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Jan 10, 2018 7:02 PM
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Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 7500
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Interview #135 - @BurningSpirit ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬


I tried to travel to Singapore to conduct this interview in person, but I was arrested at the airport for having a stick of bubblegum in my pocket. Singaporean laws are great.

Interview conducted by: @Manaban

Could you tell us about yourself?

I do prefer to retain some level of anonymity, because it's nice to have a separation between my anonymous profiles and non-anonymous profiles online. That's the reason why my anonymous profiles are so vocal, yet my non-anonymous profiles remains silent for months at a time. That and only a small fraction of real life friends would even care of most the things I'd like to talk about online.

That said though, I will reveal anything that I think would provide some insight to who I am as BurningSpirit. I'm male, 20 years old, so just out of my teen years, but I'm from Singapore which means I'm currently enlisted in the military serving National Service. I've lived in Singapore all my life... well I did move houses a few times, but overall my country is so small it doesn't really register to me as moving anywhere. As for where I fit into my society, I'm from a middle class family, Chinese and going to University after serving National Service, so I'm a pretty normal person.

Like most MAL users, or more like most regular anime watchers in general, I'm an introvert. In fact, I'm actually extremely strongly introverted, to a point where I barely speak in most situations. Yet, despite my quiet personality, I've actually got a really loud voice. This does lead to a strange situation where I actually don't speak much and experience "social burnout" most of the time, yet people always remember me as that cheerful, talkative and friendly guy. That's kinda weird at times.

How did you choose your username?

My username originated from being a chuuni of sorts, though I didn't go around yelling it but rather just imagined it. When I was younger it did originally mean in my head someone who could shoot fire, but I never quite ditched it entirely when I got older. Now symbolises the excitement and passion I often speak with when topics that interested me were brought up.

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

It came to a point where I had enough entries that using my Notepad on my phone to record them down became a hassle. I needed a place for me to keep track of what I've watched, and I've already been using MAL as a means of looking up anime for a long time. So I made an account on November 2014.

I didn't do much with my account aside from recording my anime, while leaving a few forum posts every so often. Even up till August 2017 I only had few hundred posts or so (somewhere between 300-500, I can't remember) because posting on MAL just wasn't something I had much time to do.

From August 2017 onwards, I suddenly had lots of time on my hands after being posted to a standby ops unit in the army. Most of that time aside from duty was used to watch anime, but when I completed the anime I had downloaded (and because the place had no wifi) I'd just start posting on the forums, which is why you have been seeing me so much as of late.

Any users you like/dislike? Why?

I'd be more swayed by a person's taste in anime than our interactions on the forum.

I do find I share very similar tastes with @nymi, @Pixel_Vapour, @jaklefire, @Nostalgik, and @Foxy_lnori

And of course, I think that anyone who thinks that Tsukiko is best girl is my soul mate.

As for users I dislike, I don't actually have any. It's the same thing with MAL users and anime, I can't really bring myself to hate/dislike them. I'm quite amazed that people seem to have so much energy to go around exhibiting such strong emotions all the time. While I do have lots of disagreements with many users, be it with anime, the anime industry, piracy or even politics, I really don't hold any dislike for anyone really.

How did you get into anime/manga?

There used to be lots of anime airing on TV when I was a kid. One day I just decided to look for them online, starting with Zatch Bell. From then on I just went from one show I remembered to the next. I was also introduced to various anime by my friends in school, Kokoro Connect, One Piece, SAO etc.

As for when I gotten regularly into anime, it was Winter 2013 season. Sakurasou has just entered into its second cour and my friend recommended it to me. He also explained to me how the seasonal anime works. From then on I looked up seasonal anime on my own and just picked up anime by myself. The first seasonal anime I started watching myself was when I started watching 2 airing anime in Spring 2013 (Henneko and Oregairu).

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

I used to play lots of handheld console game when I was a kid, but haven't been keeping up since a really long time ago (never bothered getting anything after the DS lite). I do still game on other people's console when I get the chance, and I do enjoy it.

Playing recreational sports with my friends is definitely when they invite me out, though I'm pretty average at it and will not go out myself to play sports.

Singing is also something I really love, which I didn't know until I actually joined my school choir. It calms my nerves and also relieves stress. It also taught me how to properly project my voice, which does seem to come in handy because I'm not very talkative, so I need to be heard when I have something to say.

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

I've never really had much encounters with admins or mods on this site, which I guess is probably a good thing. Most are minor issues regarding bypassing word limits, which is a pointless feature.

I do hear a lot about people critising the database and what is/isn't considered an anime, but frankly I never understood all the fuss about it and I don't really care. I just add it to my list if it's on this site, if not I'll just move on.

While there's always going to be minor grievances here and there, I do acknowledge that they've done a good job running this site. Especially so when you compare this to most other platforms for anime discussions.

