On this Tsuki-Talk Prime Time interview feature, our very own Tsukimi Lune talks to Aozora Kurumi about behind-the-scenes work with her agency Project Kavvaii, VTuber fan culture, as well as discussing her favorite games. Here are the highlights from the October 28 live stream.
Aozora Kurumi first appeared on YouTube May 8 this year. The Virtual YouTuber who is part of airasia’s Project Kavvaii now has 18,000 subscribers as of this writing.
You can find the transcript highlights of the interview below, but the full interview is available on Lune’s channel:
Table of contents
- Aozora Kurumi’s profile
- Aozora Kurumi as a polyglot
- VTubers behind the scenes
- Kurumi’s goals for the first year
- Her proudest moments
- Kurumi describes her “Kurumates”
- Kurumi and Lune answer questions from Marshmallow
TSUKIMI LUNE (Lune): Today, we’re gonna do an interview session, thank you for accepting my interview request.
AOZORA KURUMI (Kurumi): Thank you for inviting me. I’ve been wanting to collaborate with you again for a while so, finally!
Lune: Finally, we got the chance! And even if we don’t collaborate, we do message each other quite frequently, so yeah, that’s one thing. So, how are you today? Feeling good and everything?
Kurumi: Compared to what I usually feel, which is I have sinusitis, so I’m usually sneezy and I have a runny nose usually, but today I’m OK, for some reason [and] it’s a miracle. Today I’m not sniffling. I won’t jinx it, but I hope I won’t sneeze.
Lune: It’s OK, sneeze TSKR. And what about Jetson? How’s Jetson so far?
Kurumi: He’s sleeping on my bed (laughs) He’s ‘chonkers’, and he’s doing well so far. He’s still, you know, being needy at 3 in the morning. He doesn’t sleep, unless it’s daytime, then he’s sleeping all day. Right now, he’s a loaf of bread on the bed.
Lune: Awww. Usually, what I do is wake up my pets in the morning so that they sleep at night.
Aozora Kurumi’s profile
Lune: For some of the viewers who don’t know about your lore, can you give us a little bit more insight as the apprentice-messenger of Hermes?
Kurumi: I wouldn’t say that I’m like a minion, I’m basically like a student, let’s just say.
I think a lot of people don’t know who Hermes is. Let me give you a little bit of a backstory about Hermes. He’s of Greek mythology, and I do not speak the language, okay? He’s a god of many things, such as trade, roads, souls of the dead, speech, et cetera.
My focus is more on how he’s the god of travel, and messenger, and he’s also the right-hand of Zeus, [who] is the strongest god in all of Greek mythology. He’s technically the son of Zeus, I’m not his descendant, I am not Hermes’ child, okay? So many people say things like ‘You’re related’ and I’m like ‘NO’! I am just a student.
Lune: Yeah, relay that by the books.
Kurumi: And with him being the god of travel really aligns well with I guess the context of me being the VTuber in this company [airasia], which we’ll talk more about later. But in regards to the messenger part, I usually introduce myself as the messenger-apprentice.
I’m passionate about relaying my feelings and I want to deliver a positive message, you know, to the world, and I am still working on it. Maybe that’s why I’m still an apprentice (laughs). One day I’ll get promoted.
Lune: Maybe someday you will get promoted, a right-hand woman actually.
Kurumi as airasia’s Virtual Idol
Lune: So, we’re talking about your company, right? What is it like working as, you know, the idol or VTuber of airasia? Because both of us are actually like, you know, idols or Vtubers of our own companies.
Kurumi: I don’t include this in my introductions, but Project Kavvaii is my agency, and we are backed up by airasia, which is an airline company.
What does it feel like working as an idol for them? I guess it feels organic, and not so different from any VTubers out there. They let me grow independently, as if I’m like an indie, and I built my own community. I’m well-aware of everything that goes on with my fans, and I keep a close connection with them.
So yeah, I think that’s very nice, ‘cause this is the type of community I want to make.
Lune: Instead of you being corporate, like being ‘controlly’, giving you a little bit more freedom is pretty cool. I mean, to be fair, you have a lot of freedom. On my end, I single out what I wanna do, and I don’t wanna do, so yeah that’s very nice.
Kurumi: Yeah, I think a lot of people think that corporate VTubers, you get controlled over everything and stuff. I’m sure there are rules and stuff, but I don’t know, at least for me in Project Kavvaii, yeah it feels organic. It’s like I do what I do.
