Chikagei 101 Part 2: Basic Calls and Moves

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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 skew more towards 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  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 – typically, every other beat – 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 alternatively clap on every beat: 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

3. Sakiclap 

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!

During slow parts of certain songs, high-speed (kousoku: 高速) clapping may alternatively be employed in lieu of sakiclap.  See 0:24 of the clip below.

Happy Party Train by Aqours – Love Live! Sunshine!!


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

5. MIX

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:


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

Fuwa Combo

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.

Member Calls

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.

General Guidelines

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!

Chikagei 101 Part 1: Intro to Chikagei

Welcome to the first entry in a series called Chikagei 101: where we break down the most common song-specific audience interaction moves you are likely to encounter at anikura events.

What is Chikagei?

Chikagei (地下芸) is a colloquial portmanteau of the words chika (地下) meaning ‘underground’ and wotagei* (ヲタ芸), referring to the synchronized chants, cheers, and movements of fans of idol culture.   Thus, chikagei refers to underground or alternative variations of coordinated audience cheers and movements that would be seen at a typical idol concert, and form the foundation of crowd interaction at anikura events.  Often times, these moves require much more space than you would be given at a concert and are generally far more energetic and rowdy, making them much more appropriate for a club setting.

Obviously, depending on the size of the venue, some chikagei moves may not be appropriate.  That being said, larger venues are secured occasionally for the explicit purpose of enabling and encouraging wild and crazy chikagei moves that take up a ton of space.  A good rule of thumb is to read and follow the crowd: after all, a lot of these moves only work when the majority of the room is willing and ready to participate!

As an example, one of the most popular and well-known chikagei moves is shown below: the move is called Namaste Snake (ナマステスネーク) and is performed prinicpally at the chrous of the song Rising Hope by LiSA: the first OP of The Irregular at Magic High School.

As a disclaimer, chikagei moves are extremely ephemeral and evolve over time quickly.  Thus, we will try to provide updates to existing moves as necessary.

The following is a short list of songs and their respective chikagei maneuvers to kick off Chikagei 101!

Song: DAYS of DASH

Artist: Konomi Suzuki (鈴木このみ)

Anime: The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (さくら荘のペットな彼女)

Chikagei: Running

One of the oldest, simplest, and most intuitive examples of a staple chikagei move that nonetheless never fails to be hype: all you really need to do is start running at the top of the chorus with the lyric “Days of DASH” drops and don’t let up until the end of the chorus.

The most common variation is to have people line up as if competing in a relay – others will occasionally set up a piece of string or similar material to act as a finish line ribbon to dash towards.  In venues where there is limited space, people may dash the length of the room, then turn around and dash back and repeat until the end of the chorus.  In rare cases when there is even more limited space, people may simply jog in place.

Song: Maware! Setsugetsuka (回レ!雪月)

Artist: Hitomi Harada (原田 ひとみ), Ai Kayano (茅野 愛衣), and Yui Ogura (小倉 唯 )

Anime: Unbreakable Machine-Doll (機巧少女〈マシンドール〉は傷つかない)

Chikagei: Maware (Form a giant circle with linked arms and spin the circle)

Another classic, intuitive staple, at least once you know that maware (回れ)  can translate to “go around”.  Simply put, link arms with everyone, forming a gigantic circle with the crowd in the lead up to the chorus and and soon as the chorus hits, start spinning the circle by sidestepping along with the crowd.  Some people also like to sprint around the inner rim of the circle, while others prefer rolling along the ground like a log.

Song: Rage on


Anime: Free!

Chikagei: Swimming

Another fairly intuitive entry: simply lay on the floor during the lead up to the chorus and start dragging your body across the floor once the chorus hits.  Requires plenty of room and may be painful if done incorrectly (e.g. on carpeted floors), though mimicking a backstroke instead of a front crawl may help mitigate the pain.


Artist: Aqours

Anime: Love Live! Sunshine!!

Chikagei: Human train

During the chorus, simply line up in a human train formation and start running: once again, simple and intuitive.  One occasionally seen variation is to perform the human train in the lead up to the chorus, then stop and simply thunder snake during the chorus.

Song: Aozora no Rhapsody (青空のラプソディ)

Artist: Fhána

Anime: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (小林さんちのメイドラゴン)

Chikagei: MV dance

More complicated than the previous examples, but no less intuitive, conceptually: simply perform Towana’s iconic dance moves seen during the chorus of the song’s official music video below.    The dance itself is not terribly difficult to learn and is a lot of fun.

Note that the dance during the final chorus is slightly modified, but it’s rare to hear more than the first chorus of any given song during an anikura event.

Song: Tottoko no Uta (ハム太郎とっとこうた) 

Artist: Hamuchanzu

Anime: Tottoko Hamtarou  (とっとこハム太郎)

Chikagei: Hamtaro Circle Pit

Similar to the maware chikagei above, since the dominant motif in the Hamtaro opening is going round-and-round in a hamster wheel, the crowd will form up into a circular train formation and simply run around for the duration of the song.  The calls that accompany the circle pit may be found  in a call guide below and are derived from calls traditionally used at idol lives*.

Tottoko no Uta (ハム太郎とっとこうた)

Call guide (romanized lyrics, calls in parentheses)

Tottoko hashiru yo hamutaro
sumikko hashiru yo hamutaro
daisuki na no wa (HAI SE NO)
himawari no tane (ORE MO)
yappari hashiru yo hamutaro (TAIGA FAIYA SAIBA FAIBA DAIBA BAIBA JYA JYA)
Tottoko mawaru yo hamutaro
kassha wo mawaru yo hamutaro
daisuki na no wa (HAI SE NO)
himawari no tane (ORE MO)
mawaru to ureshii hamutaro  (TORA HI JINZO SENI AMA SHINDO KA-SEN)
Tottoko nemuru yo hamutaro
dokodemo nemuru yo hamutaro
daisuki na no wa (HAI SE NO)
himawari no tane (ORE MO)

*For more information on wotagei and idol calls, see:

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