Wotagei: An Essential Part of Concerts for Otaku

  • Have you ever encountered a video on Youtube where people are dancing and holding penlights? If you’re in Japan, have you ever seen these people being featured on TV? Or perhaps you’ve randomly seen them at nearby events? You might be wondering what these people are doing. It’s called wotagei.

    Wotagei (ヲタ芸)

    An wotagei (pronounced Otagei) is the action or gesture that the wotas (or fans of idols) perform at an idol group’s concert or event. The wotagei usually consists of yells, chants and hand gestures that are unique to fans of Japanese idols.

    Yells and Chants

    Yells and Chants vary from every idol group’s concert. But what is noticeable is that the wotas know at which point they should participate in every song. Some songs have words that the wotas yell along with the idols and some songs where they yell the name of the idol. Chants, on the other hand, consist of longer words and can only be used in particular parts or a certain kind of song.

    Hand Gestures

    In Japan, colorful pen lights add thrill to concerts. These 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.

    Before a concert, wotas also have discussions in order to designate a significant pen light color. These important colors are used for particular songs to create a beautiful sea of colors with coordinated hand movements.

    These days, wotagei gestures are being incorporated into dance moves and music performances that have created a new form of entertainment. The performers usually dance at night to emphasize the colors of the pen lights!

    Forms of entertainment may generally differ from one another. But thanks to the wotagei, the idol industry in Japan wouldn’t be as exciting as it is now.

    Related Articles:
    Have You Seen the Wotas (Japanese Idol Fans) in Town?
    Going to a Concert in Japan: From A to Z