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Aug 14, 4:05 AM

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▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Interview #197 - @sarroush ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

The Waifu Connoisseur

”There is no reason to look back when you have so much to look forward to.”

Interview conducted by: @Mimurona
Reviewed by: @Ninyanin

Could you tell us more about yourself?

Hmmm, this question is always a little hard to answer. I'm a 26-year old who studied Psychology in University, but ended up working in the video game industry as that's always been a passion of mine. I love writing and reading and some of my more typical hobbies are, as people could easily guess, watching anime and reading manga. I also love animals and traveling, you know, the usual shebang.

On the side, I'm an admin for the MAL Discord server and I used to mod the forums on the site until recently.

How did you choose your username?

It's something my brothers and cousins used to call me when we were all younger, so it just kind of stuck with me through the years.

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

I joined MAL in 2008, 11 years ago! Damn... Back then we still had the old profile layout. Not the green one, which is way older, but the more blocky blue one. I didn't really do much on MAL for the first year, just focusing on making my list bigger. I was kinda obsessed with that when I was younger. About my second or third year in, I started interacting with the community more, be it in profile comments, episode discussion threads or even clubs. At one point I got really into clubs for some reason, with the whole 'Claiming Waifus' thing going rampant on the site. Everyone wanted a waifu for themselves and they got badges they could show off on their profiles haha! Those were some interesting times. But that died down for me and I eventually joined the site staff as a Forum Moderator and remained one for five years. Now I'm just back to updating my lists casually.

Any users you like/dislike? Why?

I think, and no offense to anyone else, that @Kineta is my favorite person on the site. I really admire her. I've been through so much with her, both ups and downs, and I’m eternally grateful for her infinite amount of patience with me! She's so kind, smart, understanding and has given me paramount advice on a lot of things. Honestly, I don't think anyone can replace her in this regard haha!

There's also @Heddie. Oh @Heddie. We became forum mods together. We weren't particularly close at the time, but we were always amicable. When the Discord server became a thing and we started working together to manage and admin it, I honestly think we became inseparable. @Heddie and I, we don't always see eye to eye, but, regardless, that doesn't stop us from working really well together and supporting each other. He's so cute, considerate and funny, and I'm really glad we ended up working together. I think of him as one of my closest friends online whom I can bitch and complain to about anything and he won't judge me for it. On the contrary, he'll try to give me impartial opinions as best as he can, which I value!

I also like and appreciate all my Discord mods, both current and prior. Their work is of great importance in making the server run well and turning it into a fun and exciting place for all the users. I know how frustrating it can get sometimes, dealing with constant shitposting and overall lack of common sense in some users, so their patience and ability to manage these users is extremely appreciated. If we were working in an office together, I'd probably do weekly Friday Pizza Days for them as some form of thanks, haha!

As for people I dislike, if you had asked me this question two or three years ago, I'd have probably given you a list of notable names, but honestly, I've moved on. After being a forum mod for so long, the users on the site stopped grating me as much, as I've learned to let it go and not give them any mind. So unfortunately I won't be listing anyone here, since I simply do not care to give them any unneeded attention, and I just overall have moved on from those situations.

How did you get into anime/manga?

When I was a kid, I used to watch Sailor Moon, DBZ and Pokemon, but I didn't know they were called anime at the time. Some years pass, I start watching FoxBox, which was Saturday morning cartoons and had stuff like Shaman King, Kirby, Sonic, Fighting Foodons. I really got into them. Then this TV channel called Teletoon started showing Naruto and Gundam and I was all "Oh shit, this art is cool! Let me look into it!". It eventually brought me to anime, which led me to manga. So I was always interested in them, just didn't know what they were aside from cartoons.

What are your hobbies outside of anime/manga and MAL?

Hmm, I enjoy reading and writing as mentioned earlier. I also love to travel the world. On a smaller scale though, I love going to the movies and I try to at least twice a month. It's just a really nice way to unwind and have a couple of hours where I don't have to worry about anything. Aside from that, though, a more time intensive hobby of mine is a video game I'm developing with a couple of friends.

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

It's hard to manage a site as big as this with as many different sections. I think the site admins are doing a good job at managing the site and the moderators. In turn, I believe the moderators are doing their best to uphold the site guidelines and handle user reports appropriately and diligently. However, users don't see many of the behind the scenes stuff that is going on or how much work moderating actually is, so that results in them making unnecessary or downright incorrect comments on mod competency. Hopefully one day these handful of users will realize how much stuff the other side has to deal with, before insulting them for such mundane reasons.

