Yu-Gi-Oh! Animation Director Confirms 'Joey Chin' is Inspired By Wrestler Antonio Inoki
posted on by Kim Morrissy
There are times in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime when Joey Wheeler sports an unusually pointy chin and a "creepy" smile. This became a meme that even inspired anime fans around the world to Photoshop pointy chins onto other anime characters.
One anime fan has recently claimed to receive confirmation from Yu-Gi-Oh! animator and animation director Takahiro Kagami that Joey's chin is inspired by former Japanese professional wrestler Antonio Inoki.
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
Inoki joined Tokyo Pro Wrestling in 1966 and retired in 1998. In 1976, he famously fought against boxing legend Muhammad Ali. In 1989, Inoki joined politics and was elected to the Japanese House of Councillors. He was reelected in 2013.
Kagami had previously confirmed in Japanese in a tweet posted in 2012 that Inoki was an inspiration for the Joey chin. He wrote: "It wasn't something I did arbitrarily. When I read Takahashi-sensei's source material, I thought, 'This character has that kind of personality so they might do this kind of thing.' For example: Joey is the hot-blooded 'big bro' character -> He might like martial arts -> I suppose he likes wrestling -> I bet he likes Inoki -> The chin! That's how it went."
ただ、好き勝手にやってたのではなく、高橋先生の原作を読んで、そこから”このキャラはこんな性格っぽいからこういう事するかも”て、考えて、例えば城之内は熱血アニキキャラ→格闘技好きかも→プロレス好きかな→猪木好きだろ→アゴ!とかやってました(@∀@:)— 加々美高浩 (@jetikariya50) September 1, 2012
The "Joey Chin" appears in episodes 7, 91, 134, 153, and others.