He rose to fame with a review segment simply entitled "The JesuOtaku Anime Review". His review approach was very analytical, using a four-star* rating system. He also produced his "summer project", an audio drama adaptation of Fruits Basket, every Wednesday throughout summer 2011 (and which can be found here if you're interested). He is notable for his large amount of shows:
- JO Anime Reviews
- New Lyrics
- Various Let's Plays
After joining That Guy with the Glasses, he gained a great degree of success previously unseen. Despite efforts to keep the DesuDesBrigade alive, he made the decision to officially leave the Brigade, which would later disband.
He is here on Twitter. He also has a live stream, here and he can be found here on Formspring. Additionally, he has also often appeared on Nash's long running Radio Dead Air internet radio show, which can be found here. He set up his own website in December 2012, which has everything he has a major role in, such as crossovers and panels at conventions, here.
In January 2013, Jacob announced that he'd be part of an adaptation of Katawa Shoujo, named Katawa Seiyu, being released on YouTube. The trailer is here. JO himself has recorded auditions for several characters, which can be listened to here. He was cast as the voice of Rin Tezuka. However, the project has not been updated in over three years and is assumed to have been abandoned.
In October 2014, he has decided to call it quits due to decreasing ad revenue on Blip.tv and his new job at Anime News Network, leaving any still-running series abandoned. He was originally fine with people uploading his old videos due to their removal from Blip, but has since requested that people take any old videos featuring him down due to potential harassment.
On January 30, 2016, he came out as Transgender. Most of his video content predates this, so invoked gender tropes in those were when he still publicly identified as a woman.
He is currently the head of PangoDango Games, who are developing their first visual novel, Lovely Little Thieves; it was originally due for release in 2016 but has been delayed indefinitely.
As of 2017, he is the regular co-host of the ANNCast podcast on Anime News Network with his (ex-)husband Zac Bertschy. He also regularly writes reviews and editorials for the site.
JesuOtaku provides examples of the following tropes:
- Aborted Arc: Has happened twice, as Jacob has stated on Formspring that he doesn't do plot arcs in his reviews:
- The first was after the Highschool Of The Dead review, where it seemed like Jesu was going to make other people watch bad anime (like what Sage had done to him), but since then, nothing's happened.
- The second is from To Boldly Flee, the fourth anniversary video for TGWTG- at the end, it's shown that Edward was still in Jesu's mind, but Jacob jossed any hopes Edward would be back in his reviews.
- All Adult Animation Is South Park: Discussed in a few episodes. One of the many reasons JO lists for loving anime is how Japanese animation has more freedom to explore more themes and genres than here in the West, where animation is seen as either "a man-child comedy" (The Simpsons, South Park, Futurama, Family Guy, American Dad!, and more), or straight-up "for children."
- Alternate Character Interpretation: In his in-universe LP of Super Mario 64, he does a first-person, diary-like monologue if Mario was actually an Italian plumber from...well...Italy, felt like he was hallucinating, and eventually became a thrill-seeking, sociopathic, evil-overlord-to-be with a god complex who never "gets some" from Peach.
- His 'Penguin Lottery' video can easily point to a more Ax-Crazy side of JO.
- Arch-Enemy: Bennett the Sage, who subjects him to terrible anime in attempts to break hi, because...that's not really clear.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: A common thread in his written introductions for each of the villains in his "Top 20 Deliciously Evil Villains".
- Author Appeal: He seems to have a liking to adding emoticons anytime he has to add text on a clip.
- Author Filibuster: He used his FLCL review as an opportunity to go on a rant about how Studio Gainax are complete HACKS when it comes to making Psychological Dramas and that they should stick to over-the-top goofiness and simple morals. He addressed this fact on his Twitter, and stated that the reason he did this was because FLCL was just way too simple for even him to talk about at length.
- Awesome Music: His "Top 15 Dub Themes", invoked in-universe. Topping the list was, but of course, Pokémon. Nothing specific, just Pokémon.
- Berserk Button:
- He hates Bryke and The Legend of Korra. He believes the finale where Korra and Asami become a couple was Pandering to the Base so they could have the dying show end on a high note - allowing Bryke to get showered with praise and distracting people from the the trainwreck that was the rest of the series.
