Toki’s future sight called this win three rounds ago.
My prediction for the final two ended up being right (surprisingly), but in the end it was Toki who stole the crown, not one of the Matsumi sisters. Akarin’s defeat was not in vain! In the end, neither Louise nor Shana could break the standards and defeat a Saki girl, but taking a look at the vote totals for their matches you’ll see they put up a bigger fight than most of the following matches. The Saki supporters had the title in sight, and this year they were brutal against everyone else. Interestingly, it was one of the new girls (who’s not even part of the Achiga-hen team) that won, and not one of the powerful veterans like Nodoka or Koromo. Congratulations Toki! She’ll be joining a long line of Saimoe victors, and will be back next year to defend her crown.
The most obvious highlight this year was Saki’s record-breaking performance, getting more characters into the main tournament than any other series throughout the history of Saimoe. The bracket is just covered in gold. Equally impressive, stealing six of the eight Final 8 spots, beating the previous record of four held by Saki in 2009 and Madoka Magica in 2011. Saki’s performance didn’t leave much room for any other highlights! On an individual character basis, Yayoi did an amazing job this year, proving the Precure’s havn’t completely lost their favor in the tournament since 2004. It’s unfortunate she didn’t have enough support to top the Saki voters though. Similarly, it would have been awesome to see newcomers Sena and Akarin make the Final 8, but the cards just didn’t fall that way!
In a more negative light were the less than stellar performances of Idolmaster, Hayate, Yuru Yuri, and Strike Witches, who were expected to much better overall. If it weren’t for the overwhelming presence of Saki supporters however, all four series would have likely been much stronger. For me, the most disappointing series had to be AKB0048, which failed to place even a single character in the main tournament. Based on the sales, I thought it was more popular in Japan, but with Saimoe voters I guess it just wasn’t. Maybe next year?
It seems as though every year Saimoe dwindles in popularity, though to be fair the turnout is more impressive than that of the early years. Saki’s dominance likely turned off a lot of voters as well, who watched as their favorite characters were consistently knocked out by a single series. Fortunately, I believe next year will be much more diverse in terms of winners. Saki will be back, but now that they have a winner under their belt supporters will likely be spreading out to other series. Madoka Magica will be back in the fold, and it’ll be interesting to see if their popularity holds up to that of 2011, or if more Homura-snipes are awaiting them. Girls und Panzer is proving to be a very popular series in Japan (if sales are any indication), and with a cast as equally huge as Saki’s we might have another strong contender. (Panzer Vor!~) Chuu2koi will likely be as strong as the KyoAni series before it, especially with its emphasis on moe, something Hyouka lacked. Idolmaster will be back, but are a couple OVAs and and a gimmicky (but adorable) puchimas short-series enough to bring them back into the spotlight? Another possible potentially dangerous series could be Little Busters! with a large VN fanbase behind it, even if the anime isn’t quite what people wanted.
Also in the mix with be potentially strong shows such as Yuru Yuri, Naka-imo, Joshiraku, Muv-Luv, and Tari Tari (all of which will suffer from Summer-syndrome, airing the farthest away from the next tournament). And from Winter, Hayate, To Love-Ru, Hidamari Sketch, and OniAi. Of course, we shouldn’t forget the possibility of dark horses, if anything Another’s Mei Misaki proved a series as a whole doesn’t have to be extremely popular for a single character to do well.
We also have two more seasons in front of us before next year’s tournament, Winter will be bringing us the next season of Haganai, Minami-ke, a Strike Witches look-alike called Vividred Operation, and Shaft’s new show Sasami-san@Ganbaranai. There’s plenty of time between now and the next tournament, and anything can happen before then!
Thanks everyone who followed along with my posts for updates on Saimoe or MetaMoe! It’s been a lot of fun for me running our own game here at Metanorn as well as keeping updated on the tournament. Unfortunately, I didn’t expect Saki to obliterate almost every other series, and considering not too many of our readers (from what I’ve gathered in comments) watch/like Saki, so that might have killed some interest. See you all around!~
Also, if you have any feedback on MetaMoe or suggestions for next year (if we do it again), please feel free to post them in the comments!