2013: I do not say anything, you black black gun sister

2013's Anime Saimoe Tournament is already deep into round 3, and I haven't updated. Well, this sort of thing happens to anime characters all the time, you know, you're walking down the street on an ordinary day in an ordinary town, and suddenly you find yourself in a mysterious world of danger, magical girl battles, and yuri antics for exactly the duration of the Summer season.

But never mind that, what you're probably concerned about is whether Saimoe is an outrageous clusterfuck this year, and yes it is.
This BiriBiri spam, which flooded a voting thread, may remind you of A Certain Scientific Cheating Scandal from 2011.
The title of this post is a Google translated quote from one of the villains behind that round of cheating. It looks like they're still busy giving the Saimoe admins trouble, and the admins are striking back with iron-fisted brutality.

"May You Live In Interesting Tournaments" Is An Ancient Chinese Curse

There was a changing of the guard among the saimoe leadership after the old boss had enough of this little fellow: ( ヽ´ω`) The current leadership made major changes, including adding a repechage round this year, which allows defeated characters to come back into the tournament if the one who defeated them makes it through the group finals. Another thing they've been doing differently, of course, is restricting voting heavy-handedly and kicking out all the foreigners. Surely you can imagine how they feel about Chinese spammers with a history of large-scale cheating. The admins recently established a new rule (in the middle of the tournament) that allows them to throw out votes they consider suspicious even if the codes are valid. This process has no transparency and the criteria for elimination are unclear.

Haramura Nodoka's 10/09 match was a day when cheating was a threat. Nodoka, who got 302 votes in an otherwise quiet day in the first round, beat Misaka Mikoto 398-345, which means the cheaters need to push Nodoka to victory if they want to resurrect Mikoto in repechage. Here's the results, with fakes and final count:

The combination of suspicious vote removal and an even harsher code generator popped Nodoka's balloons and gave her a reduction all the way down to size 196, an uncharacteristic total for her and 133 votes below her fakes-included count of 329. There's reports of valid votes being removed, and rumors of Saki fans boycotting the tournament in response. It's safe to assume that any vote suspected of being from a non-Japanese poster got thrown out, but nobody knows what else is getting votes axed. There were no suspicious votes removed in the following day's match. This leaves us with a problem: On one hand, known cheaters were doing their best to interfere with the match, but on the other hand, the admins are subjectively swinging matches in a totally non-transparent way, creating the possibility for outright rigging.

The bottom line is nobody knows what's going on, and the tournament's validity is in question. Low vote totals make it all too easy to swing matches with a little bit of fudging, and the barriers against foreigners aren't going to loosen.

Is It Ruined For Marriage?

Perhaps the real underlying issue is that Saimoe's model of internet polling, based on using IP addresses as ID, is fundamentally insufficient. Unfortunately, alternatives are in short supply. The most interesting idea so far, using captcha-style human labor and very brief voting windows scattered throughout the day to make automated voting and spamming impractical, has the critical disadvantage of making voting hard work and driving away participants.
It's not clear what Saimoe's future will look like, but we can declare this era to be the twilight of old-fashioned internet polling. If someone invents a better mousetrap, make sure you use its power for what really matters: Proving to fags that your moe girl is better than their moe girl.

As for who's going to win Saimoe 2013? Saki is in the hospital with Toki. Supporters are disappointed by the clusterfuck and last year's miracle rush is causing both fan exhaustion and anti-voting. Madoka's broad fanbase makes it easier for them to recruit new, casual voters who haven't been banned yet. The real test will come when Madoka characters face the strongest of the new contestants under the "we'll ban suspicious votes if we feel like it" system. That'll be 10/14 when Kyoko faces Azuki Azusa. Prepare your lolis.

Congratulations, Toki!

Onjouji Toki is SaiMoe 2012!

11/03: Grand Final

1st 311 Toki Onjouji @ Saki
2nd 291 Kuro Matsumi @ Saki

2012 Championship Match

I was away from Saimoe for a week due to storm related power outages (did you think I died? I don't have quite that much in common with Toki), but I didn't miss much. Saki has, as expected, wiped out everyone else in the quarterfinals and produced a Toki vs Kuro championship match.

