Cicada Block

Cicada Block

Updated Jun 07, 2013 at 04:40PM EDT by VanManner.

Added Oct 18, 2012 at 01:40PM EDT by Don.

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About

Cicada Block, known as “Semi-Don” (Japanese: 蝉ドン, lit. Cicada Bam) in Japan, is the physical act of trapping someone in a corner by pressing one’s hands and feet against the adjacent walls to form a one-man barricade, mimicking a perched cicada insect. The block was first introduced on Twitter and later spread to the Japanese artist community pixiv and Tumblr, where it spawned a series of crossover fanart featuring other well-known video game and anime characters.

Origin

“Semi-Don” is originally a mere joke for a typical moe situation like these images below, which are mostly shown in Japanese comics for girls. And around September 2012, this situation became to be called as “Kabe-Don” (壁ドン, lit. Wall Bam) on the Japanese web, which is a connected word of Kabe, a wall, and Don (Bam), the sound of wildly putting hands or feet on it.



The first appearance of the phrase “Semi-don” was a 4 paned picture in a tweet posted by a Japanese user named Naruse, Hatoh (成瀬ハトゥ) in October 13th, 2012.[1]


Transcript:

1. Standard Kabe-Don
2. Kinda Wild Kabe-Don
3. Tender Kabe-Don
4. Semi-Don
A friend of mine said he/she liked 4.


This funny maneuver wasn’t her original invention because the same pose was appeared in an other online gag comic in 2008.[2] However, this tweet had scored 24000+ retweets and 8500+ favorites within its first week due to her very catchy naming to this pose “Semi-Don”.

Spread

On the following day, Japanese internet users began mimicking/parodying this pose by illustration or photos on Twitter and pixiv.

On October 16th, 2012, a fanart illustration of the cicada block featuring Pokemon characters Lance and Lyra (shown below) was posted to pixiv.[3] The same day, Tumblr[4] user Rabulen130 reblogged the Pokemon fanart with the tag “#cicada block.”At this moment, this pose was given its English name “Cicada Block”.



On the following day, Tumblr[5] user Fideo published a post titled “If anybody’s wondering where the meme came from,” featuring a step-by-step instruction on how to form a cicada block. Within the first 24 hours, Fideo’s post received over 14,300 notes. The same day, deviantArt[6] user Sanpincha submitted a cartoon strip titled “PGNC: Cicada block’d,” featuring the characters Diego and Chel from the Pokemon Gijinka Nuzlocke Challenge (shown below, right).



Also on October 17th, Tumblr[7] user StainedBrain submitted a Homestuck edition of the cicada block, which depicted the troll Karkat blocking the character Nepeta in a corner (shown below, left), and Tumblr[8] user fideo submitted a photograph of two men demonstrating the block in live-action taken from a twitter post[9](shown below, right). Within the first 24 hours, the posts gained more than 2,400 notes and 4,500 notes, respectively. On October 18th, a “Cicada Block” theme page was created under the categories “poses” and “meme” on the art-sharing website Zero Chan.[10]



Notable Examples

The meme has continued to spread on Tumblr[11], deviantArt[12] and pixiv[13] under the tag “#cicada block” or “蝉ドン”.




Search Interest

External References

[1]Twitter – Maki0046: ①スタンダード壁ドン②ちょっとワイルド壁ドン③やさし … / Posted on 10-13-2012 (Japanese, deleted)

[2]オモコロ漫画 – 「恐喝」 / Posted on 03-10-2008 (Japanese)

[3]pixiv – 蝉ドンが流行ってると聞いて【ワタコト】 / Posted on 10-16-2012

[4]Tumblr – Rabulen130 / Posted on 10-16-2012

[5]Tumblr – fideo / Posted on 10-17-2012

[6]deviantArt – PGNC Cicada Blocked / Posted on 10-16-2012

[7]Tumblr – StainedBrain

[8]Tumblr – fideo / Posted on 10-17-2012

[9]Twitter – flumpooler_bass: 蝉ドンやったったwwwwwwwww … / Posted on 10-15-2012 (Japanese)

[10]Zero Chan – Cicada Block Theme

[11]Tumblr – #cicada block

[12]deviantArt – #cicada block

[13]pixiv – 蝉ドン

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