Friday, August 23, 2013

ISML 2013: Mashiro cruises to Topaz

ISML 2013: Mashiro cruises to Topaz
Shiina easily wins Necklace match, Kurisu Makise wins Earrings

By JR Salazar
The Bedlam on Baltic Avenue
August 23, 2013

At Suimei Academy of the Arts, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were singing the theme song of Mashiro Shiina's ISML campaign, "Can't Hold Us" prior to the ISML annoucement, scheduled for 1 p.m. Japan Standard Time. Shiina's supporters were waving campaign flags, dressed in the colors of Suimei. The fans were bouncing up and down to the theme song, energized.

"She can't be denied this time!" said a devoted Shiina fan in her 30's, dressed like a mochi ball. "She will win! Mashiro to win!"

"It's her time. Nothing can stop her now," said another fan, a woman in her 60's using a walker. "The young lady will win the Topaz and make everyone here proud. This is it!"

"We think she is going to crush Mikoto today," said another fan, a female student from Suimei cosplaying as Reimu Hakurei. The fan, apparently, was Nanami Aoyama, Mashiro's No. 1 confidante. "I expect it. This will be a formality."

Indeed, the announcement was made. Shiina won 3118 votes, or 27.92% of the vote, to earn a score calculation of 65.382. Not only did she dominate the Necklace Match, her SDO was too much for the competition to handle.

"Finally!" Mashiro exclaimed, to the roar of the crowd, tears coming out of her eyes. "How about that, everybody! You know, this means a lot to me, to finally win my first ISML necklace, and finish the regular season without a defeat...this is truly a dream come true and I don't want this to end.

"I want to thank my significant other, the love of my life, Sorata Kanda, for standing up for me and supporting me all year and being there for me since I first laid my eyes on him and fell in love with him. I want to thank my good friend Nanami Aoyama for believing in me and all of us and being someone I can also rely on.

"I want to thank Ryuunosuke Akasaka, Misaki Kamigusa, Rita Ainswork, Jin Mitaka and Chihiro Sengoku for their efforts in helping both of our campaigns, both mine's and Nanami's. And I finally want to salute you, the voters, for being our rock all season. Neither of us could have made it to the postseason without you. Give yourselves a hand.

"Now that the regular season is over, I look forward to your support of us during this International Saimoe League postseason. Wish us well and don't forget to vote for us. We love you, we couldn't make it this far without you, and we're only getting started! Thank you, everybody!"

"We were in a no-win situation," said Misaka, who had 2511 votes (22.49%) for a necklace score calculation of 44.104. "But, that's the way things go nowadays. Hopefully I can do better in the postseason. I will also focus on putting on a strong showing in Japan."

Eucliwood Hellscythe won 1930 votes (17.28%) for a necklace score calculation of 48.603. "I don't think Mashiro was going to be denied her necklace," said Hellscythe through interpreter Ayumu Aikawa at her press conference. "We will take this on the chin and prepare for the Division Finals."

Taiga Aisaka earned 1560 votes (13.97%) for a score calculation of 41.684. "I've won the Topaz before so it's nice to see someone else win it," Aisaka said. "I gave it my best effort, but the best of the new faces are getting the job done, and Mashiro is one tough cookie to crumble."

Kuroyukihime earned 789 votes (7.07%) for a necklace score calculation of 23.964. "This is coming off the heels of being consigned to the repechage by Fate Testarossa in 2channel AST," said Hime at her press conference in Tokyo. "This definitely was not a good day for me. One of the lowest days for me personally because my assumption was that Testarossa's time had passed. I will hope to rebound in the Division Finals, but I cannot be happy with how I performed in my two contests today."

Kirino Kousaka had 652 votes (5.84%) for a score calculation of 30.040. "Being in these necklace matches is kind of unnecessary for me because I know that I don't have the pedigree to put up much of a fight," Kousaka said at her press conference. "I kind of expected this result because this was really all about Mashiro winning something. No one else in this period mattered other than her."

Kobato Hasegawa won 607 votes (5.44%) for a score calculation of 27.260. "It's nice to be in this thing, but only if the voters think I deserve to win something," Hasegawa said. "I think this is going to be another average year for me, and I have high standards. So, I'm kinda unhappy that they decided that this was going to be about that nobody from Sakurasou. This was gifted to her by the voters. They put a ribbon on it too, as well as some cash. She's supposed to earn a necklace, not buy it.  Some opponent Mashiro is."

Kurisu Makise ends her ISML run with the Topaz earrings, earning 1883 votes. Victorique de Blois was second with 1732 votes, Mikan Yuuki was third with 1607 votes, Shinobu Oshino was fourth with 1498 votes, Charlotte Dunois was fifth with 1472 votes, Rin Tosaka was sixth with 1307 votes and Rin Natsume was last with 1289 votes.

"I'm happy with how my season ended," Makise said at her press conference in Tokyo. "I may not have finished in the Top 16 of the Nova, but to know that I ended my run on a winning note means that I have some confidence and hope for future seasons, if I survive Preliminaries. I thank Buntarou, Mayuri, Suzuha, Faris, Daru and all who voted for me. This season wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst, and I can live with that."

Four other exhibitions took place. Rias Gremory won the first of two non-title group exhibitions with 2571 votes. Akiko Himenokouji earned 2226 votes, Shizuku Mizutani was third with 1937 votes, Tsuruya was fourth with 1172 votes, Evangeline A.K. McDowell was fifth with 1074 votes, Eri Sawachika was sixth with 666 votes—a strange occurence at that—and Kiri Komori was last with 504 votes.

Elucia De Lute Ima won the second non-title group exhibition with 2240 votes. Anna Kushina was second with 1872 votes, Sanae Dekomori was third with 1739 votes, Himeko Inaba was fourth with 1381 votes, Ritsu Tainaka and Ryou Fujibayashi were tied for fifth with 1325 votes and Tsukasa Hiiragi held up the rear with 982 votes.

Wrapping up Topaz action...Helmond Totooria prevailed over Milia Maxwell 3747-3614 and Yui Goidou routed Kenjirou Hato 5074-2838.

That takes care of the regular season in the 2013 International Saimoe League. Match Day 1 of the ISML Division Finals is scheduled for September 8, 2013. Vote for your favorite candidates at and join the ongoing debate. And keep it right here on the Bedlam on Baltic Avenue for continuing coverage of the world's premier anime character competition, the International Saimoe League!

TOP 16, Nova Division
1. Mashiro Shiina (TOP)
2. Rikka Takanashi (EM)
3. Kuroyukihime
4. Kobato Hasegawa
5. Asuna Yuuki (RUB)
6. Nanami Aoyama
7. Sena Kashiwazaki
8. Inori Yuzuriha
9. Eru Chitanda
10. Shinka Nibutani
11. Nyarlathotep
12. Yui
13. Momo Velia Deviluke
14. Aria Holmes Kanzaki
15. Yozora Mikazuki
16. Touka Takanashi

TOP 16, Stella Division
1. Ruri Gokou (AM)
2. Kanade Tachibana (C) (AQ)
3. Mikoto Misaka
4. Taiga Aisaka
5. Eucliwood Hellscythe
6. Azusa Nakano
7. Shana
8. Mio Akiyama
9. Ayase Aragaki
10. Kirino Kousaka
11. Yui-nyan
12. Yuri Nakamura
13. Yuki Nagato
14. Saber
15. Haruhi Suzumiya
16. Yui Hirasawa
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