As the number of people infected with the novel coronavirus infections rises in Tokyo (as well as other parts of Japan), the city issued its highest alert level four. Mayor Yuriko Koike held a press conference on November 19 urging residents to heighten their vigilance.

As in the past, the press conference was streamed live on Tokyo Metropolitan Government's official YouTube channel.

As one should expect for such a grave turn of events, the reactions to the video in the comments section were predominantly governed by comments of a serious tone.

However, on Twitter, some users were reacting to something unusual about the broadcast.

Whether or not it was an oversight or intentional, Tokyo Metropolitan Government's YouTube account apparently had Super Chat status on, and someone had actually superchatted the channel in the amount of 610 JPY (about USD $5.90 at current exchange rates). For those who don't know it, Super Chat is a live streaming feature in YouTube, introduced in February 2017, which allows viewers to donate between $1 and $500 to have their comment highlighted:

"Some dude tipped the mayor's press conference LOL"

The tweet went viral, with over 100,000 likes and 18,000 retweets at time of writing.

Although Super Chats are a popular monetization method used by YouTubers across a wide range of genres, the tipping method made news in Japan this summer when it was reported that seven of the top world superchat earners were Japanese Vtubers (and this is still current at the time of writing, according to Playboard).

As a result, for those who were unfamiliar with the phenomenon, superchatting gained an association with entertainers, such as popular Vtubers, who have legions of adoring fans vying for the attention of their "idol."

This was reflected in some of the comments which this Tweet elicited:

  • "And after the press conference, the mayor probably had an ASMR broadcast limited to fanclub members..."
  • "This is hilarious. What did they do with this money?"
  • "Tax payment superchat!"
  • "I guess it's the same for everyone. Just superchatting your oshi."
  • "That's a real Yuriko stan"
  • "I'm looking forward to the 'Yuriko' members only event"
  • "Why didn't she say: 'Thanks for the superchat'?"

As the surge in infections in the capital continues to break records, perhaps some Twitter users were looking for a moment of levity to cope with the sobering reality of the pandemic...

By - grape Japan editorial staff.