TheAnimeMen are Using TikTok to Combat Stereotypes Through Comedic and Creative Expression

TikTok’s most wholesome friend group, TheAnimeMen, is on a mission to propel the popularity of anime all around the world. Thanks to their charming personalities, innovative filming skills, and genuinely entertaining content production, these viral sensations can proudly say they are doing just that.

The group began in simple terms: friends bonding over common interests. When Gianni Sirgy sat down next to Jeremy Yu in the eighth grade, the two quickly discovered a shared love for cinematography. Fast forward to the last year of high school, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two best friends made the decision to share their adoration with the world. When Yu was looking to lose weight, Sirgy took that as an opportunity to begin filming and documenting the process. During Yu’s workouts, his best friend would consistently show up by his side to add a comedic flare to the workout. Sirgy began lip-syncing to viral anime songs on TikTok, motivating his friend to keep pushing through the journey. And, in a surprising turn of events, this decision was the birthing of TheAnimeMen.

It wasn’t long before views started to skyrocket, as fans across the world took note of the two boys and their passion for anime and filmmaking. As time went on, Ethan Chambers, Kaide Ward, Sam Giraud, and Aidan Santana joined the lineup, but this only amplified the group’s popularity. Their videos became more elaborate and impressive, but the boys always maintained a genuine love for the subject matter: anime. A breath of fresh air in a world clouded by artificialness, their authentic and charismatic nature allowed them to reach new horizons.

It has always been the goal of TheAnimeMen to correct the narratives surrounding the art of anime by showing people what it’s really about. With their original content, TheAnimeMen invites a welcomed sense of community to the space, enlightening viewers on who is supporting the pastime. Many people hold a preconceived idea of what anime is and who is consuming it in the Western Hemisphere, crafting wild archetypes that fail to represent the majority. However, streaming services have largely allowed for anime to crossover into the mainstream, with most people being able to identify one anime that they like due to complex storytelling and engaging visuals. Rather than generalizations continuing to spread, the rise of viewership in the last decade has allowed countless stereotypes about Japanese cartoon fans to crumble. And, because of groups like TheAnimeMen, the normalization of anime continues to persist.

TheAnimeMen dismantle those cliches simply by existing and creating content. The individuals who make up the group, all of whom come from diverse backgrounds, are community leaders who stand with their followers in solidarity over mutual interests. They’ve built a strong friendship with one another based on their love for anime and harness a network of thousands with the same common passion. Their enjoyment of anime hasn’t left them cooped up in their rooms, chronically obsessing over the subject matter. Instead, it has pushed them to get outside, interact with the world around them, and showcase their creative expression.

Since launching the brand, TheAnimeMen has surpassed 2.5 million followers on TikTok in less than two years and continues to grow their audience every day. Their videos provide a unique commentary on anime, which is often expressed through a comedic and creative lens. Although their videos initially started simple, TheAnimeMen now use various filming locations, dress up in elaborate costumes to shoot videos, and demonstrate impressive editing styles. They have even made full-production music videos and actively work with Sony Music Entertainment Japan to promote up-and-coming anime artists.

In a world that seems increasingly cold and pessimistic, a group of friends pursuing their passions and building community is refreshing to witness. Gianni Sirgy, Jeremy Yu, Ethan Chambers, Kaide Ward, Sam Giraud, and Aidan Santana, known nationwide as TheAnimeMen, are friends first and entertainers second. Valuing their passions before anything else, their commitment to anime and genuine bond with one another melts the hearts of social media users all around the world. Throughout their explosive growth, the one thing that has never wavered is their love for anime and their ability to have fun with one another.

Written in partnership with Enclave & Key