Not all anime characters are created equal. If the character’s sense of style or cool attitude hits a fan just right, they can celebrate their love through purchases like characters or plush. More recently, gamers have found a newer way to showcase their beloved choices: by capturing anime characters in PC cases.
Rigs that show people’s favorite characters via small LCD screens that are visible through a PC case with clear side panels often go viral on social media, because it’s a sight to behold. Although small, these LCDs often display a looped animation of a character while other parts of the PC pulsate with RBG light. Usually, the moments depicted here have anime characters that look powerful or cute, depending on the tone of the series. A popular design, for example, sees fans capturing Kakashi, a ninja and beloved teacher from Naruto, who ends up with a powerful attack.
While a number of companies produce PC hardware with this functionality, clips posted on social media often contain components sold by a company called NZXT. NZXT makes what it calls an “AIO LCD liquid cooler”
With prices ranging from $ 229.99 to $ 279.99, AIO LCD liquid coolers are not cheap. But instead of causing sticky shock, the hardware has “been among the best-selling CPU coolers on the market,” NZXT CEO Johnny Hou told Polygon via email. Hou added that while people initially seemed skeptical of the small screen and its usefulness, it helped to see it in action on social media to show people the appeal and depth of personalization possible.
People have been showing coolers on social media since the parts were released in the fall of 2020, even though the video platform TikTok has pushed the LCD screens in front of millions of viewers. Trends involving the coolers often have anime girls swinging their hips in time for a song called 2 Phút Hơn. This phenomenon grew to incorporate a wider range of franchises, ranging from anime Dear Franxx to lesser-known choices, such as characters from a rhythm game called Muse Dash.
For some, like the Twitch streamer Emmesux, the LCD screen was simply another way to customize a PC layout. She told Polygon via Instagram chat that she “only bought the Kraken for visual purposes only.” Her choice? Killua Zodyck from anime Hunter x hunter.
As a rotating wallpaper, Emmesux will change Killua’s display on the LCD screen from time to time to keep the layout fresh. Sometimes she will choose darker moments, such as when Killua seems intense and powerful during anime. But other times, Killua appears in a softer light, like when he smiles and giggles with friends. Based on popular choices on TikTok, characters captured in PC cases like this usually show a similar range of tones and emotions.
The cool thing about this PC hardware sensation is that it goes beyond the aesthetics of “hardcore” RGB players, and has also been embraced by those who like cleaner pastel-colored surroundings. Everyone, regardless of fandom or gender, has a favorite character they love to celebrate, and these LCDs provide a new path for just that. As it turns out, we all like to aspire to a well-designed character.