The Anime Communities of Discord enjoy Fan Art Competitions, Developer Partnerships, and more.

As the popularity of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoiP) services like Skype and Ventrillo diminished over time, Discord has emerged as the most popular place for gamers and geeks to congregate online. Discord not only solves the "how do we communicate" dilemma friend groups online inevitably encounter, but also makes possible the existence of new, public servers that cater to a variety of interests and subcultures.

Unlike past VoiP services that basically require already established friends or social groups, anyone can create a Discord account and join any number of public servers that text, voice-chat, and share internet content together every day.

And, among these public communities, Otakus are some of the most passionate. Brought together by a shared love of all things Anime, many Otakus have embraced Discord wholeheartedly. The result is massive groups like Anime Soul that allow like-minded fans to celebrate pretty much anything related to Anime.

▲ Anime Soul is, without a doubt, the most thriving Anime community on Discord.

Gacha gamers, manga junkies, anime artists, and overall super-fans have found an online home via  Anime Soul and populate the massive Discord server daily.

Among the top 15 most popular Discord servers, Anime Soul represents a shift in how online communities are forming. It isn't dominated by content aggregation like Reddit, nor is a clout based popularity contest like Instagram or Twitter.

Instead, Anime Soul functions like an after-school hangout or a popular office water cooler. The People come and go as they please, often breaking apart in small groups defined by niche interest or the need for a more private conversation.

Developer, meet the community.

One of the niche interests that Anime Soul users can discuss is the Gacha game developed by LINE Games called Destiny Child. Like most games of the genre, Destiny Child focuses on the collection and subsequent training of stylized characters that players use to engage in RPG-styled combat against massive foes and raid-boss style encounters. 

Think Pokémon but, instead of pocket monsters, you collect an assortment of beautiful (sometimes monstrous) demons that do your bidding. The game has proven to be a popular, steady hit in Japan and South Korea, but like most things Anime, isn't exactly considered mainstream to Western Audiences.

This is where organic communities like Anime Soul are leading change by supporting and enabling developer and fan interaction.  Thanks to unique features Discord offers to server moderators and admins, Destiny Child publisher LINE GAMES can routinely offer giveaways, in-game codes and other goodies to Western fans discussing and playing Destiny Child. Western fans Line GAMES otherwise wouldn't have access to.

Fan Art Support

One example is a Destiny Child Fan Art contest Anime Soul and LINE GAMES created. For no other reason then to celebrate fandom and create some cool art, both groups came together and offered cash prizes to the best Destiny Child piece of fan art.

▲ Destiny Child fans are given chances to flex their creative abilities. This is the 1st place entry by Mills.

The winner was a fan who goes by the handle "Mills". Their piece of fan art won them $300  -- not a bad way to have your fandom rewarded. 

An Anime Soul member named "Scumworks" took 2nd place and $150 while 3rd place and $50 went to a user named "Faye".

▲ 2nd place entry by Mills.
▲ 3rd place entry by Faye

These small, soon-to-be reoccurring contests are vital ways developers who otherwise have little personal contact with their fans can increasingly stay connected. LINE GAMES isn't just growing a community around their game, they are actively rewarding the fans who have already discovered their IP and supported it off of fandom alone.

As for Anime Soul, their aspirations are bigger than just Discord. Their new website  is the logical next step for a community that was born from the authentic desire to connect over a shared passion -- a valuable trait that can't be faked or easily created by outsiders.

It is a win-win relationship made possible by Discord's intuitive design and mass-adoption by a younger generation of online consumers. As game developers (and other creative entities) become increasingly aware of the massive communities being formed on Discord,  they will have to find ways to engage while still preserving the authentic fan environment that formed these communities in the first place.

For now, such engagement is alive and well at the Anime Soul discord channel.

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