Monday, February 11, 2019

ISML 2018: Victory Speech - Rem Natsuki, 2019 Saimoe Prime Minister

Well, I will go ahead and start my remarks by letting you all in on a not-so-well-kept secret, in fact, it's not even close to it and even makes mock of it: I outdid Emilia. (laughter) No, seriously, everyone, I did outperform Emilia and she is, as a consequence, the first person I will thank. She blazed a path for me and she also won her last contest so our party and that of Oregairu's and Hachiman are the big winners this election, so congratulations for Hachiman and Violet for winning their seats. Together, we will lead the Saimoe movement and represent the best of our great nation around the world because we love doing that. (applause)

I also want to point out that several days ago, it was my birthday, as well as that of my good friend Aoba Suzukaze. She has been a great advocate of my legacy and I want to thank her for her support. My sister Ram is owed my thanks. Without her, I wouldn't be here. But most of all, Subaru Natsuki, of whose last name I will borrow as Saimoe Prime Minister—but please, just call me Rem—is the one person that believed I could be a leader like no other. It was his inspiration that drove me to be a better person. I love him with everything I have, and he accepted the invitation to be the first gentleman of Saimoe for this coming year, so he gets to work with Hachiman on helping make Japan great again as a strong economic influence on the world. Mostly, to ensure that good men will always prevail, and they need not be Japanese. (laughter, applause) You laugh, but you know very well, that as your leader-elect, I am not wrong in my convictions. (laughter)

But it is because of you, I remembered who I am and I maintained my promise to pay you back for your belief in me. The best I can do to repay to do my work as Saimoe Prime Minister to the best of my ability. This isn't a Royal Election I was a part of. This was bigger than me, Emilia, my encompassed so much and it was a struggle. But I told myself to be positive, be assertive, be aggressive in what I want to become, because if I do that, fate will take care of the rest. It is because of you, I am here as your Saimoe Prime Minister, and I will not let you down. You, my wonderful fans and even those who supported Kamui—and just wanted to add, I called Kamui on a great race and she happily conceded so now she can go ahead and bully Tooru anytime she wants (laughter)—no, but seriously, those who supported Kamui and others, I extend my hand of solidarity and ask for your help and cooperation in leading our movement forward.

I cannot do this alone, and I won't. We, the members of Saimoe, the finest people you will ever be one with anywhere, need you to be with us and support us. I am just one person, Hachiman is another, Violet is another...we need you to stand with us in this year of transition. We will be having a new emperor take over when I am sworn in with Hachiman and Violet. We need you to show your support for the future Emperor, Naruhito, and his vision for the Japanese nation going forward.

Also, I have believed that the promotion of time-honored Asian values can be applied anywhere. What are those, you say? It's four parts: social harmony, socio-economic prosperty and collective well-being of community, loyalty and respect for elders and authority, and a preference for collectivism and communitarianism. Basically, it's putting the team and the world above you. No man or woman is above the law, not even me, I merely enforce and promote it.

But it's not rocket science, ladies and gentlemen. Respect your parents. Your mother, your father, your grandparents, uncles and aunts...these are important parts of your life, your family. Do what you can to make them proud of you. Your siblings, your children, make them happy as well. And take the advice of those who have been in this world longer than you in stride. Violet has done a remarkable job immortalizing the stories of great people in writing for all to read and she is just getting started. She will write your story too, all you have to do is ask. Never be headstrong in a decision. Make sure the team is on board.

And this is what we do during meetings of our Diet, the Saimoe Parliament. We are an all-star team with unselfish minds when we need to go in one direction or another. We are not like that government in the West where two factions continually fail to make progress due to pride and selfishness and pettiness. We make decisions regarding new ways to promote our culture to satisfy the demands of the West and elsewhere. And those who don't get their way ultimately come around and support the consensus. That is the power of the collective aspect of Asian values, and I mean to promote it and encourage it as values that the world can adopt.