Her contribution to airasia’s community
Lune: Now that we’re talking about airasia, since you are like the Vtuber of airasia, like me I’m literally the mascot of Anime Corner, and so I do things like ‘Ani-Talk’ and other things for the AC community. What do you think you can contribute as airasia’s VTuber or idol?
Kurumi: For us, it’s a bit different. For you, you are the mascot. I guess I’m just a talent under one of their projects, which is Project Kavvaii. I guess it might come as a surprise, as opposed to me contributing to airasia.
[I] mean this project is like a fresh project, where they could step foot into the VTubing industry, and kinda like test the waters and all of that.
They usually support Project Kavvaii in my promotions, and at the moment, I’m not sure what I can contribute to airasia themselves instead of Project Kavvaii, since I really hadn’t started anything like a collaboration with airasia or any promotions with them yet, but I heard that exciting things are gonna happen in the future.
So yeah, I can’t wait to find out what lies for us ahead in the future!
Lune: Yeah, I want a Kurumi plane, oh that would be so nice! I would definitely be doing that!
Kurumi: Tony [Fernandes], the CEO of airasia, he came to my stream once and told everyone that if I get 1 million subscribers, they’re gonna see me on a plane.
Lune: You’ve heard that. Support Kurumi for the plane *wink wink*
Kurumi: Slowly but surely, let’s go!
Aozora Kurumi as a polyglot
Lune: Actually, I just realized that we have a lot in common, like we are corporate VTubers, and a lot of the things we like are pretty similar. And one more thing: both of us know quite a few languages. Do you wanna tell everyone what languages you know?
Kurumi: I mean it’s growing and some are scuffed in speaking. I speak English, I speak Mandarin [and] I speak other Mandarin dialects such as Cantonese and Hokkien, I speak Korean, I speak a little bit of Malay (Bahasa Malayu), and I’m learning Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), I’m very scuffed and I only know the terrible words, [but] I’m getting there. And Japanese, scuffed too. I can understand everything, speaking takes forever.
Lune: Yeah, I do get it, but for me, my Japanese is, ‘I don’t understand it, but I can speak it’, OK-ish.
Kurumi: Do you feel like when you learn a language, some other languages you know kinda slip off? For me, the more that I learn another language, I feel like sometimes Japanese, I tend to forget.
Lune: I would say that because when you learn a language, you usually focus on that language, and you sorta have less time to focus on other languages, that’s why you tend to forget them. In some way, it’s pretty normal.
Kurumi: It’s just like ‘Ah, I learned all of those languages and I forgot’. Sometimes you ‘brain-fart’ and you think of another language, and you were like ‘what was that word?’
Lune: I know, I know, especially for me, when I learn a language, when I think about a word, I think about the meaning instead of what language I want it from. Sometimes, when I speak in English, my brain thinks Japanese, and I almost will speak Japanese.
Kurumi: Yeah, the auto-translate on the brain.
Kurumi on growing fan communities
Lune: Since we’re talking about airasia and everything, and airasia is like a company from Malaysia, if I’m not wrong. So, let’s talk about the VTubing scene in Malaysia, and we know that there’s a lot of VTubers in Malaysia, and we have Malaysian friends like Lili, like [Apex Daemon / APXDMN], who else is Malaysian? I’m sorry *laughs*
Kurumi: Yeah, we have Butter [Okada], […] everyone on the Apex server. *laughs*
Lune: Do you have anything to comment on the growing virtual markets since there’s so many VTubers that are coming up right now?
Kurumi: It’s a tough question to answer. I think it’s because it is so fresh and we’re not sure what’s gonna happen yet. It’s still growing, right? But I would say the VTubing market might be growing, but not nearly as fast as it should be to cater to the VTubers that are showing up, you know?
I think there are more and more VTubers, but the fans are still the same, you know what I mean?
I mean not that I’m complaining – the Malaysian community, the fans are amazing. But I think like people are always worried about VTubers burning out, you know? It’s always about like VTubers are getting tired, they’re stressed out, [but] I don’t really see people talking about fans burning out from supporting VTubers, you know?
I will see the same hardworking group of people — bless their hearts — supporting as many Malaysian VTubers as they can, which is honestly super heartwarming. But I just wonder if they’re pushing themselves too hard, it makes me worry because they try to catch every single stream and they’re always there.
…and I know they do their best to accompany the streamers. But sometimes I wish there are more people watching, you know, so these fans can take a wrap. Am I just going on a tangent? I’m not sure.
