I’m sure a lot of you know how, but since Saimoe remains one of the most convoluted means of voting for your favorite anime character, it bears repeating. Only because someone needs to vote down those stupid StrikerS-only characters.
Joking aside, this guide is brought to you by the Animesuki forums–that’s where I learned it, and I may be stealing their screens!
Voting in Saimoe 2007
Serving Size: 1 per day
Prepare time: up to 2 hours
Cooking time: 5-20 minutes
With your favorite web browser, find a nice and happy internet connection that is going to be available to you sometime 2 hours or more later in the same day, Japan time. Because Saimoe takes place on 2ch, it goes by Japan time, which is UTC +9. That’s about 13 hours ahead of my time zone, US Eastern, so that means when it’s 10am at my place, it’s 11pm of the same day on 2ch. If for some reason my internet connection is going to disappear at 10am, I probably wouldn’t be able to use it to vote on Saimoe that day if it’s already 8am. Timing is important.
The ability to display Japanese on your browser is also important, so you can properly cut and paste off a Japanese website. If you haven’t already, you will need to install the proper language pack. For Windows XP and 2K users it’s just the East Asian language pack (which is on your windows installation CD, and also online somewhere I’m sure). Your default web browser probably have some kind of encoding setting, which allows you to specify the language of a website you’re viewing.
The website you should bookmark is the Saimoe 2007 home page, which is http://animemoe2007.hp.infoseek.co.jp/. The website contains most of the links you’ll need. It would be all of the links you need if 2ch isn’t run by a bunch of xenophobic lazy hackers. But for now, if you have your web browser and internet connection ready, load up the home page. It should look like this:
Make sure it’s showing the Japanese text in the plain text section properly. If not, go to your encoding/language setting of your browser and set it to Japanese/Shift_JIS.
Now, the first thing we need to do is generate your vote code. Your vote code is a code that looks like [[blahblahblahnumbersandletters]]. It identifies you by your unique internet address (IP) and that’s how the Saimoe organizers count duplicate votes. Your vote must have a valid vote code to count. Also, your vote code has nothing to do with your IP when you actually post on 2ch with your vote information.
To generate your unique vote code, on the Saimoe home page scroll down to the English site link, click on that, then click again on the “vote code issue site” link. [As an aside, if you scroll all the way down you can see a full calendar of when to come to vote, and when to take a break–Saimoe is not on everyday.] At that point you’ll get to a page that looks like this:
Then, hit that little link lurking on the top of the page (I circled it in the screen cap). It should give you something like this:
If everything has gone well, at the bottom of that page you will notice a time (24-hr format) that says ##(Japanese for hour) ## (Japanese for minute). That’s when you need to come back to this page, in Japan time. Note that there’s some other ##:##’s listed on that page–they basically tell you that the code generation page only works between 23:31 the day before and 23:03 of that day; 23:04-23:30 of that day the system counts and no code is given out, the current time is ##:## and it’s for the contest on date <bold> (for the 24th on that screen cap). So it’s simple–basically you can hit refresh on that page and when the current time matches the time on the bottom, it’ll give you your code. You can actually close that page too, and just come back when the time’s up.
If you get some kind of error on the bottom…well, first make sure you aren’t doing this at the wrong time of the day (which is between something like 22:53 Japanese time to 23:31 Japanese time). If it’s not that, then odds are you’ll just have to find a different IP to get your vote code, as some IPs are actually banned, across entire domains. Also, make sure you aren’t exploited as an open proxy (as in, make sure your system is patched, on every computer sharing your internet connection, that there’s no trojans running or something like that).
Last step in the prep process is to figure out who you want to vote. There are some images in places that you can pull up periodically to see, in English, who’s who and what’s what. It takes a little bit of Japanese deciphering skills, but if you can find an English listing with brackets with the appropriate dates, then you’re probably good. Once you figured out who’s being voted on for that date, and who you want to vote for, just find their names in the proper 2ch-approved format from the Japanese side of the Saimoe HP (Open a new window/tab, open up the bookmarked page–it’s the first link from the top from the main page). You’ll see a page with 4 links–hit the first link on the top left, and every day it will show you who is being voted for. Pick them out. At this point I’d keep/open a new browser tab or window with this page, so I can copy and paste (you should also make sure the encoding is showing things right if it’s your first time) it later. It looks like this:
PROTIP: What I listed above is sort of a first-timer walk-thru. Personally I just go straight to this page every time I vote (the first link on the main page once you scroll down). The two links on top gives you the lists of characters to vote from (the second one for mobiles in easy cut/paste form). The next link down takes you to the code generation page. The last link sends you to 2ch forums with the right thread. Yep, it’s this page, hopefully you saw it from the instruction in the last paragraph:
Now you wait.
