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The Untold Truth Of CoryxKenshin

Gamers make up some of the most successful content creators online. People like Markiplier have transformed their lives by using their love of video games to fuel their YouTube and Twitch channels. And while the megastars might get most of the attention, there are some relatively "smaller" channels with millions of subscribers who have been going strong for quite a while. CoryxKenshin — real name Cory Williams, but also known to his fans as "the Shogun" — is a gaming YouTuber who's been at it for more than ten years. 

CoryxKenshin started making vlogs for YouTube when he was still in college. Through persistence, dedication, and more than a few breaks, he's built a channel with over 12 million subscribers. Now, Kenshin doesn't always need to stream whatever YouTube's most-watched game is to get new views. In fact, sometimes he doesn't even have to post videos to see his channel to grow. CoryxKenshin's fans stick around for his warm personality and spectacular sense of humor. In just over a decade, CoryxKenshin has gone from goofy high-schooler to the leader of a legion of Samurai.

CoryxKenshin started on YouTube as a vlogger

CoryxKenshin uploaded his first video to YouTube on May 25, 2009, when he was just 16 years old. That video — and many of his other early uploads — had nothing to do with the gaming content that would later bring him massive success. When he first started on YouTube, Kenshin was a vlogger, creating videos about his daily life and sometimes putting together comedy sketches.

It wasn't until he was in college that CoryxKenshin started actually playing video games on his channel. He started with the horror game "White Finger" and received a warm response from his small community of fans. From then on, Cory focused on gaming content, mostly focusing on indie horror games and hit flash games like "Happy Wheels." 

Even with the change, Cory's early vlog style came through his gaming videos, and his audience tuned in just as much for his personality as for the game he chose to play.

CoryxKenshin calls his fans 'the Samurai'

Every fan community has its own unique sense of identity. CoryxKenshin's fans call themselves "the Samurai," and they refer to him as "the Shogun." The names came about in 2014 when Kenshin had his fans vote on an audience name and a new outro for his videos. At the time, Kenshin was thrilled to have more than 100 votes in his poll. Though his channel would be closing in on 13 million subscribers less than a decade later, it had yet to hit 10,000 when he ran the famous poll. 

Cory said he liked the fan nickname, because samurai are "noble, they're strong, they're courageous, they fight for each other." It didn't take long for fans to start calling Kenshin "the Shogun" in response.

From there, the streamer's fans started their own subreddit called "Samurai Unite!" This was quickly followed by the creation of "The Samurai Brothas & Sistas" community on Steam. As the new identity began to take hold, Cory started ending his videos by encouraging viewers to "Samurai slice that 'like' button." This is why CoryxKenshin's official merch prominently features samurai and shogun characters.

Faith is a big part of CoryxKenshin's life – and why he's still on YouTube

Not every YouTuber opens up about their spiritual beliefs, but CoryxKenshin wears his faith on his sleeve. While he doesn't spend much time on his channel discussing his faith, it plays a small part in everything that he does. His YouTube page reads, "Just trying to live in God's image. Hopefully my videos can make your day a little better." He puts forward the same sentiment on Instagram, Twitter, and just about anywhere else he goes online.

For nearly a decade, CoryxKenshin has ended every one of his videos with a Bible verse or psalm. It started when he was playing "Pokemon Emerald" all the way back in 2014. When he had his fans vote on a new outro for his videos, every option included a quote from the Bible. In the years since that initial vote, CoryxKenshin's outro has changed significantly, but he's always included a verse at the very end.

In fact, it weren't for CoryxKenshin's faith, he probably wouldn't still be working on YouTube. The creator had planned his retirement for a long time (more on that later), but when it came to the planned time for him to step away from the channel, his faith brought him back. "I felt that God had given me such a gift — of this channel, of this community," he said, adding, "How do you walk away from a blessing?" CoryxKenshin decided he couldn't let his blessing go and continued working on the channel.

CoryxKenshin's younger brother is also a YouTuber

CoryxKenshin has inspired legions of fans and has gotten plenty of people interested in creating YouTube channels of their own. Anyone who's watched his channel for a long time probably wouldn't be surprised to learn that he's just as encouraging and inspiring toward his own family. CoryxKenshin helped to get his little brother interested in becoming a YouTuber, and the two of them have occasionally worked together on videos.

The first time Cory and his brother Anthony made a video together was back in 2015, while Kenshin's family was visiting him at college, his little brother asked to make a video with him. The two of them played "Five Nights at Freddy's 2" in a video that now has well over 6 million views. Maybe with a brother like CoryxKenshin it was inevitable that Anthony would go on to make his own YouTube channel

Certified AK isn't as big as his older brother yet, but he's got plenty of time to catch up. He also gets plenty of help. Some fans have even noticed CoryxKenshin on his brother's channel even while his own has been on hiatus. That's real brotherly love.

CoryxKenshin speaks Japanese

CoryxKenshin's love of Japanese culture goes well beyond the samurai imagery built into his community. As far back as his vlogging days, the YouTuber was learning to speak Japanese.Though he was barely into his college years, Cory could manage quite a few phrases and seemed committed to learning as much of the language as possible. He hasn't given regular updates on his progress through the years, but he's never left the language by the wayside. All that hard work paid off, because CoryxKenshin was speaking Japanese pretty fluently by 2017. 

The YouTuber's language-learning journey started as a hobby inspired by his passion for Japanese culture and video games, but he's also had the opportunity to put his new skills to practical use. In 2019, CoryxKenshin took a trip to Japan with his friend and fellow YouTuber DashieGames. The trip took place during one of CoryxKenshin's breaks from the internet, which gave him the chance to recharge while also impressing locals with his surprisingly solid linguistic abilities.

