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Jan 6, 2018 8:33 PM
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▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Interview #134 - @lostoptimism▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬


The Artist Formerly Known As "DeadSnow24th"

Interview conducted by: @TimeToRepent

Tell us about yourself

Well, where to start?
My name is 'T', and I am an unemployed 22 year old gamer/anime watcher with a one-two-punch combo of depression, social anxiety, and a high-functioning autistic disorder, who is trying to figure out what to do in life. Growing up through a mostly sheltered childhood and adolescence, it almost seems like being a recluse is in my blood.

I was never enrolled in a public school during my childhood or teenage years, because my late grandmother had it ingrained in her mind that public education was shifting towards an unfavorable direction and away from Christian morals, and therefore tried to home-school me all up through 12th grade. Without going into further detail about that subject, I will say that I missed out an earlier opportunity to learn essential social and life skills by not going to public school.
Probably a contributor to why I have difficulty 'adulting' and why I have social anxiety.

There's other stuff I could say about the parenting mistakes my grandmother made, but that's a subject I do not like touching upon. On the flip side though, I feel grateful to be part of a family – that while goofy and little snarky at times, can be understanding and looks out for one another – and also grateful to have a wise and well traveled grandfather (whom I have lived with since grandmother passed away in 2011).

As for my own personal character, it seems like a mix of good traits and bad traits. For one thing, my online and real life personalities. With my online personality, I can seem overconfident, a little bit asshole and occasionally liking when I get a rise or reaction from someone – traits that stem from a history of wannabe trolling and online delinquency when I was a naive teenager.
The real life counterpart, on the other hand is mostly shy, afraid of being assertive, and sometimes worries about what other people think.
Some character traits are shared between the two, however, such as a fondness for gross or juvenile humor, difficulty with accepting other people's preferences in media, etc.

That is not to say, I don't have some kind of morals. I find jokes about depression, autism, mental disorders, or suicide particularly distasteful and I often feel guilty or remorseful soon if I hurt someone's emotions or accidentally offend them.
Around new people both offline and online, I try to act somewhat civil and respectful until I get a feel for that community. If they engage in crude or perverse humor, I'll occasionally make those kinds of jokes or remarks.

For slightly more positive stuff, while I continue to search for employment in this competitive and often narrow job market, I occupy my time with 100% completing video games and trying to accomplish something with fiction writing. Also, I am a bit of a sucker for old music (especially progressive rock, since a friend introduced me to the genre in 2014) and some retro stuff.

In fact, if you can tell by my current anime list, I have more classic/old-school titles than new/modern ones. Since I missed out on early 2000s Toonami and was not involved in the 'anime craze' of then, I find myself seeking out the classics I missed out on and also learning about the history of the medium.

Finally, there's the subject of writing. Since mid 2011, I have had a dream of one day writing and publishing my own novel and so far is has been an odd journey. I did not attain a good understanding of the in-and-outs of English grammar and stuff when I was a kid, so now I'm working to pick up the slack by expanding my vocabulary and trying to learn definitions for unfamiliar words. From what feedback I've received from beta readers, I've been said to a overall nice storyteller, so I likely have somewhat of a future in there.

How did you choose your username?

I've changed my username at least four times during my time on MyAnimeList. My original username on MAL was some long-since-abandoned handle of “Saohc”, which was soon changed to “DeadSnow24th” – in reference to a novel concept that I previously worked on through 2012 and 2013 and put to writing before I realized what a nightmare it would be to revise.
From there, I had a brief stint as “YasashiInSpace” while I participated in the Monia Cafe in 2015, and I also went under an embarrassing name of “LoliOverflow” after losing a NoFap Contest.

Finally, we arrive “lostoptimism” resulting from me deciding to move away from the old “DeadSnow” handle due to its association with drama.

Could you give us a brief history of your time on MAL?

I first discovered MyAnimeList back in late 2010, just as I was rediscovering anime through Chobits.
There was a member (Shunt666, if I recall corectly) on a MUGEN forum who had a list of anime in his signature and I led here upon clicking on it. During 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, I recall only using this site to keep track of watched and completed anime, and did not get involved in the forums until late 2014 or early-mid 2015.

