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International Saimoe League
International Saimoe League 2012 logo
Abbreviation ISML
Formation January 2008
Languages Primarily English, many others supported
Leader Crisu (2008-2015), Kholdy (2016-?)
Main Staff Executive Staff
Website ISML Main Page

The International Saimoe League, also known as ISML, is a worldwide online popularity moe contest.[1] It is one of the many spinoff contests of the Anime Saimoe Tournament held on 2channel, yet is held on its own independent site. ISML is tailored to embrace voters from as many backgrounds as possible, currently supporting five different languages; the primary language of the tournament is English.


The ISML operates nearly year-round. Whereas other moe competitions are single-elimination tournaments, the ISML operates similar to a professional sports league. The season is broken down into three phases; a Pre-season, a Regular season, and a Post-season. Characters that perform well in other tournaments or in the previous ISML Regular season may qualify directly into the qualification period. The best performers in those contests may qualify directly into the Regular season.

In the nomination period (typically early January), voters may nominate female anime characters whom they find to be moe. The characters with the most nominations, as well as characters exempted from the nomination process due to their performance in the previous season or in other moe tournaments, move on to the qualification round.

The qualification period typically begins in late January or early February, and runs to the beginning of March. The nominated characters are drawn into groups, with the winner of each group qualifying for the Regular season. The remaining girls who do not qualify are drawn into new groups, with winners of those groups advancing to the Regular season as well. If there are more Regular season spots remaining, the remaining characters will be put into a 'last chance' qualifier.

The heart of the league is the Regular season, which runs from late March through early-to-mid August. Fifty characters (sixty-four in 2008 and 2009) compete in a round-robin format. The Regular season is broken down into seven periods, with the top performer in each period receiving a 'necklace.' (While a source of pride for fans of the character that wins it, a necklace has no competitive value.) At season's end, the top 16 performers advance to the postseason, with the top four automatically qualifying directly into the next year's Regular season.

The league's championship, called the Tiara, is decided in the postseason. The ISML is unique in that its champion is determined in a double-elimination format, as opposed to the single-elimination format that most other contests use. The winner of the tournament is declared the champion, while the remainder of the results is used to determine the final standings for the season.


Character EligibilityEdit

The character must be female, must possess a female form, in which case only the instances when the character is female shall be considered, or must regularly exhibit feminine qualities when the character's gender is unknown or cannot be determined.The character must have a name or a universal means of identification. The character must appear in a product that is published and distributed in Japanese media and is not rated 18+ or classified as pornographic. The character must either appear in the production on a regular basis or have individual significance to the series’ storyline. Eligibility for the Preliminary Period (and subsequently the Regular Season and Postseason) additionally requires the character's appearance in a full-length animation published and distributed in Japanese media (television, theatre, Internet-exclusive videos, and video discs) on a commercial scale by a registered animation studio. Competitors are classified as Candidates upon advancement to the Preliminary Period. Candidates are classified as Contestants upon advancement to the Regular Season.

Voting policyEdit

Each voter is limited to one (1) vote per match per round. A voter may not vote on behalf of another person. A vote may be cast only during the specified time period for that particular match and round. Once cast, a vote may be edited by its owner only during this time period and subject to approval by the Staff. Violation of any of these procedures shall result in the voter's ballot rendered void and may also result in temporary or permanent restriction from voting or participating in future ISML-hosted events, enforced by the Staff.


In 2006, the popularity of Anime Saimoe Tournament and news of Best Moe Tournament spawned interest in English based Moe Tournament. The format of Elimination period for the Preliminary and Round-robin League Style for the Regular season was first proposed by Psieye on AnimeSuki forums. In 2007 following discussion about Super Moe Tournament results, the talk of English based Moe Tournament was reawakened and minhtam1638 started working on ISML as a reaction to this. After much discussion in the AnimeSuki Forum, the format of having Auto-qualifying entrants based on their records in Anime Saimoe Tournament and Best Moe Tournament was adopted along with free for all nomination phase to fill the number of 64 that was needed for the Tournament league play.

The main reason for the creation of ISML was spawned from the criticisms of two other tournaments, Anime Saimoe Tournament and Best Moe Tournament, for reasons that the single-elimination tournaments held in Japan and Korea were decided at random. To correct this problem, ISML uses a round-robin tournament, which ensure that all participants will face the rest exactly once. After the round-robin phase, the top 16 participants are seeded into double-elimination instead of randomly paired. Because each participant needs to be elimination twice, this process reduces random spikes in popularity that may cause a consistently strong character to fall.