Is Kurumi concerned about VTuber fans’ well-being? Maybe.
I feel like they [the fans] can relax while VTubers, you know, do our thing, so we’re not just bouncing the same people and tiring them out, you know, one out of one another. It’s great, but sometimes I worry because it’s like late and at night, and they’re still on those people’s streams and I’m just like, “Go to sleep, you guys!”
With that being said, I think it is our duty as, you know, the current VTubers, to spread the word about this community and, you know, just basically promote it more.
And I know, like sure, we risk inviting more toxic people into this super peaceful community. I mean, sure, there are bad eggs here and there. But streaming isn’t just about turning on this OBS and then just be like ‘talk, talk, talk’, and then end the stream.
[I] think it comes with the responsibility of creating a safe space for everybody. You know, teaching people the common viewer courtesy and really hone that respectful culture.
I think that’s all what all streamers should do, you know, like create your healthy community. Like, just ignore them (pertaining to toxic viewers) because some people are toxic in the chat and people be like ‘Just let it be’ and I’m like ‘Why? They’re gonna be toxic on other people’s streams, too!’
I think we should nip it in the butt, yeah, and just, you know, educate them at least to not be like that.
Dealing with both toxic and restless viewers
Lune: Usually for me, how I deal with toxic people is that I will actually say it once like ‘don’t do that in my chat’, yeah. If they continue to do it, I just ask everyone to ignore them. If they don’t get any attention, they’ll leave.
About the fans getting burnt out, it’s not only a Malaysian thing. Fun fact: because Anime Corner is from the Philippines, like most of the executives are from the Philippines. So, I have a lot of friends, a lot of fans from the Philippines, too.
It’s also the same: They are supporting a lot of Philippine VTubers and I practically see them at all on everyone’s stream. I don’t know how you guys do that, like they’re in my stream this time, and after I finish streaming, I check out my friends and they’re still there, like ‘Yeah, get some rest man’.
This is why I always tell my viewers ‘If you guys are tired, it’s okay just say, just tell me that you’re here’. That’s important enough. [That’s] what I just need to know, that you’re healthy, happy, staying alive. That’s all I need to know. You can just sit back and enjoy.
If you are really tired, I don’t mind, like even though I would appreciate everyone. You know, like chatting with me, talking with me, sharing your thoughts, and reacting to stuff. But of course, at the same time, I want you guys to take care of your health. As what they say on plane guidelines: Take care of yourself first before you take care of the others.
Kurumi: Amen, sister! (laughs) because I mean, I really don’t see people like talk enough about how fans can get tired, you know like and they are bouncing from one stream to the other, and I’m just like ‘you guys need to relax and rest’. I feel like the most efficient way to solve this and not tire, you know, the community out and the support like we should just grow it for everybody’s sanity.
Lune: But then you know, I’m saying this, but I’m the person that has like seven streams per week so um…whoops!
Kurumi: I don’t want to see anybody complaining in the stream, okay? Just, yeah, if you’re tired, don’t push yourselves, you know. Just come to our stream, say hello, and then just relax.
VTubers behind the scenes
Lune: But then I guess at the same time, I do tell them what I do behind the scenes, so they know how much I’m working to, so it’s like, uh, it’s like I want them to share their things to me, and I also want to share my things to them like [last] Tuesday I actually did share about, um, I think I’ve talked to you Daem before, like how much work I’ve put into hosting the quiz show back then.
Kurumi: Yes, you did, yeah, it was very impressive.
Lune: It wasn’t just a click of a button, there’s a lot of things: it’s not just me but also my mods, my managers, other AC staff, and same goes for Kurumi’s side too. Everyone’s working hard so don’t take it for granted, okay? But also at the same time, do not wear yourself out.
Kurumi: Yes, we are together, we ‘stronk’, but we must take care of ourselves, okay? Sure, it’s great to have you guys here, but we love you enough. We want you to take care of yourself too.
Kurumi’s goals for the first year
Lune: Let’s time travel back to May 8, since you debuted on May 8, like just this year. It’s been almost like – how many months was it? – Yeah, almost six months. What do you want to accomplish before your one-year anniversary?
Kurumi: I’m not sure if this is too tough, but I would love to reach 50k subs before my one-year anniversary. [I] don’t know if it’s too hard. I don’t know, but we are taking one milestone at a time you know?
