Like many who have grown up in biracial families, Joey Tetsuro Zenger grew up feeling as if his life was splitting in two. He was born in Sydney, but learned to walk in Japan. He grew up on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon just as much as he did on VHS tapes doraemon And the sazisan. Japanese and English are his first languages.
Identity and generational change
Joy’s dual Japanese-Australian upbringing is a large part of what guides him in his career as a content creator. On the internet, Joey is known by another mean and last name: Joey The Anime Man. Sponsored for the past nine years, The Anime Man currently has nearly 6 million subscribers across YouTube, Twitch, and other social channels. Joey is also 1/3 of the world’s largest anime podcast, Trash Taste, hosted alongside Connor Colquhoun (CDawgVA) and Garnt Maneetapho (GiggukAZ). Joey’s reviews of the anime and manga, Twitch game streaming, and video records of his life in Japan are just some of the things that make him a major voice in what was once labeled “nerd” culture.
During his adolescence, Joey grew up around others Havos (the Japanese word for multiracial people) who also extended to this Japanese-Australian line. But when he attended late elementary school and eventually St. Paul’s Catholic College Manly, he found himself being bullied as the “only Asian kid” of his year.
“I definitely had a lot of identity issues and wondered if I had to give up my Asian side to integrate into Australian culture. But after a while I thought he was having sex with her, it would just be me. I started sharing anime and video games with my friends and it turned out that they were very open and interested. When it came to my identity, I ended up realizing that I could embrace both.”
Australian high school students these days aren’t much younger than Joey, but there really is a stark difference in how today’s youth view animation. First, it is now accessible in the mainstream sense as possible, with great films like Jujutsu Kisen 0: The Movie To be available on the silver screen in local cinemas or at Hoyos this year. There’s evidence in the numbers, too. In 2021, Demon Slayer Movie: Mugen Train It became the Madman Anime Group’s highest-grossing theatrical release across Australia and New Zealand with box office grosses of $4 million and box office gross of NZ$700,000, respectively.
“We have passed on to a generation born and bred online, giving them unlimited access to content, information and entertainment. Today’s youth are more curious and able to push themselves outside their comfort zones. Animation happens to be one of those things because it is such vibrant and exciting content,” he says. aerial.
“Kids are not bullied for watching cartoons these days. They are bullied if they don’t.”
Joey anticipates that Australia will continue to be a growth market for the animation and manga industry. In July, he will be a guest at SMASH! Sydney, the Japanese pop culture conference that has grown so big that the 2022 event is moving to the ICC Exhibition Center in Sydney in Darling Harbor. He cites individuals such as award-winning video game and animation composer Kevin Banken as examples of how Australians are playing active players in this burgeoning industry.
The Anime Man started as a review site, resulting from one of the Joey School projects. He continued to maintain the site after graduation and eventually moved to YouTube. His first videos focused on anime and manga reviews, with a little vlog content and let’s play videos. His subscribers have steadily increased, but Joey clearly remembers his videos corpse party 2 Playing times that helped him gain a large number of followers. At the time, there was no official English version of the game, and Joey’s videos managed to fill that void by voicing Japanese fonts and translating the dialogue directly into English.
Today, the Joey content genre is generating ebbs and flows around casual animation and related genres. A video saw him last month spending 48 hours inside Japan’s largest internet cafe reading manga, trying live streams, and showing off the plethora of facilities available. The following video is a huge collaboration, in which Joey asks over 100 creators about the best anime ever made. Both of these videos reach 1 and 2 million views respectively.
While the topics surrounding his channel remained the same, the ideas and scale of the videos grew exponentially. From filming on a webcam built into a bedroom, The Anime Man was about to release the first episode of the game show ‘Man vs Weeb’, and its first high-scale production project with a professional cast and crew. . Filming for the first season has been completed, and if the comments are positive, Joey says a second season may be on the cards.
“I’ve worked with an amazing Japanese crew, but everything from directing to writing quizzes to producing the show was made by me, and I couldn’t help but do it because that’s my vision,” he says. “My YouTube channel is my resume, and I’m constantly pushing boundaries so people can see what I can do.”
Fashion, expression and internet culture wars
This month will come the first drop of Joey’s streetwear collection, a brand with the title “Nonsense”. For many of his fans who have seen him represent and design a variety of streetwear, tech apparel, and anime merchandise over the years, delving into fashion seems like a logical next step. For Joey, his taste in fashion was a work in progress.
“I wasn’t very stylish in Australia, but from my point of view, Sydney is not a city centered on fashion. We were mostly dressed in T-shirts and boxers. Moving to Tokyo, which is much more eclectic, allowed me to explore fashion. My friend Akidearest taught me ) also styles that work for me. I realized that streetwear and punk styles were something I loved, especially when they combined with the aesthetics of animation and games.”
Nonsense falls short of The Anime Man brand, and Joey is clearly nothing like a “YouTuber merchandise”. The concept of the brand, in his words, is a satire of the war between the inhabitants of the Internet and those who do not live on the Internet.
“You have people who bully anime fans, for example, because they love loeofos. But at the same time, those bullies are also obsessed with social media. If these groups of people take a step back, they may realize that we are all obsessed with the same thing. We are all similarly out episode and we focus on these unreal facts. At the end of the day, all this bullshit is just bullshit.”
A lot of clothing designs are based on digital design and future pieces will include elements from animation and social media. Currently, Joey is trying to come up with a design that makes fun of NFTs. Unlike traditional fashion brands that run seasonally, Nonsense plans to release a new item every month.
When asked about The Anime Man’s future, Joey’s response was positive, albeit with a dash of pragmatism.
“People don’t stay on YouTube for nine years, but for some reason I have. Internet fame is short-lived compared to traditional media where a TV host or movie star has been in the spotlight for over 15 years. What can I say I’m still doing this in my 30s and 40s My age?I was afraid that all I had was YouTube which is why I branched out as a way to explore my other interests and create these safety nets.
“I always ask myself: How can I take the things I love and expand my power with that? That’s how I embarked on projects like creating my second YouTube channel, broadcasting on Twitch, starting my own clothing brand, working on music, and creating a podcast. Something I want to do more. The future is voice acting. I’m preparing myself for the hypothetical situation that if YouTube collapses in on itself one day, where will I be? Which net of my nets will catch me?”
Joey will be a guest at SMASH Sydney as The Anime Man and Trash Taste. Watch the trailer for Man vs Weeb, check out his second channel Joey, and check out his streetwear here.