ISML 2022 Charter

The Annual Charter defines the values and limitations of and establishes a schedule for ISML. The Charter purposes to be the flexible aspect of ISML that complements the static Constitution. It aims to provide ISML with the ability to make the innovations necessary to remain entertaining each year.

  1. General Rules and Outline
    1. ISML 2022 will consist of: the Main Tournament (Section IV) and Exhibition Matches (Section XIII).
    2. ISML 2022 will be held across a total of Twenty-Five (25) match days (excluding Nomination Phase). The amount of match days each phase of the tournament will take will be specified on Section XIV. A match day will consist of a voting phase and result announcement.
      1. Voting phase will be held as scheduled (see Section XIV) and will run for Twenty-Four (24) hours. Staff may extend this time if system errors prevent votes from being submitted during this period. All extensions will be reported on the Website.
      2. Voting will be held on https://www.internationalsaimoe.com/voting
      3. Detailed Policies and Procedures of voting phase are explained in Section II.
      4. Results for each match day will be announced approximately Thirty-Six (36) hours after the end of each voting phase, unless decided otherwise.
    3. As constituted by Article I Section 4 of the ISML Constitution, ISML Commissioner and delegated Technical Staff will preside over ISML 2022 during the course of its duration, with authorities and duties as described on the ISML Constitution. These two parties will be referred as one term "ISML Staff" in this charter.
  2. Voting Policies and Procedures
    1. The IP addresses of voters will be logged in order to verify ballot authenticity and voter uniqueness.
    2. Voters are obliged to obey the Policies stated in Article IV of the ISML Constitution.
      1. Voters may not submit multiple ballots in the same round.
      2. Voters may not engage in bribery, blackmail, aggressive intimidation, or similar unethical activities.
      3. Voters may not engage in any other activities forbidden by the laws of their respective country or domicile. ISML, our Commissioner, and all of our Staff are not responsible for the actions of our users.
    3. ISML Staff reserve the right to decide whether a violation of the procedures has or has not happened.
    4. ISML Staff reserve the right to exercise punishments to Parties that are deemed to have violated procedures as constituted on Article IV of the ISML Constitution.
    5. Voters may change their vote (if cast in error) by contacting the Staff by email at [email protected] Vote change requests must include the IP address from which the vote was cast and/or the vote id given at the confirmation page when a ballot has been submitted (page after vote is sent), the original incorrect vote, and the requested new vote.
    6. Voters may abstain from any match in a given round, but a ballot must have a minimum number of votes to be considered valid. This value differs depending on the round and will be specified on each voting ballot.
  3. General Rules of Eligibility and Qualification
    1. Character eligibility will be checked according to Article III of the ISML Constitution. Full-length animations referred to in Article III Section 3 of the ISML Constitution are animated series airing more than 20 consecutive minutes or accumulating at least 40 minutes of screen time.
    2. Consideration of female gender (for entry into Female Division or any other Female-based tournaments) includes: the character is female, possesses 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.
    3. Consideration of male gender uses the same qualification as Section III.B, except with regards to male and masculine characters.
    4. A character who qualifies as both male and female may enter one division only. The staff will consider the following points in their decision:
      1. The amount of screen time the character gets as each gender.
      2. The character's personal identity.
    5. In case a character’s gender is hard to determine or not fitting neither female nor male, the default choice of division will be female.
    6. ISML Staff reserve the right to deem any avatar-type character ineligible for the Main Tournament.
      1. We define "avatar" as any entity, virtual or otherwise, that is controlled by a distant conscience.
      2. An avatar may be eligible in the following cases:
        1. His/her status as an avatar has not been revealed in the anime adaptation.
        2. The character only appears as an avatar; i.e., the controlling conscience is never revealed or does not have a corporeal form.
        3. The avatar gains, or regains, his/her own individual conscience.
    7. Qualification for the Main Tournament will take precedence over all other tournaments.
  4. Main Tournament
    1. The Main Tournament will consist of Preliminary Period, Two (2) Group Stages, and Postseason Elimination Stage.
    2. The Main Tournament will follow the schedule as explained on this website unless decided otherwise (see Section XIV).
    3. The Main Tournament will be divided into Three (3) Divisions: the Female Stella Division, the Male Stella Division, and the Nova Division.