And I’m still always striving to make a community, where everybody can comfortably hang out and spend time with each other. Especially when they need company.
I don’t have my own server yet, like the Discord server: It’d be great to have one. I’m in my friend’s servers like the OtaFuse server and it’s nice to see my fans come together and join the stream. They play games together, they play Mobile Legends all the time.
[Update: Project Kavvaii has recently opened a Discord server where Kurumates can hang out with each other. You can join here.]
It’s nice to see them come together and I love this, so I want to keep growing that. Maybe more and more people are going to join the cause and you know, I mean I guess 50k is like one of the biggest goals that I want for now. But I’m taking many small things at a time; just, you know, ‘take it easy’ so I don’t feel so overwhelmed, my fans don’t feel so overwhelmed.
Has Aozora Kurumi reached her goals so far?
Lune: It has been like almost six months. Have you felt like you have reached any of your goals when you’ve debuted so far?
Kurumi: Not nearly, but I’m definitely working towards reaching them. I think ever since before my debut, I’ve had this super huge goal: Yes, you call it a dream.
I really want Jetson to be animated and rigged, so he can run around on his own. [I think] once I can achieve that, I’ll move on to other goals but for now that’s like: I mean everybody’s simping for my cat, this handsome boy over here on my shoulder. And yeah, I don’t know, I think it’d be great for me and everyone. Just a joy to watch him run around. That’s like my next goal that I want to achieve but so far, not nearly as much as I want.
Sometimes, I beat myself up a lot over. But you know, we do take it one step at a time so, baby steps.
Lune: Ah~ Everyone donate~
Kurumi: I don’t have donation goals.
Lune: No but then the thing is, I guess like a 3D model is more like, then again, it’s like a money thing. You get money you can finish that goal, so it’s still okay.
Kurumi: But it’s okay. Relax, chill everybody!
Lune: Don’t chill everyone~ Donate, smack it in her stream, smack in the superchat, don’t let her rest (both laugh)
Her proudest moments
Lune: Since you have been streaming for about six months – Out of all of these streams, out of everything: is there a specific stream or video or song cover that you’ve done that you are most proud of?
Kurumi: I think I have a lot that I can think of at the moment. I did do a like an eight-hour stream and at some point, just time flew [and] before I knew it and I was just like ‘Wow, this is kind of nothing to me’.
I think the song cover, I’ve only had one official one so far: it’s the K/DA ‘Villain’ song cover. I’m very, very satisfied with it, even after almost two months, I still see it like my baby. I mean, it was a group effort for sure and a great one. That makes me really happy to know that people enjoy it.
[Update: As of this writing, Kurumi has launched a new cover of BTS’s ‘Butter’, featuring Miori Celesta from VTuber agency Tsunderia. Go check it out!]
Kurumi: I think every stream is pretty fun. But that one eight-hour stream I was just like, I kind of did not break a sweat, I was just like, ‘Wow, okay!’
Lune: For our viewers who don’t know, what did you did stream, what have you done on that stream?
Kurumi: I finished ‘Resident Evil VIII’ on that stream. Yeah, that was the first time I played the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise that I could play the game from them. I didn’t expect to finish it, but I was just like, you know what, let’s keep going. And I feel bad for my mods who stayed for eight hours. Yeah, thank you, salute, yes please don’t forget the salute.
Lune: I usually cannot stream for that long. I don’t know, I usually just end [my stream] at a two-hour point, and then when I see Kurumi who starts streaming at the same time as me, [she is] still streaming and still goes on for like about like one or two hours like ‘how and why?’ I cannot, I get tired too easily
Kurumi: I feel bad for my fans [when] they stick around from the start to the end, and I feel even more worse for my moderators: of course, they were there the whole time. I eventually started to stream a bit less, like for less time, but sometimes when you’re just a bit addicted, you know the momentum is good [and] you just keep going and going.
Kurumi: Minecraft, okay: two hours? That’s never gonna happen (both laugh)
Lune: Yeah, I guess in the most time I play off stream more than on stream actually
Kurumi: I feel like when I start ‘streaming’, I just leave it on for hours! (both laugh)
Singing a cover of K/DA’s ‘VILLAIN’
Lune: Since we’re talking about the ‘VILLAIN’ K/DA [cover] and and we know that our Kurumi has a wonderful voice wink wink, really nice, do you think you’ll be covering songs in other languages?
Kurumi: Thank you very much for the compliment, but yes, definitely. I’m really excited to cover songs in as many languages as I can.