How do you feel surrounded by retards (especially @MuraSamee)?
from @MuraSamee

Wtf kind of question is this, Mura? Sigh. I feel like my brain cells are dying at a faster pace than they should, but some of the idiots I hang around and play games with are very important to me. Yes, you're one of them.

What made you quit the Forum Moderator team?
from @Hatred

I'd been modding for five years. I just lost interest in the end. I would barely use the site anymore aside from updating my list on occasion, and I didn't want to be dead weight. I was actually going to retire before @Tenma became a mod, but @Kineta asked me to stay a while longer to train and help the new mods. I did that and then, after they were ready to handle things themselves, I still helped on occasion but didn't really do reports anymore. As a result, I felt bad since many of the mods were working their asses off, while I'd just had enough of it in general. My interest level was at an all time low, so I said it's better to just retire than stick around and pretend to be doing work.

What was the hardest part of being a Forum Moderator?
from @Hatred

Dealing with users who don't admit it when they've broken rules, or who think telling other users to kill themselves is okay since it's a 'joke' although the other user doesn't even know them. The user interaction is the most difficult part because of the nature of this type of work, as you end up dealing with the shitposters and troublemakers more than the good users, and it can become very grating.

Will you ever be Lana's therapist?
from @Hatred

When she starts paying me money. 1€ is not what I mean by money either. You're too much of a headache to deal with for free, Lana! But we did win a FN match together… so I'll consider it.

Will you ever consider hiring Lana as a moderator on the MAL Discord server?
from @Hatred

No. Lana is too big of a shitposter even though she keeps denying it. Insulting and trying to scare off all the new users is not the way to becoming a server moderator, you fool! Honestly, after thinking of all the shit you do, I'm surprised I haven't perma'd you yet. Behave plz, ty!

Who are the users you like the most on the site?
from @Hatred

I mean, that's a redundant question, do I need to answer it? Lol

Mimurona: Check the “Any users you like/dislike? Why?” topic

Did you ever have a serious incident with a user you punished?
from @Hatred

I haven't really. The worst that I can remember currently, I suppose, was a user making over 15 alts and shitposting/trolling/insulting me on the site after I banned them. But that was a common occurrence that many of the mods have been through.

What's the hardest part of being a server administrator?
from @Heddie

Handling user complaints, probably. I feel users on Discord complain way more about unjust moderation than on the site, possibly because of the difference in medium and how fast paced a chatroom is. While on occasion moderators have jumped the gun on banning a user, most of the time their action was the correct one. When a user is not convinced of this, the mod sends them to me or @Heddie and we have to try and make them understand why what happened happened, and how they can avoid it in the future. Many times we've encountered users who just bash us and call the mods incompetent and the team biased. But what they don't realize is that if a moderator was wrong in their ban, @Heddie or I would tell them immediately and it would be resolved. This has nothing to do with being biased. We try to be unbiased as much as we can with both mods and users, as our job is to facilitate everything in the server, and that forces us to be a jack of all trades. So honestly in the end, I would say a lot of our work ends up being difficult since it's not easy keeping everyone, both mods and users, happy at the same time. But we strive to do our best, and I hope that it shows even if a little bit.

Who's your favorite partner in crime, and why is it @Heddie?
from @Heddie

Hahaha! Because we understand each other as though we've been married forever. We bicker and yell at each other sometimes, but then apologize an hour later and make up. We do everything server related together, and even for the small tiny changes that may not be necessary to tell the other, we still communicate, and I appreciate that a lot. I love you Hederick! <3

How long have you been married?
from @Heddie

It's been 2.5 years now. Ever since we became admins on the server!

Do you consider yourself a gamer?
from @Heddie

Yes, I've been playing games ever since I was 4-5 years old, and I play a large variety.

What are the most common misconceptions users have of the moderation team, both on Discord and the site?
from @Heddie

That we're biased and make rules on the spot to justify people’s bans. Look, if you call a user f*g or the n-word and say it was a joke, you're still getting banned. If you spam emojis and we tell you to stop but you keep going, you're still getting banned/muted. If you constantly bait another user, you're eventually going to get banned/muted. It's not hard to be a decent person online. The Discord's age group is mostly within fifteen to twenty it seems. I understand that people around that age group can still be rather immature, but it's frustrating when they make no effort to think about things outside of "the mods are out to get me". News flash kid, the mods don't care about you that much that they'd have a vendetta against you. They have hundreds of users to deal with every day, your shitposting isn't suddenly going to make you prime target. Overall, we are very lenient and give multiple chances even if the user may not deserve them.

