An Interview with Ninomae Ina’nis of hololive English
The third in our interview series with members of hololive English features Ninomae Ina’nis of holoMyth, who debuted in September 2020. As a super-talented, popular artist VTuber who does live drawing streams and started off as a hololive fan herself, Ina’nis talked to us about her preferences as a creator and streamer as well as her hopes for her future with hololive.
Supervision: 2016 COVER Corp.
Translation Assistance: Sarah Tangney
Before my debut, I was very shy.
――In the past, you mentioned that you have been following hololive since 2018. How did you find out about hololive and what were your first impressions?
Ina’nis : I don’t exactly remember when the first time I found out about hololive was, but I was always interested in YouTube and live streamers for a long time so I naturally encountered VTubers (like Kizuna Ai) through various recommended videos and fanart. I think one of the earliest members I watched was Fubuki-senpai. I also remember looking at A-chan’s Twitter wondering who she was, haha.
――When you found out that hololive would have VTuber auditions, what made you decide to audition?
Ina’nis : When I first found out about the auditions, I was really into hololive so I thought to myself, “Let’s give it a try and see how far I can go.” I think around that time, I was also looking for something new to do in my life so the timings lined up perfectly.
――How did you feel when you were informed that you passed the audition and were accepted into hololive?
Ina’nis : At first, I was really excited but felt really anxious for a while wondering if I could do a good enough job as a member of hololive. However, I told myself that if they chose me, they believe I have what it takes and so I would give it my best!
――How did you spend your days before your debut? Also, were there any specific feelings that you had before your debut?
Ina’nis : Most of the times were actually watching my senpais and brainstorming/making assets for the stream. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do for my debut stream but things didn’t shape up until the week before the debut date. I also drew some art of myself and other holoMyth members when I had free time!
――Tell us about what you wanted to improve on right after debuting and how you have worked towards those goals.
Ina’nis : I remember before debut I was very shy and had trouble speaking with confidence. I think over the year I definitely gained more confidence and am able to reach out to others more!
My first year has been a rollercoaster ride!
――Did any Japanese series, illustrator, or creator inspire you to pursue your art career when you started to draw?
Ina’nis : Many years ago, I came across Kuroboshi-papa’s work in a book I borrowed from the library. It featured a lot of different artists but Kuroboshi-papa’s artwork really caught my attention as he had very intricate compositions and details without having the illustration feel too crowded or overbearing. I fell in love with his character design sense over the years and his attention to detail and I’m happy to say he’s one of my biggest inspirations and I am happy he is my papa! I think his works on Kino’s Journey is legendary, and his character design sense in Summon Night and Fate Grand/Order is one of my top favourites.
――In your past streams, you mentioned that before your debut, there were times when you were worn out and lost your motivation to draw. After your debut, was there any change to your mindset that kept you motivated to draw?
Ina’nis : I always think that even if you love doing something, you should always give yourself a break and try something else to make sure you don’t burn out. Interacting with many fans and other hololive members really gave me motivation to try something new and creative with my streams! Debuting made me realize that I really needed to pace myself better in order to keep continuing drawing or streaming as long as I wanted to.
Merry Chriatmas and Happy Holidays!!! Thank you for making my year special!! 💜 pic.twitter.com/feafwxuHTF
— Ninomae Ina’nis🐙holoEN (@ninomaeinanis) December 25, 2021
――How would you describe your first year at hololive? What changed the most?
Ina’nis : I would definitely call it a rollercoaster ride! There were times before the debut where the days flowed by really slowly, but once things got started rolling everything zoomed past me so quickly! I’m glad I had the other holoMyth members and staff with me on the ride otherwise I don’t think I would’ve survived! Haha. I think one thing that changed the most was how I manage my time on and off stream. I sometimes wonder how I am able to juggle so many things at once, but it all works out in the end!
I share the things I like with my viewers!
――I think it goes without saying that in your childhood, you loved games as much as you loved drawing.What were the first games you liked? What is the most memorable game for you?
Ina’nis : I wasn’t allowed to own any game consoles when I was little, but I remember seeing my cousins play Kingdom Hearts during the holidays! I also remember borrowing a Game Boy Advance from a classmate to play Pokémon Sapphire, Harvest Moon, and Hamtaro Ham Ham Heartbreak! Those are some of the games I still hold dear to my heart today.
――Is there something that you try to keep in mind during your streams?
Ina’nis : One big thing I always tell myself is “Have fun!!!” I think I’m the type of person who can’t give 100% if they’re not having fun or enjoying the content, so I do my best to find the things I like and share it with my viewers! I sometimes get too passionate about talking about something I like so I have to hold myself back…
――Are there any specific archives that you would recommend to new fans and why would you recommend them?
Ina’nis : I think I would like to recommend any of my drawing streams! I really enjoy talking to my viewers while drawing so I end up talking about random things as well so it ends me becoming a chatting stream. I think it’s archives that can be enjoyed both by those interested in my drawing process as well as by someone who wants something to listen to while they work.
The Tentacult is like a gift to me
――Everybody knows that you love puns. How and when do you come up with puns? Do you usually tell a lot of puns to your friends and family? If so, what’s their reaction?
