Inven Global's Esports Conference was a virtual event that saw some of the biggest names in gaming discuss merch, roster changes, crypto, and diversity. Oh, and there was also a panel with Ironmouse, one of the biggest and fastest-growing V-Tubers in the world right now.
Inven Global's Design & Marketing Coordinator, Fay "Garks" interviewed the Chaotic Demon Queen to find out more the story behind Ironmouse's animation.
What is the lore of Satan?
Ironmouse: I became a VTuber because I was lonely. Which is true. I've been having a great time ever since.
Satan is such a demanding job. And you're all alone down in hell. It's so lonely down there. But now you're super successful and everyone loves you. Maybe you're a little less lonely now.
What was the original thoughts when starting VTubing? How did you come up with your persona and appearance?
When I first started, I was pretty lonely. I lived a very strangely isolated life... I just really wanted to make friends. I wanted to stream really bad. But I was very nervous because I had a lot of anxiety. I was very much aware of my appearance due to my health issues. I felt embarrassed to do a face cam stream.
I had a friend who told me about this program... I was like, "Wow this looks like so much fun." But I always assumed it was out of my reach. It seemed expensive. I had no idea it was so easily accessible. I started with a free model. I became myself the day I decided to make a character. I spent a week sketching things out and wondering what I should be and how I should look. I don't know why I identify with a demon...
It's in your soul.
I come from a very Catholic household. Religion has always been a part of my life and always found it very fascinating. Angels and demons... I had no issue taking all that knowledge with me and creating whatever the heck I am right now. I was very close to being a bunny girl. I made a design where I looked like a rabbit but I was like, "I can't be a freakin' bunny."
Satan was calling to you.
Because of my life, I always felt like a creature, an entity that's not good nor bad. Just some sot of creature. I'm still working on seeing myself as a human. But over the course of the VTubing adventure, my look has evolved. I am the type of person where I just love art and changing and pushing boundaries and trying new things. I've gone through several different looks.
I'm having so much fun talking to you right now. Time for some tough interview questions! I want to ask what it's like to be part of a brand? Is it any different form being a solo streamer?
It's so strange... Every time you say career... I'm just a girl streaming from a room. I don't think about it in terms like that. But I guess that's what it is! Joining Vshojo, I cried so much when the announcement came out. I've never been a part of anything. I've never been able to feel like I was a part of something or belonged to something.
To be a part of something with people that you like and people you consider your friends, that's very magical. Not a lot of people get to work with people that they grew to become close friends with. It was an amazing opportunity.
I remember, when I went on my VTubing journey... I started a while ago, I started alone. But I started seeing other companies and how their members had an amazing time. I thought, "I'd love to be a part of something like that." But I never knew I could be due to my limitations. That all changed and now I'm a part of this amazing group and I'm just honored and excited to see where we go from here.
We've had a lot of bumps and also a lot of fun times. I want to make more memories with them because sI love being a part of a company a lot. I'm very grateful.
That's so wonderful! It really does seem like a huge opportunity. It's a little bit of a found family.
Found family is the best family I think sometimes!
Now that you are so successful and have a massive followerbase, how do you feel about your growth and popularity? How do you go about maintaining boundaries between you and your fans and your private life?
Oh my. You know, it's funny because I still don't realize how many people follow me and stuff. It blows my mind. I try not to focus too much on numbers. I celebrate the milestones because I feel like it's important. I am just very grateful. These are things I never expected to happen to me.
When I hit 1 million on Twitch, I was like, "What the heck? This is not real. This isn't happening." Without people supporting me I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't be anything. I'd be a weirdo on the internet. I'm grateful to everyone who has shown me so much love and support.
When I first started, it was hard to navigate the privacy stuff. As I continued to grow, I just sort of wing it as I go along. I don't have a clearcut answer.
I love how you really are a girl with five streamers at heart. That is your true origin story. Humble beginnings for Satan. How do you deal with the burnout aspect of streaming and the mental health? How do you approach breaks?
My streaming experience is very different to other people. My content creation experience is very different. I don't want to say that I don't experience burnout because I do. I have days that are more difficult than others. But to me, VTubing has been an escape from my life. I have a very stressful personal life. I've been through a lot of things. I don't see this as a job. I see this as a vacation. To me, it's having fun. It's my social life. It's my enjoyment. It's what makes me most happy.
When I don't stream I get very depressed. It's hard for me when I get ill and have to take breaks because the things I want to do most is streaming and talking to people. I get to talk to many wonderful people every day.
You have to do what's best for you but you know yourself best! If you want to stream another 31 days straight, who is gonna stop you!?
Oh I wish, I wish. I have to be careful. But I've been sick these past two weeks and I had to take some days off... I took five days off, which is the longest I have ever taken. It was driving me insane. I'm literally clawing at my face because I want to stream. I streamed for as long as I could, 10 hours. I had fun playing games but I had to sleep for a kajillion hours. I had to take care of myself. I was like, "This was a mistake."
What is your favorite game to play?
I have a lot of games but I'm terrible at games. I suck. I only ever played dating simulators, visual novels, anime-esque games. That was my experience. But I really like survival horror and story-driven games with choices like that. I'm having a good time playing Detroit: Become Human. I like games that scare me.
I can't do horror, it's so scary!
They scare me so much. But I found I really enjoy that adrenaline rush of getting scared. It feels good! I'm the kind of person who gets immersed in a game. I legit get scared.
Do you think there are any differences between Japanese and Western VTbuing?
There are quite a lot of differences but we're slowly both adapting to each other's styles. I feel a lot of VTubers from the West, we just started off as streamers. We didn't give it much thought. Nobody ever did a debut. That's such a new thing. But it's become such an important part of being a VTuber. The whole lore thing is also part of the fun.