2022’s NIJIWWE collab was just a “for fun event”, as Selen Tatsuki put it, involving a handful of Nijisanji EN’s members getting together and smashing each other in WWE 2k22.
Nine months later, its reincarnation as Wrestlesanji became the biggest self-run event in Nijisanji EN history, with nearly 30 individual VTubers taking part.
Wrestlesanji was a roaring success, reaching a peak viewership of around 30,000 on each day. Day 1 averaged around 27,000 viewers across the four-hour broadcast, according to VStats, with the Day 2 finals drawing in an average of 24,000.
It ended with a spiteful eventual winner in Enna Alouette, who jokingly tweeted at every opponent to hurry up and eliminate her so she could go to sleep. Alas, her dreams were not fulfilled.
While many heaped praises on Selen for running the one man show, the Obsydia star was quick to thank all of the Nijisanji EN crew for banding together and showcasing what a major event for the group could look like—just a couple of months out from the Colors AR Live concert.
"Wrestlesanji has been in the works for around 1-2 months now," she told fans after the event wrapped up on January 23. "I didn’t want to bother people with it, so I did the majority of the organization because I didn’t want to overwhelm others who had their own [projects]."
"I’ve had this benched for a while, but Pomu [Rainpuff] actually messaged me and pushed me to finally make this event a reality. It was Pomu who really wanted me to host it again. Without her messaging me… I wouldn’t have organized all of this."
The lead up to Wrestlesanji 2023 had Selen stressed and even apologizing to her fellow Livers for trying to drum up hype for the unmonetized event. However, everyone pulled through and supported her, dishing out trash talk on Twitter ahead of the big dance and keeping the energy high.
"My very original plan for this was I’ll need 16 people, but I didn’t realize how many people wanted to join in," she continued. "I wasn’t anticipating that."
"I thought it would be a struggle to get even 16 because of how busy all of us were. The fact they were willing to stay there, come live, and everyone was able to hop in and go live despite us going so over time, I’m really thankful for the EN members for just doing that for me and for all of you guys."
While there have been big cross-wave collabs in Nijisanji EN history, very few have actually managed to bring all the generations together on stream. Every single one was represented, whether they were a commentator like fresh-faced XSOLEIL member Doppio Dropscythe, or a seasoned competitor like Finana Ryugu, who featured in both NIJIWWE and Wrestlesanji.
The community got deeply involved, with plenty of fan art and clips going around before, during, and after the event.
It had an air of the major Nijisanji collaborations like Nijisanji Unit Music Festival (NJU), Koshien or Mario Kart tournaments. But there was added complexity with managing global time zones, member schedules, and more.
"There were a lot of things that went into it that I’d call [Wrestlesanji] a branch-wide event, more so than a personal project," Selen said. "If you guys ever followed the history of the famous Mario Kart tournaments, it all started somewhere."
"The first event isn’t supposed to be perfect. It’s a learning experience. But I think for the very first time to go through all of that—NIJIWWE was just a collab with Pomu for me. The fact it blew up into Wrestlesanji was because of how many EN members got so involved."
So, will there be a Wrestlesanji 2024? After Selen recovers from the massive weekend and gets some clarity, there might be preparations made for the future. But the NIJISANJI star wants to give her fellow EN members space to shine and run their own major events too, bringing the group closer together through a variety of different mediums.
"I’m unsure if I will do it again next year. I’m just thinking will other members do it better than I have?"
"I’m not sure if I will do it next year, or if I’ll hand it over to someone else who wants to do Wrestlesanji. I’m not sure. There’s a lot to improve on. It was my very first big event, so going into organizing all of this was a lot."
Plus, she could also do without the stress: "It has been a very long two days. Before this event, before we streamed it, I was really stressed out and depressed."
"A lot of Livers were comforting and saying ‘you are doing really well, we think it’s very organized, you’re doing the best you can.’ I really want to thank the EN members for reassuring me because I was doubting myself before it was stream day."