Ina’nis : Unlike what many people think, my puns just pop into my head in the spur of the moment! Haha. That’s why I can’t come up with any good puns if I’m put on the spot. I also tell as many puns to my friends and family as much as I do on stream. Sometimes they reply with their silence…but some of my friends start to tell me puns of their own so we have a “pun battle” until we run out of ideas.
――What does the Tentacult mean to you?
Ina’nis : They are like a gift to me! Before debut, I didn’t know I would be getting this much support from them and every day I’m baffled by their kind words and support. Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve them at times but it also motivates me to work harder every day so they can be happy!
I realized how much my gemmates mean to me
――What do you feel about the other holoMyth members who debuted with you? What do they mean to you?
Ina’nis : They are my lifelong friends now. We’ve jumped over so many obstacles together and supported each other that they’ve become close friends I can trust the most! They are some of the most talented, dedicated, and creative people I know and they inspire me to be a better content creator. I think we all have the same mindset of wanting to create something memorable for our fans so it’s always a pleasure working on projects with them! Without them I wouldn’t be here!
――The 1st holoMyth anniversary stream received a lot of attention. Was that a memorable experience for you?
Ina’nis : I believe it was one stream that made me realize how much I miss my genmates even though I haven’t met them face to face yet. I often say how technology has advanced so we feel very connected to everyone, but at the same time when you realize that there is a big physical distance between everyone you end up feeling empty. Having the 1st year anniversary in VR made it feel like they were there right beside me and it made me realize how much they meant to me and how it would be nice to meet them all one day! I think I ended up being overwhelmed by emotions thinking about it…
Participating in events myself made me respect my senpais even more
――Now that you have more kouhais, how does it feel to be called senpai? Tell us about the hardships and mindset of being a senpai.
Ina’nis : I’m really happy to have more friends in hololive English!! In the west, there isn’t a big emphasis on “senpai” and “kouhai” so I think of them as more friends I can bounce ideas off of and collaborate with! I think being a senpai also means you need to know how things work and help out your kouhai, but I feel like I’m still figuring out a lot of things myself and am always scared I can’t help out when my kouhais need help, haha.
――In 2021, you participated in big events such as Usaken Summer Festival and hololive Big Sports Day. Please tell us about your impressions that now you’ve participated in projects alongside your senpais that you used to only watch as a viewer.
Ina’nis : As a fan before my debut, I always enjoyed watching events from the sidelines and cheering on different members and teams. However, I think participating in the events myself made me realize just how much work and organization goes into making these big events happen and it made me respect my senpais even more. With the inclusion of overseas members in these events, there’s further problems such as the language barrier and timezones, and seeing how everyone worked together to make it happen as smoothly as possible made me realize how amazing and hardworking everyone is!
I want to work on many different projects!!
――Please tell us what thoughts came to your mind when you were chosen as a member of UMISEA, the joint unit of hololive JP and EN.
Ina’nis : My first thought was… Is it really okay for me to be included in here? Haha. I have a lot of respect for Marine-senpai and Aqua-senpai as well as how amazing and talented Gura is as well. I knew I had to work extra hard to keep up!!
――How do you feel about Minato Aqua and Houshou Marine? Did your impression of them change after you joined UMISEA?
Ina’nis : I think at first I couldn’t think straight since I was a big fan of them and it felt unreal to hear them talk to me in voice chat!!! I always knew they were hard workers, but interacting with them made me realize they also have the same worries and troubles as I do as a content creator and how I should also work hard to be like them as well!!
――Is there anything you want to try with members of UMSEA?
Ina’nis : I want to go to the ocean together!!! We’re an ocean-themed group so we can naturally have a beach episode, right? …Right???
――On January 7th, you participated in the Mario Kart tournament holo New Year Cup 2022. How was the event?
Ina’nis : I think I didn’t perform as well as my fans have hoped so I feel a bit bad…! I wish I had more time to practice the courses but I also think the nerves got to me a little bit once a course I was not confident in got chosen for the first few races. I still had a lot of fun participating and cheering on everyone even when my race was over! I want to train harder if we have another tournament like this next year!!!!
My goal for 2022 is to stay healthy and have fun!
――Your Japanese is really fluent. If you have any tips you can share, we would love to know as well.
Ina’nis : Uaa, thank you very much! I am always flattered when my Japanese gets complimented, haha. I studied Japanese casually for around 2.5 years in school where I learned most of the fundamentals. After that, I think I kept watching anime with subtitles and listening to a lot of radios of my favorite shows and games. I think one of the easiest ways to practice listening is to check out radios and shows that you like (there’s a lot of radios for different anime and games… there’s even a VTuber radio too!! Done by Fubuki-senpai and Marine-senpai!! *wink wink*) Incorporating something you like into your studies has worked out for me so I highly recommend it!
――What are your goals for 2022?
Ina’nis : To stay healthy and have fun! I want to work on many different projects this year!!
――Last question, do you have a message for your Japanese fans?
Ina’nis : I know the times I usually stream at are very early for Japanese viewers to watch, so I am always happy to see whenever I see encouraging comments live or even in the archives! Thank you very much for your support and I hope to study more Japanese this year to be able to communicate with you better! Thank you!!!