Characters Trapped Behind Smartphone Glass
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Editor's note: Work in Progress
Characters Trapped in Smartphones, also known as "Tried to Confine…" (Japanese: 閉じ込めてみた, Tojikomete mita) on the Japanese web, are a series of smartphone wallpapers in which various anime and manga characters are shown as if they're attempting to break the fourth wall or draw the attention of the viewer.
An idea of trapping fictional characters into something isn't so new thing. The bottle meme on the Japanese illustrators community pixiv is a famous example of this kind of illustration memes. The earliest known character art illustration tagged with "Tried to Confine" was submitted to pixiv by user Taste on June 21st, 2013. The image featured a Vocaloid character Len Kagamine with his hands pressed against an invisible glass as if he is locked inside of the phone (shown below, left). However, this 2014 meme caused on Twitter by mainly Fujoshi or female otakus addicted to homosexual shipping, which was triggered by an illustration featuring Dio Brando from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (shown below, right). It was posted by Hz on January 3rd, and had gathered over 5000 retweets and 4700 favorites within the first 24 hours.
Many other Fujoshi illustrators immediately began mimicking the style of this lock screen wallpaper. Therefore, most of characters trapped in smartphones are their favorite male characters. Those illustrations circulating on Twitter increased quickly in the following 2-3 days were soon archived in Naver Matome and Togetter pages. pixiv had gathered over 1,000 illustrations tagged under "Tried to Confine" within its first month.
This illustration meme was covered in online news articles published by ITmedia in Japanese on January 10th and by Crunchyroll in English on January 19th.
Spikes for the word "Tried to confine" (閉じ込めてみた) in 2007-2009 are caused by a series of threads with the same name in /news4vip/ board, 2channel, where users post their original short stories of confining 2 fictional characters from different titles in the same room.
 pixiv Encyclopedia – 閉じ込めてみた (Japanese)
 pixiv – 「ぎゅうう。」/「うまみ」のイラスト / Posted on 06-21-2013
 Twitter – tsuquar: 以前お見かけした、携帯に閉じこめるの素敵だったからDIO様閉 … / Posted on 01-03-2014 (Japanese)
 Twitter – Search results for 閉じ込めてみた
 Naver – 【Twitterで話題】好きなキャラをスマホ画面に閉じ込め！ / Posted on 01-06-2014 (Japanese)
 Togetter – 【スマホ】閉じ込め☓☓ちゃん【画像／雑多】 / Posted on 01-08-2014 (defunct)
 pixiv – Search results for the tag 閉じ込めてみた
 ITmedia NetLab – スマホの画面に好きなキャラを閉じ込める画像が流行 / 01-10-2014 (Japanese)
 Crunchyroll – Fanart Meme Traps Anime Characters Behind Smartphone Glass / 01-19-2014
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Jan 21, 2014 at 07:18PM EST
Jan 21, 2014 at 06:05PM EST
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