Saimoe is a competition held annually on the Japanese 2ch BBS, where fans vote for the most “moe” anime girls of the year. This competition has been held since 2002, and even has a cult following in other countries. Saimoe can be followed by Americans at www.animesaimoe.org, and there are even instructions on how to sneak in votes on 2ch, even though the contest is only supposed to have Japanese votes. Animesaimoe.org describes saimoe as “A festival of love, moe, complex political machinations and a heap of butthurt.” But what is Saimoe, really? Well, I have decided to look into this international phenomenon and look into the face of true otaku insanity.
The first question anyone not insanely into anime may ask is, “what the fuck is moe?” If you look up Japanese slang for moe, you will only be even more confused, but essentially it is a measure of “cuteness” in anime character appearance and behavior. People will argue about what moe really means forever if left to debate about it, but cuteness is pretty much the standard, not so much “sexiness”, if any of that makes sense.
Saimoe is basically where fans form a popularity contest with their favorite anime shows, it’s true meaning being nothing more than that. Chances are the winner of Saimoe is a girl from the most popular anime movie, TV show, or OVA of the year. However, in the hearts of otaku fanboys around the globe, this is a bloody battle to give life and meaning to their favorite show/character. Have you ever noticed how Conservatives and Liberals can get into pretty heated arguments? Think of groups of people with opinions in opposition on that level, but divided into camps over 288 anime girls. And that is where the chaos begins…
To get to the real meat and bones behind the politics of saimoe, take your browser for a stroll on 4chan’s /a/ board when saimoe is in full swing. Within the hive of scum and villainy that is 4chan, you can see the bloody toll that saimoe has on fans. Hopes and dreams are shattered, faith becomes despair, and love turns to pain. This year “Madoka Magica” was the huge anime of the year. It takes the “mahou shoujo, or magical girl” genre of anime and turned it into a dark, epic tale of magic, deception, and adorable creatures that only want to steal your soul. It’s cute appearance hides the fact that it is a dark, action packed show, and certainly one of the best of this year. As of the time this article is being written, the quarter-finals are being dominated by characters from Madoka Magica. This is to be expected, since the show is huge in Japan, and has captured the hearts of fans around the world (myself Included). But nothing is that simple according to the people of 4chan.
Instead of simply accepting the fact that Madoka is a popular show, many won’t settle for such a logical explanation. People have blamed 2ch for rigging the contest to favor Madoka characters, Chinese “proxy-voters” tilting the contest results for personal laughs, and “Madokafags” for flooding in votes. That’s right folks, saimoe is rigged by international forces and… fans of Madoka Magica. Saimoe seemed like such an innocent little contest when I glanced at it during years before, but only now do I truly know why the motto at animesaimoe.org is “Moe: Serious Fucking Business”. As of now you have until 11/05/11 to check out the pure insanity of saimoe, so if your an anime fan or just want to see the international conspiracy to screw over otaku fanboys, check it out!