- In-Universe, Moe, and now also an ecchi comedy about BrotherSister Incest called Oniichan No Koto Na... ah, screw it. He found it painful just to get through the first minute of the first episode.
- He also seems to have a real and legitimate hatred of people questioning him on why he doesn't care for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. To be fair, this is because people did this incessantly after he made his lukewarm feelings towards it clear. The same was true for the Berserk manga (at least until he actually got into the story thanks to the 2016 series) and the episode "Boogie Woogie Feng Shui" from Cowboy Bebop. Also, don't get him started on any recent work done by ADR Director/Scriptwriter Steven Foster.
- Also comes into effect when someone dismisses anime and/or manga as a legitimate art form, like Oancitizen did in their crossover review of The Movie of Revolutionary Girl Utena:
- Brain Bleach:
- Break the Cutie:
- Usually calm and collected, JO was reduced to a fit of hysterical rage by the final fight of the YuYu Hakusho: Dark Tournament video game.
- Bennett the Sage 's goal for him. Bennett failed all three times, and was reduced to a calmer character in following videos.
- He was reduced to tears after his ship was sunk in the Digimon Movie.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Takes on a self-admittedly goofy Brooklyn gangster accent for the introduction of his Baccano! review.
- Broke the Rating Scale: JO gave KissXSis a -5/5 and I Dont Like You At All, Big Brother!! a GTFO.
- "Sayonara, bye bye!"
- "On the technical side of things..."
- "All in all..."
- "That's not a metaphor."
- Cats Are Mean: One of JO's cats (the calico) isn't very friendly, as seen in the review for Fruits Basket.
- Cheshire Cat Grin / Slasher Smile: Sage looks terrifying at the end of the Koi Kaze review. Seriously, he looks like the cat out of American McGee's Alice.
- Companion Cube: His snarktitles. Until they have a brief falling out about their use in the Now and Then, Here and There review, making up afterward. They were not happy when Nash subbed in to review Transformers Animated.
- Couch Gag: The Teaser of each episode has JO doing something relating to the subject: For Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, he's dressed as Yoko and making a appropriately Hot-Blooded speech, for Mahoromatic, he acts as a maid but can't keep it up and for Chobits he's installed his mind in a new body.
- Covert Pervert: JO may be very academic and studious, but he might have a dirtier mind then Vix, as seen in "Pocky Spot 22":"Kyoya, you're not quite dressed for the occasion; you have to take your pants off too!""The correct response to this situation would be to grab his shoulders, throw him on the bed and ride him like a stallion!"
- Crossover: The number has been steadily rising since he joined TGWTG. Notable examples include:
- His status as a regular on Nash's WTFIWWY and Radio Dead Air. (He returns the favor by appearing on his streams on a regular basis, and also appeared in his review of Transformers Animated.)
- A review of Sucker Punch with Film Brain.
- The Revolutionary Girl Utena movie with Oancitizen of Brows Held High.
- Reviewing Digimon: The Movie with The Nostalgia Critic.
- A role in the TGWTG fourth anniversary film, To Boldly Flee.
- Deadpan Snarker: His "snarktitles" in all of his reviews but Now and Then, Here and There.
- Despair Event Horizon: Bennett the Sage keeps trying to "break" Jesu by showing his horrible, sick anime. It eventually backfired when he got over it, but he got depressed.
- Does Not Like Guns: Makes it very clear in the Summer 2013 Anime Derby that he dislikes guns when he gives his opinion on how Stella Academy C3 treated the subject.
- Drinking Game: One for his weekly livestream here.
- Erotic Eating: Subverted in the end credits for the Eiken review.
- Evil Is Cool: Invoked as the main criteria for his "Top 20 Deliciously Evil Villains" list.
- Fingore: His review of Baccano! got a rating of "three and a half de-fingerings out of four".
- Fake Brit: He makes fun of this trope at the beginning of his Hellsing review.
- dresses in a bikini top and shorts (back before coming out as transgender) for the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann review intro, most likely to emulate Yoko.
- When reviewing the Witchblade anime—after eviscerating Ikki Tousen, Eiken, and Master of Martial Hearts—he points out he doesn't hate Fanservice, but is sick of it being used in an incompetent or misogynistic fashion.
- Farm Boy: Grew up in rural Kentucky.
