At least in Japan, the "cicada block" meme seems like it could be on a precipitous descent, so we wanted to capture the fun before it's gone. That said, it's no coincidence that a large portion of the fan art that the gag has inspired is Gintama related; “Semi-Don” takes a bit of a warped sense of humor to appreciate.
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.
“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.
1. Standard Kabe-Don
2. Kinda Wild Kabe-Don
3. Tender Kabe-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. 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”.
Predictably, the joke took on a livfe of its own in Japanese art community Pixiv.
Some of the fanart works on the site...
via Comew / 阿星
via 蒼月 響
via 志音 桃猫