Saimoe Japan 2012 – The Winner Declared!


Toki’s future sight called this win three rounds ago.

Final Results


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.

Tournament Highlights


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?

                        Saimoe 2013

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!


Closing Statements

 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!


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I enjoy watching anime, when I'm not burning toast or sleeping through college.
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39 Responses to “Saimoe Japan 2012 – The Winner Declared!”

  1. AllenAndArth says:

    awwwww…. kuro lost >.<

  2. akagami says:

    “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.”

    I’m one of that camp, I find it hard to believe that all the characters in the show are just that great. Seems more like a rabid fanbase who just threw their support behind each and every character of the show regardless of how good or bad the character was. Never really paid much attention to Saimoe and probably won’t again in the future.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    “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.”

    Here’s another member of the camp. Saimoe will be a more fair and unbiased competition once the Saki fanbase has been completely erased. It was daunting that it caused such an upset when there were so many other great choices.

    • Highway says:

      Yeah, I agree with that sentiment as well. Did that many people even watch Saki, or the second series? And then to basically lock out the final 3 rounds of a single elimination tournament, with a bunch of characters nobody knew, probably really hurt the overall impression of the tournament.

      It definitely seems like that tournament could use some limiting rules, maybe like “No more than four characters from a single property”. Does that make it tough on some shows? Sure, but there’s also the fact that there’s no show that’s got that many main characters with that much importance. I dunno. I just know that pretty much everyone around here probably tuned out by the quarterfinals, and not just because the contest here was over, but also because the show wasn’t that popular with the readership here (considering only 2 people even picked any of the characters that made the final 8, and they picked the same character).

      • Hawthorne says:

        Keep in mind the voting base is mostly Japanese anime fans, who likely enjoy Saki much more than the western viewers. I don’t even think Saki is licensed outside of Japan? (Except maybe South Korea …) Like I said below, I believe this was the fanbase’s reaction to having their chances stolen from them so many times in the past. Likely, it will not happen again.

        Sadly, it wasn’t the best year to bring Saimoe to Metanorn. I would have loved to have shown the tournament to all of you in its competitive glory, this year was not that. :<

        • Highway says:

          Saki and Side A are both licensed on CR streaming in the US (can’t say for other countries). But it’s also likely that the opaque subject kept western folks uninterested. I mean, Americans understand tanks: blowing up things = GOOD!!!! But the only people I know of who play Mahjongg in the US are the old ladies who play all afternoon at Denny’s for the free coffee refills.

          • Hawthorne says:

            Darn, I want to own the BDs! lol I am now picturing the Saki girls as old women and somehow it all makes sense. ⇀‸↼ I do wish Mahjong was a little more popular in the states though, I’ve only played it a few times (with minimal knowledge) and it can actually be pretty fun! … I like to pretend I have Saki powers while playing kukuku.

            • AllenAndArth says:

              most probably only a few outside japan truly know saki(maybe only a few in japan as wel…i don’t know how popular saki is on japan…), they voted because all saki characters are kinda moe, only the few males and most of the comentarists aren’t…koromo would have won if people had watched eveything(*koromo hardcore fan*).

              i’m looking foward to the next Saimoe, though.

  4. Gecko says:

    Man, Saki just went and destroyed all the competition. That fanbase is so rabid over every single character. There’s no way they’re all that moe. Or that the show is even worth watching in the first place. I have to question the sanity of that fanbase in a case like this.
    I do feel bad for Shana and Louise. They had no chance against that fanbase. No chance at all.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Unbelievable. And here I thought the Twilight fanbase was insufferably rabid. I stand corrected after seeing this. The Saki fanbase blows that out of the water effortlessly. I agree their sanity needs examining. It’s suspicious that an anime that isn’t (doesn’t seem) that popular can generate so many votes.

      • Hawthorne says:

        I get the feeling it was somewhat of a “now or never” type deal, the Saki fanbase seeing this as the best opportunity to finally get one of their own a win. They’ve come VERY close twice in the past, but never broke the semi-finals. And with a lot of strong characters coming into play next year (which will definitely divide the fans) they might have considered this their last chance.

        I would bet that Saki won’t do nearly as well as they did this year, not even close.

      • E says:

        This whole post is stupid and too much buttdevastation.
        Twilight fanbase, really?

        • AllenAndArth says:

          i like saki and most of them are really moe, but, i kinda agree too many saki characters at the final 8.
          but, koromo is the best among them, how can those other saki fans not know that T-T

        • Vyzass says:

          Judging from the posts, it’s pretty obvious that those who complain never watch Saki. It’s kinda hurt the pride of some anime fan when a series you never watch or heard of become so dominating.

    • Vyzass says:

      ‘There’s no way they’re all that moe.’

      Actually they are.

  5. Kyokai says:

    I knew it took many days and hours worth of follow-up, but I’m glad you took this project up and saw it to completion. Thank you for covering this, Hawt! <3

  6. D-LaN says:

    Wow, while GREE is busy taking over the gaming world, Saki is also working hard for popularity domination lol ^.^; Is Saki really tht popular? Should I watch and see why its popular?

    Well, next time I guess I have to at least include one of the girls of the latest hype tht I liked. Will you guys do this again next year?

    • Hawthorne says:

      What exactly is GREE? I keep hearing that word mentioned all over the web. ⇀‸↼ If you’re into tournament style shows and can get past the confusing aspects of Mahjong (which eventually become more clear) than it’s a good show! The first season isn’t as well animated, but has more mahjong than Achiga-hen, which starts a little slow.

