Yu-Gi-Oh! is a gift for anime fans who love to indulge in a meme or two. The series’ over-the-top arcs and dramatic dialogue are perfect for spoofing, and Joey has been targeted by all sorts of memes. As many will know, the boy’s chin has been the focus of many memes, and fans just learned how the chin came to be.
As it turns out, a certain Japanese wrestler is to thank for the meme.
Over on Twitter, a user known as Yami M! hit up fans to share a piece of information they learned about Joey. The netizen said he messaged one of the animation directors of Yu-Gi-Oh! about Joey’s chin, and it was there they admitted Antonio Inoki inspired the cleft.
“A couple of days ago I messaged Takahiro Kagami, one of the animation directors on Yu-Gi-Oh (@jetikariya50), asking about the infamous Joey chin, and he responded to me saying that it was inspired by the Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki,” Yami M! relayed.
A couple of days ago I messaged Takahiro Kagami, one of the animation directors on Yu-Gi-Oh ( @jetikariya50 ), asking about the infamous Joey chin, and he responded to me saying that it was inspired by the Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki! pic.twitter.com/I3BzeXoMdn— YamiM! (@YamiArtio) April 17, 2019
For those unfamiliar with Inoki, the wrestler is one of Japan’s most famous. He work with Tokyo Pro Wrestling between 1966 and 1998 where he famously fought Muhammad Ali back in 1976. A year after retiring from wrestling, Inoki was elected into the Japanese House of Councillors and continued his political career when he was reelected in 2013.
In the past, it appears Kagami has loosely drawn ties between Inoki and Joey on Twitter. A post dating back to 2012 saw the Yu-Gi-Oh! director revealed how a train of thought about Joey liking wrestling led the character to having a pronounced chin similar to Inoki.
So, are you surprised by this bit of inspiration? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!
Yu-Gi-Oh! was originally created by Kazuki Takahashi for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, and ran from September 1996 to March 2004. The series follows Yugi Mutou, a young boy who solves an ancient puzzle and is possessed by the spirit of the Egyptian pharoah. Being skilled at deadly games, the Pharoah goes on to create and solve problems for Yugi based on deadly games of chance. Two anime adaptations were created for the series, but the one most fans will recognize is Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters.
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