    4. Characters participating in any Division are known as Contestants.
  5. Nova Division
    1. The Nova Division will consist of Four (4) Splits: the Winter Split, the Spring Split, the Summer Split, and the Autumn Split.
    2. Autumn Split will have a separate nomination period.
      1. During the Nomination Phase (Section VIII.B), Characters will first be considered for the Stella Division, even if the intent was to nominate them for the Nova Division. Only if they fail to advance to the Stella Division Group Stage will they be considered for the Nova Division.
      2. During the Nomination Phase (Section VIII.B), Characters who are eligible for the Winter Split will first be considered for the Winter Split, even if the intent was to nominate them for the Spring or Summer Split. Only if they fail to advance to the Nova Division Winter Split will they be considered for the Spring or Summer Split. Likewise, Spring Split will be considered before Summer Split.
    3. Characters must appear in an anime series, excluding trailers and music videos, during the following duration to be eligible for the corresponding Split:
      1. The Winter Split: from 1 January to 31 March.
      2. The Spring Split: from 1 April to 30 June.
      3. The Summer Split: from 1 July to 30 September.
      4. The Autumn Split: from 1 October to 20 December.
    4. Characters must satisfy the additional restrictions to be eligible:
      1. Character cannot be in any active match of the Main Tournament during the respective nomination period.
      2. Character is not currently scheduled to appear in any match of the Main Tournament after the respective nomination period.
    5. At the end of the Nova Division, the winner of the Nova Division will be awarded the Divine Circlet and be declared as Champions of Nova Division for ISML 2022.
  6. Stella Division
    1. The format and schedule of Stella Division are identical for both Female Stella Division and Male Stella Division.
    2. To be eligible for the Stella Division, a character must have first appeared before 05 October 2022. Any character data occurred after said date are not eligible for the Stella Division.
    3. Across the duration of the Stella Division, Three (3) Gem Necklace/Pendant will be distributed to the Contestant who was deemed to have performed the best on the Preliminary and Group Stages. Another Gem Necklace/Pendant will be distributed to the Contestant who was deemed to have performed the best during early and middle part of the Elimination Stage.
      1. The potential names of the gems are: Aquamarine, Topaz, Amethyst, Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby, and Diamond.
      2. The mechanism that will be used to distribute the Gem Necklace/Pendant will be ruled on Section XI.
    4. At the end of the Stella Division, the winner of the Female Stella Division will be awarded the Heavenly Tiara and the winner of the Male Stella Division will be awarded the Champion's Scepter, and both will be declared as Champions of Stella Division for ISML 2022.
  7. Automatic Qualification
    1. No characters are permitted to advance directly to the Group Stages.
    2. Characters satisfy any of the following conditions are permitted automatic entry into the Preliminary Period:
      1. Contestants won a Necklace or Pendant in ISML 2021.
      2. Contestants were awarded a Seasonal Diadem in ISML 2021.
      3. Contestant won the Tournament of the Champions in ISML 2021.
  8. Nomination Phase
    1. The Nomination Phase lasts Seven (7) days (see Section XIV).
    2. The Winter Split, Spring Split, and Summer Split of the Nova Division, and the Stella Division share a single character nomination form.
      1. Voters may nominate up to Thirty-Two (32) characters each.
      2. At least Eight (8) eligible anime franchises must be represented on the ballot.
      3. At least Two (2) female and Two (2) male characters must be included on the ballot.
      4. At most Four (4) characters from any given series or franchise may be nominated on the ballot.
      5. No character may be nominated more than once on the ballot.
      6. All nominations have equal weight. There is no ranking of nominations in each ballot.
    3. The Autumn Split of the Nova Division has a separate character nomination form.
      1. Voters may nominate up to Twelve (12) characters each.
      2. At least Three (3) eligible anime franchises must be represented on the ballot.
      3. At most Three (3) characters from any given series or franchise may be nominated on the ballot.
      4. No character may be nominated more than once on the ballot.
      5. All nominations have equal weight. There is no ranking of nominations in each ballot.
    4. Invalid nominations on a ballot will be discarded individually and will not void the ballot unless any discard results in that ballot being in violation of Section VIII.B or VIII.C, in which case that ballot will be voided.