Lune: I’m trying to do ‘Let It Go’ in different languages.
Kurumi: I mean, I think I will butcher it, but I will keep [on] practicing so I don’t. I mean, we have some stuff planned, so I can’t talk too much about them, but you know stay tuned!
Lune: Oooooh! *wink wink* new stuff for everyone! What could it be? But I really want to sing with Kurumi. Do you guys want that? I mean it might happen *wink wink*, [you] never know do you guys want it, do you?
Kurumi: Bug our agencies, you know, tell them we want, we demand them! (both laugh)
Lune: We did mention about you playing all the horror games like ‘Resident Evil’ or I remember you playing ‘Outlast’ and ‘Little Nightmares’. Of all the horror games that you’ve played so far, which one scared you the most?
Kurumi: Okay, I’m a huge sucker for horror—
Lune: Oh no no no, you’re playing it, you’re already better than me Kuru-chan!
Kurumi: Oh really? I am a huge sucker for horror: I like watching horror movies and stuff.
Playing is a different story: it’s one thing to watch somebody go through, you know, torture; and it’s one thing to put yourself through it. Actually, ‘Outlast’ was the first horror game I played, which was honestly terrifying.
[But] the game that actually scared me the most was ‘Little Nightmares’. A little backstory: I didn’t play a lot of PC games prior to streaming because I was always a mobile gamer.
But ‘Little Nightmares’, it knocked me off my boots with how eerie it was dark [and] it was so creepy. I suck at controls, so it was even more scary for me to run away from the monsters. I kept failing [and] I died.
[I] don’t know how many times–don’t tell them in chat, no snitching. But yeah definitely, broke some kind of record in the world.
Lune: Have you played ‘Eyes: The Horror Game’?
Kurumi: No, what is that? ‘Eyes: The Horror Game’?
Lune: Yeah, do you want to look it up right now? It’s available on [mobile] and it’s like a lame jump scare, but I still get scared because I’m a coward.
Kurumi: What do they call, ‘eyes’?
Lune: Like your eyes.
Kurumi: Oh, ‘e-y-e-s’ the horror game (types down)
Lune: Yeah, it’s a little [game] on phone and that’s one thing that I’ve played before, one of the little horror games that I have played before.
Kurumi: This is a mobile game?
Lune: It started out as a mobile version if I’m not wrong, I knew it when it was on mobile.
Kurumi: So, you just gave me ideas….
Lune: I always give you ideas, come on. This is not the first one *wink wink*. You never know man, sometimes when Kurumi whips up something, it might be from Lune.
Kurumi: Yeah, I might actually try this out. I’ll put it down on the list, it looks creepy and I don’t know why I put myself through this.
Lune: It’s like what we call ‘cheap’ horror.
Kurumi: It does look like kind of old, but I mean, doesn’t mean it’s not scary
Lune: It actually got a remake, it used to look even older back then.
Kurumi: I mean, it’s one thing for me to get scared, but it also brings me joy that the whole chat is scared with me.
When the chat scares them…
Lune: Only my chat is happy when I’m scared. You know, like on Twitch, you can have like voice redeems, and one of my readings is ‘LuneScream’ [and] it’s practically just me screaming, and they can play it. So, what happened is I got scared by my own scream.
Kurumi: For me, it’s just a notification. They would donate at some really quiet points and I’m just like ‘stop it’. You know what? All VTuber fans are sadistic, yeah.
Lune: I don’t know, they’re sadistic but also masochists at the same time.
I lost half of my heart when, you know, that’s like a lot of donations screaming and then following [alerts] coming out all at the same time, When I’m in a team fighting Apex Legends, pretty sure I can relate to that,
Kurumi: Imagine that happening when you’re playing ‘Mobile Legends’ and you’re in a team fight. You’re trying to focus, and then suddenly it’s so distracting.
Aozora Kurumi’s favorite mobile game
Lune: So, we’re talking about you playing mobile games. What are your favorite mobile games of all time?
Kurumi: Favorite mobile games of all time would be ‘Mobile Legends’.
Lune: Now we’re talking about the game: how good can you say you are in the game, at Mobile Legends?
Kurumi: I used to play the game competitively a few years ago. I was really good at it for a while. I locked local rank one for like several seasons, but then you know life hits hard and I didn’t get to play it as much anymore.