Another goal for ISML is to have its polls open to voters across the world, where as Anime Saimoe Tournament attempts to block non-Japanese ISPs from voting. ISML is tailored to embrace voters from as many backgrounds as possible. From the first voting in ISML, which was the 2008 nominations, voters were encouraged to submit nomination in any language they were comfortable with. Volunteers promoted ISML in websites based in many different language. By the end of 2008 Regular Season, non-English speaking voters outnumbered English speakers. As of 2009, ISML is the largest moe tournament in the world. Its layout is user-friendly, requiring no registration and using image-assisted voting for recognition. While international voting is encouraged, ISML has a strict eligibility rule on its contestants. Only characters that are recurring or of significant importance are allowed; simply a cameo appearance does not receive consideration in ISML.


ISML 2008Edit

In ISML 2008, there were no Pre-season phase, but 64 eligible characters were admitted from Anime Saimoe Tournament and Korea Best Moe Tournament. Its Regular season phase consisted of a round-robin divided into 7 periods. Each period has 9 matches, and the winner of that period would be given a necklace. After 63 round-robin matches, the top 16 moves on to eh Post-season phase, which consisted of a double-elimination tournament. The winner of the Post-season is the winner of ISML 2008, which was Fate Testarossa.

Regular season Post-season
Period Winner
Aquamarine Shana
Topaz Setsuna Sakurazaki
Amethyst Kagami Hiiragi
Sapphire Kyou Fujibayashi
Emerald Kagami Hiiragi
Ruby Haruhi Suzumiya
Diamond Haruhi Suzumiya
Overall Fate Testarossa
Rank Character(s)
1st Fate Testarossa
2nd Yuki Nagato
3rd Kagami Hiiragi
4th Konata Izumi
5th-6th Shana, Kotomi Ichinose
7th-8th Tomoyo Sakagami, C.C.
9th-12th Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyou Fujibayashi, Hinagiku Katsura, Rika Furude
13th-16th Nanoha Takamachi, Suigintou, Mai Kawasumi, Tsukasa Hiiragi

ISML 2009Edit

ISML 2009 introduced a Pre-season phase, which consisted of nominations and preliminaries. Its Regular season remained a 64 contestants round-robin tournament. In addition to its usual double-elimination, the Post-season introduced a relegation tournament which serves as an eligibility phase for ISML 2010.

Regular season Post-season
Period Winner
Aquamarine Tomoyo Sakagami
Topaz Yuki Nagato
Amethyst Suigintou
Sapphire Shana
Emerald Suiseiseki
Ruby Hinagiku Katsura
Diamond Shinku
Overall Shana
Rank Character(s)
1st Hinagiku Katsura
2nd Shana
3rd Tomoyo Sakagami
4th Yuki Nagato
5th-6th Kyou Fujibayashi, Fate Testarossa
7th-8th Taiga Aisaka, Kagami Hiiragi
9th-12th Haruhi Suzumiya, Rin Tosaka, Mikuru Asahina, Suigintou
13th-16th Holo, Nanoha Takamachi, Suiseiseki, Shinku

ISML 2010Edit

A major change in ISML 2010 was its reduction of 64 to 50 characters in its Regular season. There are still 7 periods, but each period would only have 7 rounds with 25 matches per round. In addition, each of the 49 rounds would have an Exhibition Match, which features two characters who didn't make it to the main tournament.

Regular season Post-season
Period Winner
Aquamarine Mio Akiyama
Topaz Taiga Aisaka
Amethyst Yuki Nagato
Sapphire Shana
Emerald Shana
Ruby Mikoto Misaka
Diamond Shana
Overall Shana
Rank Character(s)
1st Mio Akiyama
2nd Mikoto Misaka
3rd Shana
4th Azusa Nakano
5th-6th Hinagiku Katsura, Taiga Aisaka
7th-8th Yuki Nagato, Haruhi Suzumiya
9th-12th Yui Hirasawa, Nagi Sanzenin, Tomoyo Sakagami, Saber
13th-16th Kyou Fujibayashi, Kagami Hiiragi, Hitagi Senjougahara, Nadeko Sengoku 22:20, November 6, 2012 (UTC)

ISML 2011Edit

ISML 2011 had some major changes such as: No more automatic entries to the Regular season but only to the Preliminary rounds. No character can win more than one necklace per tournament year. An 8th round was added to help decide the necklace winner which is the Necklace Showdown. There will be 7 contestants fighting in the necklace rounds which is composed of the top 7 performers for each period assuming none of them are current necklace holders. For the first time, Postseason will be of single-elimination (SE) rules.