Other than that, a common misconception is that the mods don't do their jobs or pick and choose what they want to see. We moderate what we see or what is reported to us. Due to seasonal channels, there are over 50 total channels in the server, so it's normal for us not to see every single rule break. Just because someone five months ago called someone else a "dumb fk retard" doesn't mean it's okay for you to do it because that guy didn't get punished. This type of behavior and attempted justification is one of the most grating things users do, and really shows their mentality and usage of common sense. Just because we didn't see a rule break doesn't mean it's okay to do it a second time.

Lastly, that admins/moderators always side with their teams and there is no point in complaining or appealing a ban. Maybe on another site/Discord they may. But I know both on the server and the site, if a moderator's actions were deemed incorrect or in need of improvement, the admin steps in to let them know his/her point of view on the situation and how the mod's actions may not have been the best ones. They then come to a conclusion where the moderator learns from their mistake, or even the admin does instead. Everyone is constantly in a learning environment if they're open to accepting it. However, it could very well be the opposite, where the admin ends up agreeing that the moderator has good points and their actions were justified. It's not all black and white, there is a lot of discussion that goes on when banning users and dealing with their appeals. We don't just blindly agree with everyone just because we're on the same team. That's how a team ends up becoming abusive to the users they're supposed to be looking after.

Discord users can sometimes see you play Destiny 2. Are video games another hobby of yours? If so, are shooters like Destiny what you usually play or do you play other genres as well once in a while?
from @cyruz

As mentioned in a previous question, I love video games. They're a hobby and a passion, to the point that I'm an aspiring indie dev working with a group of friends on our first game together. Shooters are definitely one of the genres I enjoy, but it's difficult to say that I play one genre more than others. I love a plethora of different games from different genres. I just usually only play what I'm in the mood for. I was binging D2 for a few months as I moved from PS4 to PC, so I had a bunch of catching up and raiding to do. I may have gotten a little too deep into it, as I ended up neglecting some other games haha! I have so many games still in their wrappers!

More recently, though, I've been unhealthily binging Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I haven't had a game where I just sit down and play it start to finish until I see the credits in a while. It was a really nice feeling I'd missed. I've taken somewhat of a break from Destiny as I've gotten a little burned out, but can't wait to get into the new expansion! Overall though, I think it's safe to say that one of my favorite genres is probably JRPGs in the sense of Persona, Final Fantasy, Tales, Fire Emblem, etc. I also play Battle Royales, MOBAs, looter shooters, rhythm games (this new one called Muse Dash is fucking fantastic) and more. The only genres I'm not a big fan of are sport games and simulators.

What brings you back to anime and manga after all these years?
from @Devotion

I mean that's a little hard to answer since I've never really abandoned it, though I have taken breaks every now and again after getting burned out. The art style of anime is unique when it comes to "cartoons" in general. American cartoons, while I enjoy them on occasion, don't really keep me dedicated and invested in them. I'm not sure what it is about anime honestly. I just enjoy the japanese art style more than the american I suppose. The voice acting and usually the fantastic music are also an added bonus. This applies to manga as well, I prefer them to comic books but I read both regardless.

Being a Danganronpa fan, which game do you think is the best? Who's your favorite character from the series?

I actually still haven't played the third game, V3, even though I bought it when it came out haha! So between Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair I'd say the first one. My favorite character is Kirigiri Kyouko. Ideal waifu! Junko's top tier too.

As a Yuri lover, why do you think Yuri is better than Yaoi?

Because it's two women instead of two men, hahaha. But no, I've read and do read my fair share of Yaoi. It just doesn't keep me interested or enamoured like Yuri does. Yaoi isn't something I'd ever be able to relate to personally since I'm not a gay/bi guy. I'm not a fujoshi either so I can't understand their obsession with it. I don't think it's fair to say Yuri is better, though, since it's just a difference in tastes. Honestly, I'm not even sure myself why I'm obsessed with Yuri as much as I am lol. I do know part of it stems from the fact that while there has been progress, it's still relatively rare overall, so I take what I can get in that regard.

List your favorite ship!

