Akihabara has been swarmed by a mob of otaku and fujoshi desperate to attend a quake relief fund-raiser headlined by none other than Aya Hirano, in an event so chaotic it was almost cancelled…
The major participants in the event, dubbed “Stand Up! Japan!”, took in a variety of seiyuu and anime musicians:
Minami Momochi [the doller]
The actual event was organised (if this is an appropriate term for an event characterised by total chaos) by the participants themselves, taking place outside Yodobashi Camera’s flagship Akihabara store.
Hundreds of excited seiyuu fans soon descended upon the event, creating huge queues and massive confusion as they sought to catch a glimpse of the stars – although the organisers repeatedly had to remind them that a glimpse was all they could expect, as photography, handshaking, conversation and indeed any activity other than handing over cash was banned.
Online the reaction to this “charity onanism” was sceptical, with many critical of the evident lack of organisation even as they applauded the sentiment behind it.
Cold weather and huge queues also seem to have discouraged some who were actually in a position to attend, to say nothing of the lack of photographic access, although the event easily exceeded its expected attendance, to some extent becoming a victim of its own success.
Hirano tried to control the masses using Twitter:
Please calm down and queue in an orderly fashion.
The event is not supposed to be about taking photographs! It’s a fund-raiser!
If there is any more confusion there might be injuries and the whole thing will end up being cancelled.
Fortunately, it seems she was successful and the event managed to conclude as planned.
How much money was raised is not yet clear, although if the crowds were anywhere near as enthusiastic about donating as they were about thronging around the seiyuu it should have been well worth the trouble.