Meme to reality: Rider holds first, and only, Naruto run

By Samantha Brandbergh and Megan Lupo

What started as an Internet craze eventually came to life in front of Daly’s on Sept. 26 when students participated in a Naruto run.

A Facebook search for “Naruto runs” generates a long list of results, with events taking place all over the country.

Naruto is a comic book and television series about a young ninja that premiered in Japan in 2002, and the style of running depicted in the works has picked up steam among millennials.

Those who participate in Naruto runs lean their body forward, extend their arms behind their back at a 30 degree angle and run, mimicking the characters on the show.

This current fad has shown how Internet humor, especially memes, can be widespread.

“The beauty of Internet culture is that it’s given us a way to share a type of humor we haven’t been able to articulate before,” senior English major John Modica, who participated in the run, said. “You’re sharing an inside joke with an entire community,”

Senior marketing major Agaazi Berhane created the Facebook event page for Rider’s Naruto run, which originally started off as a joke between him, his friends and Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers.

“I was in class and I was wandering through Facebook and I saw this video of all these kids across the country, and they’re running like Naruto and I was like, ‘Yo, I could do this here,’” he said.

After creating the page, word spread over the next week, causing the event to be shared across the social media platform.

“I forgot to put the event on private,” he said. “It came to the point where I couldn’t delete it, and here I am now.”

On the event page, “Naruto Run Rider University,” 41 people said they were going, while 64 marked “Interested.” When the time came, there were approximately 30 students in attendance, and about half of them participated in the run across campus.

“The reason why this has caught on so much is that there’s something about memes where you see it, you find it funny and you can so easily reproduce it,” Modica said.

The run started in front of Daly’s and ended at Sweigart Hall.

Before the run began, Berhane stood before the small crowd that formed, warning them of safety precautions to take while running.

“Watch out for any cars,” he said. “Try not to trip each other, if anyone tries laughing at you, tell them to screw off, we’re here to have a good time.”

The group took off running, but quickly dispersed once in front of Moore Library, leaving only a few students reaching the final destination.

Internet trends typically don’t last long, so Modica said he wouldn’t be surprised if Naruto runs lose popularity by next week.

“I think, in a way, how fad-ish [Naruto runs] are is cool because it allows us to celebrate a moment together, and then move on to the next moment,” he added. “At the end of the day, humor and taste is always transforming, so why shouldn’t the way we digest humor be current with the times?”

 

Printed in the 9/27/17 edition.

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