You'd think nothing would be a surprise during a kabuki show starring a famous actor and a holographic pop star, but you'd be mistaken.

Near the climax of "Senbonzakura," a play starring Shido Nakamura II and Vocaloid avatar Hatsune Miku, the former broke the fourth wall by asking viewers streaming the event to start leaving comments, to "give him power." A flood of text immediately washed over twin video boards set up inside an event hall at Makuhari Messe, sent from thousands watching at home.

It was a tidy metaphor for the event where "Senbonzakura" debuted, the fifth annual Niconico Chokaigi, held on April 29 and 30 just outside of Tokyo. Despite the seemingly random selection of activities to watch — an idol-pop concert, traditional sword forging or dressing up in military fatigues all within one hall — it all came together as a celebration of the ethos of video-streaming website Niconico. Which, for the 2016 edition, meant more than 152,000 visitors to Makuhari Messe and over 5 million more tuning in online.