At first, I started out somewhat of an obscure user who asked a few questions like “Can you recommend anime that my grandfather might like”, “Why are loli characters more popular than mature/adult female characters”, etc., and maybe messed around with forum games.
There were some slight changes in 2015, when I became part of a few clubs, notably Monia Cafe and Casual Discussion 2.0, but there I did not become somewhat better known until 2016, when I tried my hand at the NoFap Contests.

Initially, I started out as a participant in both V5 and V5.5 of the contest and became the next host after taking up Martin's offer for someone to host the next contest. From V6 to V7.77, I'd say that things went smoothly with a somewhat steady stream of participants and an actual community being built around the contest as a whole. Things did not start to go downhill until V8, when Discord was brought into the mix. There was a lot of drama and NoFap politics that ensued on the Discord server during v8.88 and the privilege of being host of NoFap was forcibly taken away from me.

I did attempt to do a V9.5 a couple of months ago out of the blue, but that was quickly cancelled because of pressure and blackmail from the current No Fap host, Codename_ZQ, who did not want a side contest (which was a tradition we all had.). That makes two topics that I don't enjoy discussing: my grandmother and the NoFap contest controversy.

Any users you like/dislike? Why?

In no particular order, the MyAnimeList users I like are:

@NinjaTuna6 – Despite being a lil' obscure on MyAnimeList, he's easily likable and humorous Twitch streamer with an equally funny group of friends who participate on his stream via voice call;
@Modest_Kuudere – Levelheaded Neptunia/Compile Heart fan who runs the 'Otaku Life Club' Discord server and occasionally streams on Twitch;
@VincentRuckaRuc – He's obscure as hell, but we know each other a bit well through NinjaTuna's twitch stream;
@Otoshi-Ko-Reli (his username changes often) – A friendly and nice goth dude who somehow balances both a life with an IRL girlfriend and a second life with his waifu, Kurome from Akame Ga Kill!;
@End_Of_Summer – We haven't talked recently, but from some of our conversations on MAL he's a nice person and musician;
@SmoothJazzDavis – If you want a bit of a music expert on MyAnimeList, this guy is worth talking to. We've traded a bit of discussion about music here and there;
@Snob – Proud lover of traps, idol anime, and Nico x Maki yuri. Though I no longer am able to see tales of his humorous adventures through life, he's worth getting to know too;
@BAKAwatcher and @Mr_Perv_ (the “Delinquent Duo”) – two interesting fellows I met through the NoFap contest. We share similar taste in humor and stuff, though a select few NoFappers aren't fond of them :/ ;
@MoFried – stronk nofap hero man ;
(There are others I'm likely forgetting the usernames of)

There might be a few users on MyAnimeList that I don't like, but it is kinda rude or childish to list them here.

(I dislike all those spambots)

How did you get into anime/manga?

Once there was a young boy who's grandmother did not allow anime in the house, especially “violent” ones like Dragon Ball Z and the stuff currently showing on early-mid 2000s Toonami. But then one day he turn on a television set and go to Cartoon Network where he happened upon an episode of Pokemon and was exposed to a full anime episode for the first time (it was the St. Anne episode by the way).

Soon after that, the young boy learns of “Japanese cartoons” featuring his favorite blue hedgehog hero, Sonic, and the pink walking vacuum cleaner he had seen in Smash Bros., Kirby, and from there, he watched these 'Japanese cartoons' every Saturday morning. At the same time, he also discover a (now mediocre) series called InuYasha involving a dog-eared demon, a perverted monk, a female demon hunter, a pint-sized fox, and a female heroine who would soon be his first waifu on [adult swim] (on one late night, young boy also stumble upon 'Mushroom Samba' episode of Cowboy Bebop)

Then one day, Cartoon Network advertise cool anime with ninja called “NARUTO”, which lead this young boy to soon obsess over ninjas (though he never did attempt the NARUTO run) and buy ninja GameCube fighting game. But this not remain forever, as perverse sage Jiraiya make show seem weird, and in addition to forgetfulness of TV schedule, young boy forgot about NARUTO ninja show.
That was year 2007.

