Source: Wotagei Indonesia
If you’re new to the scene of virtual singers and the enjoyment of anime idols, have you ever wondered why are there people in the crowd waving light sticks in sync together with the down beat of music playing? These are wotas who are actually performing something that is known as wotagei – a way of support and appreciation toward their idols in the form of chanting slogans, jumping, clapping, and waving light sticks.
Wotagei is a performance in itself. Those who perform wotagei take the time to practice and memorize their chants and movements. With their light sticks on hand, it creates an amazing in sync light show from the audience as an idol performance goes on. One would even mistake it as it being officially part of the show. The energy that comes from wotas who perform together is almost contagious! The excitement can easily spread through a crowd as wotas begin their fast and thrilling movements with their chants and pen lights.
▍What Was The Spark?
So what started this craze amongst devoted fans? The main rise to wotagei was born from lives. Lives that are performances or concerts for idols, anime idols, and also of course virtual singers. It wasn’t uncommon to see a sea of lights waving perfectly in the audience of an AKB48 concert. However the idea of wotagei truly developed from oedan – organized cheer squads within the crowds of sporting events in Japan. This root idea was taken and evolved into something that shows love and support to idols performing on stage.
▍Is It Important To A Live?
Of course it is! This is a thrilling form of action to take part in a concert. Colorful pen lights add excitement to concerts, which are emphasized even more by the hand gestures made by wotas, which may be slow or fast paced depending on the song that is being performed. Wotas even meet with one another to plan and coordinate pen colors and movements that should be used for particular songs. The planning in itself is as organized as the planning of the actual event taking place. This planning creates a beautiful sea of colors with coordinated hand movements. Their actions become part of the show, it adds to the energy within the crowd and in some cases adds to the energy on stage as well.
▍Growth of Wotagei
The culture of wotagei is slowly expanding and growing past just being practiced within concerts. It’s actually becoming a new form of entertainment within Japan. These days, wotagei gestures are being incorporated into dance moves and music performances. The performers usually dance at night to emphasize the colors of the pen lights.
However, wotagei is an activity that has some growing to do before it becomes a common thing outside of idol concerts and outside of japan as well. But the style seems to have evolved into a pretty physically strenuous performance with a fair bit of choreography and cooperation involved, so it’s nice to see it getting a little mainstream respect.
Fans always have unique ways of expressing support and love to their idols and music, but wotas take the cake with wotagei. With bright lights and equally bright energy filling the rows in the audience, it’s difficult to not name them the most supportive. It’s incredible to watch because even though wotagei is performed by fans for the event, in a sort of way, it becomes part of the event.
The culture of wotagei has become involved with the culture of idol concerts that it would almost feel like something is missing if there were no synchronized chants and movements from that audience following the music. With that said, you all idol otaku who never wotagei in an idol concert, bring on your best WOTAGEI moves from now on!
Adorkable gamer, aspiring writer, anime convention addict, and rhythm game specialist ^~^