The Very First Wotagei Taisen in The Philippines

The very first wotagei taisen or wotagei battle has just occurred hours ago as of this writing and I am here to report how it went.

A panoramic view of Queens Dance Studio with yours truly

But first, what even is a wotagei battle or wotagei in general?

Wotagei is the encapsulation of the idol otaku subculture via fanchants and rhythmic movement coupled with lightsticks. If you see people dancing around shouting “TAIGA! FAIBA! etc. etc.”, that’s wotagei.

Ever since the Filipino idol boom of the 2010s, a number of wotas have gathered around and formed a group that focuses on the art of wotagei: Wotagei Pilipinas.

This is their first event.

The event started with an anikura DJ rave session spearheaded by Clarky Luna, a man who makes his debut as a DJ in this very event.

I can say that his mixing is well done, but most of the audience impact went into the Hamtaro train.

One of the wotagei battle contestants in action.

The main event belongs to the title of said event: the wotagei battle.

Think of it as a tournament wherein the best wotagei-shi (wotagei performer) gets to be the king of the wotagei-shi. Each wotagei-shi would perform their wotagei performance during the chorus of the song, and whoever has the best performance would go on to the next round until only one survives.

Finally, the event ends with performances from our friends at NekoFire (a collaboration between Nekonnect and AsFIRE) and Sai Pingwin. This portion of the event encapsulated the essence of what wotagei, and J-idol culture, in general, is all about.

..and that concludes the first Wotagei Festival. I can understand the somewhat low turnout because the idol subculture, despite the popularity of the industry said subculture represents here in the Philippines thanks to LoveLive! School Idol Project, the Idolmaster series, and groups such as MNL48 and ASFIRE, is still a niche subculture in a country dominated by the Hallyu Wave which then creates this homely feeling about the atmosphere.

Will we get Wotagei Taisen 2? Who knows? Maybe Wotagei Pilipinas would see this as an avenue for aspiring wotagei practitioners to make themselves known on the stage and perhaps, an avenue as well for our local idols to perform their setlists.

You can watch the tournament supercut and the idol performances here.

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