Monday, February 04, 2013

ISML 2013: A New Season Is Underway!


ISML 2013: A New Season Is Underway!

By JR Salazar
February 4, 2013

A new International Saimoe League season has begun on Super Bowl Sunday, and it all starts with the Preliminaries. The candidates in the Stella Division have more to lose from this Preliminary Period, while added incentives have been placed on the characters that are eligible for the Nova Division. Before we go to the Stella Division, let's take a look at the Nova Division groups in action.

In Nova Group 1, Kobato Hasegawa made her intentions clear of a return to the world's premier anime character competition with 5230 votes. Noumi Kudryavka was second with 3633 votes. Kokoro Connect tanked due to some seiyuu shenanigans, but Himeko Inaba is winning the sympathy of the world's voters, with 3003 votes. Madoka Kaname, who will be more of a force at the 2channel Anime Saimoe Tournament despite a weakened strength (Mami Tomoe already won it all two years ago), was fourth with 2778 votes. Minami Shimada was fifth with 2036 votes, Kyouko Toshinou was sixth with 1882 votes and Wakana Sakai will have to settle for a second opportunity in the second phase of the Nova preliminaries with 1872 votes.

In Nova Group 2, Sena Kashiwazaki is hoping that the Japan will listen to the voice of the world after garnering 5116 votes. Rin Natsume was second with 3645 votes, Mei Misaki was third with 3634 votes, Mikan Yuuki was fourth with 3299 votes, Sawa Okita was fifth with 1781 votes, Watashi was sixth with 1544 votes, and Kuro Matsumi was dead last with 1184 votes. The expectations of Saki doing well in the competition are pretty low, a perceived, expected backlash of Japan's decision to let the series run the tables at last year's 2channel AST.

Sword Art Online is expected to do very well at this year's International Saimoe League, and characters like Suguha Kirigaya are leading the way. Kazuto's sister got 4000 votes to lead Nova Group 3. Inori Yuzuriha got 3838 votes to finish second, Inu x Boklu SS longshot Karuta Roromiya got 3128 votes to finish third, Kumin Tsuyuri got 2791 votes to finish fourth, Koneko Toujou got 2327 votes to finish fifth, Yui Kotegawa got 2213 votes to finish sixth, and Komari Kamikita got 2038 to hold the rear and become relegated to the second phase of the Nova prelims.

Also expected to do very well this season is Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai!, and characters like Shinka Nibutani can hold their own. Nibutani got 4324 votes to finish first in Nova 4. Nanami Aoyama was second with 3881 votes, Aria H. Kanzaki got 3203 votes to finish third, Yuno Gasai may have an uphill battle to climb after earning just 2567 votes to finish fourth, Fuuko Kurasaki got 2326 votes to finish fifth, Tomoe got 2272 votes to finish sixth and Akari Akaza got 2062 votes to finish last and become relegated to the second phase.

In Nova Group 5, Eru Chitanda is ready to restore some pride in Hyouka, which did not do particularly well at the exhibitions last year. Chitanda got 4995 votes to finish first in Nova Group 5, Sanae Dekomori was second with 3479 votes, Erio Touwa was third with 3330 votes, Tsubasa Hanekawa was fourth with 2671 votes, Kyouko Sakura was fifth with 2561 votes, Asako Natsume was sixth with 1818 votes and Hakaze Kusaribe was last with 1390 votes and will be relegated to the second phase.

Mashiro Shiina is the face of Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo and she may go down as one of the under-the-radar characters to make headway in the International Saimoe League. Move over Mafuyu. This Shiina got 5313 votes to finish first in Nova Group 6. Touka Takanashi got 3375 votes to finish second, Shinobu Oshino got 3362 votes to finish third, Nobuna Oda got 2253 votes to finish fourth, Lala Satalina Deviluke got 2124 votes to finish fifth, Shizuku Mizutani got 2002 votes to finish sixth and Mayuri Shiina got 1838 votes to be relegated to the next phase.

