With a narrow loss to Shana in Aquamarine 7, the previous necklace holder Akiyama Mio was at a severe SDO disadvantage compared to the board leader of the season, Misaka Mikoto. However, the new necklace round rule of the year gave those who had worse SDO due to bad scheduling a fighting chance at obtaining the necklace still, but the focus was instead on newcomer Tachibana Kanade, who faced an even larger SDO disadvantage to Mikoto, but had smashed thorugh all her opponents so far with terrifying force. Mikoto would hold steadfast, however, and obtained enough votes to defend her SDO advantage, snatching the Aquamarine necklace as well as delivering the first blow of disappointment to Kanade in 2011.
With a loss to Nakano Azusa and barely enough SDO to qualify for the match, Aisaka Taiga, the previous Topaz necklace holder, was all but out of the competition for necklace - as it was with everyone else, in a sense, with Tachibana Kanade both holding a historically high SDO of 102 (giving her a massive advanage over the rest of the competitors) and the same terrifying force she had throughout the year. The result of the necklace match was completely one-sided in every sense, giving Kanade her first necklace in ISML, to no one's surprise.
Nagato Yuki, the previous Amethyst necklace holder, fought hard this round to have a fighting chance at defending it, and she was able to score all seven wins for her efforts. However, in the necklace round she faced Eucliwood Hellscythe who, despite having lost once, ended up with a higher SDO than Nagato in the end. Still, Yuki persevered and secured just enough advantage to offset her lower SDO and became the second girl in ISML history to have successfully defended a necklace over two years.
The previous Sapphire necklace winner, Shana, had not had much of a chance to obtain any necklaces in previous seasons, but in Sapphire she had much stronger opponents and would went on to lead the SDO scoreboard, only to lose to Nakano Azusa at the last round. The end result was a roughly equal fighting ground for four competitors - Azusa, who had the rare chance of having the highest SDO of the season; Gokou Ruri, who defeated Azusa's senpai previously to tie her in SDO and looking to obtain her first necklace of the year; Katsura Hinagiku, who only has a slightly small SDO disadvantage compared to the previous two characters, and Shana herself, who still has enough SDO to put up a fight. The ensuing climatic battle attracted the highest VF total of the year, and at the end, it was Ruri who managed to overcome Azusa in votes, as well as having narrowed her gap to Shana enough to defend her SDO advantage, and obtained her first necklace in ISML.
Once again, it's Shana who's looking to defend a previously obtained necklace. And once again, she ended up losing the ever important seventh match of the season to Misaka Mikoto, putting herself all but out of running for the necklace. The two girls of K-on, Nakano Azusa and Akiyama Mio, had not successfully secured even a single necklace between them so far and were desperate to do so. However, Mio ended up losing to Aisaka Taiga by a mere VD of 2 in Emerald 6, which more or less puts her out of running. Unrelenting, she ended up defeating her kouhai Azusa in Emerald 7 in a surprise display of power. It still failed to put her in any position to run for the necklace, but it did successfully drag Azusa out of the running as well. With backing from Shana voters and no opposition left at comparable SDO, Taiga easily snatches the Emerald Necklace.
Misaka Mikoto, the previous Ruby necklace holder, cannot defend her necklace due to the new one year per necklace rule. Although it was not Shana's turn again to defend a necklace for a change, the Ruby necklace is still her most coveted necklace due to the theme of her power. Unfortunately, she would yet again lose an important match, this time against Nagato Yuki, with a VD of 3, leaving Akiyama Mio and Katsura Hinagiku free to pursue the position of having a comfortable SDO advantage above the rest. Mio had never been able to win against Hinagiku personally in ISML, and she failed to do so this year as well. Hinagiku ended the period with a decently large SDO advantage on all her competitors - but Shana managed a spectacular turnaround in the necklace round, managing nearly 30% higher votes than Hinagiku, successfully overcoming her SDO disadvantage and obtaining the Ruby Necklace she yearned for four years.
As Shana leaves the necklace field with a fiery Ruby Necklace in possession, she would leave behind the chance to compete for the last necklace of the year, and the last ray of hope for many characters. Nakano Azusa and Akiyama Mio led the scoreboard amongst the necklace-less characters, but with a comically low 48 SDO each, as well as the inclusion of their senpai/classmate Hirasawa Yui in the match with the same low 48 SDO draining their votes, they stood no chance at fighting for the necklace. Suzumiya Haruhi, who held the necklace during 2008 but then having not obained another one since, was at the highest SDO at the end of the round. Her victory almost looked certain, as she had won in the 1v1 matches against both her nearest competitors, Eucliwood Hellscythe and Nakamura Yuri, but Eucliwood managed an almost as spectacular turnaround as Shana did in Ruby, and overtook Haruhi with overwhelming advantage in votes, obtaining her first necklace in ISML.
On matters unrelated to necklace, at the end of Diamond 6, both Tachibana Kanade and Misaka Mikoto had accured 48 wins out of 48 matches so far, and they were schedule to face each other next, creating the most climatic final regular season battle in ISML history so far. At the end of the day, Kanade managed to overwhelm Mikoto with a VD of 177 - an extremely low value compared to her consistent 1000+ VD she managed on near everyone else - and became the first character in ISML history to obtain a perfect win record in regular season.
With a format change from Double Elimination to Single Elimination, the post-season matches are far quicker paced than ever, with no room for error. There was no upsets in the first round, with all the top 8 defeating the other 8. In the second round, however, Nagato Yuki, who was placed third in overall rankings, lost to Gokou Ruri who was placed 6th, with a non-trivial VD of 492. The bigger surprise had yet to come, however, as Tachibana Kanade, the undefeated champaion of the regular season, lost to Shana with more than 1000 VD. Shana would go on to face Misaka Mikoto in the finals. It was the second time for both of them to be running in the semi-finals, and after a long and hard battle, Mikoto prevailed and became the new ISML tiara holder.
|Major Saimoe Contests|
|ISML ★||2008 · 2009 · 2010 · 2011 · 2012 · 2013 · 2014 · 2015 · 2016 · 2017 · 2018 · 2019 · 2020|
|r/anime Best Girl ★||BG1: (2014) · BG2: (2015) · BG3: (2016) · BG4: (2017) · BG5: (2018) · BG6: (2019) · BG7: (2020)|
|r/anime Best Guy ★||BGuy1: (2015) · BGuy2: (2016) · BGuy3: (2017) · BGuy4: (2018) · BGuy5: (2019) · BGuy6: (2020) · BGuy7: (2021)|
|r/anime Best Chr. ☆ ‡||BCh1: (2015) · BCh2: (2016) · BCh3: (2017) · BCh4: (2018) · BCh5: (???)|
|Bilibili Moe ★ ‡||2015 (Japan) · 2016 (Japan // China) · 2017 (Japan // China) · 2018 (Japan // China)|
|AST ☆ †||2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010 · 2011 · 2012 · 2013 · 2014|
|KBM ☆ †||2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010 · 2011 · 2012|
|Information||What is "Saimoe" ? · Roster · List of champions · Records|
|Legend: † Defunct, ‡ Hiatus / Unknown fate|