In year 2010, now 15-year old teenage boy see cute android girl with cat-like ears in a forum user signature and ask the user who girl's name is. After finding out it was 'Chii', he soon come to watch CHOBITS out of curiosity and quickly became a fan (the ecchi humor lured me in. Also it was dubbed).
Once he complete CHOBITS, he look for other anime. During tenure as host of a MUGEN tournament, he learn of old 1980s shonen anime called 'Hokuto No Ken' and watch it in attempt to better fit in with community. From there, foundation was setting.

Then one late night in 2011, 16 year old teenage boy check out [adult swim] on Saturday night after hearing about it from friend. He get exposed to and fall in love with Fooler Cooler and the Cowboys who Bebop. But when Fools Cools finish after 6 episodes, boy feel sad because he no longer have anime to watch before Cowboys of Bebop... that is, until he checks out Elves Lying and CLANNAD.

Soon, in 2012, boy continue watching anime and be exposed to lots of series like Trigun, BECK, Serial Experiments Lain, Neon Genesis Evangelion, to name a few.

Since this story can continue further and further, we end here. This Ranma ½ influenced broken english was brought to you by Jusenkyo Spring Water.

What other hobbies do you have outside of anime/manga and MAL?

Since 2012 or 2013, I regularly 100% complete video games and have been working to 100% every game in my library (with the exception of 'endless' games like Animal Crossing).
While some people may be content with beating a game and sticking back on the shelf or trading it in/selling it, I like to get the full value out of the games I own.
Also, as a result of doing 100% runs/challenges, I don't feel a need to buy new games as often.
In the past few years, I've only bought a total of 4 or 5 new games.

Now, as to why I haven't streamed myself 100%-ing games yet, let's just say that I fail or die enough with certain games or genres to make some people tear and rip their hair out. I've also had numerous 'clutch' moments, especially when it comes to time trials and challenges (I'm looking at you, Rareware and also Metal Gear Solid 2:Substance and those VR Missions.).

I will say that my dedication with 100% completion has changed abit this year, following some difficult times in the first two Donkey Kong Country games and my 1-2 months of attempting to achieve one of my adolescent dreams – beating the indie game, I Wanna Be The Guy – as I have learned to take breaks or put off a difficult section in a game for another day.
Prior to this, I used to spend late nights trying to beat or 100% games, including a time in 2013 where I stayed up until 1 or 2 AM trying to Mega Man 1 on my NES, even though I had college classes the next morning.

100% completion runs can also change my opinion on a game as well.
Back in 2009, after becoming a fanboy of Leon and Resident Evil 4, I felt like checking out the rest of the series. Naturally, I gravitated towards Resident Evil 2 because this was Leon's debut game.
Unfortunately, RE2 ended up gathering dust on my shelf due to the clunky gameplay and controls in comparison to what I had previously experienced in the polished, action-filled and accessible RE4. Aside from a revisit in 2013, it seemed like Resident Evil 2 was doomed to be that one PS1 game that I'd already look upon with contempt.

But then in April or May of this year (2017), I felt obliged to pick Resident Evil 2 back up after watching Twitch streams from a famous Resident Evil 3 speedrunner, “wusscake”. Though the game started a tad bit difficult (I was used to the Silent Hill games, with their melee weapons and plentiful ammo) at first, I soon became a competent player who could conserve ammo and dodge most zombies.
After beating both Leon and Claire's scenarios once, the aim of 100%-ing the game came next and I soon came to love Resident Evil 2 after neglecting it for 8 years.
(On another note, one of my favorite childhood games, Zelda: Wind Waker took a bit of a dive in personal ranking due to the amount of sailing I had to while going for 100% completion.)

With that talk of 100%-ing games, it goes without question that my interest in retro gaming should be come up as well. Initially, my foray into gaming during the early-mid 2000s started out with modern systems of the time which included my prized GameCube, an old Hot Wheels Windows 98 PC (rip 2001-2004) and a Game Boy Advance (the original, battery powered one. I later upgraded to an SP and sold this one), a retro system would grace my gaming library in 2005 when a friend gave me a Nintendo 64, complete with a translucent controller, cables and a Super Smash Bros. 64 cartridge.

