defeated Koromo Amae 873-819 in the quarterfinals and will finish no worse than fourth. If I'm Fukuji, I would be wise to not underestimate this rising power from Sakuragaoka High.

Anizone 2009 Best Moe Tournament Top 16:

1. Taiga Aisaka
2. Kagami Hiiragi
3. Azusa Nakano
4. Ushio Okazaki
5. Hinagiku Katsura
6. Horo
7. Ui Hirasawa
8. Yuki Nagato
9. Ai Haibara
10. Sakura Kinomoto
11. Kyou Fujibayashi
12. C.C.
13. Haruhi Suzumiya
14. Ami Kawashima
15. Louise Francoise Le Blanc De La Valliere
16. Mion Sonozaki

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