Monday, February 03, 2014

ISML 2014: Let's get this party started!

ISML 2014: Let's get this party started!

By JR Salazar
February 3, 2014

It's time for another season of the International Saimoe League. This is the seventh edition of the world's premier anime character competition, the 2014 ISML. As predicted by the Bedlam on Baltic Avenue, the turnout for Preliminaries Match Day 1 exceeded 15,000 in number and is expected to continue, as anything below that on Preliminaries Match Day 2 would be rendered a disappointment by the Bedlam on Baltic Avenue.

The usual suspects took the top spots in the Stella Division, while new faces peppered the landscape in the Nova Division. But with the defending ISML Champion hailing from the Stella in Ruri Gokou, can the Nova's best measure up to the challenge?

Here's a roundup of a strong turnout on ISML Preliminaries Match Day 1.

STELLA DIVISION

In Group 1, the defending champion, Ruri Gokou, got off to a flier, winning 4578 votes to move on. Konjiki no Yami was not too far behind with 3363 votes and Last Order was third with 3285 votes. Rounding out the order were Ui Hirasawa (2620 votes), Konata Izumi (1603 votes), Fuuko Ibuki (1479 votes) and Nanoha Takamachi (935 votes), who exits the tournament on the very first day.

In Group 2, Kanade Tachibana steamrolled to victory with 5758 votes. Kurisu Makise (3051 votes) beat out Meiko Honma (3049 votes) for second. Rounding out the order in this group are Holo (2140 votes), Mikuru Asahina (1361 votes), Maria (1204 votes) and Tsukasa Hiiragi (1141 votes), whose ISML run is done.

No surprises in Group 3, as Eucliwood Hellscythe earned 4782 votes to finish first. Hinagiku Katsura was second with 2873 votes and C.C. was third with 2656 votes. Rounding out the order were Yozora Mikazuki (2547 votes), Kagami Hiiragi (1726 votes), Ami Kawashima (1383 votes) and Rika Furude (1225 votes), who leaves the ISML race.

Mikoto Misaka was first in Stella Group 4 with 5331 votes, easily defeating Hitagi Senjougahara (3312 votes) and Aria Holmes Kanzaki (2917 votes). Rounding out the order are Kyou Fujibayashi (2677 votes), Nagi Sanzen'in (1487 votes), Suiseiseki (1235 votes) and Chii (831 votes), who is eliminated from ISML contention.

Mashiro Shiina's first forays through the Stella Division have been successful, as she won 4887 votes to win first place in Stella Group 5. Yui Hirasawa (3628 votes) was second and Masami Iwasawa (2859 votes) was third. Rounding out the order are Index L. Prohibitorum (2340 votes), Erio Touwa (1975 votes), Minori Kushieda (1287 votes) and Souseiseki (933 votes), who is eliminated from the ISML.

Ayase Aragaki takes Stella Group 6 with 4983 votes, easily beating Haruhi Suzumiya (3291 votes) and Kotomi Ichinose (2603 votes). Rounding out the order are Nymph (2357 votes), Louise Francoise Le Blanc De La Valliere (2220 votes), Shiki Rpyougi (1231 votes) and Kallen Kouzuki Statdfeld (920 votes), who departs the ISML.

NOVA DIVISION

The Nova Division is where the newest and freshest compete, although there are some veterans that get nominated consistently but have not won the favor of the voters due to some backlash from a certain tournament in Japan. While this is actually coincidental in terms of the argument, it can't be denied that the Nova Prelims are where the ISML and 2channel divert in terms of tastes. Of course, there are few exceptions to the rule, but few is few.

One of those few exceptions is Yoshino of Date A Live, who did reasonably well at 2channel AST last season and handled Nova Group 7 relatively well, winning 4680 votes ahead of another candidate that also shined in Japan in Azusa Azuki and her 2986 votes. Nyarlathotep was third with 2432 votes but could sneak into the mix later on in the process. Rounding out the order are Furano Yukihira (2022 votes), Yuno Gasai (1969 votes), Yuiko Kurugaya (1878 votes) and Sayaka Miki (1361 votes), who finished runner-up in 2channel AST but did not acquit herself here.

Yaya Machine had the highest vote total among the Nova nominees and will be one to watch after winning Group 8 with 3720 votes. Yui of Sword Art Online was second with 3004 votes and Renge Miyauchi was third with 2991 votes. Rounding out the order were Ririchiyo Shirakiin (2598 votes), Ai Astin (1832 votes), Himeko Inaba (1625 votes) and Takao (1310 votes).

Momo Velia Deviluke was first in Nova Group 9 with 2811 votes. Madoka Kaname, the incumbent 2channel AST champion, was not too far behind with 2767 votes, beating out Mitsuki Nase with 2553 votes. Rounding out the order were Manaka Mukaido (2422 votes), Natsume Tsuchimikado (2182 votes), Ai Fuyuumi (2013 votes) and Komari Kamikita (2007 votes).

Mirai Kuriyama is another face to watch out for from the Nova Division, winning 3626 votes to win Nova Group 10. Origami Tobiichi was second with 3242 votes while Touka Takanashi was third with 3202 votes. Rounding out the order were Frey (2342 votes), Suzuka Dairenji (1880 votes), Kouko Kaga (1376) and Kazusa Touma (1141 votes).

Kotori Itsuka is one of the heavyweights that is expected to advance to the main draw, and her 4944 votes to win Nova Group 11 are an example of that. Noumi Kudryavka was second with 2436 votes and Mika Yuuki was third with 2331 votes. Rounding out the order in this group were Ouka Yuuouji (2187 votes), Asuka Kudou (1724 votes), Yui Yuigahama (1706 votes) and Hotaru Ichijou (1383 votes).

Finally, the strongest of the Date A Live characters, Kurumi Tokisaki, bossed Nova Group 12 with 5190 votes. Rin Natsume was second with 2243 votes and Kaura Bodewig was third with 2230 votes. Rounding out the order were Ai Shindou (2002 votes), Emi Yusa (1992 votes), Neptune (1963 votes) and Celestia Ludenberg (1393 votes).

Match Day 2 of the 2014 International Saimoe League Preliminaries is scheduled for Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Vote for your favorite candidates at InternationalSaimoe.com and join the ongoing debate.
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