I want to close my address by saying that it will not be easy for us moving forward. Mikoto Misaka is the incumbent Saimoe Leader of the Free World and my personal adviser to all matters related to the finest people-us. She said this: "No matter what, you’re not defective. There’s nothing wrong with you, so don’t give up.” Motivate yourself to be at your best. Self-actualization leads to positive thinking and assertive confidence. And we will make it a lifelong commitment to serve you and motivate you to be successful in whatever, or whoever, you want to be as long as it makes your family, your community, your city, your country, and the world proud. So thank you, we salute you and honor you. May God bless you, and may God bless Japan and the world!

-Rem (a.k.a. Rem Natsuki)
2019 Saimoe Prime Minister/ISML Heavenly Tiara Champion
11 February 2019

ISML 2018: Rem Elected Saimoe Prime Minister!

ISML 2018: Rem Elected Saimoe Prime Minister!
Hachiman Hikigaya Elected Deputy Saimoe Prime Minister
Violet Evergarden Elected Speaker Of The Saimoe Diet 

By Jo-Ryan Salazar
The Bedlam On Baltic Avenue
February 11, 2019

Match Days 8 and 9 of the 2019 International Saimoe League Postseason were combined into Election Day 2019, and Rem has been elected Saimoe Prime Minister for 2019, routing Kamui Kanna 36484-17795. Hachiman Hikigaya will be your new Deputy Saimoe Prime Minister after putting Archer to the sword 35856-15990, while Violet Evergarden has been named Speaker of the Saimoe Diet after a 30967-19221 belting of Mai Sakurajima.

In particular, Evergarden will have a special role of being a saimoe-exclusive aide to both the Japanese Imperial Household and British Royal Family with Arthuria Pendragon, Saber, as a veteran assistant. This result is also named as the final Upset of the Round for the 2018 International Saimoe Season. Rem, who will be sworn in under the name Rem Natsuki, Hikigaya and Evergarden will sworn in during Golden Week 2019 in Japan.

Kaede Azusagawa finished in third place in the 2018 ISML Autumn Seasonal with a 23057-21671 victory over Alice Zubeg. Hitagi Senjougahara won the ISML Divine Circlet Female Division with a 27188-16810 win over Akame and in the Male Division, Alphonse Elric reigned supreme over Tsunayoshi Sawada, 21903-21077.

The top 16 characters in the male and female divisions form the Saimoe Cabinet for the forthcoming year and Election Day finalize the seating order on the Male and Female sides. Yukino Yukinoshita finished in third place with a 25603-21145 win over Asuna Yuuki Chtholly Nota Seniorious, the outgoing speaker of the Saimoe Diet, complete a strong debut campaign with a 23193-22910 thriller over Mashiro Shiina to finish fifth. Rikka Takanashi pounded Nanami Aoyama 26978-20986 for seventh, Emilia completed a ReZero sweep with a 28693-17376 hiding of Shiro for ninth, Rin Tohsaka outlasted Saber 23663-20811 for eleventh, Sakura Kinomoto won the closest race of a round, a 22808-22791 nailbiter over Sagiri Izumi for thirteenth, and Chiyo Sakura prevailed over Schwi Dola 22763-22044 to finish fifteenth.

In the Male Division, Levi Ackerman leveled Riku Dola 23991-21009 for third place, Rintarou Okabe was fifth after tearing down Shouto Todoroki 25501-19323, Nagisa Shiota defeated Willem Kmetsch 23125-21179 for seventh, Taki Tachibana cruised past Shirou Emiya 23719-21003 for ninth, Yuuta Togashi punched Saitama 27635-19368 for eleventh, Touma Kamijou broke Astolfo 23057-23182 for thirteenth and Takashi Natsume finished in fifteenth place after easing past Li Syaoran 22791-21280.

In other seasonal action, Index L. Prohibitorum won a 22186-22123 snoozer over Kuon Ohara, Rio Futaba defeated Narumi Momose 23323-20579, Ichigo cruised past Suzuha Amane 23244-20449 and Rikka Takarada finished the campaign on a winning note, getting the last laugh with a 23447-21167 smashing of Rinne Ohara. Index, Futaba, Ichigo, and Takarada join Sakurajima as members of Evergarden's special advisory council.