[I] got so rusty now that I’m not nearly as good anymore. But it’s not a bad thing because I used to get in a really bad headspace whenever I lost the game, and now I just play the game to de-stress and have fun. I take every loss easily – I live by the ‘you win some, you lose some’ motto. [I] used to be good back then was good, now just ‘no I’m okay.’
Lune: Who is your favorite hero in ‘Mobile Legends’?
Kurumi: I think everybody knows it’s Nana.
Lune: Can you explain more about her to us, like for me who doesn’t play the game?
Kurumi: Nana, she’s like a little girl, and she is kind of like a raccoon girl. [I] guess you could say she has a floofy tail and she has a boomerang which she uses as a skill.
I mean, she’s super cute with ‘Mobile Legends’ or any game at all. [I] only play ranged heroes, I don’t play like melee, I hate going close to the hero. Nana is a mage and she’s a ranged hero, so it’s super fun to play her because she throws her boomerang, and I could hit people from quite far If I know how to estimate the range.
And then she has one little–I wouldn’t call it a pet but she has a little comparable companion. Don’t come for me, but it looks like Totoro. It looks like a small Totoro, and her name is Molina, and you can stun people with that, which is super fun and then her out is um—
Lune: Did you just yeet it out?
Kurumi: You ‘yeet’ the little thing [out], and if people walk into the range, it will chase the person to the pits of hell!
Lune: It’s like ‘Yo Pikachu! Chase that person!’ Time to train Jetson to do the same.
Kurumi: He will slash and bite hard: a little feisty one. So that’s Nana for you, she’s super fun.
Kurumi describes her “Kurumates”
Lune: Next, we’re talking about your fans. How can you describe your fans, tell us more about, you know, your Kurumates?
Kurumi: Do I need to—should I roast them?
Lune: You can roast them first and then praise them. That’s what I usually do. I roast them and then give them some sweets so that they feel good.
Kurumi: Yeah, they say they’re seiso. No, you all ‘seisus’!
Lune: You can only tell someone that [they’re] ‘seisus’ if yourself is ‘seisus’
Kurumi: In order to call them ‘seisus’, I will admit that I’m ‘seisus’. This is our relationship: me and my fan base.
So, they are down bad for sure. They’re very damn bad, but yeah, they’re definitely like a family. They’re super comical, they’re witty. Their wits are super-fast that even sometimes I’m surprised by it. They’re playful, they’re honestly super wholesome.
I mean they bully me a lot and they call me ‘grandma’ all the time. Supposedly, we should all be married, okay? Me and my fans, I propose to them many times, but they still call me their grandma instead of their wife
I don’t know, they make me laugh a lot, and you know they bounce jokes off each other, which is super cute. They keep me going every day. So yeah, those are my Kurumates, and if you like to roast people, join the party!
Lune: If you like to roast people, either you become the charcoal or you become the marshmallow.
Remembering her moments with Lune-chan
Lune: Next is more of a ‘with me’ question. Since we have like a couple of collabs, and also, we have spent time off-stream, which is your favorite moment with me?
Kurumi: I think my favorite moments of ours were off stream. I remember vividly leading up to our first collaboration together where we played ‘Fall Guys’. In case you guys missed it, go check out the VODs.
I remember you gave me a bunch of advice on keeping drinks warm. [I] think we were talking about me being sick, and then you were telling me about your mini fridge, which I could never forget, and I was just like, you know, you watching out for my health.
I can’t forget that moment, I was just like ‘Oh, so sweet!’ [I] also remember you sent me the ‘Fall Guys’ art, they’re super crazy yeah
Lune: Yeah, yeah, the one that I drew.
Kurumi: I was like ‘Oh my gosh, how do you just do this in like a matter of hours?’ It wasn’t even hours; it was like what? 30 minutes? How long did it take?
Lune: I don’t remember but I somehow managed to draw that.
Kurumi: It was like a short amount of time and then you sent it and I was just like ‘oh my gosh this is so good!’
I don’t think I could ever forget those moments; [I] don’t know even till today; I still think about them. I think it’s a precious memory, you know? And you’re super sweet, caring, and genuine.
Lune: I was like, so worried, when Kuru-chan actually told me that she’s sick and everything, and then I was like ‘are you eating well?’, ‘Do you want some tips on things you know like easier health?’ Because I have this mini fridge that can both heat food, and also keep food cold. And I also have this cup warmer that I use to get warm water on stream.
Who does Kurumi want to collaborate in the future?
Lune: Apart from me, are there any other VTubers that you want to collaborate with in the future? Is there anyone in your mind right now?
