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October 27, 2012

Know Your Meme: Cicada Block (蝉ドン- Semi Don)

Alibaba and Mor from Magi.
From Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!

Lately, there has been an spam influx of (fan)artworks on the net of similar nature to the pictures displayed above. The style of the pictures consists of a person trapped in the corner of two walls by another who pushes against the walls using all their limbs.

Crunchyroll gives an explanation of this meme:

Cicada Block, known as “Semi-Don” (Japanese: 蝉ドン, lit. Cicada Bam) in Japan, is the physical act of trapping someone in a corner by pressing one’s hands and feet against the adjacent walls to form a one-man barricade, mimicking a perched cicada insect.

The block was first introduced on Twitter and later spread to the Japanese artist community pixiv and Tumblr, where it spawned a series of crossover fanart featuring other well-known video game and anime characters.
Origin

“Semi-Don” is originally a mere joke for a typical moe situation like these images below, which are mostly shown in Japanese comics for girls. And around September 2012, this situation became to be called as “Kabe-Don” (壁ドン, lit. Wall Bam) on the Japanese web, which is a connected word of Kabe, a wall, and Don (Bam), the sound of wildly putting hands or feet on it.

The first appearance of the phrase “Semi-don” was a 4 paned picture in a tweet posted by a Japanese user named Naruse, Hatoh (成瀬ハトゥ) in October 13th, 2012.

Transcript:
1. Standard Kabe-Don
2. Kinda Wild Kabe-Don
3. Tender Kabe-Don
4. Semi-Don
A friend of mine said he/she liked 4.

This funny maneuver wasn’t her original invention because the same pose was appeared in an other online gag comic in 2008.[2] However, this tweet had scored 24000+ retweets and 8500+ favorites within its first week due to her very catchy naming to this pose “Semi-Don”.

A quick Google search will give you many results of this style of meme for your favourite anime/manga characters. Alternatively, feel free to explore picture gallery sites such as Pixiv or Zerochan for more pictures.