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Hadokening is a photo fad that involves two or more people staging a “Ki attack” knockout sequence and photographing themselves in mid-action, as seen in the popular Japanese fighting arcade game Street Fighter and manga series Dragon Ball.
Parody re-enactments of harnessing and blasting Qi in the form of energy balls have been circulating on the South Korean web under the generic name “Qi attack play” (장풍놀이) as early as since 2009.
However, the photo fad didn’t reach the English-speaking and western audiences until March 25th, 2013, when Japanese Twitter user ちゃんまん (@mkpiiii9) posted an image of herself and her classmates staging a dramatic shot. Her remark “Makankosappo!!!!!!” (マカンコウサッポウ！！！！！) refers to the special beam cannon of Piccolo from the Japanese popular manga/anime series Dragon Ball, though its action is completely different from the original.
マカンコウサッポウ！！！！！ twitter.com/mkpiiii9/statu…— ちゃんまん (@mkpiiii9) March 25, 2013
The tweet instantly spawned a series of copycat photos from other Japanese Twitter users, many of whom appear to be high school girls judging from their school uniform attires. The Japanese photo fad was soon picked up by Oregon-based DJ and blogger KentBalls on March 27th in a compilation post with the following description:
One of the latest twitter trends coming out of Japan is for young school girls to take photos with their friends doing poses and power moves from anime series like Dragon Ball Z. Here’s hoping this is the next trend in North America.
On the following day, Redditor Auyx linked to an Imgur gallery version of the KentBalls post in a post titled “HADOKEN-ing. The latest craze in Japan,” which introduced the name “HADOKEN-ing” for the first time, derived from the well-known special attack Hadouken (literally “wave motion fist” or “surge fist” in Japanese) used by several characters featured in the game. The post reached the front page with more than 42,000 up votes and 1,990 comments within the first 24 hours. That same day, Japan’s “Hadokening” photo fad was covered by BuzzFeed, Vice Magazine and ABC News.
On March 29th, 2013, Twitter user Rob Martinez tweeted a picture of himself staging Darth Vader’s Force choke with the hashtag #vadering (shown below). That same day, Martinez’ photo was reposted to the /r/pics subreddit, where it garnered more than 16,900 upvotes and 480 comments within a few days. On March 30th, the same photo appeared on 9GAG, where it received similarly positive reviews.
In the following days, the hashtag #Vadering continued to spread on Twitter and spawned a handful of derivative attempts. On April 2nd, Vadering was picked up by Nerd Approved, Neatorama and the 501st Legion Facebook page, followed by Kotaku’s coverage on April 3rd.
Derivative: Tuba Gun / Chuuba Juu
On April 13th, 2013, Twitter user @hornhrk315 tweeted a photograph of several Japanese schoolgirls appearing to be thrown back by a boy armed with a pair of cymbals.
今日シンバルから波動出せたんだった。 twitter.com/hornhrk315/sta…— (¦3[ホルン] (@hornhrk315) April 12, 2013
On April 15th, Twitter user @9220Shiho tweeted a photograph of a group of students posing as if they were being shot into the air by a classmate pointing a tuba at them. The description reads “tuba blast warning!”
チューバ爆風注意報！ twitter.com/9220Shiho/stat…— はにゅしほ (@9220Shiho) April 15, 2013
On April 19th, Twitter user @MkHr0318 posted another tuba blasting photograph accompanied by the phrase “tuba gun” (“チューバ砲” or “Chuuba Juu” in Japanese).
三人の犠牲者が出ました。【チューバ砲】 twitter.com/MkHr0318/statu…— だっち (@MkHr0318) April 20, 2013
Throughout the next month, several other Japanese Twitter users posted similar photographs, many of which featured tubas framed as the blasting weapon. On May 31st, the Gawker Media video gaming blog Kotaku published an article reporting that Japanese band students had invented a new photo fad called “Tuba Gun.” On June 3rd, the Internet news blog Laughing Squid highlighted several notable examples from the series.
9GAG – "In response to HADOKEN-ing, I give you… Vadering. ":http://9gag.com/gag/6955984
Laughing Squid – Japanese Teens Fight Each Other With Tuba Guns in New Photo Meme