Garnt Maneetapho, a.k.a. Gigguk, is a British-Thai, fast-talking, self-made anime reviewer who originated on YouTube and is the sole founder of The Anime Zone, co-founder of The PodTaku Podcast, and director of EvAbridged.
Born in Brighton, England to Thai immigrants, he began his reviewing career in 2008 as a way to procrastinate from math homework. It all started with a review of Bleach under his Thai nickname, Gigguk. Since then, he has changed his style from leisurely enjoyment to a more analytical and comedic approach. His final grade is based on a 0 to 10 rating system, designating each title with a single integer. He is open to reviewing any title from any genre, despite his aversion to high school and moe anime.
2012 marked the beginning of his tenure as a permanent panelist on The PodTaku Podcast until its folding in January 2016. He was joined by fellow reviewers Arkada, Holden, and Jeanne. He followed it up two months later with the release of EvAbridged, a highly satirical parody of Rebuild of Evangelion, in which he voices the role of Fuyutsuki. On September 25, 2013, he and the rest of PodTaku launched J-Taku, a separate podcast of singular topics devoted to anime, which was developed with the help of several other reviewers note .
Gigguk entered hiatus in 2014 after taking a job for the BBC, uploading three videos in 2014 and five videos in 2015.
On May 5, 2016, Gigguk announced his official return to YouTube after a series of consistent uploads, with his intent to substantially grow the channel by the end of the year. He reached over 500k subscribers that year in December, and hit one million subscribers on December 30th in 2017. As of July 2020, he is one of the most subscribed Anitubers with 2.39 million subscribers.
After his comeback, he moved away from his previous reviewing format over time, and eventually stopped using the name "The Anime Zone".
2020 sees the debut of a collaborative podcast with The Anime Man and CDawgVA, Trash Taste. The series focuses on their mutual love of anime and manga, as well as their unique takes and observation on Japanese society.
Gigguk provides examples of the following tropes:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: When describing Blend-S and asking what S stands for:Gigguk: Sure enough, it surfaced, starting the story of Sakuranomiya as she is scouted into Stile, sadistic though she is. A suitable specimen to situate herself in a superfluous shack of sisters, tsunderes, senpais, and surprises, selling the sweetest of snacks with sterling services. This story, a slice of life, silly as swallows, showcased such simple stimulating satisfactions, staging some side-splitting shenanigans stylishly supported by stars. Signifying a sprightly, spunky, spirited show that is surefire to spring a smile. So, in summation, S stands for suck mY BIG FAT-[show intro plays]
- Applied Mathematics: He was able to sum up all the relationships from School Days using variables and simple functions.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: In his guide to Fall 2016 anime, he starts by claiming that Keijo!!!!!!!! is trashy and sexist, before calling it pure genius immediately afterwards.
- Country Matters: When giving a rundown of the cast of School Days he just refers to Makoto as a cunt.
- Cuteness Proximity: Despite his usual dislike of moe, Tsumugi Inuzuka from Sweetness & Lightning gets this reaction out of him.
- Damned by Faint Praise: When he briefly summarizes his thoughts on Fairy Tail, he says that watching the show was "definitely time... spent".
- Deadpan Snarker: It's very expected from an anime reviewer and critic to impose sarcasm in his reviews, even sometimes throwing in humor with it.
- Even the Guys Want Him: "The Waifu Tier List" ranks all the usual cute anime girls with Robert E.O. Speedwagon from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure on his own in S tier.
- Forgot Flanders Could Do That: During the episode on gacha games, he starts playing Fate/Grand Order and confides that after cracking so many jokes about the Fate Series being that one with all the porn, the gender-flipping and the ridiculous names, he kinda forgot people actually like the series for a reason, and quickly got engrossed into the story.
- Good with Numbers: Up until his 10,000 subscriber special, Gigguk attended Bristol University where he majored in Electronic Engineering.
- He Is All Grown Up: Gigguk does a Wild Take upon seeing what Fate/Zero's Waver's grown into by Lord El-Melloi II Case Files and immediately starts catcalling him to the tune of a gospel choir.
- Hiatus: Almost as famous as his reviews, his hiatus from regular uploads between 2014-2016 made some question his state of health, and it became a Running Joke with his subscribers. This hiatus was compounded by the fact his fellow reviewer and former PodTaku collaborator, Arkada, uploads on a weekly basis.
