How many otaku flashlights do you need to survive a blackout in Japan?

Light up the dark with a little love from your idol.

In Japan, “penlights” are glow sticks commonly used by otaku, who bring them to live performances, where they wave them around the audience while performing coordinated movements in sync with their beloved performers on stage.

After the concert, these lanterns become a good memory of a good time, so they are usually kept at home with other related memorabilia in preparation for the next big event. Since they come in a wide variety of colors and designs, it’s easy to accumulate a large number of them, and that’s what happened to our Japanese-language reporter and resident manga artist Udonko.

She and her sister currently have 11 lanterns in the house in total, and ever since Udonko opted out of concerts due to the pandemic, she’s been thinking of ways she could use them in everyday life.

So one night, when she was cleaning out drawers, she gathered all the flashlights and decided to find out how good they would be at lighting up the darkness in her house in the event of a power outage.

Udonko is a fan of Musical: Touken Ranbua series of stage musicals based on the online browser game Touken Ranbu, for which their lanterns are adorned with the branding of the series.

His sister, on the other hand, is a big fan of the popular four-member Japanese male vocal unit. urashimasakatasenso their lanterns are marked with their logos and member names.

All of these lanterns have done a great job of lighting up the hearts of Udonko and her sister during live performances, so in the unnerving event of a power outage they might as well bring a sense of comfort.

So he turned off the switches in his house to mimic a blackout, and since he lives in the country, his house turned jet black.

Using flashlights in a blackout is something that has caused a bit of a stir online recently, as people shared photos of glow sticks lighting up the darkness after a recent earthquake in Japan caused widespread blackouts.

The lanterns he saw in these viral posts seemed to create enough brightness to rival an emergency flashlight, but would the effect work as well in Udonko’s house? He lit each one, one by one, and…

▼… ta daaaa!

Udonko felt the same butterflies of excitement start to flutter in her belly as they do before a live show, only this time there was no one around except her and her sister.

▼ The lanterns shone brightly, producing so much light that it cast shadows on the curtains.

During an earlier flashlight experiment, Udonko had discovered that the light of a flashlight could be seen from a distance of 200 meters (656 feet). However, this was the first time she had experimented with multiple flashlights at once, and even she was surprised at the amount of light they produced.

With all 11 flashlights on, it became bright enough to work in the room. Of course, the light was not as bright as a flashlight or a floor lamp, but Udonko could clearly see everything around her, and she would love to read or write with a flashlight if no other light sources were available.

So how many flashlights would you need in the event of a power outage? Well, 11 was a bit of a stretch, even by Udonko’s flashlight-loving standards, so he turned each one off, until there was a lone flashlight lighting up the darkness.

As you can see in the image above, you only need a flashlight to help guide the way in a power outage. The result may have been a no-brainer to some, but Udonko never leaves things to chance, and through his experiment, he found that you actually need to make sure the flashlight you use is a simple, brightly colored one, like some of his more decorative lanterns did not cast enough light to get through the jet-black darkness.

So the next time you find yourself in the dark without a flashlight, you can always use a flashlight instead. That’s justification enough for Udonko to stock up on more of these stick lights, and you might even use them to dance wotagei at home.

Photos © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about the latest SoraNews24 articles as soon as they are published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]