- Fun with Acronyms:
JO: That explains an awful lot, actually!
- Priggish Meryl Strife from Trigun. She's— hold on.
- Ditzy Millie Thompson. (DMT)
- Fun with Subtitles: The "snarktitles" that point things out and make witty asides about the action on screen without JO's narration having to go off on tangents. Sometimes they undercut or make fun of his, too. While introducing the review for Now and Then, Here and There, JO gets into a fight with them.
- Gag Boobs: To make fun of the large breasts of one of the main characters in the anime Grenadier, JO stuffed soccer balls up the top of his T-shirt, and as part of the joke, and even balanced a plate of food on them and ate from it. In her last Q&A, Vixen made a Take That! to that, by doing the same with her real boobs.
- Gag Nose: In his Phoenix review, he points out a recurring character's bulbous and almost tumorous nose. He even plays the Inception music while zooming the camera in on it to point out how bizarre it is.
- Heroes Love Dogs: He's been shown playing with a roommate's dog, and his love for wolves is part of why he loves Wolf's Rain.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: While summarizing Ikki Tousen, JO went through just about every synonym for underwear (and a few breast mentions as well). It underscores that this review is going to be rough.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": YAY-zoo? JEH-soo? He's pronounced it both ways...
- Keet: According to the cast commentary for To Boldly Flee, Jacob doesn't walk into a room, he bounces.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: He enjoys letting cats show up (i.e. his roommates' cats) in his videos.
- Left Hanging: He was doing retrospective reviews for Trigun and Digimon but stopped halfway through them and never continued. For the former He reached the halfway mark where the Gung-Ho-Guns started to enter the anime before stopping. For the latter he managed to reach the Tamers series but stopped when it came time to review the other kids outside the main heroes.
- Let's Play: Star Fox 64, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64.
- Magnificent Bastard: Invoked in his "Top 20 Deliciously Evil Villains" list; this is the basic criteria he goes for in order for a villain to be counted as "deliciously evil".
- Mood Whiplash: Directly after reviewing Fruits Basket, JO reviewed Now and Then, Here and There, an anime he considered too depressing to even make fun of.
- Motor Mouth: Gets into this mode occasionally.
- Multicolored Hair: Once sported black hair with red highlights. Generally nowadays has red hair with either a brighter shade of red or blonde in his hair.
- Naked People Are Funny: In the Witchblade review, as he has no clean laundry and a job interview:JesuOtaku: By God, if I can't make a good impression, I might as well make a lasting one!
- Noodle Implements: He kept interrupting Nash's intro to his "Top Classic Doctor" review to ask him for yarn, raw meat, rebar and really sturdy bricks.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
- Orphaned Series: His retrospectives for Trigun and Digimon. For the former he got up to the mid-way point of the series after Vash fights Monev, but stopped and never continued. For the latter, he reached the Tamers series but stopped when it came time to cover the supporting characters. He later cited trying to go over everything in detailed of the show was more work than he anticipated for a month theme and got too fatigued and busy with other matters to continue.
- Pet-Peeve Trope: Forced drama, Moe pandering, Ecchi, "Exactly like the Japanese version" dubs, shoddy endings, Gorn, and flat-out wasting the potential of your premise.
- Pokémon Speak: Points out Nyu's tendency to do this in Elfen Lied.
- Precision F-Strike: Happens in the beginning review of Fullmetal Alchemist when JesuOtaku is talking to people over him monitor about what anime to review for his 50th review. Sage shows up.Sage: Hi there.Jesu: FUCK! *changes channel quickly*
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: In the opening to Samurai Champloo review and his first line of the Digimon retrospective. The snarktitles are not impressed.Aow! It's August!
- Readings Blew Up the Scale: JO's "Metafiction meter" blows up at least twice during his review of Digimon Tamers.
- Real Women Never Wear Dresses: The Mahoromatic review starts with him playing a maid, before he gives it up and complains "I'm in a dress. I'm wearing make-up. I hate all of you."