Butthurt people responded to this by DDOSing the site, causing the start of voting to be delayed a couple hours. The curves are obviously twisted by fakes, and it's clear that the disruptions have kept a lot of voters out in a match that was already faced with apathy from everyone who isn't into Saki.

Nevertheless, this remains a glorious day for those of us who rank Saki among their favorite anime and like both of the competing characters. Japan may have wrought another clusterfuck, but at least they have good taste this time.

Gratuitous Toki picture:

2012 Group Finals Results

Saki surprisingly defeated Koromo. Since Koromo showed strength in the final rush and Saki's advantage came in the morning, it's likely that voters from outside the core Saki faction went with the main character.

Congratulations to Toki, (almost) Saimoe 2012! With a ruthless performance featuring 58.3% of the vote, 583 votes (far more than any non-Saki has gotten) and a 166 vote margin of victory over Akarin~, who was the strongest non-Saki remaining and the only one worthy to contest Saki for the title, Toki can already see the ending.
For those of you who bemoan Saki domination, rejoice: A Saki loss in this tournament would mean another 40 of them running wild next year when they qualify due to the 3 extra episodes. Now that a Saki character is on the verge of being crowned saimoe, they'll be in furiten next time around.

For those of you with good taste, rejoice: One of the most moe characters out there is winning.

Hisa narrowly beat Cure Peace. Interestingly, Peace had more votes near the end of the match, even though Saki traditionally rushes in the last hour. It was a good attempt, but not quite enough. Saki will have 6 of the 8 quarterfinals spots.





Shana made a stunning comeback to overthrow meat. It's possible that the Saki/Rie truce suspected earlier is real: Saki fans tend to vote at the end of the match, the quarterfinals now consist entirely of Saki and Rie characters, and, of course, people who aren't Saki fans have probably given up on the tournament in despair by now.

There's some rumors going around regarding strange activity with vote codes. >>73500690 >>73501193 Bookmarked for future reference, but further investigation is required for now.

The quarterfinals draw:
QF1: Louise De La Valliere Vs Toki Onjouji
QF2: Nodoka Haramura Vs Saki Miyanaga
QF3: Kuro Matsumi Vs Yuu Matsumi
QF4: Shana Vs Hisa Takei

Predicted outcome: Toki beating everyone, Nodoka > Saki, Yuu > Kuro, and Shana beating Hisa before losing to Yuu.

Prediction Record: 5-3 Round 4, R3: 12-4, R2: 23-9, R1: 70-26

2012 Group Finals

We're heading into the group finals with Saki in tenpai. Akarin~ remains the last bastion of defense against their nearly complete hand.
X=Projected Saki winner, O=Non-Saki winner, blank=contested.
[X] Group A: Saki vs Koromo, a playful just-like-in-the-series match (but probably with the opposite outcome this time) in a clinched group.
[ ] Group B: The championship match. Just as we've been expecting since the draw was announced, this is the decisive battle of 2012.
[ ] Group C: Hisa, a mere mid-level Saki character, takes on Cure Peace, who has shown surprising strength. Peace has some chance to turn her scissors into a v for victory here, but Hisa won't go down easily. She only does that for Kyaputen, who's already out of the tournament.
[O] Group D: Louise and Hinata face off in a rare Saki-free group. Nagi performed worse than expected and her core fanbase has eroded. That's not a good sign for fellow Rie character Louise, but Louise should still have no trouble causing some muffled Ohh's.
[X] Group E: Yuu is on fire. She'll win easily.
[X] Group F: Kuro and Kirame are together for more Saki on Saki action, if you know what I mean. Expect the same result as in the show.
[X] Group G: Ako and Nodoka reunite at long last. I haven't written the word Saki enough in this post yet, so Saki Saki Saki.
[O] Group H: The only other Saki-free group. Shana vs Sena will be a good match. Shana is the classic Saimoe type and not to be underestimated, but Meat has strong momentum and could overcome the over-the-hill Rie.
That's 4 Saki finalists, 2 Non-Saki, and 2 slots up for grabs. I'll pick Toki to win B and C for Cure, since Toki is Saki's #1 ace and revenge against Hisa (who has no shot at the crown anyway) would relieve some of the pressure over the outrageous Saki domination.

2012 Round 3

Akari dominated Mei and no assassination attempt materialized. Brace yourselves for the championship match against Toki.