CoryxKenshin has ectodermal dysplasia

One of the great things about YouTube is the way it allows creators to truly connect with their audience. Sometimes YouTubers are able to open up to their audience and share intensely personal stories that help everyone involved to get a sense of catharsis. Of course, the "YouTube confessional" has become something of a subgenre of videos — and it's one that CoryxKenshin poked fun at in the opening to his own confession-styled video. In this video, the YouTuber used the almost-obligatory black and white filter and heaved a massive sigh to let "the audience know that it's about to get real."

At that point he dropped the act, and some of his nervous energy started to shine through the video. CoryxKenshin used this video to that he has ectodermal dysplasia, a genetic disorder that only about 7,000 people in the entire world live with. This is why he doesn't have hair on his arms and legs, and he's always had gaps in his teeth. 

CoryxKenshin wanted to talk to the Samurai about his disorder because he felt comfortable with them. Also, because of their support of his channel, the YouTuber was able to pay for a special retainer that hides the gaps in his teeth in the lead-up to a surgery that would permanently fill the gaps. When he saw himself with the retainer in, he said, "It was one of the biggest moments of my entire life." The YouTube community not only helped CoryxKenshin get to that point, but they were also there to celebrate alongside him.

CoryxKenshin has raised thousands for charity

Charities and giveaways are typically a big part of viral YouTube channels these days. Some of the highest paid YouTubers, oddly enough, earn their living by giving away as much money as possible. CoryxKenshin may not have the same following as MrBeast, who has built an entire brand around being committed to acts of charity and using his platform to help raise money for important causes, but he was ahead of the curve on the charity front.

CoryxKenshin joined non-profit organization charity: water back in 2014, and he's raised thousands of dollars to support giving people around the world access to clean drinking water. Through the years, he has led several campaigns and hosted multiple live streams to raise money for charity: water. One of his most successful pushes came back in 2017, when he raised $55,000 for the charity (via YouTube). Even when CoryxKenshin isn't actively pushing for donations, some of the Samurai still contribute to the cause through his page on the charity: water website.

CoryxKenshin takes a lot of breaks

Every streamer and YouTuber out there has their own unique set of quirks that their fans either love or learn to deal with. CoryxKenshin's fans love his personality, his openness, and his enthusiasm for every video he makes. What they've learned to deal with is that he's not always around when they want him to be. CoryxKenshin is known for taking long breaks from social media, usually without making any announcements, which leaves his fans confused and arguing about his absence on Reddit.

CoryxKenshin doesn't try to hide the fact that he takes breaks, and he's even willing to poke fun at himself about it from time to time. However, these breaks have taken him away from some big developments on his channel, like the time he missed going from 9 to 10 million subscribers. 

He knows that the breaks upset some of his fans, but CoryxKenshin's also not shy about admitting that the habit probably isn't going to change anytime soon. "It's hard to do YouTube, like really do YouTube, and do other stuff," he once said. His commitment to the other parts of his life — and to the other people in his life — will likely continue to take CoryxKenshin away from the channel from time to time, but he'll always return because of his love for the Samurai community.

CoryxKenshin was planning to retire

It's hard to sustain a passion for any activity for over a decade. CoryxKenshin started to feel the "magic" leave his videos around the time he hit 7 million subscribers, which is why he announced that he would retire from YouTube altogether once he hit 10 million subs. There aren't many content creators who announce their retirement plans so far ahead of time, probably because most are worried about alienating their fans.

And CoryxKenshin's fans were definitely worried by the announcement. As his channel grew closer and closer to hitting 10 million, fans took to Reddit to voice their concerns and speculate about how serious he was about retirement. When CoryxKenshin made a video celebrating 9 million subscribers, fans really began to feel the pressure. Then he disappeared from the scene, even as his channel skyrocketed toward its apparent end.

After making the 9 million celebration video, CoryxKenshin didn't post again until his channel had already reached 10 million. He returned to YouTube with a video called "Regarding My Retirement," and Samurai everywhere felt their stomachs flip. Luckily, the YouTuber revealed that he'd reconsidered his "dumb idea" to retire, finding his community to be too much of a blessing to leave behind. For now, it looks like CoryxKenshin is here to stay.

CoryxKenshin has some problems with YouTube

YouTube is without a doubt one of the best places for content creators to connect to an audience and make money from what they do, but that doesn't mean it's without problems. Many longtime YouTubers have expressed issues with the platform and its policies, and in September 2021, CoryxKenshin added his voice to the growing crowd calling for YouTube to make some changes.

In a video titled "YouTube Gave Me A Strike & Won't Tell Me Why," the Shogun detailed his problems with the platform — and they can really all be boiled down to just one word: communication. YouTube gave CoryxKenshin's channel a community guideline strike for an older video of his — "Try Not to Laugh #8" — saying that the video had somehow violated the company's child safety policy. The platform removed the video, but refused to clarify why the strike had been given after the video had already been live for nearly two years. In his video, CoryxKenshin referenced other YouTubers who'd also been given strikes without any apparent reason, like Markiplier.

Kenshin had thoughts about how YouTube could reform its strike and appeal process to make life easier for creators. More than anything, though, he said he wanted YouTube to be more open and communicative with the people creating content for their platform. Kenshin said that "until there is communication, until [YouTube's] creators feel like they actually matter" content creators will always be looking for an alternative platform to become more viable.