    5. At the end of the Nomination Period, the characters with the most nominations for each Division will advance into the Main Tournament until the allotted slots are filled. However, for the Nova Division, the following additional factors shall be considered.
      1. No series will be allowed more than Three (3) characters in a Split.
      2. Characters with more nominations have an increased chance of qualifying.
      3. Characters who have less nominations than a different character from the same series have a decreased chance of qualifying.
    6. The number of allotted slots for each Split of the Nova Division is Thirty (30). If, however, two or more characters have the same number of nominations, the number of allotted slots for each division is not subject to the Thirty (30) limit. The following sequence of tiebreakers will be used to break ties in favor of the character(s) who fits the stated description:
      1. Character making his debut in the respective season.
      2. The series having less Contestants in the respective split.
      3. Selection by Staff.
    7. The number of allotted slots for both Female Stella Division and Male Stella Division is Ninety-Six (96) minus the number of automatic entries permitted in Section VII.B. If, however, two or more characters have the same number of nominations, the number of allotted slots for each division is not subject to the Ninety-Six (96) limit.
  9. Preliminary Period
    1. Nova Division
      1. Contestants of each Split will collectively be subjected to an Approval Voting match. The top Eighteen (18) Contestants will advance to the Group Stage, while the rest will be eliminated.
      2. In case of a tie, the nomination rank will be used to break the tie.
    2. Stella Division
      1. Contestants are tentatively seeded based on the results from the Nomination Phase.
      2. The following sequence will be used to determine the rankings, the highest available rank is given to the Contestant who fits the stated description, applying each subsequent condition only among tied Contestants:
        1. Automatically qualified characters (Section VII.B).
        2. Greater number of nominations.
        3. Characters participated in the Tournament of the Champions in ISML 2021. The higher final rank.
        4. Characters participated in any of the Postseason Elimination Stage matches in ISML 2021. The higher final rank.
        5. Contestants won any Necklace or Pendant in ISML 2021.
        6. Contestants been awarded a Seasonal Diadem in ISML 2021. The better overall performance.
        7. Greater number of nominations.
        8. Selection by Staff.
      3. The Preliminary Period consists of Two (2) voting rounds, defined below.
        1. As to Round 1, the Contestants will be split into Two (2) balanced groups based on the nomination rank (Section IX.B.2). The Contestants will collectively be subjected to an Approval Voting match.
        2. As to Round 2, the Contestants will be split into Eight (8) re-balanced groups based on the Round 1 result (the nomination rank will be used to break the tie). The Contestants will collectively be subjected to a Limited Voting match. Voters may select up to Four (4) Contestants per group.
      4. The Contestants will be seeded based on the result of the Preliminary Period. The following sequence will be used to determine the rankings, the highest available rank is given to the Contestant who fits the stated description, applying each subsequent condition only among tied Contestants.
        1. Less Average Rank Points (ARP) of the Preliminary Period. ( ARP = ( Average Deserved Rank of Round 1 ) + 4 * ( Average Deserved Rank of Round 2 ) )
        2. Greater number of nominations.
        3. Greater Vote Points (CVP) value of the preliminary period match.
      5. At the end of Preliminary Period, after all tiebreakers have been applied, the top Seventy-Two (72) Contestants will advance to the Group Stages, while the rest will be eliminated.
  10. Group Stage
    1. General Rules
      1. Each stage consists of Five (5) matches for all Contestants.
        1. Each Contestant will have exactly One (1) opponent per match.
        2. Each match will be done on a single, specific match day. Technical rules of each match day follow Section I, while the schedule of each match day follows Section XIV.
      2. At the end of each match, the Contestant who received the greater number of valid votes in his/her match will be declared the winner of that match; the opposing Contestant will be declared the loser. If opposing Contestants have an equal number of valid votes, their match will be declared a draw: both Contestants will record a tie in their statistics, and no overtime match will occur.
      3. A ranking system for each Group will be utilized to record the Contestants' results. The following iterative process will be used to update the rankings within a Group: the highest available rank is given to the Contestant who satisfies the following conditions, applying each subsequent condition only among tied Contestants.