Regular season Post-season
Period Winner
Aquamarine Mikoto Misaka
Topaz Kanade Tachibana
Amethyst Yuki Nagato
Sapphire Ruri Gokou
Emerald Taiga Aisaka
Ruby Shana
Diamond Eucliwood Hellscythe
Overall Mikoto Misaka
Rank Character(s)
1st Mikoto Misaka
2nd Shana
3rd Kanade Tachibana
4th Ruri Gokou
5th-6th Taiga Aisaka, Azusa Nakano
7th-8th Yuki Nagato, Hinagiku Katsura
9th-12th Mio Akiyama, Haruhi Suzumiya, Yui, Eucliwood Hellscythe
13th-16th Yuri Nakamura, Charlotte Dunois, Hitagi Senjougahara, Nadeko Sengoku

ISML 2012Edit

ISML 2012 had the introduction of two separate divisions, the Nova and the Stella Divisions. There are 2 divisions instead of one so that there will be a division for the newcomers and the incoming contestants. The other division will support the rest of the contestants in which most are veterans.

Preseason is still the same but the ones in the same division will have their own matches and the other will do the same. In the regular season, periods are reduced from 7 to 5 as there are only 36 contestants per division. Each period still has 7 rounds each. Necklace rounds would then be changed to have the top 3 performers of each period in both divisions battle out for the necklace. A seventh contestant which is the best performer out of the remaining contestants will join the 6 contestants to complete the match regardless of division. A necklace holder is not allowed into the necklace match.

The top 16 from each division will advance to the Postseason. There are 2 phases of the Postseason. Phase I will be of single elimination (SE) rules without consolation matches. The winner of Phase I will get the Sapphire circlet for Nova and Diamond Circlet for Stella. Those ranked 9th to 16th in their division are eliminated from contention for the heavenly tiara. The top 8 from each division will be ranked so that the matchup will be decided for Phase II of the Postseason. Phase II will feature crossover matches from Nova and Stella depending on their rank in Phase I. The format will be of single elimination (SE) rules with consolation brackets for the losing contestants. The winner will get the tiara and the rest will be ranked according to their Phase II performance.

Regular season Post-season
Period Winner
Aquamarine Kanade Tachibana
Topaz Mio Akiyama
Amethyst Ruri Gokou
Sapphire Kanade Tachibana
Emerald Eucliwood Hellscythe
Ruby Mikoto Misaka
Diamond Mikoto Misaka
Overall Kanade Tachibana
Rank Character(s)
1st Kanade Tachibana
2nd Eucliwood Hellscythe
3rd Ruri Gokou
4th Taiga Aisaka
5th-6th Mio Akiyama, Mikoto Misaka
7th-8th Azusa Nakano, Yuki Nagato
9th-12th Yui, Shana, Yuri Nakamura, Saber
13th-16th Haruhi Suzumiya, Kobato Hasegawa, Kirino Kousaka, Sena Kashiwazaki

ISML 2013Edit

Almost everything in ISML 2013 stayed the same as ISML 2012. The rules of Nova and Stella has changed with only the characters who have participated in 2 or more Regular Season and characters who have participated in Regular Season 4 years ago going into Stella while all the others are Nova characters.

The Preliminary of Stella are shorted with all 36 characters being decided at Phase 1.

Regular season Post-season
Period Winner
Aquamarine Kanade Tachibana
Topaz Mashiro Shiina
Amethyst Ruri Gokou
Sapphire Kanade Tachibana
Emerald Rikka Takanashi
Ruby Asuna Yuuki
Diamond Kanade Tachibana
Overall Ruri Gokou
Rank Character(s)
1st Ruri Gokou
2nd Kanade Tachibana
3rd Eucliwood Hellscythe
4th Mikoto Misaka
5th-6th Mashiro Shiina, Ayase Aragaki
7th-8th Asuna Yuuki, Azusa Nakano
9th-12th Rikka Takanashi, Kuroyukihime, Taiga Aisaka, Kobato Hasegawa
13th-16th Nanami Aoyama, Kirino Kousaka, Inori Yuzuriha, Sena Kashiwazaki

ISML 2014Edit

Almost everything in ISML 2014 stayed the same as ISML 2013. The calculation of the necklace score was changed to Schedule of Defeated Opponents (SDO) + 220 * Vote For Percentage (VF%) in the necklace match. Also the ranking system for Postseason Phase I has changed to: 1. Most no. of wins in Postseason Phase I 2. Most victories against contestants with the same no. of wins 3. Regular season ranking.