How do you think people on MAL perceive you as a user?

I'm someone that just posts what I think, and I honestly don't know where that would place me among the various stereotypical categories of anime watchers. Obviously people who agree and people who disagree with me might have different perceptions of me.

I've been told by people who have similar opinions/tastes as me get where I'm coming from, and my rating system seems to help organise their own lists. While on the other hand people who disagree (at least those who are down for discussion) have long conversations with me that ultimately don't quite end up anywhere because my main point often gets drowned out by the smaller points and people's petty grievances over minor word choices, which I feel is likely the limitation of online text communication.

That said, I opt to post things that I feel are insightful and add to the thread, though I do on occasion post shorter snarky remarks to low effort threads. Often that comes in the form of slightly longer posts, which I fear might come of as overly serious. Quite a few times I've received replies of thanks for my inputs (usually in casual discussions asking for advice), which is certainly reassuring.

So, now that we're on personal questions, first things first - what's up with you and Tsutsukakushi Tsukiko? Would you consider her your waifu, or is it just a really strong like, or...? I've never been able to figure out where you stand on this one, honestly.

This is the burning question everyone wants to know about me, isn't it?

Put it simply, Tsukiko is super adorable. I can't even begin to emphasise how large the gap in cuteness is between her and any other character on my My Top 10 可愛い list. Frankly, I can't really find the words for it, so let me put it this way - if you look at a really adorable kid or pet, they're cute, right? If you had 2, you can compare and say which kid or pet is cuter, right? Why? Really, why? And don't tell me any trait that you think of as cute is rational, we live in a world where people think pugs and chihuahuas are cute! Ugh...

However, I will still talk about why I think Tsukiko is so cute. It's a combination of my first impression of Tsukiko, Ogura Yui's voice acting, a simple character design but with an interesting hairstyle and an unforgettable name.

I think the anime gave me a very clear sense that she's a really adorable child. When we watch anime, we can't actually know the height of character, instead the camera angle and the character's relative height compared to other characters are likely far more important. For the entirety of the show, her slight frame and relatively shorter height really gives off the image of an adorable child. Before she lost her emotions in episode 1, she had really bubbly personality and very energetic voice, she was also really fearful of Youto to a point of being on the brink of tears. In episode 2, when they went to the city, they sought shelter from the rain at the entrance to a love hotel, only to get yelled at by a middle aged man. She uses both hands to grab the back of Youto's shirt, presses her face to his back and shook in fear. Youto, realising this, grabs her hand and walked away while pulling her along. The camera cuts to a front view of Tsukiko that's slightly elevated so that she is looking up at the camera as they walked away. I'm not really sure how long they held this camera view for, but this really accentuates my perception of her as an adorable child.

At the start of the anime, Tsukiko wants to not express her emotions so openly, which she feels makes her seem childish. That desire to become mature and grow up quickly is actually also something lots of young children have. And once she did lose her emotions, her same words give off a completely different impression. Her emotionless and quick jabs at Youto's perversion (where she says the same thing multiple times but with variation in her word choice) ironically sounds very, very assertive. A tsundere's words spoken in rapid fire mode with an emotionless voice is the ultimate gap moe.

As for waifu, that implies romantic attraction...which I've never once felt for any anime character. So no, I don't consider Tsukiko my waifu. I suspect that many of my initial anime not being very fanservice heavy (or uses fanservice for comedy) shaped a very clear stance that anime characters aren't meant for the viewers to be romantically attracted to. In fact, now when I see anime characters portrayed in a sexual way, it just comes off as gross.

Since you've served/have been serving, what do you think of your country's National Service? Would you say it's been a good experience, or do you have other thoughts on the matter?

Well, it shows how tightly our government has control over us, which is dangerous considering a government body can always go rogue. However, I do feel that for the country, it is a necessary restriction on our freedom in exchange for a deterrence to anyone who has any funny ideas about invading us. However on a personal level, I think it's a waste of time and I could be furthering my education now.

Obviously, I can't speak of everyone's experiences, because being posted to different units makes the experience drastically different. Basic military training was miserable. After that l was posted out to a job that basically involves being on shift work and being on standby at all times. And by standby I mean on my phone doing whatever I want like watch anime, play games *ahem* paying close attention for a notification if anything happens. I do like my life a little better now, though when there's training it'll still be tiring.

It's really just a phase in my life that most males in my country has come to accept (some even look forward to it).

You said you plan on going to Uni after you finish up your national service run. Do you have any plans as to what you're going to study? If so, what made you want to go down that path?

I've already been accepted into a electrical engineering course in a local uni, though I've never worked a job in this field before. In all honesty, I don't have anything specific in mind I wanted to do, but I do know that this is the general direction to go in.