        1. Greater number of cumulative wins and draws, in which a draw will be counted as half (1/2) the value of a win.
        2. Greater Cumulative Vote Point Difference (CVPD) value.
        3. Greater Cumulative Vote Point (CVP) value.
        4. Selected by Staff.
      4. Other statistics may be posted and kept for study and analysis.
    2. Nova Division
      1. Contestants of each Split will be split into Three (3) groups of Six (6). Contestants in the same Group will compete with each other in a round-robin format.
      2. At the end of each Split, after all tiebreakers have been applied, the top Two (2) Contestants in each Group will advance to the Split final.
      3. The winning Contestants of the Split final, as decided by a Range Voting Match, are awarded the corresponding Seasonal Diadem. The top Two (2) Contestants will also enter the Divine Circlet Match.
    3. Stella Division
      1. On each Stage, Contestants will be split into Groups. Contestants in the same Group will compete with each other in a round-robin format.
        1. The First Group Stage will consist of Twelve (12) groups of Six (6) Contestants.
        2. The Second Group Stage will consist of Seven (7) groups of Six (6) Contestants.
      2. At the end of each Group Stages, after all tiebreakers have been applied, Contestants who have performed well will advance to the next stage.
        1. After the First Group Stage, the top Three (3) Contestants in each group will advance. The 4th and 5th ranked Contestants will collectively be subjected to an Approval Voting match. The top Six (6) Contestants will advance, while the rest will be eliminated. This additional match is known as a Wild Card Match and will occur alongside the Necklace and Pendant Matches (see Section XI).
        2. After the Second Group Stage, the winner of each group, and top Two (2) Contestants among the 2nd ranked Contestants will advance to the Elimination Stage as top Nine (9) seeds. The rest of the 2nd ranked Contestants plus all of the 3rd ranked Contestants will collectively be subjected to a Range Voting match. The top Six (7) Contestants will advance, while the rest will be eliminated.
      3. After each Stage, all advanced Contestants will be re-seeded according to their results in prior Stages before being allocated to their respective Groups.
  11. Necklace and Pendant Showdown
    1. At the end of Preliminary period, Group Stages, middle of Elimination Stage, and at the end of Elimination Stage, there will be a Necklace Showdown for the Female Division to determine the winner of the Necklace for that Period. The Male Division will have a similar Pendant Showdown.
    2. Only one Necklace and one Pendant will be awarded per Necklace/Pendant match.
    3. A total of Eight (8) Contestants from each Division will participate in a Necklace/Pendant Showdown based on their performance during the relevant Period except for the final three Necklaces/Pendants. For each slot, the slot will be filled by the eligible Contestant who satisfies the following conditions, applying each subsequent condition only among tied Contestants.
      1. For the Necklace/Pendant match at the end of the Preliminary Period, each winner of groups in Preliminary Round 2 will be selected.
      2. For the Two (2) Necklace matches after Group Stages, following conditions will be used.
        1. Highest ranking (Section X.A.3).
        2. Greater number of Period cumulative wins and draws, in which a draw will be counted as Half (1/2) the value of a win.
        3. Greater Period's Cumulative Vote Point Difference (PCVPD) value.
        4. Greater Period's Cumulative Vote Points (PCVP) value.
        5. Selected by Staff.
      3. For the Necklace match after Elimination Stage Winners’ Bracket semifinals have concluded, the Two (2) Winners’ Bracket finalists and Six (6) remaining characters in the Losers’ Bracket will be selected.
      4. Elimination Stage Round 5 to 7 will also host the following Three (3) pairs of qualifying matches to decide the Contestants for the last Three (3) Necklaces and last Three (3) Pendants. The Contestants will be selected by the order of the following conditions. Once selected, Contestants cannot be eligible for later qualifying matches. All matches will be held in Approval Voting format. Top Eight (8) Contestants will be selected for the corresponding Necklace/Pendant matches on the Farewell Match Day. Top Sixteen (16) Contestants in cumulative wins for 2022 ISML season without winning a Necklace/Pendant in 2022 season. Ranking system in X.A.3 will be used as a tie-breaker if needed.
        1. Top Sixteen (16) Contestants in cumulative wins all time without ever winning a Necklace/Pendant before. 2022 season ranking will be used as tie-breaker if needed.