- I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: In "The Moe Anime Revolution": When we think of influential shows in the history of anime, we think of international megahits like AKIRA, Evangelion and Dragon Ball Z, anime that had an industry-wide effect and influenced their genres for years to come. So, seven years after some no-name on the internet reviewed K-On! and publicly exclaimed that this was a nothing show about cute girls drinking motherfucking tea, I can now begrudgingly admit that K-On is one of the most important and influential shows to come out for modern anime. (Beat) Yes, those were really words that just came out of my mouth.
- Large Ham: He qualifies due to frequently shouting and exaggerating his words. The basis for some of his comedy. Also done to just get something across.
- Leeroy Jenkins: The intro to his Sword Art Online review.
- Magical Asian: One of the jokes in the PodTaku Drunk Podcast episode was that Gigguk would win in a fight between the four panelists due to his superior math knowledge and inherent martial arts skills.
- Mathematician's Answer: In "trying to understand the fate series", Gigguk takes a moment to detail how Red Saber and Saber of Red are actually different characters despite their very similar names and appearance:Gigguk: And these two Saber are also different from each other?
Fate Fandom Gigguk: Oh, no, no, no! You see, one is Red Saber and the other is Saber of Red. Get it?
Fate Fandom Gigguk: It's pretty simple...
Gigguk: And they aren't related to the original Saber at all?
Fate Fandom Gigguk: Only Saber of Red.
Gigguk: You mean the Saber that's red or the one that looks like Saber?
Fate Fandom Gigguk: (takes a moment to think it over) ...Yes!
- Mondegreen: When claiming that Keijo!!!!!!!! "[pushed] new boundaries in the elegant art of taking the piss...literally," he puts the following lyrics over the opening: "Splash in my pee/Making you taste/Splash in my pee" (it's actually "Splash in my dream/Making new days!/Splash in my dream").
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Claimed in "Anime in 2015" that Tokyo Ghoul √A was such a bad adaptation that "fucked viewers so hard, you can now watch the entire series on Pornhub!" before showing the site (with ads and suggestions pixelated) to show it's really there.
- Oh, Crap!: The beginning of his School Days review.Gigguk: Today on the Anime Zone, a review of School Days. *Chirping Crickets* ...SHIT.
- Out-of-Character Moment:
- Despite his constant aversion to slice-of-life, moe, high school anime, he highly praised The Disapperance of Haruhi Suzumiya for being so unlike its predecessors.
- In spite of being known for making comedy videos, some of his more serious and analytical videos like "You'll Grow Out of Anime Eventually" and "The Perfect Anime" are surprisingly deep and philosophical.
- When his strong dislike of the Little Sister Heroine and similar incest-fetish weirdness is well-known to the point of running gag, it really says something when he openly apologizes to Kaede from Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai for writing her off before seeing where the show was going with her character.
- His genuine and non-joking review of Summer Wars, in which he stressed the utter importance of family. And his review of Your Name was really heartwarming with no comedy in it.
- Out of Character Is Serious Business: He wasn't in any mood to make jokes after the Kyoto Animation arson. Instead, Gigguk genuinely thanked the studio and the people working for it in a tribute video.
- Person as Verb: "Don't worry, we got permission to film in these stores. We didn't fucking Logan Paul our way through Akibahara."
- Rapid-Fire Comedy: His season summaries in particular rely on fast editing to tie the quick jokes together.
- Running Gag:
- The constant badgering of his fanbase to go watch Baccano!.
- "Hentai games..."
- From his Ikki Tousen review, "Panty Shot!"
- "People die if they are killed."
- From his K-On! review, any problem in the show can be solved by "MOTHER-FUCKING TEA!"
- From his "DARLING in the FRANXX in 10 Minutes" video, any explanation for the absurdity that occurs near the end of the series is always summed up in two words; Because Trigger.
- Rule of Cool: Often a optional criteria he uses as he sees fit. Was a major factor of criteria with his Top 20 Epically Cool Anime Characters list.
- Serious Business: "When you disagree over best girl": Gigguk's friend says that he really likes KonoSuba, but he doesn't see the appeal of Raphtalia. Gigguk phones the police to report a hate crime.
- Sophisticated as Hell: His videos feature a lot of genuinely deep insight into narrative tropes, the anime industry, and the artistic expression of the medium as a whole. These are paired with sex jokes, memes, and silly caption humor.
- Stylistic Suck: His Bible Black "Honest Review," which he describes as a "timeless classic and absolute masterpiece" while (mostly) barring his fast-paced humor. The date it was uploaded in tells you just as much.
- Troperiffic: Gigguk has been known to use tropes by name.
