• 03.29.13

The New Harlem Shake? Japanese Schoolgirls Have Just Upped The Meme Ante

Japanese schoolgirls do memes better, with elaborate “Dragon Ball Z” energy waves.

Look, it doesn’t take much skill to plank. Anybody can Tebow. And even your grandparents could get the hang of Drapering. As Shania Twain once sang, “I am not impressed by that.” What is rather impressive, however, is the ability to re-create the kamehameha wave attack from Dragon Ball Z, which takes coordination and fearlessness, and looks pretty rad.


In a trend (which seems to have earned the name Hadoken-ing, which is more associated with Streetfighter instead of DBZ) that is already making Harlem Shake enthusiasts nervous, groups of Japanese schoolgirls have begun posing in pictures that look as if they’re unleashing ancient powers from within. The pictures, which have begun surfacing on Twitter, range in styles from one-on-one battles to foiled ambushes. In each case, the girl at the center poses with her arms out, as though telekinetic energy is disgorging from them, and her one or many opponents fly back in unison.

Whether or not this flash trend has anything to do with the fact that the latest Dragon Ball Z movie is out on March 30, one suspects DBZ-hero Goku would be proud.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.