        2. Top Sixteen (16) Contestants, determined by the ISML Staff, among previous Exhibition events finalists. Past Nova Diadem finals will be counted as exhibition event finals for this Necklace qualifying match.
    4. The voting round will last Twenty-Four (24) hours.
      1. Voters will rank the Contestants in each of the Showdown matches.
      2. Nova Division Matches and Exhibition Matches may be scheduled alongside the Necklace and Pendant Showdowns.
    5. At the end of the Round, the winning Contestants, as decided by an Instant-Runoff Voting system, are awarded the Necklace and Pendant.
      1. Ties are resolved in favor of the Contestant who was ranked highest on the most ballots. A continued tie will be broken using the number of second-highest ranks, and so on.
      2. If the tie still persists after that, the same procedure as the one used in the Main Tournament will be used to break it (see Section X.A.3).
    6. The gemstone for the Necklace and Pendant will be chosen for the winning Contestants after the winning Contestant is made known. The priorities for gemstone choice are listed below.
      1. For the Necklace, a gemstone that has not been already awarded for 2022 Necklaces. For the Pendant, a gemstone that has not been already awarded for 2022 Pendants.
      2. Gemstone the character has not won in the past.
      3. Gemstone that best fits the character. Public poll may be taken to determine the best fitting gemstone among the available gemstones for the winning Contestant.
  12. Elimination Stage
    1. Nova Division
      1. Four (4) Diadem winners and Four (4) runner-ups from each Split’s final will be placed into an Eight (8) Contestants Instant-Runoff Voting match.
      2. Instant-Runoff Voting match rule will be the same as Necklace/Pendant match rule (see Section XI.E).
    2. Stella Division
      1. Sixteen (16) Contestants from each Division are seeded according to their performances in Group Stage.
      2. The Preliminary Round will feature the following matches based on seed: 1st vs 16th, 8th vs 9th, 4th vs 13th, 5th vs 12th, 2nd vs 15th, 7th vs 10th, 3rd vs 14th, and 6th vs 11th.
      3. The Elimination Stage will be run in Double-Elimination like style. Winners of the preliminary round will be placed into the Winners' Bracket. The losers of the preliminary round will be placed into Losers’ Bracket.
      4. If opposing Contestants have the same number of votes at the end of an Elimination Round, the Contestant who had won their previous head-to-head match during the Group Stages will be declared the winner. If that match was also a draw, or did not occur, the higher-seeded Contestant according to the initial Elimination Stage seeding will be declared the winner.
      5. The losers in the Winners’ Bracket will be placed in the Losers’ Bracket where they have to undergo a series of 1-vs-1 matches for survival. Losers in the Losers’ Bracket matches will be placed into Consolation matches to determine their final ranking.
      6. If needed and possible, the seeds in the Winners’ and Losers’ Bracket may be adjusted to minimize rematch from Group Stage, and also Preliminary Stage if possible. Amount of seed adjustment will be less than or equal to Four (4) relative ranks in order to not allow too great a seed adjustment. Seed adjustment decision making process will be revealed to the public and may be adjusted after receiving public input.
      7. When Winners’ Bracket champion has been determined, the Three (3) remaining Contestants of the Losers’ Bracket and the runner-up from the Winners’ Bracket will undergo 1-vs-1 matches to determine the final Two (2) Contestants to challenge Winners’ Bracket champion. The runner-up from the Winners’ Bracket will be matched against the lowest seed Contestant, unless rematch minimization demands a different opponent.
      8. The Two (2) remaining Contestants from the above 1-vs-1 match will enter a Three (3) Contestant Instant-Runoff Voting match with the Winner’s Bracket champion being the 3rd Contestant. If the winner of this Instant-Runoff Voting match is the Winner’s Bracket champion, she/he will be declared as the final Tiara/Scepter Champion. If the winner is not the Winner’s Bracket champion, the winner of this match and the Winner’s Bracket champion will be placed into the final Tiara/Scepter deciding match. The final Tiara/Scepter deciding match will be held in Range Voting format.
