There's already a thread below in the Mai Otome/HiME section, but it is just too interesting to limit discussion of that tournament there.
As that thread was more focused towards the Mai Otome/HiME fandom, Catgirls and I have discussed and I have decided to start a new separate thread in this section aimed at greater exposure to the A-Suki community, and bring this interesting tournament for discussion here.
Q. What is the Anime Saimoe Tournament?
A. It's pretty much the anime equivalent of GameFAQs' annual Popular Video Character contests, where through daily online polls, the most "moe" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mo%C3%A9
) anime character.
Q. How is it held?
A. All (female) anime characters that appeared in anime series, OVA and animated movies airing and/or released in Japan between July 1st 2005 and June 30th 2006 can be nominated. (Even animals are included, it seems, as long as they're not males.
First there are two qualifying rounds.
The 1st qualifying round is held between July 5th and 13th, and has 18 groups. Of these 18 groups, the top 8 characters of each group would enter the tournament proper directly. (A total of 8 x 18 = 144 characters)
While those ranked 9th to 32nd of each group will enter the 2nd qualifying round. (A total of 24 x 18 = 432 characters)
The 2nd qualifying round would be held between July 26th (today according to Japan Standard Time) and July 31st. The 432 characters would be divided into 6 groups of 72. The top 24 of each group will qualify for the tournament proper. (A total of 24 x 6 = 144 characters)
In total, the tournament proper will have 288 characters = 144 (from 1st Qual. ) + 144 (from 2nd Qual. )
The tournament proper will commence on August 3rd all the way to the final on October 28th.
The 1st round proper (August 3rd - 10th, August 15th - 22nd, August 24th - 31st and September 2nd to 9th) will be divided into 4 pools of 16 groups, each group having 3 characters. With 3 groups being contested per match day. In total, there are 96 groups. (96 x 3 = 288 characters)
The 96 group winners will qualify for the 2nd round.
The 2nd round would be in the same format as the 1st round, where 1 character is chosen from a list of 3. In total, there are 32 groups. (Divided into 4 pools of 8 groups. 1 group contested per day. ) The 32 group winners will qualify for the 3rd round.
From the 3rd round onwards, two characters will face off with each other on simple knockout format until the winner is decided.
Users outside of Japan are welcome to vote, however, please remember YOU CAN ONLY VOTE ONCE PER SESSION. If the organizers even suspect some vote rigging, they can ban a whole range of foreign ISPs outside Japan. So please don't ruin it for the other fans. Voting time is between 0100 - 2300 Japan time. (http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/city.html?n=248
Since it's just very complicated, here's the all-image voting instructions so you can follow step-by-step:
For more info on how to vote, please refer to Arimfe's post below.