      And yes, I do plan to cover Saimoe again next year! Which I hope will be more diverse.

      • D-LaN says:
        Basically a social game developers which are (in)famous for currently making social game of a lot of franchise (TWEWY, FF, SAO….) The hate storm is also quite something if anything related to the word “Square Enix” pops up…

        Let see whether will Asuna or Rikka be the winner next year lol. The SAO fans are rather rabid too IMO… Both supporters and haters…

  7. Yippy says:

    Don’t blame yourself Hawthorne, it was just a year for the trolls. Let them have their victory, the other camps will (hopefully) regroup and launch a counterattack next year.

    Btw, is Saki THAT good? I know Saimoe’s a tournament for moe, but does that actually translate into plot/story quality? I wonder…

    Thanks for all the coverage! =)

    • Hawthorne says:

      We can hope! I just wish Saimoe had the popularity it did back in 2005 – 2010. The matches were a lot more intense and unpredictable. :< I really enjoyed Saki personally. Both seasons cover the same tournament from two different perspectives. Saki S1 follows Kiyosumi up to the end of the Qualifying matches. Saki S2 (Achiga-hen) follows Achiga up to the end of the semi-finals. And the upcoming S3 will likely wrap up everything! The "super-power" aspect liven things up and keeps the matches entertaining.

      • Vyzass says:

        Saimoe this year is unpredictable too, at least before Toki beat Akarin. Many people, especially those who never watch Saki underestimate Saki and didn’t expect Saki will dominate this much. Just look at the amount of incorrect prediction by members of Metanorn in Meta Moe challenge.

    • Vyzass says:

      The plot/story quality of Saki is not good. The plot is quite generic like many other sports anime out there. Main character join a club in school and they participate in tournament to win.

      Just like Hawthorne, I also enjoy saki personally and for me, most of the characters are likeable. The most enjoyable part for me is definitely the epic mahjong match. Who would have thought a game like mahjong could be so intense and enjoyable. Only the Japanese know how to do that. There’s many cute yuri moment too.

  8. Vyzass says:

    Does people who complain about Saki dominance actually watch the show? Judging from some comment here, I don’t think so. Beside, even if you watch and dislike it, just because you dislike something that doesn’t mean other people will dislike it. I’ve watch Yuru Yuri, Hyoka,Tomodachi, Shana, Nisemonogatari, Idol Master, Accel World and many other anime and I certainly got no problem with Saki dominance.It’s all a matter of preferences. Saki have been dominating in Saimoe since 2009 and 2010. You are being slowpoke if you only take notice of its dominance this year.

    • Highway says:

      It doesn’t take watching the show to see that a near-lockout of the entire top half of the tournament is bad for a tournament. And I’d hardly call 2 quarterfinalists in 2010, and zero in 2011 ‘dominating’ (one might argue that Madoka Magica dominated in 2011, but that was still only half of the quarterfinals). And I’d argue that 4 characters in the quarterfinals is too many as well.

      Ultimately, tho, a tournament like this suffers from the same thing that all popularity contests do. A narrow interest always has an advantage over a broad majority.

      • Vyzass says:

        Saki did not participate in the Saimoe 2011. These 2 quarter finalists actually make it to the semi final in 2010. Do keep in mind the anime already ended at the end of 2009 yet, Saki stll dominate other new anime that show in 2010. Before 2012, at least 2 Saki characters are in best four two years in a row.

        As for the lack if interest, the championship pretty much already been decided when Toki beat Akarin. Notice that even Toki vote also decrease as the tournament progress.

  9. Highway says:

    Man, another comment rescue needed.

    *shakes fist at skylion*


  10. Vyzass says:

    By the way, the remaining Achiga episode and the real sequel of Saki has been announced.

    I don’t know whether Saki will still dominate Saimoe next year, but just in case it happen, Saki haters, be mentally prepare.

  11. Vyzass says:

    ‘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.’

    Have you check the number of votes for this year Korean Best Moe tournament final round? The final round has lower total votes than total votes of J-Saimoe final round.

    • Hawthorne says:

      I don’t follow Korean Best Moe, but I did hear that Senjogahara won this year! After checking the vote totals though, they really didn’t get that many. I’m not saying Saimoe is dead or anything, just that it’s definitely not nearly as popular as it was a few years ago which is unfortunate.

      • Vyzass says:

        I believe the strict IP ban is the reason for lack of votes and Toki vs Akarin, which should be the final happen too early making other voters lack interest.

        I’m happy for Senjogahara victory in Korea Moe. I thought Senjougahara might lost fans when they screw her with ugly hair style at the end of Nisemonogatari. Good thing that didn’t affect her performance in Korea Moe.

  12. Kor says:

    ‘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.’

    This year, Saimoe lost any remaining credibility they had with me. I’ve actually gotten to where I no longer pay any attention to it and actively block it from stuff like Twitter because I just can’t be bothered to care anymore when stuff like this ruins it. I said at the very beginning of this year’s Saimoe that it was going to end up sucking with the excessive Saki dominance and stopped following it, and this only goes to prove my point.

    There’s obviously something foul at play when something like this can be allowed to happen.

    • Vyzass says:

      ‘There’s obviously something foul at play when something like this can be allowed to happen.’

      I don’t think so. Saki just happen to be more popular, that’s all. Like I mention before, Saki is already a force in Saimoe since 2009 and 2010.

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