Koromo rons Tacos in a match where the Sakis, not the Kugyuus, called the shots. Toki did what was foreseen.

Surprisingly, Louise beat Nagi. Hayate is truly in decline. This probably isn't a good sign for Rie, since Nagi was historically the best bet, so Louise isn't likely to exceed Nagi's past potential. However, the group finals match is against the winner of Chihaya vs Hinata, so Louise should advance safely for now.

Total failure for Rie. It's not clear why the Kugyuus have fallen, but they won't be finals contenders with performances like this.

Saki fans, on the other hand, are at full power. They have the opportunity to lock up another group with Kirame today, and their momentum continues to build.

Vote combinations:
150 Charlotte + Yui
43 Charlotte + Kirame
88 Yuu + Yui
247 Yuu + Kirame
33 Yui only


119 Tsukihi + Airi
82 Tsukihi + Shana
158 Ako + Airi
184 Ako + Shana
39 Ako only

Surprisingly, the near-assassination of Shana (evidenced by the skillful fake voting against her) wasn't coming from Saki. In fact, Saki voters were more likely to support Shana and brought her to victory. Who, then, was voting for Airi? Most likely Meat. Meat doesn't want to be cooked by Shana's fire, so her fans, one of who was caught multivoting earlier, have a motive.

Prediction Record: 12-4 Round 3

2012 Round 2 GH

A shocking day in Saimoe. Poplar was assassinated by people who voted for Nodoka. From the statistics, Momo voters (who have objectively good taste) favored Poplar, Ai voters were almost evenly split with Poplar ahead by one vote, and Nodoka supporters heavily backed Airi.

Why would they go out of their way to knock off Poplar, when she's in group H, which has no active Saki characters? It appears that we have an alliance between the Rie faction and Saki. Nodoka has historically been popular with Rie voters, and Saki fans have confidence that Nodoka would beat Shana if she emerges from H.

Combinations of votes:
38 votes Momo+Airi 東横桃子@咲-Saki- 阿知賀編 episode of side-A・香椎愛莉@ロウきゅーぶ!・
47 votes Momo+Poplar 東横桃子@咲-Saki- 阿知賀編 episode of side-A・種島ぽぷら@WORKING'!!・

122 votes Nodoka+Airi 原村和@咲-Saki- 阿知賀編 episode of side-A・香椎愛莉@ロウきゅーぶ!・
96 votes Nodoka+Poplar 原村和@咲-Saki- 阿知賀編 episode of side-A・種島ぽぷら@WORKING'!!・
34 votes Nodoka only 原村和@咲-Saki- 阿知賀編 episode of side-A・第2試合棄権・

69 votes Ai+Airi 七咲逢@アマガミSS+ plus・香椎愛莉@ロウきゅーぶ!・
70 votes Ai+Poplar 七咲逢@アマガミSS+ plus・種島ぽぷら@WORKING'!!・

Shana wins as expected, but Senjougahara won a surprise victory over Aria, even though Aria had the Rie bonus by fighting on the same day as Shana.

Yet another surprise as Tsukihi dominates and Rea gets obliterated, despite the very different results in Round 1 and the presence of Yamada, who should have been a powerhouse but ended up with a pitiful number of votes. Where did all her fans go?

Ika was floating in a sea of fake votes. She was left high and dry when they drained away, but Atarashi decided to try something new and play the pimp this time.

Elsie made a late rush with some support from Saki fans in an attempt to cook Meat, but it wasn't quite enough. Even though Sena suffered a minor multivoting scandal in round 1, she still has plenty of men following her around.

Vote combinations:
144 Ako+Elsie
153 Ako+Sena
45 Ako+Marika
57 Ako only
75 Ika+Elsie
61 Ika+Marika
88 Ika+Sena

Sena/Elsie total ratio: 262/244 = 1.074
Sena/Elsie among Ako voters: 153/144 = 1.0625
Sena/Elsie among Ika voters: 1.173

The breakdown shows that only slightly more Saki fans than statistically expected backed Elsie, while most of them either voted randomly or ignored the other match. The 57 Ako-only voters could have pushed Elsie through if they had chosen to vote tactically.

Prediction Record: R2: 23-9, R1: 70-26