What’s amazing about Niconico Chokaigi is that it isn’t just “Japanese internet vomited into one place” (Makuhari Messe being the barf bag), even if that in itself is a big deal in a “this is why you can’t have nice things” kind of way that I can write a lot on its own, but that someone overseas can “catch” the vision of it and live it up as if I was there. It is truly a wondrous application of the internet where joy can be spread across the world in real time.
So rather than just watching Chokaigi at home this year, I decided to get a couple friends together and watch it at the guy’s house whose most capable of doing it. This just means good internet setup, a good multimedia set up (he’s got a big TV and easy hook-up to his network), lots of power plugs, what have you. In the end we still needed a few things–more HDMI plugs would be nice, or some way to play R2 DVDs, or a better HTPC solution, but it turned out really well. You can watch the streams you all care about and talk about it, rather than let your English language comments lament in the sea of Nico memes, or make a mess of your twitter time line. Or private chat rooms wherever, which seemed to be the better venue in retrospect.
I thought Chokaigi is possibly the closest thing to an “anime con” in the sense that while it is an industry event, it dips its feet in fan culture much more so than most other industry events. It’s hard to explain or describe this gap and oddly enough we talked about it this weekend. Just what makes an AFA or an AX versus AnimeJapan? It’s hard to explain, I think, maybe because I haven’t been to all of those events, but it’s also the sort of content you promote at those venues. Maybe it’s more a SDCC or NYCC?
At any rate, through the myriad numbers of region-unlocked live streams, we were able to watch a ton of streams on Nico over the weekend and live it up real-time. This means watching that awesome anison concert on Saturday night/Sunday afternoon featuring IVE Special Unit. Takase Kazuya doing backup dancing with Maon for Ray is just amazing. In fact that whole IVE set is amazing. But what’s also amazing is to go on twitter and see the JP feeds I follow respond to the events I watch on the streams, and other non-JPers watching the same.
The number says Chokaigi 3, this year being the third Chokaigi, has about 7.6 million viewers across all its official feeds (and there were a bunch of those), which is just to say that’s only like, two thirds of total Chokaigi streams, if we go by streams not on its schedules as not official.
— たかはし智秋 (@chiaking58) April 26, 2014
Anyway, just saying you can live up Chokaigi if the technology is there, the infrastructure is there. I didn’t pay the 2500 yen or whatever for Cho Party, but at that 525y entry price for premium, this is the cheapest way to brighten up a weekend. That and a VPN. And having the image of Mocho eating a Lawson generic pastry in your retina.
Update: Say hello to some Ps that we met earlier in the year: