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Attack on Titan: The Unstoppable Rise of the Hange Dance

In January 2021, Kayla Mallari, a 34-year-old dancer from Southern California, unexpectedly became the protagonist of the show. Attack the giant fandom. A 2014 YouTube video of her dancing in cosplay go viral on TikTok with footage showing Mallari performing a Attack the giant hip-hop routine is set to “Talk Dirty to Me” by Jason Derulo.

This isn’t the first time this performance has gone viral – the dance has gained some notoriety in the past Attack the giant community after it was posted to YouTube in 2014 – but nothing could have prepared Mallari for what happened when the video was posted to TikTok. The platform is known for quickly spreading content to a large audience, instantly launching someone into an online community celebrity that can leave an indelible impact on the audience. with their life – regardless of whether this was the person’s intention or not.

This is exactly what happened to Mallari. Even a year after her TikTok went viral, she’s still feeling the impact. Her videos have generated thousands of imitations and duets, racked up millions of views, and made Hange’s dance versus the unlikely pairing of “Talk Dirty” an internet touchpoint for many people Attack the giant fan.

Mallari is the co-founder Legion dance crew, an Anaheim-based cosplay dance troupe she founded with her best friend Sonali Samarasena in 2013 under the original name of The Survey Corps. At that time, Attack the giant only recently started airing its first season, but Mallari was immediately drawn to the show, which discovered the last of humanity were living together behind walls to protect themselves from the evils. giant giant. Since the series’ debut, it has become a global phenomenon, as well as a beacon of controversy, but the discourse did not detract from the program’s reach. Parrot analysis report that Attack the giant was the most popular TV series in the US for the week of January 31 to February 26, 2021 – the same time Mallari’s TikTok first went viral.

Although Mallari and Samarasena named their dance group after the military branch Attack the giantTheir main characters serve, the duo never intended to incorporate anime into their performances. But after they started performing under that name, “People kept asking me, ‘Well, if you guys are called Survey Corps, why don’t you guys do something about it? Attack the giant? ‘ And we were like, “You know what, why don’t we?” “Mallari told Polygon in November.

Hange fights a giant using her ODM equipment in Attack on Titan

Hange fights a giant using her ODM equipment in Attack on Titan

Dance Crew Legion debuts their first Attack the giant the set at the Ultimate Brawl XIV hip-hop competition in April 2014. The six-minute performance covered the basic backstory of Attack the giantfirst season with Mallari playing Hange, a member of the Survey Corps who has a fierce obsession with studying the show’s monstrous giants. The series has been a huge hit with the Ultimate Brawl crowd and on YouTube, where it’s been viewed over 3 million times.

Following the success of the performance, The Corps Dance Crew was asked to perform a 30-minute version of Attack the giant set at the 2014 Anime Expo in Los Angeles that July. When figuring out how to lengthen the film, Mallari choreographed several groups to accompany the on-stage introduction by Levi, a conductor in the series. Attack the giantSurvey Corps is played by Mallari’s boyfriend and Corps dancer Rosten Zeon Carmona.

For the set, Mallari chose Jason Derulo’s 2013 hit “Talk Dirty to Me” which featured 2 Chainz. If you’ve lived through 2013, you know how destructive Derulo’s song can be, especially if you frequent places where photographing and honing strangers is the main activity. Lyrics – “Our conversation wasn’t long but you know what” – couldn’t be more different from Levi, disciplined, no-nonsense, that’s exactly why Mallari chose it. “It was supposed to be ironic.” The fact that Carmona’s Levi was wearing the character’s costume Iconic cleaning outfit and spend the first part of the broom cleanup dance for an extra level of humour.

One or two parts fan recordings of the extended set was posted on YouTube in July 2014. The second video, intro The dance “Dirty Talk” is two and a half minutes long, quickly received attention in Attack the giant fandom; over the years it has grown to nearly four million views, and more recent reposts of the performance on YouTube have over 10 million views. At the time, overwhelmingly positive reaction focused on Carmona’s performance as Levi. (Carmona’s prop work with the broom has made the myrtles particularly wild.) But time flies and memes move faster, so after the initial hype wears off, The Corps Dance Crew has continued and Attack the giant fandom seems to be the same. That’s why Mallari and her Legion members were shocked when the dance went viral on TikTok more than seven years later.

“The weird thing was that it didn’t revolve around Levi,” Mallari recalls. “Everyone keeps gathering around Hange.”

