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The “Row Row Fight The Powah” catchphrase is the altered line of the “Raw Raw Fight The Power” lyric and can be initially found in three different songs from the anime series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (天元突破グレンラガン). The catchphrase is used in three songs from the serie’s Original Soundtrack (OST):
- Disc 1, track 3: Rappu ha Kan no Tamashii da! Onore wo Shinjite Ten wo Yubisasu Dotou no Otoko Kamina-sama no Teema wo Mimi no Ana Kappojitte Yo~ku Kikiyagare!!
(trans. Rap is the Soul of a Man! Perk Up Your Earholes and Listen REAL Close to the Theme of Lord Kamina, the Man of Raging Billows Who Believes in Himself and Points to Heaven!!):
- Disc 2, track 2: Rappu ha Kan no Tamashii da! Muri wo Tooshite Douri wo Kettobasu! Ore-tachi Dai-Guren Dan no Teema wo Mimi no Ana Kappojitte Yo~ku Kikiyagare!! (Short Start Edit)
(trans. Rap is the Soul of a Man! Go Beyond the Impossible and Kick Reason to the Curb! Perk Up Your Earholes and Listen REAL Close to the Theme of Our Team Dai-Gurren!! (Short Start Edit))
- Disc 2, track 22: “Libera me” from hell
DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
SEE THE INVISIBLE
FIGHT THE POWER!
TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLE
BREAK THE UNBREAKABLE
FIGHT THE POWER!
Even if the meme in itself was launched during the context exposed below, jokes about the lyrics were already on 4chan’s /a/ board in September 2007, coinciding with the start of the anime release in the US. It has been since used frequently in the rest of 4chan’s imageboards.
On September 10th, 2008, Moot changed /b/‘s layout in a way that every new post was replaced by the phrase Row row fight the powah.
Initially, this meme wasn’t really welcome by /b/ users because the constant stream of the same catchphrase appeared as forced the same way it happened for Puddi Puddi and they started spreading to other boards on 4chan and spamming this new catchphrase as a result.
But it didn’t get the following of the other boards. A number of them, actually, tried to resist to the invasion.
A first account of that reaction was called /v/ retaliation or V-rage :
Then, the catchphrase combined itself with other memes such as Demotivationals :
Girugamesh remix – GIRUGAMESH DA POWAH
Main entry: Kamina’s Glasses
In the late 2009, a new trend involving the “Row row fight the powah” line started appearing on internet and consisted in adding the Kamina’s sunglasses (Kamina is the main character’s “big brother” in the series) in drawn pictures or altered photographs. These images are frequently titled with the “Row row fight the powah” catchphrase: