Social networking has become a vital part of a typical anime fan’s life and ultimately the anime industry as a whole.
Ever wondered what goes on around Japan’s social framework? Or in other words, what it feels like to be a little different to others around the world? Because that is simply what Japan is known for, right?
Well you are in for a treat, because even for anime fans in Japan, they have it different than many others around the world. And if you cannot beat them, join them.
What could I have meant by ‘beating’ them?
Let us get to those points right now!
Keeping it unique
After months of personal experiment on both Twitter and Facebook, I have found the latter to be full of things that could otherwise dispose of one’s anonymity, not that the platform was ever claimed to be for those who wanted to hide themselves behind their screens anyway. But what this really meant for the Japanese was that, for many youngsters who were still below the age of 18, heavily struggled to find a safe place where they could express themselves to the cyber-social world. The issues (further than just not willing to have you feel safe) have been brought up against Facebook while I’m still alive so take them as a proof.
This was a clear deal-breaker for Twitter as there are very little information shown on each of the members’ profiles. Tweets may have location tag on them but you would have to work for a shady company if you feel the need to perform data-mining.
And yes, I like Rena the most but Hishiron has the best face.
Twitter was made with a purpose of being an SMS-based social networking platform, something LINE eventually overtook as the Japanese’ preferred application. It is also worth mentioning that the former is not created in Japan, hence the high probability of it not having a chance at the top. The part where Twitter does have a chance at the top for the Japanese however, is the ability to come off as ‘leaders’ in the social circle—yourself and those around you.
Leaders in their own circle of friends
Twitter utilized the function of followers instead of friendship. This alone should come off as unique because nearly every other social networking platform heavily emphasizes on the whole ‘friend request’ thing. Of course, they all eventually follow Twitter on the move but coming last in the race does not get them any sweet prize.
From my personal experiment, I have found Twitter to be much more viable for content creators than those who are just looking for a chat from day to day. I am certain this is also a reason why my account was created in 2010 but have not been used until the day I started this blog of mine. It is also worth mentioning that eight years ago Twitter was clearly still in the shadows of Facebook and even VK.
Another big difference from Twitter is the structure of public messaging, better known as tweets. Japanese language is still limited to 140 kana characters per tweet while the rest of the world minus Korean and Chinese have it doubled. It should be a bad thing but in reality, Japanese language is simple enough you can clearly lay out your ‘message’ within the limit. Twitter for the Japanese is simply saying, “none of the paragraphs full of shit.” (That is something you are guaranteed to see on Facebook every day.)
The platform actually trains users to communicate properly. Little sentences can be powerful when the words are properly used; this is something many of us bloggers still cannot come to terms with, myself included.
And if you really want to say something more, simply comment on the specific tweet, duh. Even Twitter knows that a normal human being has the average attention span of seven seconds.
The last but not least feature I find amusing is the inability to edit tweets. The things you say are final; you can only undo it with deletion. Again, this is clearly another feature which unintentionally helped many kids today think twice before hitting that tweet button.
But even then, we still make the oldest mistake in the book: misspelling.
Okay, enough with the Twitter crash-course and let us again, dig into the real meat of this post. No more bones—I promise!
Twitter inside of Anime
The last time I have witnessed Twitter being heavily featured in an anime show was from Fuuka (2017), where the application was shown to do exactly what it was made for in real world: keeping up with the most current trends.
(The show itself is not of Godly material but you are welcome to fill in the voids of your curiosity; I wholeheartedly encourage you in doing so!)
The use of hashtag has been one of the most popular thing in real world social networking. It is only natural that you would use them where they are most welcomed—on Twitter!
This is also where we begin with see anime titles on the trend ladder, fundamentally it works in the same way as having a bunch of people gathering up for your weekly Game of Thrones discussion every Monday.
Having been following the anime section of Twitter lately, I have set my trending hashtags to Japan location and you would be surprise about which anime gets talked about the most over there. Well, I for one am not surprised because my general taste actually align with theirs, so there is that.
(Here’s a hint: 2017 Fall Season is taken by moe comedy and melodrama shows like Blend S, Umaru-Chan R and Just Because!)
A feature useful for those who happen to have others taken the words out of their mouth. For many, this feature saves them from the hassle of ‘typing’ (though it only takes a few seconds). Digging further into the potential usefulness of this button, it is seldom found that content creators, especially freelance artists, can end up meeting miracles as their work featured on their Twitter gets retweeted enough times to the point that artists find themselves hired by big companies ranging from game makers to… hey, anime studio!
Let me take this chance to tell you to please, if humanly possible, do find sources of any kind of art you happen to take interest in downloading and/or featuring on your social networking site/blogs. I am trying even if I cannot catch them all.
Millions of people are using Twitter so there is bound to be that time when the same thing is said by many.
Just how popular is the retweet feature, really?
The most tweeted moment in the history of Twitter was during the airing of Castle in the Sky on August 2, 2013, when fans tweeted the word “balse” at the exact time that it played in the movie. There was a global peak of 143,199 tweets in one second, beating the previous record of 33,388 (source).
Twitter outside of Anime
Advertisement via social networking sites have been a thing for a very long time. The anime industry’s take on social media advertising however has taken many steps ahead and now we have that little thing called anitwitter community, same kind of thing as aniblogger (Blogs in general) and anitubers (YouTube).
Though, anitwitter community is MASSIVE as it is not only consisting of anime fans but also anime creators/studios and now more often than ever, voice actors’ and actresses’ personal accounts. While some of you are having a blast following Kim Kardasians and your favorite Western musicians, actors/actresses and other famous personnel, I for one am more than happy to be able to get in the bandwagon of my favorite anime shows and eventually seiyuu in association.
Because Twitter’s very structure is of a follower-type, anime studios never struggled in showing us the lead on how they come to give us what we enjoy most: anime.
You are guaranteed to find official profiles for your favorite anime shows and more importantly follow them on their twitter exclusive posts which usually consist of images you would only find them first on nowhere else but Twitter in the first hour or two. The platform is for diehard anime fans, that is for sure.
Here are some examples of how anitwitter community is doing:
The Official Blend S Twitter has posted various fun pictures drawn by God-know-who (sorry!). They have also left us an end card to truly end the series’ run. Have a good one!
Just Because! has also been extremely active in advertising their original anime content while their fans whip out their talents, getting noticed by senpai and all.
ImoutoSae doesn’t falter in activity either, having constantly released vlogs of the seiyuu and sometimes even give us tutorial on how to do the underwear ribbon…
They have also given us an end card:
On the seiyuu side, I personally follow Takahashi Rie the most since she is literally a walking chuuni. You could say that she now probably has the happiest job in the world.
Now, the obvious downside to non-Japanese speaking fans is that everything featured are entirely in Japanese! But that does not mean it has to stay that way forever because P.A Works has started audaciously taking on anitwitter community, entirely in English!
Another minor downside is just too common for every kind of consumers; we hate advertisement. But get this — anime studios use Twitter as an advertising mean! So on top of the obvious ‘rubbish’, be happy that we actually get other things we never thought we would have been able to.
Better technology enable us fans to enjoy anime in more ways than one—more than just the show themselves. It is understandable that the Japanese stress day and night doing their jobs, so wherever possible for them to let out their happiness, every bit of it is worth sharing and I am truly glad that they still do today.
Here is to the future of social well-being of anime industry as a whole.
Thank you for reading and have a good one!
| Part 2 >