It’s the most quoted line in an oft-quoted commercial. Directed by one voice actor (Vic Mignogna) and starring others, this promotional video for Sakura-con that took on a life of its own. Today, it’s hard to find an anime fan who doesn’t respond to the phrase “I love sushi” with an automatic, “I love Japan, period!”
Like it or lump it, this low-budget commercial has become a cult classic with fans. And at the epicenter, there’s the actor who says “Girugamesh.” His black lipstick, contrasted with his sheer enthusiasm, has had a significant impact on fan culture.
In the past few weeks, as I mentioned in my Anime Herald podcast appearance, I have made it my mission to meet and interview Girugamesh Guy. I think it’s worth stating that I am totally earnest about this. While I realize the commercial got its fair share of critique as well as praise, I’m not looking to pass judgement, but simply to revisit this moment in anime culture. Once you become Girugamesh Guy, what happens to your life after that?
The search began with some promising leads. I found some apparent clips from Girugamesh Guy’s film reel. As you can see by this scene at the beach and this scene at a party, this black-lipsticked actor has become pretty typecast as the jerk that gets his deadly due. From there, I found two possible identities, complete with names and emails. I found a Facebook page that belongs to a man who looks suspiciously like Girugamesh Guy. I contacted all these people (and Vic Mignogna, and the Sakura-con staff), but it’s been over a week and I haven’t received a single reply. At least to me, Girugamesh Guy remains an enigma.
I wrote this blog post as a eulogy to this and all the other articles I’ve attempted and failed to report. There are so many threads of curiosity I’ve attempted to explore. Some get scrapped early when I don’t have any sources. Others get spiked by my editors, when there isn’t enough evidence to ensure I’ve found the truth, not just a rumor. For every story that gets told, there’s another just waiting in the wings for anything to give it legs.
If you see this, Girugamesh Guy, please contact me. I’m still hoping.