Tropes that Gigguk has discussed in his videos:
- Adaptation Distillation: Has a video talking about the fact that most anime are adaptations of manga, light novels, and video games that people have experienced as the source material and people experience for the first time as anime.
- Animation Age Ghetto: One of his videos talks about how growing up as a kid a lot of people expected him to grow out of anime. He also mentions how the general populace doesn't differentiate anime from cartoons and still sees them as "childish".
- Darker and Edgier: Bought up in his review of Fate/Zero where he mentions that the appeal of the show is that it had a more mature edge over all of the high school anime that were coming out at the time.
- Has a similar opinion about DEVILMAN crybaby.
- Fanservice: A major topic that comes up in his videos. Gigguk's stance is that, quite simply, Sex Sells. His full view was encapsulated in this video.
- Hate Sink: Discussed with Malty Melromarc from The Rising of the Shield Hero. While Gigguk says he considers himself a rational person, he also says "I hope this fucking bitch dies in a fire." He would later get exactly what he wanted; Malty is killed by being burned at the stake later in the story.
- Hentai: Devoted an entire episode to it. Specifically, he cited the sheer amount of fanservice in anime these days making it hard to distinguish between anime and porn, how hentai (like anything else) can be done well under the right circumstances, and that every anime fan has seen at least some hentai, so it's nothing to be ashamed of.
- Hype Backlash:
- One of his videos talks about how hype has played into recent seasonal anime.
- His DARLING in the FRANXX has him talk about its initial hype and controversial ending, and he comes to the realization that it was never going to be the next Evangelion.
- It's Not Porn, It's Art: Discussed in the episode "Hentai in a Nutshell". Gigguk shows a few frames from doujinshi and hentai works that have genuinely Awesome Art that isn't pornographic, and mentions how one hentai in particular actually got him to cry because of the strength of its story. Gigguk concludes by saying that hentai is ultimately a part of the anime medium, mentioning that established mangaka (like the creator of Food Wars!) started by creating hentai, and that it's not something to be ashamed of liking.
- It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: In his video "Why SAO Isn't Dead" he talks about how over the years like Sword Art Online there have always been popular anime like Naruto, Bleach, and Dragon Ball that have drawn in a lot of criticism at the height of their popularity.
- Les Yay: Jokes about this in his "Anime in 2016" video in regards to a few shows.
- Moe: Early in his Youtube career, he claimed he doesn't really get the appeal of watching of show with apparently nothing but cute girls doing cute things. Though he eventually made a video on how the phenomenon came to dominate anime in "The Moe Anime Revolution". While he still doesn't always get these types of show based around moe, he'd eventually start somewhat appreciating it and there are some slice-of-life shows with strong moe elements that he liked, such as A Place Further than the Universe.
- Not Blood Siblings: Invented the saying "It's not incest if you shout no chromo" in reference to Domestic Girlfriend.
- Poor Man's Substitute: During his Fall 2017 Seasonal breakdown, Gigguk sums up Black Clover as being a Poor Man's Naruto, or a Rich Man's Fairy Tail.
- Serial Escalation: One of the reasons why the Saitama vs. Lord Boros fight work so well in his opinion.
- Ship Tease: In his "Anime in 2016" video he does a segment on Izetta: The Last Witch, Flip Flappers, and Sound! Euphonium poking fun at the constant yuri teases in all three of them.
- So Bad, It's Good: Discussed as part of the appeal of Eromanga Sensei, saying it was "transcending trash", and describing it as a "masterpiece of trash".
- Something Something Leonard Bernstein: In his "Attack on Titan in 9 minutes" video, he quietly mumbles the lyrics of the show's first opening for a few seconds before bursting into a full volume "JÄÄÄGER!!!", pretty much the only part of the song every one knows.
- Tastes Like Diabetes: His reaction to K-On!.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: His opinion on the Sword Art Online movie, pointing out that if it was handled better it would have been something that could change the entire franchise.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: His summation of the plot twists of Steins;Gate.The story had more twists and turns I've seen in any show since Code Geass, with these plot twists mostly coming from our lack of understanding when it comes to time travel, allowing the author to effectively theorize his own science in the understanding of the quantum mechanics inherent behind the paradoxical results of jumping through time a.k.a. he can make shit up.
- Tsundere: One of his gag videos is a guide to tsunderes in anime... and real life.
- And then he deconstructs and completely tears apart the character trope ruthlessly. He starts with the premise "tsunderes are not bitches, they're just misunderstood." However, he ends with "tsunderes are not misunderstood, they're bitches".
- Yandere: Made a sequel to the tsundere video talking about this trope.