I don't think I have a favorite ship of all time. I have quite a few in general though, both Yuri and not. More crack obviously than canon.

Erza x Mira (or Kyouka, or Lucy, or Kagura, or almost any other girl from the series LOL) - Fairy Tail
Saber x Irisviel - Fate/Zero
Mei x Yuzu - Citrus
Kou x Rin, Hifumi x Aoba - New Game
Sayaka x Kirari, Yumeko x Mary - Kakegurui
Miria x Tabitha, Irene x Teresa - Claymore
Madoka x Homura - Madoka
Koko x Valmet - Jormungand
Ymir x Christa - Attack on Titan
Momiji x Ichiko - Binbougami Ga
Fate Testarossa x Nanoha Takamachi - Nanoha

Those were from anime. I have a bunch more, but I can't really think of them at the moment. Most of the shows I watch I end up shipping certain characters, haha!

Then there are video games and korean manhwa but with those the list would be almost infinite, so I'll just list a couple.

Mara x Petra - Destiny
Evelynn x Akali, Caitlyn x Vi, Kayle x Morgana - League of Legends
Dohwa x Hyewon - Moonlight Garden
F!Byleth x Rhea - Fire Emblem
Malorie x Velverosa - Mage & Demon Queen
Mercy x Widowmaker - Overwatch

Vegeta x Bulma - Dragon Ball
Naruto x Hinata - Naruto
Deku x Ochako - Boku Hero
Sanosuke x Chizuru - Hakuouki
Hinomaru x Reina - Hinomaru Zumou
Rohan Kishibe x Myself - JoJo

etc etc it's hard to list lol.

Having been with the Forum Mods team for a long time and meeting many new people, with whom you couldn't get along?

There were quite a few moderators I had a hard time getting along with when I first became a forum moderator. I couldn't for the life of me understand how they had become moderators. I still don't to this day, but I don't bother dwelling on it, as it has become a non-issue for me at this point. There was a lot of tension in the team when I started out with, I think, about eight other new moderators. It was a lot of new people who had to work together and get along the best they could. It was difficult and at times almost impossible and felt like there was tension all the time within the team. But as time went on, and everyone got used to their positions, some mods left, others joined, and everything looked like it was coming together. I'd say the mess was the first year and a half. After that, everything became relatively peachy and I can't say I had any major issues with anyone, and if I did, I didn't start drama.

Do you think people moving from the site to the Discord server affected the level of activity on the forums?

I want to say yes, but it's a no. I've noticed that the people who are on the Discord server barely use the forums to begin with, and the people active on the forums aren't usually on the server.

If you're transported to another world from an anime you've watched, which world would you prefer?

Fairy Tail! That one's easy haha! Though actually… Noragami wouldn't be too bad either.

Mimurona: Why Fairy Tail? Or Noragami?

Fairy Tail because there are so many badass men and women in that world. I'd obviously want my own share of magic abilities and I'd instantly join FT's guild. I also want Erza's babies. Noragami would only really be for Bishamon, haha. She's possibly my favorite fictional character of all time, so I'd definitely want to hook up with her LOL!

You now fight for the Holy Grail and have the chance to summon any servant. Who would you choose and why?

Oooh, that's a hard one. I want to say Medea since she's my favorite servant of all time but I don't think that would be a good idea. Caster class is technically the weakest overall in all but Magic. Her Noble Phantasm is pretty incredible and her ability to make contracts with pseudo servants is also neat, but overall I think I'd prefer someone with a little more stamina and physical fighting capabilities. I'd probably pick either Artoria or Scathach. Artoria can be broken in her own right, but honestly, I'd most likely end up going with Scathach as I just prefer her overall both in terms of looks and personality. Gate of Skye is a pretty broken NP too haha! But there's also Carmilla… I like myself some vampires every now and again, but picking her would mostly be for my own selfish desires, not to win the Holy Grail, hehehe.

Choose a user you want to marry, kiss, and kill!

Hmmmm, I'd marry @Kineta, kiss @Gilriin, and kill.... ooof I honestly can't think of anyone at the moment.

What webtoon do you recommend at the moment?

1) Why Did I, the MC Of Gal Game Jump Into A World Of Yuri Comic?

It's really funny, cute and Yuri. The MC is a pervert wanting to hook up with a bunch of girls, but all the girls around him end up being into other girls and hooking up with one another.