After getting that Nintendo 64 and expanding its library a bit, I soon became interested in owning a Super Nintendo and had a vision of becoming a sort of gaming collector.
At this time, I have a toaster model NES, Super Nintendo, N64, the GameCube, an hardly-ever-played-anymore Wii, a Game Boy Advance SP, an original DS (albeit with scratched up touch screen), a DS Lite with cracked hinge, a slim Playstation 2, and a slim Playstation 3.
Though I long since abandoned my dream to become a video game collector and do not have any desire to buy more consoles, I'm working to build up my SNES library as well as possibly building up my miniscule PS1 library.

How do you feel about how the site is run? Especially in regards to the moderators and admins

MyAnimeList seems to be run fairly well so far. Haven't encountered any lag recently and since I don't shitpost, I don't have any issues with the moderator or staff either. Keep up the good work, guys.

If I remember correctly, you were writing a novel years ago. Could you tell us a bit about the stories you write?

I've had quite a few concepts with writing. The first novel idea that I had back in 2011 was going to be some kind of horror novel that split off into two paths, like a video game. Having a big obsession with the Silent Hill franchise (I still like the first 3 games to this day), it was going to feature much disturbing content, gore, etc. and stuff. I attempted to write one chapter and couldn't quite make a good horror essence, so I shelved that. The weird, almost disturbing coincidence is that I wrote into the story that the protagonist's mother had died... and one or two months ago, my grandmother died.

My second stab at writing, which seemed to progress for two years or so, called “Dead Snow of the 24th” was a story set in September 2001, involving two or three simultaneous plotlines:
• A plotline where a female detective saves a teenage girl from a nightclub shooting and takes her in as a trainee to help out with cases during the course of the novel. The subplot of this involves the basement dwelling otaku that she lives, who attempts to build up his own real life harem. From what I recall and had planned with that, it was supposed to deconstruct the harem genre or something
• A plotline where an assassin finds a timid, bespectacled girl at the scene of a job he carried out. But rather than kill the girl, he brings the girl back home with him and attempts to raise her up through the rest of childhood while balancing his line of work as an assassin.
• A plotline where a 16 year old boy is given the responsibility of caring for two female experimental super soldier-type humanoids after escaping from his father's facility when it is invaded by a group of foreign terrorists allied with al-Qaeda.

I churned out much text with this novel concept and spent time both revising and brainstorming for 1-2 years (I came up with the concept for Dead Snow of the 24th in 2012).
It was eventually canned in 2015, after I realized how convoluted the whole thing was and how much revision would be necessary.

The final novel concept, which I'm working on and has a good future, came from some dream I had back in 2014 where some otaku guy became the subject of an experiment where he'd receive a different catgirl a day. Yeah, that sounded pretty retarded and generic, but I originally intended to follow through with this as sort of 'practice run' before resuming 'Dead Snow of the 24th'.
Around the tail-end of 2016, however, I decided to start over from scratch and go with a better, less-harem or otaku-pandering (no offense) plot while preserving most of the characters.
Since I've got a thread with the first chapter posted somewhere on MyAnimeList, I'll let you read it instead of coming up with a blurb.

So far, how was organizing/hosting the No Fap Contest? Any anecdotes about it you'd like to share?

The No Fap Contests started fairly easy to organize, as I usually just created a banner in GIMP, gathered together a list of participants from the previous contest to notify and then made the sign-up thread. I'd say it wasn't V7, when I tried to come with features to attract more participants and keep the losers interested that things started to get a little complex.
One specific feature that never got off the ground were the time trials/survival challenges due to bad planning on my part. I believe it wasn't until we were near the end of the contest when I managed to make a complete list and by that time, there were few participants remaining.
From that, I can gather that NoFap was better off remaining simple.

I recall the achievements system was successful in V6, especially with the 'edge frequently for 1 week without actually cumming' one, the Big Boss achievement (survive whole contest without edging or unnecessarily touching yourself even once) and the week/month no fap milestones. But I think this too died off as well.

In fact, up until @Fourze started his V9.99 earlier this month, some past participants and I were beginning to think that No Fap was dying out. Perhaps the change to an entirely new host (as opposed to me or the strict, somehow short fused Code) is what the contest needs all along.

As for humorous stories, a few of them occurred through the former Discord server while we were in the process of getting V8 set up.