  13. Exhibition Matches
    1. Exhibition Matches are official ISML-hosted events designed to raise awareness of anime series that are not represented and Japanese media characters who are not participating in the Main Tournament. The matches may focus on anime series airing after the Nomination Phase had begun or on other outlets possibly previously unknown to members of the Community.
    2. Exhibition Matches have no effect on the Main Tournament, unless an exception for a specific match is announced at least one week before the start of that match.
    3. Exhibition Matches may be scheduled during the Group Stages, the Necklace and Pendant Showdowns, the Elimination Stage, and the Farewell Match Day.
  14. Schedule
    1. All dates in this section will be published on the Website for easy access by the Community.
    2. All dates are subject to change. ISML may change the schedule without updating this section of the document; however, any and all changes must be published on the Website as early as possible.
    3. Nomination Phase
      1. The Nomination of the Winter, Spring, and Summer Split of the Nova Division, and the Stella Division is scheduled from 28 September to 5 October.
      2. The Nomination of the Autumn Split of the Nova Division is scheduled from 13 December to 20 December.
      3. Nomination Phase will be extended if system errors prevent nomination submissions for more than Twenty-Four (24) cumulative hours.
      4. Result of Nominations for the Stella Division will be announced approximately in Fourteen (14) days after the end of the Nomination phase.
      5. Results of the Nomination for the Winter, Spring, and Summer Nova Splits will be announced after the Preliminary Period of Stella Division.
      6. The results of the Fall Nova Split will be announced approximately one week after the end of the corresponding Nomination Phase.
    4. The Main Tournament is scheduled from 26 October 2022 to 1 February 2023.
      1. All matches in this period are scheduled to start at 1000 GMT on the dates reported on the ISML Calendar.
      2. Nova Division
        1. The Winter, Spring, and Summer Split will take place from 12 November 2022 to 3 January 2023.
        2. The Autumn Split will take place from 3 January 2023 to 28 January 2023.
        3. The Divine Circlet match will take place on 1 February 2023.
      3. Stella Division
        1. The Preliminary Period will take place from 26 October to 12 November.
        2. The First Group Stage will take place from 17 November to 8 December.
        3. The Second Group Stage will take place from 13 December 2022 to 3 January 2023.
        4. Elimination Stage will take place from 8 January to 1 February.
      4. Farewell Match Day will take place on 18 February.
  15. Legal
    1. The information presented on the website, including but not limited to biography information, statistical history, and copyright information, is not guaranteed to be completely accurate. ISML, including its staff and owners, cannot be held legally liable for any harm caused by the use or misuse of information contained within the pages located on the internationalsaimoe.com domain.
    2. The names of all characters and Japanese productions featured on the Website do not in any way belong to ISML. All copyrights and intellectual property belong to their respective owners. Images are used for identification purposes only.
    3. During vote-checking, Staff shall not show any favoritism to any Contestant during the validation process.
    4. Once the results are released, the results cannot be changed unless staff find major errors. People are allowed to appeal the results to bring into attention any serious errors. Staff may not give unnecessary information in replies to any appeals, except informing them whether their complaint has been accepted.
    5. While the Staff will attempt to enforce the Voter Policies as strictly as possible, situations may occur where not all votes in violation of the Policies will be detected or where voters banned for Policy violations discover alternate methods to submit votes. The Staff will work to the best of their ability to minimize the occurrence of these situations.
    6. All scheduled dates and times are subject to change without prior notice. However once changed, the Community will be notified on the Website.
    7. Each year, ISML and the Staff attempt to present a fair system of matches. The Staff will ensure their best, honest, and virtuous effort to arrange a respectively even schedule for all Contestants without bias or favoritism or discrimination.
    8. The Staff is authorized to delay the start of the voting session should any problems arise due to technical issues or other areas of concern. In such cases, the Staff are allowed to delay the end of the voting session and the release of results.
    9. In the event of any discrepancy between the English version and the translated version, the English version hereof shall prevail.
  16. Amendments
    1. Once approved and published, the contents of this document shall not be altered. It may only be amended, in which amendments may update or supersede the statements in this document.
    2. Amendments may be suggested by any member of the Community and are subject to approval by the Staff and Commissioner at any time during the course of the tournament.
    3. Approved Amendments must be reported on the Website.