The Naruto franchise recently conducted a global popularity poll to determine the best fight in both the Naruto and Naruto Shippuden series. Studio Pierrot’s official YouTube channel unveiled the top 10 most-voted duels, with Sakura and Lady Chiyo vs Sasori surprisingly ranking as the series’ best fight. However, recent evidence implies that some Sakura fans may have manipulated the results by voting multiple times.
Naruto’s anime boasts numerous unforgettable battles, from Naruto vs Sasuke to Madara vs Might Guy, any of which could be considered one of the best anime fights. Undoubtedly, Sakura and Lady Chiyo vs Sasori was a captivating showdown that strengthened Sakura’s character and demonstrated her ability to hold her own without Team 7’s support. Nonetheless, it was somewhat dubious that any other fight could surpass the popularity of Naruto vs Sasuke’s final showdown.
It appears that certain fans may have used VPNs (which change a user’s IP address) to deceive the polling system, casting multiple votes as if from different individuals. In reality, however, a single person could have voted 10 or 20 times by continually changing their IP address.
Twitter user @Zenin_woo exposed this scheme in a thread, detailing how some fans employed VPNs and mass voting software to influence the popularity poll in favor of their preferred character. Large anime fan accounts on Twitter created chat groups, encouraging their followers to vote. One chat group, titled “Sakura Daily Vote,” had over 50,000 members and even provided a tutorial on using mass voting software. This software allows users to vote an unlimited number of times, making it impossible for the polling system to detect whether the vote comes from a new or previous user.
In a subsequent tweet, @Zenin_woo shared a screenshot from the “Sakura Daily Vote” chat, showing users explaining how to use VPNs.
While urging other fans to vote for a favorite character is acceptable, using VPNs or mass voting bots is not. Moreover, some fans actively instruct others on utilizing these tools.
The story does not end here, as the “Best fight of the series” poll was merely a prelude to the ongoing individual character popularity poll. The winner of this poll will receive a one-shot manga from Masashi Kishimoto himself, generating excitement among fans who are voting for their favorite characters. Regrettably, some of the aforementioned chat members are also requesting others to manipulate the results of this poll.
As per the midterm report on the official Naruto website, Minato currently holds the top position as the most popular anime character, with Itachi in second place and Sakura in third. The voting period concluded on January 31, 2023, and the final results are set to be announced in April 2023 via the official Twitter account. Based on the current standings, who do you think will emerge as the winner of this popularity poll? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.