King Vader, actor, director, and all-around anime fan, returned to Crunchyroll Expo to premiere of his newest film, Hood Jujutsu Kaisen. The Chicago-born social media star and YouTuber who got his start from being an online sensation on Vine have had an awe-inspiring career journey. King Vader has successfully turned hilarious viral parody videos about anime and pop culture into a successful career.
Today his work continues to have a considerable impact on the anime community. For many people, King Vader (also known as Dominique Barrett) and his work represent a cultural bridge between anime and hip-hop as his popular parodies, and original takes on his favorite rappers and anime series have become a smash hit. Vader’s previous films, such as Hood Naruto Pt. 3, which premiered on Crunchyroll 2019, and My Hood Academia, have gained over 20 million views combined on his YouTube channel.
Now at Crunchyroll Expo 2022, King Vader has just premiered his latest film, Hood Jujutsu Kaisen. The film is a live-action adaptation of the Jujutsu Kaisen anime series, but with Vaders unique spin on the characters and storyline. We had the pleasure of sitting down with King Vader following the premiere of his new film Hood Jujutsu Kaisen at Crunchyroll Expo.
To kick things off, we asked King Vader what it is like knowing that his work has had such a huge impact on the anime community. Vader explained, “I mean, it is always kind of like…I am not gonna say overwhelming, but I never really know until I come out and actually talk to people and see their reactions.”
Vader adds that he is so grateful for the support of his fans and the anime community for taking a chance on his projects. “Seeing the reactions on social media and being here in-person is always a blessed time. I am just grateful because I remember back on Vine when I was just in the living room making videos on the phone. And to see where we are now. It is truly because of the people who support me.”
The premiere of Hood Jujutsu Kaisen is not King Vader’s first time showing one of his films at Crunchyroll Expo. Vader attended Crunchyroll Expo 2019, where he premiered Hood Naruto Pt. 3. We asked him what it was like returning to this year’s expo to premiere his new film. “Honestly, it felt like open arms. You know it felt like welcome back home. To be walking around on the con floor and running into all the supporters and fans like…stopping to talk with people, taking pictures, and you know, just like building the excitement up for this premier.”
To make the Hood Jujutsu Kaisen’s premiere and Vader’s return to Crunchyroll Expo even more unique, he was shocked to learn that he would be introduced on stage by the English voice cast of Jujutsu Kaisen, Adam McArthur, and Anne Yatco. “The voice actors for Yuji and Nobara were on stage. And I was like is this happening? Oh, this is happening! You know, so yea, this one is special and something I will never forget this…I just feel honored and blessed to be here again.”
Following such a successful premiere, we are curious to know what is next for King Vader regarding upcoming projects and his career. “We have something special for Anime NYC coming up later, so that will be cool. But In general, for King Vader, the skies are the limit. As a film director, I want to keep making amazing films for amazing crowds and make people happy all over the world who watch my films.”
For more on Hood Jujutsu Kaisen, King Vader’s creative process, and more, press play on the complete interview above.