The kids these days have all sorts of memes, and most of them scare and confuse me. Forgive me, then, that it took me a while to figure out the precise meaning of the “Semiannual Sexyman Showdown”: a Twitter-hosted competition between various beautiful, fictional men for the title of “Ultimate Tumblr Sexyman”.
A Tumblr sexyman, my many hours of research tell me, is pretty much just a, uh, sexy man? But on Tumblr? A sexy man on Tumblr. But, crucially, one with a sizable (and oh so vocal) fanbase. The point of the showdown is to put all these faves against one another in a merciless, sexy popularity contest.
Anyway, suffice it to say that the winner of this year’s bracket was—by the skin of his skeletal teeth—Sans Undertale, who went up against Mob Psycho 100’s Reigen and came away with a nail-biting 50.1% of the overall vote. Despite clamour for a second referendum, Sans won the day. We know why, too, because Undertale’s creator Toby Fox wrote a 300+ word fanfic detailing the pulse-pounding final minutes of the vote. You can read it in its full, baffling glory below.
Having cheated his way to the last round of the competition, Reigen finds himself face to face with Sans, who got there by doing literally nothing. Although Reigen has an early lead, he decides if he wants to cinch this, he’s going to have to collude with his competition. He’s surprised when Sans, who was entered in the contest unwittingly by his brother (he didn’t know what the competition was for) is glad to help him win free of charge. They both run a series of debates where Reigen dismantles Sans by proving how utterly unattractive he is. As the debates continue, Reigen puts on boy-band-style makeup and works out to become extra attractive. However, mysteriously, Sans’s vote only seems to be increasing despite this. Sans mentions that Reigen forgot that being unattractive is one of the key tenets of becoming a popular guy on tumblr.
Emotionally crushed that he possibly ever wasn’t actually attractive at all, Reigen considers falling out of the competition. However, he’s cheered up by Mob, who says that Reigen should remember what he taught him: He should have confidence regardless of what anyone thinks of him.
On the final day of the campaign, Reigen shows up with rings under his eyes, a five-o-clock-shadow, and a dad bod. Without saying anything, he takes out a sandwich on stage and stuffs it into his mouth. He follows up with his “special attack.” putting his fingers in his mouth like that one picture of Peter from Spiderverse. The audience cheers, and Reigen’s polling makes a massive comeback.
In the end, the results are revealed.
Sans won by a single vote.
Reigen can’t believe it. One vote!? How could he lose by ONE VOTE!? Even that stupid skeleton voted for him!
Mob shows up and says offhand that since tumblr sexymen are unattractive, he wanted Reigen to have self-confidence, not rely on what other people think of him. Therefore he voted for Sans. Reigen doesn’t know how to feel about this.
It’s… pretty involved, but it eventually turns out that the key to being a sexyman is not to be sexy at all—which is great news for me—and Reigen was brought low by his conventional attractiveness. It’s genuinely a funny read, even if you’re as frightened and lost as I am amid the Tumblr memery, and it’s great to see a storied developer like Fox poke his head up randomly to beef up the lore of what is, essentially, a long series of Twitter polls.
It also raises an interesting question. Is this… Undertale canon? I mean, the creator of a character writing something about that character is technically fiction, not fan fiction. No-one was prepared for this.
Either way, it’s all we’re gonna get from Fox for a while, because the creator recently told us we won’t be getting a new chapter of Deltarune this calendar year. Still, don’t fret: you can get a taste of the new chapters and their new music in a recent update on the Deltarune blog. And if that’s not enough, you can always revisit the classic first entry in the series with a friend using the co-op mod that came out last month. After all, isn’t friendship the true meaning of the Semiannual Sexyman Showdown?