2) Mage & Demon Queen

It's on hiatus at the moment, new season should be starting next month. It's also Yuri. It's about this young mage girl obsessed with hooking up with the Demon Queen. It's slowburn but finally picking up. Super cute and a little angsty when it ends on cliffhangers.

There is a bunch of other Yuri webcomics/toons I know, some finished, some still being released - if anyone ever wants recs!

Do you see yourself leaving MAL in the near future?

Near future, probably not. Later on, though? Maybe. I don't really use it much anymore except to update my lists, so if I ever stopped watching anime completely, I could see myself leaving.

Is there something unasked you would like to talk about?

Got nothing.

Any feedback on the interview format?

I can't really think of anything honestly. I enjoyed the format.

Mimurona: Later on….

After thinking about it, maybe in the future there could be more questions related to anime/manga.

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

Hmmm, I'd recommend @Skixx, @Hatred and @Gilriin. They're all mostly on the Discord server and fairly active users.

@Skixx is like a younger brother to me. He's silly, goofy, a sadist (forcing me to watch Kiss x Sis with him twice) and I'm sure he'd have some stupid/funny things to say.

@Hatred is… well… crazy, unhinged, a yandere. She denies it, but everyone on the server knows it's true. We send each other depressing/cringey relationship memes - it's a long story. Her interview would be pretty interesting! I love you Lana, don't murder me please.

Lastly, @Gilriin is a newer Discord moderator. I've known her for a while even before she got the position. She's very smart, interesting, silly and cute. Must protecc! She's horrible at Destiny 2 but it's okay because we do beautiful photoshoots together as wife & wife. I'd love to read an interview with her!

That's the end of the interview. Thank you for your attention.
Modified by Skittles, Aug 14, 5:12 AM
Aug 14, 4:47 AM
Forum Moderator
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Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 70408
Not enough perverted questions!

Miss you though senpai T_T
Aug 14, 4:55 AM
DB Administrator
Plus Ultra

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 12489
Great interview! It sounds like both sarin and @Mimurona were into it!

I noticed my video game question was a bit weird, because I totally forgot you've been in the game (development) business for a while. Sorry! I really hope you're making progress with your game, and thanks for answering my question!

Ardanaz said:
Not enough perverted questions!

You should've asked one then! Or three!!

I may have a suggestions for future interviews. Make everyone list one anime/manga they've recently enjoyed and would recommend to other users.

Thx Kina.
[H+] ³  

Aug 14, 5:06 AM
Forum Moderator
Forum Janitor*

Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 70408
cyruz said:
Great interview! It sounds like both sarin and @Mimurona were into it!

I noticed my video game question was a bit weird, because I totally forgot you've been in the game (development) business for a while. Sorry! I really hope you're making progress with your game, and thanks for answering my question!

Ardanaz said:
Not enough perverted questions!

You should've asked one then! Or three!!

I may have a suggestions for future interviews. Make everyone list one anime/manga they've recently enjoyed and would recommend to other users.

I didn't know this interview was being conducted >: O
Aug 14, 5:23 AM
Review Moderator
God Eater

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 4956
Oh damn, I remember when the whole 'Claim a Waifu' thing was such a big deal on MAL. Good ol' times when I was still lurking lol.

Great interview overall. Really appreciate the depth and honesty of the answers. @cyruz has the best question for sure :>

Also, congrats @Mimurona for interviewing two moderators now!

Aug 14, 6:18 AM
♕The Golden♕

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 12
Good interview, couldn't think of anyone else to be my discord boss :p and also, I'd kiss you too :blushes:
runs back to discord to use emotes

<3 ^^

Truth is the state of the object
Regret is the state of the

Aug 14, 8:03 AM

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4550
i love u too sarr :peepoknife:
Aug 14, 8:39 AM
Knight Radiant

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4350
Ily 3000 sarr <3 interesting read
Aug 25, 6:20 PM

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 17449
Fun interview, @sarroush. Though we've only had a few brief interactions, I've always gotten good vibes. Glad to hear that you're making a go of it in the video game industry!

@Kineta I hope your retired mods are receiving good pensions.
LoneWolf said:
@Josh - Makes me sad to call myself Canadian.
Aug 28, 1:56 AM
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Faerie Queen

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 5148
Josh said:
@Kineta I hope your retired mods are receiving good pensions.
I think I am very generous with virtual cookies and blobpats when they run short (:

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Aug 31, 6:49 PM
Loli King~

Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 10040
good interview! very good read