I remember us challenging @thegreatnathyboy to bet where if he lost, he had to screw a tree (this was in reference to him fapping to a tree out of desperation or something one day). No one knows if he ever followed through it, but it was a running joke back when things weren't so heated in the Discord side of the community.

Also, there were a few moments where people compared their sizes for some reason, namely @Darek and @Codename_ZQ. People were surprised to learn that Code was 7 inches or something along those lines. Yeah, things used to get a quite lewd on the Discord.

How did you manage to get by after all those years of home education? Is your social anxiety still a hitch to you?

In early 2012, me and my grandfather worked to get me prepared for the GED, and since my autistic disorder hadn't been diagnosed at that time, I recall him getting a bit frustrated at times since I was not good with math (and I still do not enjoy it to this day). It also did not help that my grandmother quit teaching me sometime in the 9th grade and just left me to figure out math and stuff on my own while leaving the answer key nearby for me to consult... you can already predict where that would go.

I somehow managed to pass the GED with either a 420 or 430 and was able to get into college, which unfortunately turned out to a mistake later on because said institution was the much-loathed ITT Technical Institute. Yeah... I still have those student loans looming over me, though I still have the majority of my college textbooks lying around. But unfortunately, a few of them are a bit outdated since most organizations have probably long since moved on from Windows Server 2008.

Social anxiety is still a rough spot for me as I was never taught how to make friends offline and the three childhood friends I used to hang out with were all found though a local co-op when I was 7 or 8 years old. They've all since moved on to focus on their careers, their own circle of friends and girlfriends (well, one of my childhood friends is married and now has a child, but yeah) while I've just remained a recluse.

I wish it was as easy to make friends offline as it is on the Internet, though the difference might the fact that Internet friendships don't involve eye contact and face-to-face communication, both of which I have difficulty with. While I go to therapy on a regular basis and take anti-depressants, I still have a bad habit of treating most people like acquaintances.

For one, it could be a fear of letting people in due to past experience on Internet forums where trolls took advantage of my bad habit of over-sharing and using it against me.
I can't say that I'm complacent being a recluse anymore because while video games, anime, music and stuff do help to make feel at ease, it does not keep my feelings of loneliness away forever.

How do you think the MAL community perceives you as an user?

For the majority of the MyAnimeList community, I'm most likely just another average user because I rarely say controversial things and I don't shitpost much. I also have not posted any reviews or made notable contributions to the community in long while either.
Among the NoFap side of community on the other hand, perceptions can vary, with a few past participants not giving a hoot about me because of drama and stuff that occurred on the Discord. To others in the NFC community, their opinion has likely not changed either because they weren't on the Discord or because they've moved from on those messy times and still consider me a bit of a friend.

Question from @Kidstiff: How do you come up with the plot , characters and setting for the work of fiction you write and what's the most difficult element in writing a story?
Usually, plots start out as a concept I feel like exploring or perhaps a statement that I wish to make to society, and from there, I see if my mind starts flowing with ideas for it. Inspiration can also play a role as well.

For example, I came up with two possible plotline ideas for 'Dead Snow of the 24th' in early-mid 2012 while having recently read a few Joel Rosenberg books (inspiration for using the year 2001 as a setting and involving 9/11 in the plot somehow), as well playing a couple of fan-translated Super Famicom games via emulator, specifically Famicom Detective Club Part II (created interest in also having a separate detective plotline in the story).

From these two ideas came an active imagination that wondered 'What can we do to have fun with the year 2001 and what kind of alternative world I can devise, while still having 9/11 occur.'. Another plotline that involved experimental super soldier-humanoids came about when I remembered reading something about the government experimenting with LSD during Vietnam to see if the drug could make people seem superhuman. ('What if the government continued working to create super-soldiers, even after their experimentation with LSD exposure failed?').

In another odd turn, my desire to keep the overall novel somewhat plausible led me to thinking off an in-universe event that would make it possible for me to include a kemonomimi (girls with animal ears and tail) character without it seeming too weird. This event had involved a group of scientists in Japan experimenting with eugenics and mice during the early-mid 1970s to create a generation of children who had characteristics of animals.

Yeah, 'Dead Snow of the 24th' had a crazy amount of ideas and such going into it. I do not know if I could have ever made a complete and comprehensible story with all these different ideas and I ended up canning that novel after endlessly writing and revising for 2-3 years.