Kurumi: When you asked that question, I had like six people or seven people in my brain. I mean honestly, there are too many names for me to give because even though it’s almost been six months. I’m still new to collaborating with people, and I only have so many stream days, you know?
Like, it’s hard to fit everybody’s schedule into the same place, but I would say I have not actually collaborated with even half of my closest friends.
I don’t know, it’s like ‘I would love to collaborate with them if the time is right’, because I have asked [them] a few times, and everybody just can’t get together at the same time, maybe someday. But I can’t give a name, there’s just too many.
Kurumi’s comfy anime recommendation
Lune: Last interview question that I asked everyone – [as] like the mascot of Anime Corner, I have to ask this question: what is that one anime that you will always recommend to everyone?
Kurumi: I have to say disclaimer: I don’t watch a lot of anime these days. It’s been quite a few years since I caught up on anime, but if I have to give that one anime, it’s gotta be ‘Shirokuma Cafe’.
Lune: Oh, I actually know about it! I have never watched it before.
Kurumi: Yes, it’s like a slice of life [anime]. It’s super cute: I mean, I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t find that anime adorable or good, like those kinds of people who are cold-hearted! (laughs)
It’s like about animals, and I think the artist did a lot of research on actual animal behaviors, so all the personality traits from all the characters are actually like how animals would behave, and it’s super cute, super adorable.
If you love cartoons, or if you just want to watch something that’s like a feel-good anime, you should watch [it].
Kurumi and Lune answer questions from Marshmallow
Kurumi: What made you two want to be a VTuber? How do you two feel about being a VTuber?
Lune: What made me want to be a VTuber? I think I’ve mentioned this before, since because of the pandemic, I couldn’t travel and one of my interests is to know more about cultures and everything. So, becoming a VTuber is actually a way for me to learn more about other countries.
Kurumi: It’s very effective, I mean it definitely is.
Lune: I would say I’ve learned a lot, like I have learned so much about the Philippine culture, and of course some Indonesian culture from my friends and our mutual friends actually, and also other ones that you guys do not know
How do you feel about being a VTuber? I would say I actually think of this as a job, not only like I don’t treat it as something fun, but of course I gained joy from doing it.
So, I actually spent a lot of time preparing for stuff, think about stuff. I guess it’s a job for me and all, but also at the same time, I feel really happy doing this.
Kurumi: What made me want to be a VTuber? I was always into the entertainment industry, and I have a long, long history with singing and all of that jazz. When I first learned about VTubing, I was just like ‘I do love anime, though I don’t watch them often’, but I was just like ‘that’s so cool, people can like get rigged in’.
I feel like it opened a whole new world and passion for me. It was like realizing a dream, like finding out a new dream in life that you want to pursue. And then I was just like ‘you know what? I would just go for it’.
I mean I’m not good with tech stuff—yes everybody that has been around me, they know I struggle with technology—I just thought it’d be fun, and that if there was anything that I had to learn, I would be open to learning
How do I feel about being a VTuber? I would say it’s a lot more than you can see on stream. Even for me, when I first wanted to be a VTuber, I was like I’m gonna have a team: I just need to come on, hit stream and just talk and play games.
But no, actually it comes with a lot of things like making thumbnails, scheduling, networking especially, yes you need to network. And there’s a lot of behind the scenes you definitely need to do, which I feel like that’s what makes it kind of like an occupation.
[But] at the end of the day, it sounds more like an occupation where you get to have fun along the way.
VTubing is not simple
Lune: It may seem like they’re just pushing a button, maybe some of us sometimes do that like in my chat stream. I sometimes just press the button and then go live, but then at the same time what I usually need to prepare for at this juncture [is that] I need to think about what to talk about.
It’s not like feelings just come up to your brain when you stream, it’s like something that you need to prepare for and something you need to think about a lot of things you need to prepare for like one stream.
Kurumi: And I think we have more things to think about like company/corporate or even just like agency VTubers, not just freelancers.
We definitely have a lot more to worry and consider about, but otherwise it’s like you get to have fun along the way and it’s kind of like one of the better things.
Lune: It’s like just trying to make a living out of things that we like to do, yes, a lot of things that we love.
New cover song soon?
[Next Question] So the question is, when are you going to make an original song or a new cover song? Your cover of ‘VILLAIN’ by K/DA was so good, I would like to see more official stuff.