Thus concludes the 2018 International Saimoe League, with Rem, Hachiman Hikigaya and Violet Evergarden steering the ship forward into 2019. Be sure to keep voting for your favorite candidates at and join the ongoing debate. And be sure to tune in to The Bedlam on Baltic Avenue, your home for coverage of the 2019 International Saimoe League, the world's premier anime character competition since 2008.

Grammy Awards 2019: The List.

Record of the Year
Album of the Year
Song of the Year
Best New Artist


Best Pop Solo Performance
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Best Pop Vocal Album

Dance/Electronic Music

Best Dance Recording
Best Dance/Electronic Album

Contemporary Instrumental Music

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album


Best Rock Performance
Best Metal Performance
Best Rock Song
Best Rock Album


Best Alternative Music Album


Best R&B Performance
Best Traditional R&B Performance
Best R&B Song
Best Urban Contemporary Album
Best R&B Album


Best Rap Performance
Best Rap/Sung Performance
Best Rap Song
Best Rap Album


Best Country Solo Performance
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Best Country Song
Best Country Album

New Age

Best New Age Album


Best Improvised Jazz Solo
Best Jazz Vocal Album
Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Best Latin Jazz Album

Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music

Best Gospel Performance/Song
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
Best Gospel Album
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Best Roots Gospel Album


Best Latin Pop Album
Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
Best Tropical Latin Album

American Roots Music

Best American Roots Performance
Best American Roots Song
Best Americana Album
Best Bluegrass Album
Best Traditional Blues Album
Best Contemporary Blues Album
Best Folk Album
Best Regional Roots Music Album
  • No 'Ane'i – Kalani Pe'a
  • Kreole Rock and Soul – Sean Ardoin
  • Spyboy – Cha Wa
  • Aloha from Na Hoa – Na Hoa
  • Mewasinsational: Cree Round Dance Songs – Young Spirit


Best Reggae Album

World Music

Best World Music Album


Best Children's Album

Spoken Word

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)


Best Comedy Album

Musical Theater

Best Musical Theater Album

Music for Visual Media

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
Best Song Written for Visual Media


Best Instrumental Composition


Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals


Best Recording Package
Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package


Best Album Notes
  • Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris
  • Alpine Dreaming: The Helvetia Records Story, 1920-1924
  • 4 Banjo Songs, 1891-1897: Foundational Recordings of America's Iconic Instrument
  • The 1960 Time Sessions
  • The Product of Our Souls: The Sound and Sway of James Reese Europe's Society Orchestra
    • David Gilbert, album notes writer (Various artists)
  • Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13/1979-1981 (Deluxe Edition)


Best Historical Album
  • Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris
    • William Ferris, April Ledbetter & Steven Lance Ledbetter, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Various artists)
  • Any Other Way
    • Rob Bowman, Douglas McGowan, Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, compilation producers; Jeff Lipton, mastering engineer (Jackie Shane)
  • At the Louisiana Hayride Tonight...
    • Martin Hawkins, compilation producer; Christian Zwarg, mastering engineer (Various artists)
  • Battleground Korea: Songs and Sounds of America's Forgotten War
    • Hugo Keesing, compilation producer; Christian Zwarg, mastering engineer (Various artists)
  • A Rhapsody in Blue: The Extraordinary Life of Oscar Levant
    • Robert Russ, compilation producer; Andreas K. Meyer & Rebekah Wineman, mastering engineers (Oscar Levant)

Production, Non-Classical

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Best Remixed Recording

Production, Immersive Audio

Best Immersive Audio Album
  • Eye in the Sky: 35th Anniversary Edition
  • Folketoner
    • Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Anne Karin Sundal-Ask & Det Norske Jentekor)
  • Seven Words from the Cross
    • Daniel Shores, surround mix engineer; Daniel Shores, surround mastering engineer; Dan Merceruio, surround producer (Matthew Guard & Skylark)
  • Sommerro: Ujamaa & The Iceberg
    • Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Ingar Heine Bergby, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra & Choir)
  • Symbol
    • Prashant Mistry & Ronald Prent, surround mix engineers; Darcy Proper, surround mastering engineer; Prashant Mistry & Ronald Prent, surround producers (Engine-Earz Experiment)

