The Heavenly Tiara. Said to hold powers beyond one’s imagination, it floats high above the moe platform only to descend on the chosen one, the one who is able to overcome all hardships and tremors to get to the grandest stage of them all. All girls from around the world, across various galaxies, dimensions, and timelines, set their eyes on getting the grand prize, but only one of them would be crowned the most moe of them all. For four years, blood, sweat, and tears have been shed in numbers unimaginable. As ISML V kicks off, who will be chosen try out and see if they have what it takes to make it to the main tournament? ISML starts here!
Out of hundreds of thousands the girls throughout the history of anime, 168 are chosen to go to the world known as ISML to start their ISML career. 24 were selectively chosen based on their performance last year. The remaining 144 girls were chosen based on your votes, the fans. Out of these 168 girls, only 72 can be called true contenders for the Heveanly Tiara. The remaining 98 girls are to be asked to back up their bags and return back to their home planet. Some have been here since its inauguration. Others are stepping into this world for the first time. However, this does not change the fact that, in a hotly contested area such as this, all of the girls must give it their all if they wish to have a shot at the grand prize that awaits them. The 168 in question can be found here.
New to ISML this year is the separation of the older cast and newer cast into their own separate battlefield. The arena with the newer cast is called “Nova;” the older, “Stella.” To qualify for the Nova division, several conditions must be met. The girl must have made her first appearance in anime within December 1, 2009 to November 30, 2011 and made their appeared in at least four episodes. For girls that have made an appearance within the time noted, but had already appeared prior to the said time, if there is at least a four year difference since its previous significant release, she will be considered a Nova participant. Anyone who does not meet these requirements are placed as a Stella participant. Any odd characters that happen to somehow make fun of the said rules will be dealt with by the Staff as to where to place her.
For the Nova Division, not to my surprise, Homura takes first place, followed behind by Sena. Inori taking third caught me off guard. I guess it meant that there were people out there who favor her character more than I thought. That, or it was the Guilty Crown name that got her here. Characters within 4-9 were pretty reasonable in terms of where they are. I had Aria better than Kurisu, and I am at least glad that they were back to back and 5th and 6th respectively with a decent fanbase. I do not know whether or be scared or not that Yuno is placed 7th. While Fear may be in 9th, I fear (no pun intended) that she might start to lose steam as preliminary period progresses. She seems to be the type to do so, seeing that her series just ended not too long ago. I could be wrong if the loli fanbase really backs her up well enough to show that she should be where she is. Madoka being 10th and second best of the PMMM franchise surprised me somewhat, but that should be a given. I could have been sure that Kyouko would have been 10th followed by Mami at 12th and Madoka at 14th, but I guess the rankings of them currently does make sense. I previously has them as Homura>Kyouko>Madoka>Mami>Sayaka. As of now, the PMMM ranking is Homura>Madoka=Kyouko=Mami>Sayaka, which makes relative sense. Yozora and Erio at 11 and 13 respectively is favorable. Ika-Musume at 15th was actually expected. I think I may have overhpyed her too much last year. While there was a Seaosn 2 that ended in Fall, it seemed to not help much. At least, it would have helped fully had she participated last year. I was quite surprised that Ohana was 18, under Alice and Subaru who ranked 16 and 17th respectively. I did not take for granted the high vote count when each of them appeared during the exhibition finals with their wacky vote differences. I may have been proven wrong here, seeing that they truly have some power backing them up. I could have sworn that Ohana would be above these characters, but it seems I am mistaken. Rankings from 19-25 are favorable. I am interested as to how Tomoka was able to best Elsie. Then again, Tomoka has shown before that she had a form of potential in her. For that, I did not doubt her entrance, nor her being the better of the cast. Irisviel at 22 should have surprised me, but I am quite pleased with it. Maybe we will have two mothers participating this year. Miki being at the top of the Idolmaster chain gang and Kyouko representing YuraYuri was not a surprise as well. However, it is a shame that Haqua is ranked 25. I could have sworn she would be the better of the Kaminomi group, but I guess I was wrong. I can somewhat live with the ranking between 26 and 30. Riko at 26 was a nice touch. I did prefer her over Aria, but in a popularity contest, I knew it was not meant to be. Shiori seems to be hanging in there at 27. There is a high chance that she will not make it again after coming so close at the end of the third preliminaries. Not too surprised that Sen from Ben-to and Shouko of Bakatest are representing their groups. And Sakaya lands on 30th. The PMMM faction need to step up if they wish to see all five of the girls in. But having four is already more than enough, though there are some core Sayaka fans out there who may be either pleased or sad about her ranking.
