Niconico Chokaigi 2022 [Event Report] | Event News

Niconico Chokaigi 2022 [Event Report] |  Event News

Popular video-sharing site Niconico is a treasure trove of Japanese internet culture, but that’s not all. It also hosts Niconico Chokaigi, an annual festival that brings online thrills to the real world for fans to enjoy in person!

Courtesy of the People at Online Media Platform Geek Labyou’ll get a look at four highlights from the in-person edition of Niconico Chokaigi 2022, which took place over two days starting April 29. The overall event drew 96,000 attendees, who got to engage with all kinds of pop culture, from VTubers to Vocaloid.

One of the highlights of Chokaigi was the Cho Vocaloid Zone, which was bustling with attendees visiting booths for Vocaloid-related companies and events like Vocaloid Collection and Miku Break.

On both days, the area’s main stage hosted Cho Voca Nico 2022, an event that exclusively featured Vocaloid music. On Day 2, eight celebrity DJs entertained fans with mixes featuring iconic favorites and recent hits.

Although the area was packed with fans, everyone took great care to follow COVID-19 measures, such as refraining from speaking too loudly.

The main stage was also graced by Hatsune Miku, who broke down the boundaries between 2D and 3D worlds in her performance for a new project titled Miku Break. Focused on street culture, the project naturally featured actual dancers, as well as staging that was perfectly timed with video appearances by Miku herself.

The Vocaloid area also featured merchandising-focused booths from exhibitors such as Tobu Top Tours, one of Chokaigi’s sponsors, and Snow Miku Sky Town, a Hokkaido-based boutique and museum. Meanwhile, Crypton Future Media (the developer behind Hatsune Miku, Luka Megurine, etc.) showcased computers and other products created in collaboration with popular hardware brand Thermaltake.

Next to the Vocaloid area was the Cho Eshi Ten, an exhibit featuring artwork created by talented artists for collaborations with smartphone game #Compass and the Vocaloid Collection event.

The amazing itasha car section immediately greeted those who entered Chokaigi. (Quick explanation: itasha are cars and bikes that were wrapped to display characters from anime, games, etc.) True to its name, Cho Itasha Heaven was full of unique vehicles that anyone could freely look at and take a photo. In addition to regular visitors, many cosplayers were present.

Go to Niconico and you will find many videos that end with “temita”, which literally means that the uploader “tried to do something”. The greatest examples of Niconico are “utattemita” and “odottemita” – in other words, covers of songs and dances. They are an integral part of the culture of the website, so it is fitting that Chokaigi includes events centered around this concept.

Regular participants had the chance to shine by singing a song on stage. Some singers wore cosplay, others imitated anime characters, and still others sang in English.

A non-stop playlist of fan-favorite songs like Touhou Project “Bad apple!!” became the soundtrack to the Odottemita booth, where attendees were allowed to dance freely in a certain space. Naturally, this included wotagei (the dance style of choice for the otaku idol).

Last in this report is VTuber Fes Japan, which happens to be the largest artist-themed virtual festival in Japan, featuring both live performances and talk shows. Held in the lobby right next to the Vocaloid area, the Chokaigi Edition was their third event overall. That being said, fans needed separate tickets to attend the festival, which allowed them to enjoy 130 VTubers over the two days.

While the festival included pre-recorded content, a particular highlight was the live music, including a fiddle on the second day. A master of ceremonies was also there to entertain the audience between captivating performances.

Day 2 began with a collaboration segment with #Compass, enthralling the audience with Nayutalien’s hit song “Dance Robot Dance”. The conclusion of the event saw another collaboration with a horse racing-themed game Pretty derby Uma Musumein which artists performed the popular song “Umapyoi Densetsu” alongside Gold Ship.

Finally, the two-day finales brought together each performer for a performance of VTuber Fes Japan 2022’s theme song, “Peace!!” Like last year, the event was also streamed online for a fee, taking the top spot in Twitter’s trending topics as it brought together online and offline audiences to cheer on the artists.

Although the event itself has ended, tickets to watch are still available. Check official site for more details.

See the full event report from Geek Lab here and check their page for more otaku content.

Niconico Chokaigi official website: https://chokaigi.jp
Event Coverage/Report: Geek Lab
Photos: Geek Lab, Niconico Chokaigi Production Committee
Produced with the cooperation of the Niconico Chokaigi production committee.

Please note that all Geek Lab photos were taken on Day 2.
All photos without the Geek Lab logo were provided by Niconico Chokaigi’s production committee.

Laura J. Boyer