Regular season Post-season
Period Winner
Aquamarine Mikoto Misaka
Amethyst Kanade Tachibana
Ruby Kuroyukihime
Emerald Asuna Yuuki
Topaz Mashiro Shiina
Rank Character(s)
1st Kotori Itsuka
2nd Mashiro Shiina
3rd Kanade Tachibana
4th Ayase Aragaki
5th-6th Nanami Aoyama, Kuroyukihime
7th-8th Taiga Aisaka, Ruri Gokou
9th-12th Kurumi Tokisaki, Asuna Yuuki, Yoshino, Shana
13th-16th Mikoto Misaka, Eucliwood Hellscythe, Tsukiko Tsutsukakushi, Rikka Takanashi

ISML 2015 Edit

Almost everything in ISML 2015 stayed as same as ISML 2014, with the difference of adding the Male Division. The calculation changed into using voting percentage in Round + (Partial Score of All Opponents (PSAO)/ 3, and the voting percentage (VF) is 100 * (votes receives / sum of all voters in Arena), both Female Division (Nova and Stella) and Male Division.

Female Division 

Regular Season Post-Season
Period Winner
Aquamarine Yukino Yukinoshita
Amethyst Kosaki Onodera
Ruby Chiyo Sakura
Emerald Chitoge Kirisaki
Topaz Mashiro Shiina

. .

Rank Character(s)
1st Eru Chitanda
2nd Yukino Yukinoshita
3rd Mashiro Shiina
4th Chitoge Kirisaki


Chiyo Sakura, Asuna Yuuki


Nanami Aoyama, Yoshino


Kosaki Onodera, Yui Yuigahama,

Kurisu Makise, Saber



Shiro, Jibril, Eucliwood Hellscythe, Ayase Aragaki

Male Division

Regular Season Post-season
Period Winner
Aquamarine Hachiman Hikigaya
Amethyst Yuzuru Otonashi
Ruby Archer
Emerald Koyomi Araragi
Topaz Sora
Rank Character(s)
1st Accelerator
2nd Koyomi Araragi
3rd Archer
4th Sora


Hachiman Hikigaya,

Yuzuru Otonashi



Seiya Kanie,

Edward Elric



Izayoi Sakamaki, Kamijou Touma,

Gintoki Sakata, Kiritsugu Emiya



Keima Katsuragi, Ryuuji Takatsu,

Tomoya Okazaki, Gilgamesh

ISML 2016 Edit

ISML 2017 Edit

ISML 2018 Edit


  • There are only two (2) characters who won as Champion in both the International Saimoe League (ISML) and in the Best Moe Tournament in the female division: Hinagiku Katsura (ISML Champion 2009; Best Moe Champion 2007), and Mio Akiyama (ISML Champion 2010; Best Moe Champion 2010). Mio Akiyama won the ISML and the Best Moe Tournament on the same year of 2010.
  • No One character who won as Champion in both the ISML and in the Anime Saimoe Tournament.
  • The closest and the most fiercely fought championship in ISML happened on 2009 between Hinagiku Katsura and Shana. In the finals, Hinagiku defeated Shana by a slim margin of just eleven (11) votes (2117-2106) to become the Champion and be crowned with the tiara in 2009. In a past confrontation between the two in the 2007 Best Moe Tournament, Hinagiku defeated Shana in the finals by a razor-thin margin of just two (2) votes (2015-2013) to become the Champion in 2007.

See alsoEdit


  1. "Anime Saimoe Tournament" J-Zine FTV Magazine (February 2009), pp. 31-32.

External linksEdit

Saimoe Directory
Anime Saimoe Tournament


Best Moe Tournament
International Saimoe League
What is Saimoe?Saimoe ParticipantsSaimoe WinnersSaimoe Records