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Billy Herrington is an American adult film actor and bodybuilder affectionately nicknamed “Big Brother” (兄貴, aniki) in the Japanese online communities 2channel and Nico Nico Douga. Herrington’s internet fame in Japan began in 2007 after clips from one of his films titled “Workout Muscular Men 3” became used as a bait-and-switch video and the source material for high-quality MAD remixes.
Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Herrington began pursuing his acting career after his high school graduation in 1996 when one of his nude submissions won him Playgirl magazine’s “Real Men of the Month” contest. In the following years, Herrington modeled for French nude calendars and starred in a number of hardcore adult films that made him one of the best known same-sex adult films stars of the late 1990s. However, his internet fame began many years later on September 30th, 2007 with the upload of a video clip from Herrington’s “Workout Muscular Men 3” via video-sharing community Nico Nico Douga (NND). Titled “Professional Pants-Wrestling” (本格的 ガチムチパンツレスリング), the video gained more than 5.5 million views in less than five years.
Billy Herrington’s homoerotic wrestling clips soon emerged as a popular source material for bait & switch trolling on 2channel in similar vein to Rickrolling that became widespread through the English imageboard site 4chan. One of the earlier developments was phonetic translation of the dialogues between Herrington and other actors in the films. For instance, one could possibly mishear Herrington’s line “you got me mad now” as “Yugamineena,” or “you are not distorted” in Japanese.
In addition, Herrington’s videos went on to spawn an extensive collection of MAD remixes numbering in tens of thousands on Nico Nico Douga. One of the more complex video-editing memes on the site, the footage was remixed in many different ways, including phonetic translation, sampling the sound of butt spanking, as well as remixes featuring 3D model characters and fanart of the actors. Eventually, the videos featuring Herrington’s underwear wrestling scenes became known as “Gachimuchi Pantsu Wrestling” videos. As of June 2012, there are more than 11,000 videos tagged under the label on Nico Nico Douga.
Ultimate Muscle Roller Legend
Ultimate Muscle Roller Legend is a 3D animation video in which two Gachimuchi muscle men chase down and defeat the road-building, steam-rolling Kagamine Rin, characters from the second installment in the Vocaloid2 series.
The YouTube version of the video was uploaded on August 21st, 2009 and received more than 2.9 million views as of June 2012. According to the video description:
Deep in the forest lived Billy and his charming companions. They peacefully honed their bodies and listened to music there. But a wave of development came upon the forests. One who would turn all to road. Kagamine Rin had come. Billy must stop the construction before all is turned to road.
Billy Herrington wrestling videos are deliberately tagged with misleading labels like “Wrestling Series (レスリングシリーズ resuringu shirīzu))”, “Forest Fairy” (森の妖精 mori no yōsei) and “Philosophy” (哲学 tetsugaku). The nickname “Fairy of Forest” (森の妖精 or “Mori no Yousei”) stems from a scene in one of his works, where he appears as a fairy coming from the forest. In Japanese, “forest fairy” is a slang term used to describe a homosexual person.
On February 14th, 2009, Herrington visited Japan after he was invited to make an appearance in a special Nico Nico Douga livecast for Valentine’s Day. According to the YouTube video description, more than 10,000 fans of Billy Herrington showed up at the Nico Nico Douga event in Tokyo’s Akihabara district.
During his visit, Herrington also made other appearances in the media, including an interview with Japanese site Ascii (shown below, left) and a guest spot on a late night talk show (shown below, right).
On the same day as the event, Japanese model kit makers Good Smile Company announced that they would manufacture a limited-edition Billy Herrington action figure to be released in July 2009. The news quickly spread through the grapevines of both Japanese and English blogs Kakaku, Ascii and Gawker among others.