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: To an extent—he pulls one on Master of Martial Hearts in his review of it.JO: Plot-wise, it's horrendous, character-wise it's meaningless, and this is to say nothing of the message it turns out they were building to. Oh yes, "Master of Martial Hearts" wants to teach us something, and it's absolutely incredible what they're implying through this revolting conclusion to a revolting show. It hurts to watch on every conceivable level and unless you're one of those people who thinks that dark twists make things better regardless of context—because some people do—there is no reason this should have been done. Heaven forbid anyone find the result "sexy" either! This is the antithesis of sexy so if it didn't already, "Master of Martial Hearts" officially serves no purpose to anyone ever at all. Fuck this horrible, horrible anime.
All in all, "Master of Martial Hearts" is just like every other clothes-shredding exhibitionist shameless anime out there...except it isn't. The simple fact that they are commercially successful both in Japan and the west is the only thing that skeeves me out about these series anymore. Content-wise, couldn't care less about them. But the lengths "Master of Martial Hearts" goes to in its repulsive, horribly written, horribly executed and thematically damning conclusion to try and give itself some gravity and importance are mortifying and should deeply disturb anyone foolish enough to give it the time of day. I can't recommend it out of morbid curiosity even, and I know the minute I say that someone's gonna go watch it just 'cause, but don't say I didn't warn you if you end up feeling awful for hours afterward. This is a foul, foul creation and I only give it one greasy burger out of four because I don't have a lower rating.
- Running Gag:
- His gripes about GONZO and their varying production values.
- The silly voices he uses for characters in his playthrough of Path of Radiance.
- From hia livestream, Boyd being blamed when something crashes or doesn't work properly on the stream, and the people in the chat shouting "NAIL!" whenever Soren, who has the voice of Super Kami Guru, appears. It has gotten to the point where JO tells them early on to get it out of their system.
- Say My Name: JO at the end of the Koi Kaze review, upon realizing who sent his Master of Martial Hearts.JO: SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!!!!
- Secret Test of Character: The end of the Highschool of the Dead seems to imply that Sage was using this anime, and possibly the other horrible anime he suggested, to this effect.
- Shared Universe: His original Channel Awesome review shows made his former persona part of the Reviewaverse.
- Shoo Out the Clowns:
- The Smart Guy: For the DesuDesBrigade.
- Something Else Also Rises: In JO's review for Chobits, he gave it X "Good Mornings" with appropriate gestures.
JO: Sorry...I squeed.
- The snarktitles don't pass the chance in the Ouran High School Host Club review.
- He confused The Nostalgia Critic by squeeing at part of the Digimon movie.
- Straight Gay: JO's interested in men, but isn't "camp" in the slightest.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders:
- From the Cowboy Bebop review back before he came out as trans, he has this reaction almost every time Faye Valentine's on screen:
"Wow. It's times like this I wish I could whistle. You could stop traffic with a body like that."
- Elizabeth from Trigun
- Top Ten List: Top X Lists, mostly. Top 20 Villains, Top 15 Dubbed Anime Themes, Top 15 Stupidest Izzyisms, Top 15 Nerd Jokes in It must have been our imagination.
- Ugly Cute: His opinion on the Tomas from Trigun.JO: Lizard eyes aside (a snarktitle points to the Tomas eyes saying "NOT NOSTRILS O_O") I think they're pretty cute!
- Wall Bang: Does this before reviewing Eiken.
- Wham Line: From the end of "Top Ten Space Dandy Episodes":"I hope you all enjoyed this video. Because you just watched my last one."
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Invoked: When commenting on the scenes that didn't get edited out of the Toonami showing of Outlaw Star, he snarks "Toonami: Women abuse...for kids! :D"
- What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out Kyle- who, it should be noted, was reviewing Melancholia and thus had already crossed the Despair Event Horizon and was in a Heroic Blue Screen of Death- when he points out how any crossovers with JO would mostly involve Kyle as the Butt-Monkey because he doesn't like Anime as much as JO.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Asked this via snarktitles in regards to Baccano!'s Jacuzzi Splot. ("No really, WHAT were his parents on?")
- Your Makeup Is Running: Manages to cause his mascara to run while crying over Tai's Unlucky Childhood Friend status with Sora in the Digimon: The Movie review, despite not wearing any to begin with.
- Your Mom: In the snark text captions of his Outlaw Star review, when comparing the plot structure to a round robin story-telling game:"I went to the store and saw...""Your mom! OOH!""Come on, Brad, can we get through ONE ROUND!?""That's what your MOM said last night! OOH!"