Production, Classical

Best Engineered Album, Classical
  • Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11
  • Bates: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 3; Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1
  • John Williams at the Movies
  • Liquid Melancholy: Clarinet Music of James M. Stephenson
    • Bill Maylone & Mary Mazurek, engineers; Bill Maylone, mastering engineer (John Bruce Yeh)
  • Visions and Variations
    • Tom Caulfield, engineer; Jesse Lewis, mastering engineer (A Far Cry)
Producer of the Year, Classical
  • Blanton Alspaugh
    • Arnesen: Infinity - Choral Works (Joel Rinsema & Kantorei)
    • Aspects of America (Carlos Kalmar & Oregon Symphony)
    • Chesnokov: Teach Me Thy Statutes (Vladimir Gorbik & PaTRAM Institute Male Choir)
    • Gordon, R.: The House Without a Christmas Tree (Bradley Moore, Elisabeth Leone, Maximillian Macias, Megan Mikailovna Samarin, Patricia Schuman, Lauren Snouffer, Heidi Stober, Daniel Belcher, Houston Gran Opera Juvenile Chorus & Houston Grand OperaOrchestra)
    • Haydn: The Creation (Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Betsy Cook Weber, Houston Symphony & Houston Symphony Chorus)
    • Heggie: Great Scott (Patrick Summers, Manuel Palazzo, Mark Hancock, Michael Mayes, Rodell Rosel, Kevin Burdette, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nathan Gunn, Frederica von Stade, Ailyn Pérez, Joyce DiDonato, Dallas Opera Chorus & Orchestra)
    • Music of Fauré, Buide & Zemlinsky (Trio Séléné)
    • Paterson: Three Way - A Trio of One-Act Operas (Dean Williamson, Daniele Pastin, Courtney Ruckman, Eliza Bonet, Melisa Bonetti, Jordan Rutter, Samuel Levine, Wes Mason, Matthew Treviño & Nashville Opera Orchestra)
    • Vaughan Williams: Piano Concerto; Oboe Concerto; Serenade to Music; Flos Campi (Peter Oundjian & Toronto Symphony Orchestra)
  • David Frost
    • Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Volume 7 (Jonathan Biss)
    • Mirror in Mirror (Anne Akiko Meyers, Kristjan Järvi & Philharmonia Orchestra)
    • Mozart: Idomeneo (James Levine, Alan Opie, Matthew Polenzani, Alice Coote, Nadine Sierra, Elza van den Heever, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus)
    • Presentiment (Orion Weiss)
    • Strauss, R.: Der Rosenkavalier (Sebastian Weigle, Renée Fleming, Elīna Garanča, Erin Morley, Günther Groissböck, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus)
  • Elizabeth Ostrow
    • Bates: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Michael Christie, Garrett Sorenson, Wei Wu, Sasha Cooke, Edwards Parks, Jessica E. Jones & Santa Fe Opera Orchestra)
    • The Road Home (Joshua Habermann & Santa Fe Desert Chorale)
  • Judith Sherman
    • Beethoven Unbound (Llŷr Williams)
    • Black Manhattan Volume 3 (Rick Benjamin & Paragon Ragtime Orchestra)
    • Bolcom: Piano Music (Various Artists)
    • Del Tredici: March to Tonality (Mark Peskanov & Various Artists)
    • Love Comes in at the Eye (Timothy Jones, Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio, Jeffrey Sykes, Anthony Ross, Carol Cook, Beth Rapier & Stephanie Jutt)
    • Meltzer: Variations on a Summer Day & Piano Quartet (Abigail Fischer, Jayce Ogren & Sequitur)
    • Mendelssohn: Complete Works for Cello and Piano (Marcy Rosen & Lydia Artymiw)
    • New Music for Violin and Piano (Julie Rosenfeld & Peter Miyamoto)
    • Reich: Pulse/Quartet (Colin Currie Group & International Contemporary Ensemble)
  • Dirk Sobotka
    • Beethoven: Symphony No. 3; Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1 (Manfred Honeck & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)
    • Lippencott: Frontier Symphony (Jeff Lippencott & Ligonier Festival Orchestra)
    • Mahler: Symphony No. 8 (Thierry Fischer, Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Utah Symphony)
    • Music of the Americas (Andrés Orozco-Estrada & Houston Symphony)


