NC: I think it was in 2004 that happened, you know Moment 37
YJ: The Daigo parry?
NC: Yeah and you hear someone in the audience go, “Let’s go Justin!”
YJ: What about it?
NC: I was studying tech on the videos on twitter last week and saw someone shout it during another tournament match.
NC: It was in Japanese, dude. There wasn’t even a guy named Justin playing, they just say that whenever something exciting happens.
The informant is my friend, NC, who I have spent an inordinate amount of time together with playing fighting games and going to tournaments around the country with. The particular bit he heard was from a twitter-video. The Moment 37 and Daigo parry that was mentioned refers to a particular match between two incredibly talented fighting game players Justin Wong, representing America and Daigo Umehara, representing Japan. Both their characters are at incredibly low life and Daigo’s character is a slight breeze from losing the match, even blocking an attack would lose him the round. Justin Wong realizes this and goes in with a super-move, a 15 hit attack that will surely kill Daigo’s character, as someone else in the background shouts “Let’s go Justin!”. Instead of dying however, Daigo’s character performs a frame perfect parry, pressing the buttons at the exact time Justin’s character lands their kicks on his own character. 15 frame perfect parries later, Justin is defeated and the crowd, who at this point were already losing their minds, erupts in an an even louder cheer.
I asked NC if there were any “cultural” phenomena within our preferred entertainment medium and we recalled an exchange we had about this particular incident a couple years ago.
Even when Justin Wong was the one who lost the match in a spectacular fashion and even when there could possibly be no Japanese person traditionally named Justin in Japan, the phrase itself has gained an iconic status even among the Japanese who were in attendance watching the match in 2004. It feels hilarious to me that the name in the phrase was inconsequential to the emotions that were present when the phrase was uttered. Moreso than ever with the proliferation of internet culture and archived footage of old events, new generations of video-game players can see with their own eyes of what happened in years past. However, the expansion of social media and owned content as also made it so that longer videos of events are not often caught on camera and while it is easily shared between others some content or entire accounts with videos become terminated for a variety of reasons such as proper ownership and the likes. Moment 37 has since become a legend on its own where something of its difficulty in a tournament setting has not been replicated since and the rising industry of E-sports has seemingly come to “own” these types of content. Daigo hismelf and his story beyond this single moment has been published into a serialized comic book series.
For anyone curious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzS96auqau0