Hello, Mitakihara. Good morning.
If there is anyone out there who doubts that Japan is the center of the greatest animation ever conceived, who still wonders if the young women that dominate our lives are relevant in the interests of this era, who still questions the power of its dedicated supporters regardless of gender, tonight is your answer.
It's the answer told by users that hailed from humble homes to large universities, from big business complexes to temples and houses of worship, from the freezing north of Sapporo to the sultry warmth of Okinawa, who believed that the power of choosing a female face to lead this country will be the key to success and prosperity.
It's the answer spoken by young and old, salarymen and office ladies, magical girls and espers, tsundere and yandere, time travelers, shrine maidens, maids, cats, squids, Strike Witches and succubi, the normal and the abnormal...Japanese men and women who sent a message to an ever-evolving society that guides this planet that we are not weaboos or otaku or nerds...we are Japanese, and we will always, always love all things moe.
It's the answer that has been guided in the past by a driving force in the form of power pop-such powerful, sweet melodies-and shift the focus to the cause of those who are blessed with unbelievable powers, who have pure intentions to spread the message of a brighter tomorrow.
It has taken one year of reckoning, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in the tenth year of the 2channel Anime Saimoe Tournament...the Puella Magi have arrived in Japan.
I had a heart-to-heart talk with Sakura Kyouko-san earlier today. She is someone that I know very well, is one of my juniors, and is a confidante of Miki Sayaka-san, who was defeated earlier in this tournament by Kaname Madoka-san. She is a warrior by nature, who endured a difficult past to turn her life around and become an experienced fighter with so much accomplished. She now stands with me tonight in solidarity, and I look forward to working with her and all the Puella Magi under Kaname-san's guiding hand in the coming months ahead.
I want to thank Miki-san herself for being gracious in defeat. She is also a proud fighter and is fiercely loyal to our cause and our message. History has made us friends. Our quarterfinal matches have made us equals. And this victory makes us sisters-in-arms.
I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of someone who has been a great ally to us and someone who we can count on., Akemi Homura-san. She fought a valient battle against Mikoto Misaka, but we have avenged her defeat this morning. Our victory will no doubt lift your spirits and allow you to fight at your best from this point forward.
To the dessert witch, Charlotte, who may have helped me get over the top with the "Mogu Mogu" phenomenon that spread worldwide...I forgive you now, and I thank you for your solidarity.
To Kaname-san, I thank you for reaching out to me and giving me a second chance to prove my worth. And I repaid you in kind by winning this tournament not just for you, but for the Puella Magi who are out there doing good in the world. I am forever in your debt.
And although my parents are not here with me, they are watching, and they are proud of what I have accomplished. They mean so much to me, and I wouldn't be here without them. Mom and Dad, I love you both.
But of all those who I would like to thank, I want to thank you, the voting public. Each and every one of you.
You see, I was never the likeliest candidate to win this tournament. I was given a chance by Kyubey to become a Puella Magi. Had I not elected to go with my wish, which was to connect myself with the life I love and to appreciate it the fullest, I wouldn't be standing here speaking in front of you this morning. But I chose to, and I came to terms with my mission. After Kaname-san brought me back to life, I regained a new sense of purpose, and I realized that I am no longer alone in the world.
As fate would have it, there were many citizens tracking these events online and offline, and that is when my campaign started to take shape. From Mitakihara City, to the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo, to the restaurants and shopping malls of Osaka, and the playgrounds and schools of Yokohama, my story and our message spread.
And our message was preached by men and women of all different walks of life who made the decision to log into Futaba Channel, wait for their code, and then make their decision over the course of months and rounds; and it grew in strength thanks to those who swore allegiances to other worthy candidates but ultimately chose our cause as their final answer; from the millions of Japanese who campaigned on different internet forums and even non-Japanese who debated and professed their love and loyalties and proved that more than a decade later, the Anime Saimoe Tournament is more than just a popularity contest; it is a celebration of the moe aspect that makes anime special. This is your victory.
Now I know that you didn't do this just because Puella Magi Madoka Magica dominated the Newtype Anime Awards or won Animation Kobe, and you didn't do it just because this is our show with Kaname-san's name on it. You did this because our message transcends all others. As we celebrate this morning, we all understand that there will be other shows that will be airing, with new faces, new mentalities, and new outlooks on this thing we call life. There will be new girls who want to follow my lead-our lead, I should say. They want to be the new It Girl, just like Nakano Azusa-san was last year. There are others that will become the new "MAI WAIFU" while for others it's a "DO NOT WANT."
