As opposed to covering specific moves, this article serves as a guideline for the generic, general set of synchronized calls and movesets from the crowd typically heard at anikura events. Note that anikura crowds and atmospheres vary heavily based on the venue or event. For example, the crowd at MOGRA tends to behave more like a traditional DJ club where the audience may simply sway and bounce to the beat. In contrast, events specifically geared towards celebrating chikagei such as すーぱーあにおん will typically take place in a large open venue such as a gymnasium or outdoor park, thus the crowds at these events are far more likely to go wild with calls and follow up with moves such as thunder snake for nearly every single song.
As with most live events in Japan, be sure to read the atmosphere of the crowd to determine if any or all of the following calls and moves are appropriate or not. When it doubt, follow the crowd!
Note that this article assumes basic familiarity with calls and cheers typically heard at idol concerts or anisong concerts known broadly as wotagei (ヲタ芸 ). If not, please feel free to brush up on the fundamentals with example tutorials such as the following:
1. Clapping (aka OAD)
Clapping along with the beat of the song during the A-melody.
At anikura events, clapping occurs almost 100% of the time during the A-melody, aka the first verse after the intro instrumental section. 3D idol fans may also know this move as OAD or Over Action Dolphin, but this simplified variant lacks most of the super-exaggerated movement of OAD: people may still alternate side-to-side for each clap, however. If there is a slower or faster portion of the intro, the crowd may clap at a faster rate, accordingly: see the beginning of the Q&A Recital! clip listed below.
Fans of 2.5D idol (e.g. Love Live!, iDOLM@STER, Wake Up, Girls!) or major anisong artists typically know this portion of the song as the part where you simply move your penlights up and down to the beat of the song.
Trancing Pulse by Triad Primus – THE iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls
Q&A Recital! (Q&A リサイタル!) by Haruka Tomatsu – Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
The unique chant typically heard during the B-melody leading up to the chorus.
Most people introduced to idol calls from the 3D, 2.5D, anisong worlds will know this move as either three claps (comprising the PPP part of PPPH) or as “oooooo hai”, but PPPH at anikura events tends to follow the underground (chika) idol scene, which is “oooooo → clapx2”. See the clip below at around 0:08.
sister’s noise by fripSide – A Certain Scientific Railgun S
Slowly clapping in a manner such that you expose your palms outwards as you complete the clapping motion, like a blooming flower (hence where its name is derived from: 咲く (saku), meaning to bloom).
The sakiclap replaces what most concert fans know as kecha, which involves extending your arms towards the performer during the slow parts of songs. The timing is exactly the same as kecha, the clap is simply added at the end of the motion. Anikura crowds may sakiclap towards the DJ, similar to the way concert crowds kecha in the direction of the performer on stage.
Unlike concerts, it’s rare for a songs at anikura events to reach the C-melody of a song, so you tend to only see sakiclapping if there is a slow intro or A-melody. An example is shown below around 0:20.
Future Strike by Yui Ogura – ViVid Strike!
The iettaiga (also stylized as yeah tiger, イェッタイガー, 家虎) call has recently become something of a sticky and highly polarizing subject with regard to decorum and proper behavior at concerts, but the call itself is far more common and accepted at most anikura events. It will be typically shouted in the silence immediately before the chorus, if there is one. If the silence is particularly long, you may hear iettaiga faibo waipa or ie-ie-iettaiga in its place.
You can hear this in the sister’s noise video above at around 0:20 or in Sparkling Daydream below around 0:10. ie-ie-iettaiga can be heard in the Astrogation video below.
Sparkling Daydream by ZAQ – Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
Astrogation by Nana Mizuki
Yet another controversial call that is accepted at most 3D idol concerts, but is polarizing when it comes to decorum at 2.5D or anisong concerts, MIX is also much more accepted at anikura events; however, it is not quite as common as the moves and calls outlined above. Since anikura events typically only play up until the end of the first chorus, it is rare to hear anything more than the Standard MIX, which is as follows:
TAIGA FAIYA SAIBA FAIBA DAIBA BAIBA JYA JYA
You can hear the Standard MIX immediately at the beginning of the clip below.
未来の僕らは知ってるよ (Mirai no Bokura wa Shitteru yo) by Aqours, Love Live! Sunshine!!
Misc Moves and Calls
Those accustomed to calls at idol or anisong concerts will have doubtlessly noticed the omission of several key calls such as the Fuwa combo or the ‘Hai’ chant, but these calls are rarely heard at most anikura events since there is significantly more emphasis on freehanded clapping moves in the early part of a song and thunder snake during the chorus.
Along the same line, there is a greater chance of hearing 3D idol variations of calls such as oshi/member calls (listen around 0:20 of the Mirai Boku clip above to hear the ORE NO~ oshi call) than to hear their 2.5D idol/anisong counterpart calls. See Member Calls in this article for more information. It is worth noting that these calls are still uncommon for anikura events.
With the exception of particularly iconic dances such as in Aozora no Rhapsody, furicopy (the act of mirroring a performer’s hand, body, or dance movements) is notably rare at anikura events, simply because there is no performer to follow along with. In contrast, wiper (mirroring the performer’s back-and-forth hand waving motion) is still fairly common as the DJ can easily fill in for the role of the performer in this case.
As for general atmosphere and behavior, expect a far looser and laidback crowd; after all, you’re at a club event and not a concert where you’re confined to a tiny square of a seat, shoulder-to-shoulder with your neighbors. Anikura crowds generally tend to feature a lot more exuberant shouting, jumping, pointing at the DJ (similar to oshi pointing), hand/arm waving, and general swaying and swinging around (again, space-permitting) for any and all of the motions and maneuvers outlined above. Penlights and UOs, which are a core staple of concerts, are notably not as popular at anikura events, which again, aids in the ability to perform freehanded maneuvers.
In our next article, we will cover the final piece of the chikagei basics: the core move that defines contemporary anikura crowds: thunder snake!