In TikTok, user @paris_dela cut all the other dancers out of the frame so everyone could focus on Mallari. They added a text overlay to the video saying that the Hange cosplayer dance will fix your bad day. The video has aroused a wave of love for the dance “Talk Dirty” and especially Mallari’s energetic performance in it. “I think it’s because that’s what Hange is going to do. They will go all out in that dance,” said TikToker, stuntwoman and Hange cosplayer Julia Maggio (@juliastunts), who is wearing her Survey Team uniform for the interview, talks about why Mallari’s performance resonated so strongly in Attack the giant fandom.

TikTok’s interactive nature has spurred the “Talk Dirty” dance to become popular once again. Ary, a SCAD student and TikToker with an account, said: “Everybody went crazy and then all of my For You Pages filled up and piled up in Hange dancing, @ijustwannabeapenguin, which includes a mix of anime cosplay and original art. User started do a duet, fan editing by Mallari, and cartoon version of dance. Many other Hange cosplayers stepped in front of the camera to make their own TikToks performing Mallari’s choreography. And of course, the simplification right after. “There were a lot of comments that […] said, ‘Step on me, Hange.’ And I’m like, um, no, I won’t,” Mallari said amusedly.

Even if “Talk Dirty” doesn’t become a huge trend on TikTok (there are less than 5,000 videos on audio associated with it), there is still a cult audience of “the Hange dance,” especially the when Mallari joined . The day after the original TikTok was posted, Mallari post a duet in which she danced to old footage to get 2.2 million views. Later that day, she posted one of her TikToks performing choreography in cosplay, grossing 6.5 million views. But it looks like fans won’t be satisfied until she wears an ODM by Hange. So, Mallari told fans in February that if Corps Dance Crew’s official TikTok account hits 300,000 followers, she’ll bring back her Hange cosplay. When the goal is reached in March, Her next “Naughty Talk” video skyrocketed to 6.7 million views. She continues to post Hange content throughout 2021, including TikTok from August, in which she run away joke from people who asked her to do the dance again.

Other Creators in Attack the giant the community also noticed their followers clamoring for them to join the microtrend and found similar success with their own posts. Maggio, who went viral for doing Another Attack the giant dance like Hange a few weeks before that, has more than 266,000 views when she duet “Talk Dirty” in January 2021 and even more when she posted another TikTok incorporate Hange dance in April. GiGi, a cosplayer who became @ gigi.cos on TikTok, posted three videos of themselves doing the dance in May and June, one million, 1.7 million won, and 3.6 million won views, respectively. The dance “is a must for me,” says GiGi. The German dance coach praised the way Mallari’s choreography made them feel performing – though, they noted that dancing in Hange’s harness was “extremely tiring”.

Ary explains: The continued enthusiasm for the dance “Talk Dirty” throughout the seven and a half years since it was first performed and a year since it went viral on TikTok, stemming from the “harmony” between a dancer and a hange”. As an enthusiastic and curious member of the Survey Team, Hange has always emphasized of her that “people will be very upset. But that’s okay, because you like, I don’t care. I’m doing my own thing,” Mallari said. This uninhibited attitude can bring freedom and fun to the channel, which for many cosplayers is the fundamental appeal of Hange cosplay and Hange dancing.

“It feels powerful,” Ary said of the job a simplified version of the “Talk Dirty” choreography in October. “The short part where the beat drops is where you feel the power. You feel the center of attention [is] about you and I guess that’s what [Mallari] felt in that moment too. ”

This power is exactly what Mallari wanted to convey in her original performance. She’s been so successful in portraying the beloved character that she’s now become synonymous with Hange to a large portion of The Corps’ 462,000 TikTok followers.

“I feel like I’m in permanent Disney mode,” Mallari said, referencing strict guidelines on how Disney theme park employees should act while at work. “People will always view everything I do as Hange, which is by no means a negative thing. But it means that if I do anything outside of the Hange, everyone will be disqualified. ”

Although this tribute was never anything she intended, Mallari has accepted to be known online as Hange and is nothing but gratitude for what “Talk Dirty” has done for her. her and for the Corps. “The great thing about this is that it gave us social media influence” to be considered for more opportunity and visibility in the dance industry, Mallari said. Since the first time they made the extension Attack the giant Set in 2014, The Corps has continued to perform at the annual Anime Expo, as well as landing recurring gigs at San Diego Comic-Con, WonderCon, and other major events within the convention ring. . “It opened a lot of doors that were opened for us before. Now they are being expanded. “

With Attack the giantthe final season aired this winter (it premieres on January 9), Hange cosplayers like Maggio and GiGi are planning to re-do the “Talk Dirty” choreography, but Mallari isn’t so sure. “The idea of ​​revisiting old pieces is very difficult,” she says, noting that her focus is on current sets. Plus, she added, “I didn’t want to mess up that first one either.” But, Maggio insists, regardless of whether Mallari returns to “Talk Dirty” or not, the dance “will forever be a part of Attack the giant community.”

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