Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

All in all, I’d say their reference of this particular meme was highly appropriate considering the scene directly preceding it. It’s really too bad there weren’t two other people in the scene to complete it (though I guess no one else in the series would be quite as excited).Bakemonogatari approves of the Reaction Guys!

There’s absolutely no mistaking the reference. Both Araragi and Suruga are in the exact same poses as the nearest two dudes and their expressions are nearly identical as well — just Suruga’s eyebrows seem to make her a bit more “Holy shit!” than “Hell yeah!”

I hadn’t realized just how widespread this meme apparently is though!  Hell, I didn’t know the “official name” of it until I googled around trying to find a clean version of the image. The photos apparently originated from E3 2003, so the source has at least existed for a good many years, but my first encounter with them was in a meme (contains spoilers) about all the episodes of Gurren Lagann. Was that the first occurrence? Probably not.

4chan memes come and go (and even if it didn’t actually originate on 4chan, we can probably still rightfully credit them with any meme’s viral spreading), but it’s interesting to see which ones persist throughout the years. How long did it take poor Domo-kun to vanquish his image as the kitten-killing hand of God? Or has he actually gotten rid of that image? You don’t see it around as much anymore though, and I wonder if Nickelodean and Target would still have been keen on adopting the character if the masturbation meme were still widespread. Meanwhile, Pedobear still makes regular rounds on the boards as well as conventions, and I doubt we’ll see the end of fake motivational posters any time soon. Beside them, the Reaction Guys don’t seem nearly as prominent, which I guess is also part of why I was so surprised to see it referenced.

And probably part of why it’s so freakin’ awesome. SHAFT and their cultural references indeed! Though actually, I also find it interesting that the reference was made in Bakemonogatari rather than whatever season of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei we’re on now since the latter certainly has many more otaku-related jabs. Then again, I haven’t finished the second season (ZSZS) yet, so maybe they have? And the Reaction Guys probably aren’t in widespread usage solely in the anime otakusphere — after all, the image came from a gaming trade show. Who knows? This is just another reminder that on the Internet, we’re being watched. :o

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17 Comments

  1. ghostlightning on September 6, 2009 4:28 am

    Whoa, thanks for the history/cultural lesson, and for noticing it in the latest ep. I’m writing my post now and I completely missed that ^_^

  2. Kiriska on September 6, 2009 5:20 am

    lol, if that counts as a cultural lesson, then no problem. XD

  3. Toonleap on September 6, 2009 10:21 am

    Nice find Holmes… :)
    Pity that I am missing that series…Think I will take some time to watch it.
    Is it good?

  4. Omisyth on September 6, 2009 10:30 am

    W00t I actually knew about the origins of a meme before someone!

    Also, Shaft are constently making jabs at pretty much everything in SZS, but they took it to another level this season. Soooo many references.

  5. RP on September 6, 2009 12:10 pm

    lol, I totally missed the reference the first time I saw that. Pretty freaking awesome though.

  6. Kiriska on September 6, 2009 3:37 pm

    @Toonleap: Bakemonogatari is pretty unique, I think, and takes a bit of patience to enjoy at some points. Definitely worth it though! Lots of awesome puns and interesting analogies. I do think that spacing them out weekly helps, so I wouldn’t recommend marathoning it whenever you do get around to it. Don’t slow down for the subtitles either, like with SZS, just catch what you can as it goes. XD

    @Omisyth: Sometimes I’m surprised I know as many memes as I do, especially since I don’t actually hang out on 4chan all that much. XD So many other cultural things go right over my head.

    @RP: Ahaha, I was watching it with my bro and we both did a double take. It is pretty awesome though, yes.

  7. TJF588 on September 6, 2009 5:13 pm

    Wow, way to catch up, Kir. Although, I do believe I learned about its sauce long after first encountering it (I eventually stopped hanging at 4chan when I feared for my hard drive’s space). For a meager amount (under its Japanese titling), see http://danbooru.donmai.us/post?tags=gaijin_4koma

    For its relevance in the English-speaking spheres of teh ‘tubes, see http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Gaijin_4Koma
    For something somewhat unrelated, see http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Reaction_guy (thnx, Goog, for letting me know teh weeabooz have tainted the true reactionary meme’s page)

  8. Kiriska on September 6, 2009 6:51 pm

    LOL, thanks for those links. Can’t believe it slipped my mind to check Dramatica about it. But like I say, plenty of cultural references and memes go over my head because I just don’t pay attention. XD

  9. Skribulous on September 7, 2009 3:14 am

    Actually, interestingly enough, the meme originated in 2ch/2chan. That’s why it’s called gaijin 4-koma. 4chan, being total copycats that they are, only co-opted it later on.

  10. kevo on September 9, 2009 1:32 pm

    I feel totally dumb for completely missing this reference when I first watched it! I learned about it the other day and went back to check. SHAFT you are too awesome. This is 100% intentional, no doubt.

  11. Jubbz on October 5, 2009 9:13 am

    That was the best part of the episode

  12. watch anime on November 22, 2009 4:19 pm

    best part

  13. wat on January 4, 2010 8:51 am

    The “gaijin 4koma” meme is Japanese in origin. Its from 2chan, and later spread to 4chan.

  14. Soryon on May 17, 2010 4:48 pm

    I loled pretty damn hard when this scene came up unexpectedly while watching that episode. Was pure gold in my opinion!

  15. Bruce on May 19, 2010 1:26 pm

    I feel totally dumb for completely missing this reference when I first watched it! I learned about it the other day and went back to check. SHAFT you are too awesome. This is 100% intentional, no doubt.

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