Maybe I should be glad that the division system was introduced. If not, I would fear that Nova would pretty much swallow Stella expect for their main girls in arms. Louise and Nagi making first and second show just how loyal the Kugimiya Knights are at getting their voiced girls in. Tohsaka making third was actually a surprise. Does this mean that I can see her return to the Top 16 of the stella division? Maybe Fate/Zero actually helped her more that I thought it would, with that one episode focusing on her life. C.C. makes it to fourth, again another former Top 16 participant. Now, the Clannad ranking from 5-7 was actually a shocker. I could have sworn that the strength level should be Tomoyo=Kyou>Nagisa>Kotomi>Fuuko, but nominations show that Tomoya, Kyou, and Nagisa are pretty equal in terms of strength. Did something happen during the absence of the main ISML tournament to have it favored as such? While it is simply the nomination period, it is still quite jarring. I mean, I am very happy with it, but, at the same time, feeling as though something is not right. Holo at 8 is nice. Looks like she came back to her senses this year, however, it still night not say much. I am quite surprised that Kuroko would be second best of the Toaru series at 9th. I would have thought it would be either Index or Ruiko, but I guess I was proven wrong, for both are 13th and 14th respectively. Tsumugi at 10th is acceptable and seems to be as strong as she normally is. Konata being the top representative of Lucky Star is quite a surprise. I would have guessed it would be Kagami, considering that she had been in the Top 16 every single year as opposed to Konata. With Ezra at 12th, there may be a chance that ISML will finally have a Regular season Fairy Tail representative in it. Fate being the top representative of Lyrical Nanoha is no surprise, but for her to be ranked lower than the girls already stated is quite a shame. What strikes major fear on me the most is that Kagami of Lucky Star would be under some of the girls already stated. While it is still just nomination period, for Kagami and Fate for sink this low is just…I do not know what to say. I just hope this does not reflect what may happen come preliminaries. With Ritsu at 17th, there is high chance that the K-On! band will be together this year. Illyasviel at 18th and Nymph at 19th is reasonable. I guess everyone from 20-25 is okay. I did not expect Lucy to come out above some of the girls in this range. Ikaros at 21 is farely decent. Kotomi at 22 just goes to show her popularity is still dwindling. After a rather okay run last year, Last Order finds herself at 23. Most likely, it was the Toaru series that brought her there. Kagura at 24 was an interesting touch. For Mikuru to be at 25, is it the end for her, or does it mean that Haruhi, or Kyoto in that matter, is starting to go down in the slumps?
The girls I have already mentioned withing the ranks have a definite/likely chance of making it to Regular season. The remainder have little or close to no chance unless heavy campaigning for said characters is brought to effect. From Nova, I am really sad that Yune was 40th. How can someone so adorable not be at the Top 20? Then again, I guess it is because of the type of show that it is, which makes sense since it is not something that a majority of the world would pick up. A shame, too. Kirika from C3 at 46 was sad, but expected. The highest Mashiro-iro got was 47 from Miu. While she may get bragging rights for being the top, it is still sad that she and the rest of the girls may not do well come preliminary period. Rin from Usagi Drop at 50 made me cry. What is wrong with you people? She does not deserve to be in such a low position. Again, Usagi Drop is sadly not a show a lot of people would watch, so I guess it was expected. Astarotte at 54 was a surprise. I could have sworn she would do better than that, but I guess just having Kugimiya support is not enough. I did not expect Nichijou to so well, and Nano, being highest, at 59 proves so. I was already pissed off before that Himari was not a big contender, but for her to be at 61 is just sad. Ai from Amagami SS barely makes it, being the last girl to get off from the cut. I hope this changes as the new series progresses; however, I do not believe it will be enough. For Stella, overall, I am really glad to see many girls that I love and will most generally support for the entire preliminary period, even thought they are of the lowest of the low tier. Ui may make it if enough K-On! support goes with her. The same applies to Nanoha from her series. Fuuko, Rika, and Yami need much support if they wish to have a chance at it. It is nice to see Sakura, the mother of all Saimoe tournaments, here once again. I am really glad that Mizusu, Shiki, Rei, and Mai made it in. At the very least, I will support the low tier girls until the end, for they need much more support that the certainly obvious girls that are going to make it without my vote.