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Anime YouTuber Akidearest slams misconceptions and answers burning questions

By Yasmine Jacobs Time of article published Oct 2, 2020

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Cape Town - YouTube has pretty much taken over. Do you want to watch the latest trailer of a movie you are thinking of watching? YouTube it. Want to check out gameplay of this popular game you are eyeing? YouTube’s got you.

Last week, Comic Con Africa went virtual and was a haven for all things pop culture. However, the online con might be over but the love for pop culture continues.

IOL Tech got a chance to interview popular anime YouTuber Akidearest and she told us everything you need to know about being a YouTuber.

Akidearest, whose real name is Agnes Diego, said she started watching YouTube videos when the platform was still in it’s early days.

“After watching more and more channels, I got into the hobby of editing videos when I was younger. I used to make AMVs (Anime Music Videos) almost religiously and was really deep in the community during that time. But things happened and I went on hiatus throughout High School. Fast forward, in college back in Las Vegas taking up a Graphics Design major after graduating in Psychology. During those years I had a job at a thrift store, a bookstore (stocking manga, funny enough), and then a movie theater. I was really lost about where I was going in life and it really brought me to a dark place mentally. The only things I did were spend all my time in front of a computer and cosplaying at conventions. By around 2014/2015, I started a new channel, called Akidearest. I had no idea what to do with the channel. As much as I loved video games, I only liked playing them alone and was way too invested to even talk. So Let's Plays were definitely not for me. But I really liked cosplay and anime, so I started there. It was a really good escape for me during my dark period, and I had a lot of fun making videos and editing them. Fast forward to 2016, I uploaded the video, "5 Songs That Will Change The Way You See Vocaloid" and for whatever reason that caused the channel to blow up.”

Akidearest revealed the first anime she technically ever watched was Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and “all those series I think we all saw as kids.” But

“I didn't really establish what anime was until the time what everyone calls ’The Golden Age’ when shows like Inuyasha, Elfen Lied, and Eureka Seven started airing on television. Mixed with Youtube having anime and JROCK back then, it was very easy to feed my obsession.”

While it is understood that not everyone can get into anime, she said it takes one good anime to get someone hooked, but notes it is different for everyone.

“Not all anime fans like the same anime. There's a reason why we say other people have trash taste. The anime you like sometimes reflects the type of person you are, and through there you just sort of...get it.”

Akidearest, who was born in California, US and was raised by her Philippine-born parents, has been living in Japan for over a year now but said there are a number of misconceptions people still have about the country.

“Some people get really surprised or even borderline offended when I tell them that not everyone in Japan likes anime. In my friend circle alone, I'd say it's only a small amount of us that watch it. The rest of my friends came to Japan just because they were curious. I think it's completely normal when anime is your stepping stone into getting into Japanese culture, but it's not your tour guide.”

Akidearest also broke down the misconceptions about anime fans. “People tend to think every anime fan is a degenerate with no life and thrives only on hentai living in their mother's basement with a katana on the side ready for battle. And that's just not true. I moved out of my mother's basement long ago. No but really, anime fans are actually pretty cool.”

She also revealed how she deals with negative comments and said she tries to brush it off as soon as possible.

“If there's a comment that is clearly meant to be nothing more than cruel, I try to brush it off immediately and not dwell into it. Dwelling too long in nasty comments wastes a lot of time and energy. Of course there's criticism which is always important, but you know bad intent when you see it.”

So what about in extreme cases? “In extreme cases, I just turn my phone off and go somewhere for a while. Staying quiet is sometimes the hardest job of all, and it's a weird skill I feel you learn along the way. Sometimes it's just better to bite your tongue and not give them any attention. But I will say there is always that one comment worded in a way where you can easily throw it back as a joke and sometimes those are the best and it really makes light of the situation.”

Akidearest also urges anime fans to not 'gatekeep’ the community and discourage the ’normies’ from entering the community.

“I think now more than ever is our time to really show the best parts of the anime community. I think trying to gatekeep is only going to add more to the stigma we already have. It's important to start shaping how we want anime to be viewed by others. If anything, I'd rather have someone wanting to know more anime than have them judging everyone else who likes it. Everyone has to start somewhere, so let's not push them away.”

Any words for aspiring YouTubers or anime YouTubers?

“Don't focus too much on trying to be like someone else. Every YouTuber you watch got to where they are for being them. Find the thing that you have that no one else does, and run with it.

Fun and random questions:

Best anime of all time and why?

I really couldn't say because each one I love hits differently than the last...but I still praise Summer Wars relentlessly.

Worst anime you ever watched?

bOkU No PiCo?! Actually, I made a video on the worst rated anime of all time which was called Tenkyuu Skelter Heaven and all I'm gonna say is that I'd rather give unmedicated birth while receiving a lobotomy and getting a tattoo on my face than watch that again.

What anime do you like but everyone regards as 'trash'?

There was this anime I used to be obsessed with called DearS. Everyone just calls it a Chobits ripoff, but I still like it.

What games do you play?

Most games I play are single player. So my top is Kingdom Hearts, Assassin's Creed, Bioshock series, and this really old computer game called Battle Realms.

But recently I've been playing Among Us which isn't a single player but it's really brought the best and worst out of my friendships.


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