When you’ve waited your hour-two hours-three hours-“whenever the code generation page said you should come back,” you should refresh the code generation page, or simply revisit it. You can get to it by following the instruction above. Hopefully you’ve waited long enough and the code generation page looks like this (minus the red marking):
If not, it will show you on the bottom what time you need to come back (remember in JP time zone) as well as what time it is currently in Japan.
Now keep this page open, or otherwise keep the code somewhere. Hopefully also you have another browser window pointed towards the Japanese text you need to copy for the characters you want. The actual posting step is rather straightforward.
Go back to the page of 4 links (probably in a new browser window):
And hit the last link. You’ll bring up something that looks like this:
What it is, is a search on 2ch. Each of the result links (links w/ 1-2-3-4-# next to it) will take you to a voting thread. Each thread holds only 1001 posts, so post in the unlocked thread (usually the top most, or top 2). If a thread has 900 some posts, you should just leave it alone and a new thread should be available for you to vote in. Yeah, it’s sort of a silly thing to explain, but that’s how you pick which link to click on.
So click on the link. It’ll actually load up an authentic 2ch thread! Basically your vote will be in the form of a post, complete with sage (optional) and what not. Once the page is loaded, make sure that the encoding is correct (Japanese Shift_JIS), and scroll way down to the text box:
It’s easy at this point. Copy and paste each of the characters you want to vote for from the window you had open which listed who’s available to vote for that day. As of this writing Saimoe is in round 1, so you can vote for 3 characters, one for each bracket. You would then simply copy each character’s text (always starts with << ) in its entire line, and paste it in the text box on a line by itself.
Once you’ve copy and pasted the votes you want (you don’t have to vote for every contest of the day), copy and paste your vote code–the [[blah blah]] string–in a line on its own. There’s no need to put the lines in any order as long as each entry is by its own line. You can leave the E-mail box and the box to the left (name) blank, if you want. People tend to put ‘sage’ in the email box, but no one cares.
At this point you should also feel free to put in some text related to the characters or Saimoe or whatever. But please follow the rules–you can’t slam any of the characters or voters, basically. It’s all spelled out on the English version of the Saimoe site. It should look like this:
Anyways, when you’re done, click on the button to the upper left of the text box. It will take you to a confirmation page…if everything is going OK. Some people, like the vote code generation process, are blacklisted from 2ch. Yours truly included. In fact, my entire ISP is banned from 2ch:
However, if you are not banned, just hit the confirmation button on the top of the page again, and it’ll post your precious vote and you are DONE! That is, if you don’t see the “I’m banned” page the second time, anyways.
If you run into the same problem I did or otherwise cannot post on 2ch, well, you have a few choices:
1. You can ask someone else to post your vote for you. Ideally someone you trust enough to give them your vote code, and they will have to be competent enough to go through this process. I don’t think it will compromise their own votes as long as they have their own code. I’m not 100% on this, so some confirmation would be nice. But they would just post your votes with your vote code.
2. You can find a proxy. 2ch is actually really good at spotting proxies and it will not let far majority of proxies post to it. You can probably read to it with many, but it takes trial and error. This is where other websites come in handy–just hit up the Animesuki thread I linked above and check out the first dozen pages or so. There should be at least one post telling you how to find some good proxy listings, and how to use them.
3. Find a new ISP/IP.
But anyways, that’s that. If you hit up the first couple posts in the Animesuki thread I kept on linking it has a more concise instruction saying more or less the same thing. It also have pictures with texts photoshopped in to explain what’s what, and arrows and boxes and crap. All of this hopefully makes voting in Saimoe less daunting and more doable. It is simple once you get used to it and have a system to do so. If you’re banned, though, it’s pretty tough–and I suspect a lot of American IPs are banned due to various gooning around by some epic lulz terrorists. Invasions are just not cool, folks.