What's the story behind how you ended up joining a choir?

Well in my country, joining a co-curricular activity (or clubs as most other countries call it) is compulsory. I just joined choir because "Hey 2 days a week, air-con room and singing? Not too hard!" Well, they lied about 2 times a week. Oh, and I shit you not planking is one of the best ways to activate all the required muscles for singing.

I've improved leaps and bounds since then, and it's strange to think that back then I had never tried it before and had no music background. It's crazy to think that something I've joined pretty much of a whim has shaped me so much as a person.

Considering yourself a chuuni who imagines powers and stuff like that, did you think up a character or persona to that extent?

I'm fairly certain I had a whole story behind it, also the fire came out of me like how the leaves comes out of Grovyle (yeah, the Pokemon). I don't really remember much of the details, because even though chuuni does mean second year of middle school, which would be 14-15 years old, but my fantasies were when I was 7-10.

Whether you think of that as me maturing faster or the education system killing my creativity younger is up to you.

What's your purpose behind reviewing anime and why should people check out your reviews when reviews of similar style , similar opinions and of same anime already exist?
from @KidStiff

Well, first and foremost, my reviews are for myself. It's a way of consolidating my opinion in a tangible format, rather than having it scattered all over, like on MAL or in real life conversations where what you discuss isn't recorded. Going back to listen and seeing if my opinions changed is my goal. Having it in video format where I speak at bullet speed was the way I chose to create that time capsule.

If you know a channel that does full reviews, none of that one episode reaction stuff, that has a similar style and consistently have the same opinion as me, do tell me. I find most other anime reviews take too much time to get to the point (which is often the case for vlog type channels) or they have very rigid video structures that causes them to go on about unimportant stuff, like summarising the anime or explaining the premise, just to fit their predetermined format.

As far as I know with regards to similar opinions, my Kakegurui review had some striking similarities with Mother's Basement, where both reviews were talking about how the gambling aspect of the anime wasn't even being utilised properly, and how any other type of thrilling action scene in place of the gambling scene would have the same effect. There are still key differences though. Much of his video makes the case of the lack of risk-reward balance, having the stakes so high that it makes Yumeko losing impossible and in the manga the life threatening stakes don't actually lead to death. My video focuses which instance a character's inner thoughts are being broadcast to the viewer, with the show often choosing to shift over to the character most confused or distressed. This makes it really entertaining, but it also caused it lack immersion, had no meaning and at times doesn't even make sense - which I get to in the video.

If anyone is interested, I had a lengthy discussion with someone of this on MAL. It was back and forth multiple times, with me going into many things I said in the video, some with even greater detail than my video:

On the other hand, I don't think I've seen videos with opinions the same as mine on my Kuzu no Honkai, Koi to Uso and more recently Inuyashiki reviews. That said, I don't follow YouTube anime reviewers upload by upload (just whatever pops up on recommended and suggested videos) so specific video mentions are welcome here.

Besides I do try to only make videos that I have contrasting or concurring opinions than what I hear, mostly on MAL. It'll be relative to what most people think, not what other anime reviewers think. That said, I do take a few days to make a video because I do it in bits and pieces. There's so much I can do if I'm almost done but someone posts a similar video a day before (as was the case with Kakegurui). Despite reaching a similar conclusion, I felt the path we took to each that conclusion was different, so I uploaded it anyways.

However do subscribe to my channel, even if it's just to disagree with every opinion I make. But do leave constructive comments, preferably a few paragraphs long and doesn't just talk about one sentence in the entire video while missing the main point.

Is there something unasked you'd like to talk about?

Not really, but if there's anything feel free to ask in this thread.

Any feedback on the interview format?

I did like it a lot, though maybe a little back and forth would be nicer. Though admittedly that will just make it take way too much time for the interviewers.

Can you recommend us 3 users to look into for potential future interviewees?

@Yhuichy @S-quare22 @Yanri

Checked the completed list of interviews to make sure they weren't there, but if they had a previous name I didn't know about... then I'm sure someone in the interview team would know.

Anyways, that's it for me, and remember, Tsukiko is best girl!

Jan 10, 2018 8:02 PM

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 3939
Thanks @Manaban.

Turns out that I wrote more than what I thought I did.

If it's too long for anyone,
at the very least

read my open love letter to Tsukiko
I swear I'm not a lolicon, you're just projecting your tendency to lewd 2D characters.

If your favourite character is Tsutsukakushi Tsukiko, you are my soul mate.

Been a long time since I've been here, I'll continue expressing myself freely and believe everyone should too.
My MAL Interview
Jan 10, 2018 9:04 PM

Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 13620
BurningSpirit said:
Thanks @Manaban.

Turns out that I wrote more than what I thought I did.