Best Orchestral Performance
Best Opera Recording
Best Choral Performance
  • McLoskey: Zealot Canticles
    • Donald Nally, conductor (Doris Hall-Gulati, Rebecca Harris, Arlen Hlusko, Lorenzo Raval & Mandy Wolman; The Crossing)
  • Chesnokov: Teach Me Thy Statutes
    • Vladimir Gorbik, conductor (Mikhail Davydov & Vladimir Krasov; PaTRAM Institute Male Choir)
  • Kastalsky: Memory Eternal
    • Steven Fox, conductor (The Clarion Choir)
  • Rachmaninov: The Bells
    • Mariss Jansons, conductor; Peter Dijkstra, chorus master (Oleg Dolgov, Alexey Markov & Tatiana Pavlovskaya; Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks; Chor Des Bayerischen Rundfunks)
  • Seven Words From The Cross
    • Matthew Guard, conductor (Skylark)
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
  • Anderson, Laurie: Landfall – Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet
  • Beethoven, Shostakovich & Bach – The Danish String Quartet
  • Blueprinting – Aizuri Quartet
  • Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring Concerto for Two Pianos – Leif Ove Andsnes & Marc-André Hamelin
  • Visions And Variations – A Far Cry
Best Classical Instrumental Solo
  • Kernis: Violin Concerto – James Ehnes
    • Ludovic Morlot, conductor (Seattle Symphony)
  • Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 2 – Yuja Wang
    • Simon Rattle, conductor (Berliner Philharmoniker)
  • Biber: The Mystery Sonatas – Christina Day Martinson
    • Martin Pearlman, conductor (Boston Baroque)
  • Bruch: Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46; Violin Concerto No. 1 In G Minor, Op. 26
    • Joshua Bell (The Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields)
  • Glass: Three Pieces In The Shape of A Square
    • Craig Morris
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album
  • Songs of Orpheus: Monteverdi, Caccini, d'India & Landi – Karim Sulayman
    • Jeannette Sorrell, conductor; Apollo's Fire, ensembles
  • ARC – Anthony Roth Costanzo
    • Jonathan Cohen, conductor (Les Violons Du Roy)
  • The Handel Album – Philippe Jaroussky
    • Artaserse, ensemble
  • Mirages – Sabine Devieilhe
    • François-Xavier Roth, conductor (Alexandre Tharaud; Marianne Crebassa & Jodie Devos; Les Siècles)
  • Schubert: Winterreise – Randall Scarlata
    • Gilbert Kalish, accompanist
Best Classical Compendium
  • Fuchs: Piano Concerto 'Spiritualist'; Poems Of Life; Glacier; Rush
    • JoAnn Falletta, conductor; Tim Handley, producer
  • Gold
    • The King's Singers; Nigel Short, producer
  • The John Adams Edition
    • Simon Rattle, conductor; Christoph Franke, producer
  • John Williams at the Movies
    • Jerry Junkin, conductor; Donald J. McKinney, producer
  • Vaughan Williams: Piano Concerto; Oboe Concerto; Serenade To Music; Flos Campi
    • Peter Oundjian, conductor; Blanton Alspaugh, producer
Best Contemporary Classical Composition
  • Kernis: Violin Concerto
    • Aaron Jay Kernis, composer (James Ehnes, Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)
  • Bates: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
    • Mason Bates, composer; Mark Campbell, librettist (Michael Christie, Garrett Sorenson, Wei Wu, Sasha Cooke, Edward Parks, Jessica E. Jones & Santa Fe Opera Orchestra)
  • Du Yun: Air Glow
    • Du Yun, composer (International Contemporary Ensemble)
  • Heggie: Great Scott
    • Jake Heggie, composer; Terrence McNally, librettist (Patrick Summers, Manuel Palazzo, Mark Hancock, Michael Mayes, Rodell Rosel, Kevin Burdette, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nathan Gunn, Frederica von Stade, Ailyn Pérez, Joyce DiDonato, Dallas Opera Chorus & Orchestra)
  • Mazzoli: Vespers for Violin
    • Missy Mazzoli, composer (Olivia De Prato)

Music Video/Film

Best Music Video
Best Music Film