Went to Niconico Chokaigi for Metropolis, soaked it all in.
As I waited for a kabuki performance to start, I watched a packed arena applaud a man who appeared on the venue’s big screen, dressed up as the defunct soda marketing character Pepsiman.
It was one of many surreal moments on April 29th and 30th at the 2017 Niconico Chokaigi, an annual event occupying the hangar-sized halls of Chiba’s Makuhari Messe. The event, now in its sixth installment, celebrates the culture and users of Niconico, a Japanese video sharing site once known as Nico Nico Douga. The Chokai offered a chance to bridge URL to IRL, giving the many quirky users a physical space to shine. Dozens of booths were also taken out by major companies, itching to reach younger, web-savvy types.