If it's too long for anyone,
at the very least

read my open love letter to Tsukiko

I read that and it was quite charming. I hope you don't and will not change waifu every seasonal anime fam.
Jan 10, 2018 10:04 PM

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 3939
_Ako_ said:
I read that and it was quite charming. I hope you don't and will not change waifu every seasonal anime fam.
Well she isn't my waifu, and never will be. I just can't think of anime characters that way.

However she is best girl, has been best girl since almost immediately after I started watching anime and likely will be best girl from now on out.
I swear I'm not a lolicon, you're just projecting your tendency to lewd 2D characters.

If your favourite character is Tsutsukakushi Tsukiko, you are my soul mate.

Been a long time since I've been here, I'll continue expressing myself freely and believe everyone should too.
My MAL Interview
Jan 10, 2018 10:23 PM

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 4737
great interview and thanks for the nomination! :)

tsukiko is best grill!

"elles sont bien noires
les pensées des nuits blanches"

Jan 11, 2018 7:01 AM

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 168

3 things:

1) What do you think is the relation between anime watchers and introverts because I don't see any logical reason but have sure seen the trend ?

2) Cuteness can be explained rationally to some extent like big eyes , round face n all that

3) Nice response to my question. It's been hard to find sensible people in this world lately so kudos for that lol
Women of my dreams I don't sleep so I can't find her

Jan 12, 2018 12:15 AM

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 3939
KidStiff said:
1) What do you think is the relation between anime watchers and introverts because I don't see any logical reason but have sure seen the trend ?
There isn't a response here that I can give that is quantifiable in any way, but can speak on my personal experience and when talking about shows with others.

I've got 2 points to make, but both encompasses quite a number of aspects:

1. Introverts watch shows to unwind and have some alone time, they just want have something to enjoy. We'll look up shows online and just watch it ourselves. Extroverts watch shows to chat about it (when a lot of people are talking about it) or for companionship. I'd recommend or be recommend an anime when talking to an introvert, then after watching it spend a lot of time talking about many different aspects of it and why we liked/disliked it. Extroverts asking me whether I watched a show either use it as a conversation starter (then quickly shift topics) or just wants someone to watch it with him/her.

Often I have more discussions in detail with introverts about one specific anime, and they are more likely to pick it up after a good explanation. It's hard to pin an extrovert down to talk about one specific anime, partly because the conversation with an extrovert is frequently in bigger groups but mostly because THEY tend to run the conversation. As such they are more likely to pick up anime that they hear about more often, even if there's no detailed explanation about it. Now consider that it's not just anime (because other entertainment mediums exist), what are extroverts more likely to watch? Most likely all the mainstream non-anime stuff and at most a few of the very very popular anime that everyone talks about.

2. I think some of it is down to your perception. Where do you listen to people talk about anime? If it's online, chances are that if you find anyone who has a long conversation online with you to a point where you know about their personality, they are an introvert.
More specifically, this

Introverts probably roll their eyes at the kinds of words on the extroversion side. Extroverts call it small talk and being flirty or whatever, but to me that's just an empty conversation I'd rather not partake in. I mean why do people sent "Had a great time hanging out!" WhatsApp messages after dispersing from a group gathering?!?!!?! We already JUST said it in person! Extrovert mysteries. Though I just do it anyways, cause it exudes confidence or whatever extroverts tend to be associated with. Let's not even get to the sweet nothings people send to each other....

The point is, you probably wouldn't think of extroverts you see them online talking about anime, which is why you feel like the anime is full of introverts. I strongly suspect those people to like to leave lots of one line comments about anime that are generally positive are extroverts. Think "<Insert anime here> is my favourite anime, I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!" or "Can't wait for the 2nd season of <insert anime here>, feeling excited!!!!!". These honestly mirrors the kind of conversation I hear from my extrovert friends talking about anime.

KidStiff said:
2) Cuteness can be explained rationally to some extent like big eyes , round face n all that
Is that why people think pugs are cute? Abominations created from selective breeding, stop subjecting a poor soul for being born a pug and having to struggle breathing it's entire life! Just get a cat, they have similar face and body proportions.

Cuteness from a biological standpoint is to invoke the sense that you have to protect something. A parent will always find their own child cutest. However even then 2 different people from a third person perspective have different opinions on which one is cuter. That in essence is irrational. Not only from both parents, but both 3rd parties.

KidStiff said:
3) Nice response to my question. It's been hard to find sensible people in this world lately so kudos for that lol
Well, thanks for the question :)
Modified by BurningSpirit, Jan 12, 2018 12:32 AM
I swear I'm not a lolicon, you're just projecting your tendency to lewd 2D characters.

If your favourite character is Tsutsukakushi Tsukiko, you are my soul mate.

Been a long time since I've been here, I'll continue expressing myself freely and believe everyone should too.
My MAL Interview