With the current novel I've been working on, 'Re:She Came From Space' (the RE in the title stands for 'remake', because the original 2014 version of the story I had been working was turning into a generic harem mess), I am aiming for simpler plot that focuses more on the character themselves rather trying to create some kind of complex story.

Before I move onto the next question, I will say that some of the difficult parts of writing (aside from making sure your plot isn't a convoluted mess) are motivation, revising/editing, self-doubt, avoiding distractions, bouts of perfectionism, and writing even when you don't like feel like it.

Question from @KidStiff: What's your all time top 10 albums and games?

For video games, the standings have not changed that much. For albums, it is slightly hard question as I have a sizable amount of favorites and my opinion can change upon re-listening to an album after a while.

Top 10 video games:
1) The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
2) Silent Hill 2 (The story and characters continue to hold up well despite mediocre gameplay)
3) EarthBound
4) killer7 (used to be in 3rd place until my hype over from 2013 tapered off)
5) Paper Mario (the N64 game remains my favorite despite Thousand Year Door having gameplay improvements)
6) Silent Hill 1
7) Metal Gear Solid 1 (Back when the plot was simpler.)
8) Perfect Dark (I still come back and play this occasionally even after 100%-ing it)
9) Star Fox 64 (Why I ignored this gem in my N64 library as a kid until now, I do not know)
10) Pikmin (This game used to be much higher on the favorite games list when I was a kid)

Top 10 albums:
1) Out of The Blue by Electric Light Orchestra
2) For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night by Caravan
3) Trespass by Genesis
4) TIE: Rubber Soul vs Sgt. Pepper, both by the Beatles
5) Close to The Edge by Yes
6) Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys
7) TIE: Highway 61 Revisited vs. Another Side of Bob Dylan, both by Bob Dylan
8) December's Children by The Rolling Stones
9) Guilty Gear X:Heavy Rock Tracks
10) TIE: PLEASE MR. LOSTMAN vs. Living Field by The Pillows

Do you see yourself leaving MAL in a near future?

Though my interest in anime has fluctuated as of late, I don't plan on leaving this site in the near future. Sure, I may not do much on the forums or clubs now, but I feel like this is a community worth sticking around.

(Also, I'm still waiting on Rebuild of Evangelion 4.0)

Is there something unasked you would like to talk about?

Q: Did you ever become 'The Guy'
A: After suffering a lolcow-worthy 1849 deaths, I beat 'I Wanna Be The Guy' in July. With how horrible my first playthrough went, I decided to attempt a 2nd playthrough to beat the game with a lower death count. In the process of my 2nd playthrough, I got all 6 secret items and finished off the game for second time with 578 death count.

Any feedback on the interview format?

Aside from maybe a question where users can 'plug' links to their Twitch, YouTube, etc. accounts in the interview, I can't think of any big changes that should be made. From what I've noticed from multiple interviews conducted in this club, additional questions seem to come naturally based on how detailed an interviewee's introduction or answers are.

Can you recommend us 3 members who we can choose from to interview next and briefly explain why you would love to read their interviews?

@NinjaTuna6 – Up-and-coming Twitch streamer and online buddy I met through participating (and hosting) NoFap. Would like if more word of him came out through MAL

@Snob – From discussions and stuff I've on Discord in the past, this trap aficionado has led and continues to have quite the eventful life. Has much worldly experience to offer.

@Modest_Kuudere – A long-time participant in NoFap who currently runs his own Discord server 'Otaku Life Club'. Has some interesting life experiences during adolescence, high school, etc.

End of the interview. Thank you for your time!
Modified by TimeToRepent, Jan 7, 2018 9:55 AM
Jan 6, 2018 9:13 PM

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1002
Link to novel stuff is in my signature if you are interested.
Jan 7, 2018 9:13 AM

Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 13102
Wow... Just amazing interview overall. Like, no shit fam, I'm also bad at Math...

Now I'm thinking why even the fuck go to Bachelors of Science! A good foreshadowing of how fuck up my life will be
Jan 7, 2018 11:26 AM

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 51
well said @lostoptimism
Jan 8, 2018 8:51 PM
Loli Lover

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 593