Trey Eric Sesler, 22, likes anime, movies, and guns, and he was arrested yesterday for killing his parents and his older brother with a high-powered rifle in their Waller home. Texas Rangers and a SWAT team caught him in the afternoon in Magnolia, north of Houston. He was sitting in his black Mustang.
Sesler was a graduate of Waller High School and had made an amateur career out of doing online video reviews for the past five and a half years, mostly of shows and movies featuring anime, the Japanese art of animation. You can see the videos, which he called “Mr. Anime Reviews,” on YouTube, shot for his LensCap Productions. There are 323 of them, and they had been viewed more than a million times. What do they tell us about Trey Sesler?
The videos show a young, nerdy guy doing playful reviews that are usually short (two or three minutes) and stylish in a low-fi kind of way, with Sesler talking to the camera from his bedroom, reviewing anime shows or movies. Sometimes he shows stills, sometimes he asks the characters questions, cutting back and forth between himself and the character on the screen. A young man who seems to be his brother makes some appearances. Mostly, it’s pretty whimsical stuff.
Mostly. On December 11, 2011, he put up one called “Very Bad News, Please Watch,” in which he wore sunglasses and announced that he had been diagnosed with pneumothorax, or a collapsed lung. “If you’re religious, I’d appreciate it if you prayed for me.”
And there are guns, lots of them. In a jaunty intro to his reviews he holds a pistol in each hand and shoots himself (via a quick edit) as he comes through the door; then Sesler looks into the camera and gives a wry thumbs-up. In a video from October 2010, Sesler pulls out a rifle with a flashlight attached to its barrel. “Well, get your rifle with flashlight attachment ready,” he says, “because today I’m gonna review the zombie epic High School of the Dead.”
And last September he uploaded a video showing him shooting a High Point 995 9mm rifle at some bottles under a bridge. Sesler gives an ominous intro to the video: “How you doing, everyone? It’s Mr. Anime, or you can call me Trey, or you can call me the guy who does the video reviews, or the guy who does all the gun stuff now.”
Apparently Sesler was going through some big changes. On March 13 he put up a video called “Mr. Anime’s New Job,” in which he says, “I have some pretty good news. I’ve found a full time job in a department I’m interested in—film,” though he also assures his viewers, “I’m still going to be doing videos.” But only a month before that he put up a video with the unnerving title, “Mr. Anime is Planning Something.” “I want to thank you for sticking with me and watching the channel,” he said. “Everything is going really good. ” He said he was going to take a two- or three-week break, and that he might do some blog videos. What else he was planning, he didn’t say.