why do anime fans scream at the cinema?

It too! “Screaming, spectators standing, waving flash phones, jumping, taking off their t-shirts… Videos posted on social media of a preview of the Japanese animated film (known as “anime”) Jujutsu Kaisen 0, hosted on Sunday, March 13 by Grand Rex, testify to the atmosphere, worthy of a football stadium in the giant amphitheater of the Parisian cinema. While the atmosphere of the dark rooms is usually contemplative, the spectators here are distinguished by a rare effusiveness. The manifestations of joy, disbelief or admiration are so strong that it is difficult not to notice the feigned emotion staged in what looks like an exaggeration. So much so that the film itself seems difficult to watch amid all the noise. But what actually happens during these screenings like no other?

“These sessions” because this phenomenon is not limited to Jiu-Jitsu Kaisen 0 : Grand Rex previews other extremely popular anime among teenagers and young adults, such as One piece Where My hero academywere also the scene of a surge of fan enthusiasm, but did not reach the end of the show on Sunday night.

In pre-screenings, it is special: it is specific to this context, for the anticipation associated with the film, this is not a normal screening.explains Pierre-Loup, a Parisian in his twenties. This is a social event where you express your enthusiasm. We come to cosplay – costumes that reproduce the outfit of anime characters, approx. -, meeting with fans, and of course the film itself. Thus, Pierre-Loup greeted friends who came to him from Lille and Strasbourg especially for this occasion.

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If he agrees that things have gone too far “Remy, who attended the stormy session on Sunday night, explains attending this kind of event” for the atmosphere “. ” The interest lies in sharing this fervor with friends. Previews in Grand Rex are made for the biggest fans of our favorite anime. Mathieu Pinon, co-authorThe Age of Japanese Animation and D’Modern manga storiesreally is the need to come together, the collective need “. ” For many, this is a solitary activity taking place at home on Netflix or the Crunchy Roll VOD platform. Teenagers talk about the latest series with their friends or on networks, but don’t often get the chance to share anime together. Hence the excitement during these previews, during which the credits are loudly sung and characters’ names are chanted.

“Pressure cookers”

Remy fully agrees to scream during the film, while explaining that before another job it would not occur to him. ” It’s not screaming to scream, it’s applause, it’s surprise to see something beautiful “However, the young man clarifies. Anime fans interviewed describe themselves in the context of these sessions more as supporters than viewers. This is the case of 21-year-old Salim, who traveled from Rouen for the “JJK” preview: ” We dive into action. When you see a beautiful gesture in a fight, or when a long-awaited character appears on the screen, it’s like seeing a goal or a star walking onto the football field. “, he analyzes.

Mathieu Pinon recalls that this phenomenon mainly concerns cartoons belonging to the shonen (young boy in Japanese) genre, strongly oriented towards action. ” These are extremely popular licenses originally aimed at teenagers between 15 and 20 years old, with One Piece and Dragon Ball being the most famous examples. These dedicatory stories, which very often depict the struggle of young teenagers with adversity and the confrontation between good and evil, obviously have a strong identification potential. ” It’s a bit like Harry Potter adds Mathieu Pinon.

What’s more, the anime’s narrative structure also feeds the ardor of a young audience. ” These films feel like pressure cookers: the pressure is increased by creating liberating collisions, which is very impressive in terms of animation. adds an expert on Japanese pop culture.


From this point of view, Remy did not understand the behavior of some of the spectators last Sunday. ” Usually there are reactions at certain points in the plot, at moments of “hype”. There it was all the time, not related to what is happening on the screen “, he says. So he will come back to see the movie he has.” couldn’t follow more than fifteen minutes so great was the excitement. “Crash” Jiu-Jitsu Kaisen 0 doesn’t stop him from thinking that the sound effects are part of the folklore that has surrounded Grand Rex anime screenings for several years. Which confirms Pierre-Loup: “ We talk about it like it’s something new: all the people who bought tickets knew perfectly well that there would be these screams, this is part of the game in this room. »

In fact, Grand Rex himself seems to be well aware of the very specific atmosphere surrounding these screenings, and participates in maintaining it by inviting influencers to warm up the room before screenings or by broadcasting white-hot public videos on social media. ” This is the mood during commercials. We let you imagine how it will be during the show “, for example, the cinema team tweeted a video from an already enthusiastic auditorium ahead of the 8:45 pm screening on Sunday.

However, Grand Rex, who did not respond to our inquiries, shared the press release. ” We are proud that our cinema, unique in its size and capacity, creates an exceptional atmosphere. But there is a difference between sharing your joy and doing something. Unfortunately, over the years, some people in the Japanese anime audience do not understand this difference. Therefore, we will be forced to react more decisively next evening. ” said the cinema.

“Show that we are more fans than they are”

According to Mathieu Pinon, there is probably a variety of shallots. These viewers belong to a generation born with a smartphone in their hands. “Afraid that the Sunday devastation will create a ‘bad image’ for anime, Remy talks about ‘ competition between fan communities in social networks “: ” It’s a mechanism: they shouted a lot at the last One Piece event, so we’re going to shout even louder to show that we are their fans more than they are. And when we can no longer scream louder, we get up, jump, etc. According to him, this competition is all the more absurd because the vast majority of Japanese animation enthusiasts are not limited to the series.

According to Ryan, she is 20 years old and is also a fan Jiu-Jitsu Kaisenthis ” fashion associated with “reaction” videos, very popular on Twitch, TikTok or Youtube, consisting of recording their reaction while watching a series or movie or listening to music. What’s the interest? ” I think people are interested in this because they want to see how those they follow and who influence them feel. Maybe they want the community to “endorse” them, to feel part of that community, seeing that they had the “right” reaction. »

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Ryan does not hide his disappointment after what happened on Sunday. ” When we drive for two hours and pay twice as much, we tell ourselves that we can still watch a movie normally. says a young man who lives in the Paris area. ” It’s good that the room is alive, but what happened is very frustrating when you wait so long for a movie, and this is a problem that starts to spread more and more. »

So what can be done so that the sessions of silent viewers do not parasitize on the most expressive ones? ” For films like Mamma Mia there are special karaoke sessions where everyone can yell without fear of disturbing anyonesays Mathieu Pinon. We might consider an anime equivalent. It remains an overflow, but an overflow of enthusiasm. This enthusiasm should not be nipped in the bud. »

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