I may not be able to spread my message to every corner of the world-indeed, there is a contest that involves characters from shows in the past, whose spirit and legacy I have the utmost respect for. But I am not one who is willing to back down from a challenge, and so I will seize the opportunity to reach out to those who need my guidance. That has been my promise since day one, and that is my promise today.
There will be those who will not agree with my policy as the champion of this tournament, and not all fans will agree on who is better or who is best. But I was an honest person before I took on my current role, and I remain entrenched in being honest with those I know and those I watch over. I ask you all, who now are aware of the cause that we as Puella Magi fight under, live under, and suffer under...to spread the message: whether by social networks, word-of-mouth, blogs, news articles. Even a simple shout from the rooftops will suffice.
What began seven months ago cannot end on this cool autumn night. This victory only announces our arrival, but it is only a foundation for greater opportunities that will come calling for us and for you.
Let us summon a new purpose, of responsibility and trust where each of us encourages to take a stand, but with a clear, ethical conscience. Let us remember that fake voting may lead a candidate to success early, but could set that candidate up for defeat later, and that running clean, fair races is the only solution that is best for this country and the 2channel BBS.
Let us realize that those who try to invade the planet with their own message cannot try to imitate those who have gone before them and were successful in their own right. Let us remember that it was a main magical girl that won this 2channel Anime Saimoe Tournament ten years ago, a feat that has now been successfully replicated twice. And while the Puella Magi has won a great victory this morning, we do so with a measure of humbleness and confidence to ease the minds of those voters whose own confidence and faith in this competition have been shaken irrepairably. To those in Japan whose support I have yet to earn: I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices, I need your faith, and I will be your Goddess and Saimoe Prime Minister too.
And to all those watching across the Pacific in the Americas; to those across the Sea of Japan, our brothers and sisters in Korea; and to those in Australia, Africa and Europe: your belief in us has been intangible yet invaluable, and so your prayers have been answered with a new dawn of Saimoe leadership now at hand.
To those demons who are born out of curses: we will defeat you. To those who seek cuteness and awesomeness: we support you. And to all those who have wondered if the people who organized this tournament had lost their minds by not allowing non-Japanese IPs to vote, we proved once more that this has always been Japan's tournament, and it will only be the voice of the Japanese people that determines a competition that features characters that have large eyes, small noses, flat faces, tall irises, bodies 5.7 heads tall, thin limbs, large heads, colorful hair, bangs over eyes like myself and those standing before you, a neotenized face, ahoge, and may not be perfect in nature in terms of personality, but don't need to be because we all are moe and we Saimoe now.
That is the true genius of Japan - that Japan believes in Saimoe now. Our country is the home of the most beautiful women ever to be created. And what we have already created today will pave the way for those that will come forth into the world tomorrow.
Look around you. You see the faces of those who are blessed to be alive for another year. So many things have happened in this world that have prevented people like you from accomplishing this honor, young as you may be or old as you already are.
Think about what this country means to you, and think about those around the world who think about what their world means to them. And so the message becomes engrained in your mind. You are not alone.
When the strife in Western Asia and Northern Africa reached critical mass, you saw the people rise against their leaders and call for change through the power of revolutions. You are not alone.
When the most calamitous natural disaster ended the lives of more than 15,000 of your friends, neighbors and loved ones, you saw the global community reach out to you with open arms and help you get back on your feet, and you became stronger than ever. You are not alone.
When destiny came calling in London, you watched as a young man of royalty, in the prime of his life, take the hand of his beloved in marriage in one of the world's most celebrated houses of worship in the Anglican Communion. You are not alone.
You were there to see a new country form in Africa, an American space shuttle program complete its run over decades, two countries in South Asia make peace with one another and floodings sink Thailand and Cambodia to their knees. You are not alone.
You helped those who suffered a catastrophe like yours in Turkey and watched two of the cruelest men in the world meet a bloody end in the quest of freedom and peace.
And tonight, in this contest, you waited for your code and casted your vote online, because, whether in one year or ten, through the good and the bad, you know how Japan and the world can change. You are not alone.
Japan, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there are other shows that will keep the Anime Saimoe Tournament fire burning. So this morning, let us ask ourselves: if we can be so lucky to be living here, enjoying a free world-a free and peaceful world, what will the future hold and what new messages and causes will await us?
This is our chance to reignite that fire. This is our moment. This is our time to shine, so that now, in this, the year 2011, in spite of anything that happens in this world or in your backyard or in front of you on your television set...don't forget. Always somewhere, someone is fighting for you. As long as you remember her...
You Are Not Alone. Thank you. Madoka blesses you, and may Madoka bless Japan and the world.
November 6, 2011
Mitakihara Junior High School Quadrangle