The Stella groups have seen six competitors exit the tournament on the first day. In Stella Group 7, no surprises here, it was all Azusa Nakano, all the time. One of the consistent faces of K-ON!, she amassed 6030 votes and is one step closer to punching her ticket to glory. Also with a chance are Nadeko Sengoku, the face of Bakemonogatari with defending Korea Anizone champion Hitagi Senjougahara, with 4237 votes and Masami Iwasawa with 3259 votes. Other survivors include Kotomi Ichinose with 2842 votes, Nanoha Takamachi with 1623 votes and Ayumu Nishizawa with 1259 votes. With 1176 votes, Mai Kawasumi's ISML run ends on the first day.

In Stella Group 8, you can count on the likes of Yuki Nagato, Senjougahara and Nagisa Furukawa to be back at this one. Nagato garnered 4828 votes, Senjougahara earned 3974 votes and furukawa got 3732 votes. Still alive in this tournament are Index Librorum Prohibitorum with 2988 votes, Sakura Kinomoto with 2239 votes and Ami Hinamori with 1432 votes. With only 1085 votes, Mion Sonozaki's run is done. Or rather, dead on arrival.

In Stella Group 9, Yui, Charlotte Dunois and Ayase Aragaki have emerged as picks by the Bedlam on Baltic Avenue to make another run at the show. Yui-nyan got 6019 votes, Dunois got 3524 votes, and Aragaki secured 3380 votes. Still with an outside chance are Nagi Sanzen'in with 2791 votes, Shiki Ryougi with 1695 votes and Misuzu Kamio with 1604 votes. Teletha Testarossa, with only 1284 votes, you're outta here!

Shana was hard done by in Japan, in Korea, and in the ISML. But the fans still vote for her. Forget Streisand Effect; that has been trumped by the Shana Effect in the form of 5360 votes to top Stella Group 10. Hinagiku Katsura and C.C. could be back in this tournament this year with 4046 and 3537 votes, respectively. Others with an outside chance include Tsumugi Kotobuki with 3367 votes, Chii with 1647 votes, and Shinku with 1347 votes. Yuuhi Katagiri's campaign ends. With only 1133 votes to your credit: four simple words: We Hardly Knew Ye!

Three characters from Stella Group 11 to watch out for are Yuri Nakamura, Kirino Kouska, and the de factor face of To-Love-Ru, Konjiki no Yami, who probably will once again be the only character to represent the series unless a voting miracle happens. Nakamura got 5007 votes, Kousaka nammed 4880 votes, and Yami took home 3950 votes. On the outside looking in but still alive as of today are Nymph with 2854 votes, Suiseiseki with 1533 votes and Rena Ryuuguu with 1391 votes. Eri Sawachika didn't even crack 1000 votes this round. With just 961 under your belt, it's adios for you, Senorita!

In Stella Group 12, Haruhi Suzumiya, Saber and Kagami Hiiragi have been in this tournament for years and 2013 is not going to be any different. If there was ever such a thing as a ISML Hall of Fame, these three characters would be inducted on the first ballot. Suzumiya, still the face of her own series despite Yuki Nagato earning more appeal historically, got 5359 votes to lead the group. Sabe got 4846 votes, and Hiiragi, the champion of the 2007 2channel ASI< got 3451 votes. Characters that still have a chance but could be snubbed yet again include Ikaros with 3399 votes, Kallen Kouzuki with 1411 votes and Suigintou with 1115 votes. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei? How about Sayonara Kiri Komori, earning the lowest of the eliminated this round with only...gasp!...841 votes!

And this is just the first day. Six more in the Stella could be on their way out tomorrow in Match Day 2 of tghe 2013 International Saimoe League Preliminaries. Vote for your favorite candidates on InternationalSaimoe.com and join the ongoing debate. And as always, the Bedlam on Baltic Avenue is your source for continuing coverage of the International Saimoe League!
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