Kurumi: I don’t know when I’m gonna make an original song, but I can only tell you that I will have more song covers coming up for sure! I can’t tell you when or what it is but for sure someday, stay tuned!
Kurumi: I’m not a mascot
Lune: Wanted to ask: what are some misconceptions about you, especially that you’re affiliated with airasia, and also what should viewers know about what’s going behind the scenes in order to create an active presence of yourself online?
Kurumi: I guess people think I’m a mascot. I’m actually not a mascot, I’m not like Ronald McDonald’s for McDonald’s. I guess people expect to see me all over airasia. Airasia is airasia, Kurumi is Kurumi. But we are affiliated for sure.
Lune: I guess you’re a little bit different than some of us, like you know Crunchyroll’s Hime: she’s the mascot, and then we have N-ko from Netflix. Of course, myself and also some other brands actually have their own mascot/Vtuber, but Kurumi she’s a talent, she’s not a mascot.
The challenge of producing song covers
Kurumi: I think we talked a lot earlier on a lot of the things we need to do, but I think for me, at least I can tell you: The biggest challenge for me is probably figuring out how every program works, especially when it comes to the sounds for the mic and the mixer.
Lune: You’re using an interface?
Kurumi: Uh, I’m using a physical, like an actual mixer.
Lune: Yeah, we call that interface.
Kurumi: Trying to make it work with OBS and especially when it comes to karaoke streams, it’s a lot to do. Karaoke streams are tough, but they always work out well.
Lune: Do you archive your karaoke streams?
Kurumi: Uh no, only one of them is on archive for members only, but in the future, I’m hoping to upload some karaoke clips that I hopefully can play, and not get striked too hard.
Lune: One thing that us VTtubers or other YouTubers in general, we need to think about if we get copyrighted or not, so if you want to make a song cover, it’s not just about us singing a song: it’s not that easy.
We have to find someone to mix for us, and then someone to draw, someone to do all the fancy animation: we can’t just steal someone else’s art and just slap it on us: no that’s not gonna happen, it’s not how it works.
After we finish everything, and then YouTube is like ‘eh, you’re not earning from this one’.
Kurumi: Or YouTube be like ‘Hey. I changed my mind, you can’t play this at all’, and we’re just like (sighs)
Lune: What I usually do is actually after I record the thing, I will actually test and post it on YouTube first before.
Kurumi: I started doing that as well, but oh it takes days to process, and it’s just–
Lune: Sometimes, when YouTube updates their copyright system, it might not be copyrighted before this but it may be copyrighted in the future, so we’ll never know.
There’s a lot of things to consider, there’s a lot of things to prepare, but for my part, we have been trying to get in contact with like, there was this one group who is in charge of all the copyrights and everything.
We’ve been trying to get in contact with them and, you know, try to get proper licensing so that we can actually legally monetize the song.
Kurumi: There’s a lot of process going on, and I think people don’t really talk about this because it sounds very tedious, but it does happen, just because we don’t talk about it.
Being in charge
Kurumi: [Next Question] One random question: do you have a manager, Kurumi? I know you make your own thumbnails, and seem very busy, like you always have a packed schedule, and I sometimes saw you on Twitter very late.
So yeah, just wondering what your manager is in charge of, like social media, scheduling, marketing etc.?
I do not have a manager. I do everything—well I do get some help, I have a team, they do help me out with things that I need help with. But for example, these things, social media, I’m in charge of social media.
I also added my own schedules and marketing. I think it’s a half-half but mostly I leave it to them. They do the marketing, as in like where to post stuff, and I don’t know how it works, but I just do my best what I can
I guess there’s a lot to do, like thumbnails take forever because I’m new to Photoshop, but I don’t know, every agency is different, but for me, I don’t have a manager.
I’m doing my best for my well-being, so don’t worry I’ll manage one way or another.
Having managers to guide you
Lune: I really hope to send someone to help you though, like for me I’m gonna share, my amazing managers: I actually get a lot of help, but I still think about 10 million things that I can do.
Usually when we talk about the stream, we talk about um the streaming part, usually I am in charge of what I stream, but I have a team of clippers.
So, they decide they work on the thing: They do the time stamp, they decide on what to clip, and then one of my managers would actually schedule everything, like when to post it and what to do with the description and everything.
And then we also have a social department. I have someone to do the socials for me, which is what the other manager is doing. They decide what’s the best time to post, and they do my social posts, including marketing.
They market me on Anime Corner, they market me somewhere else like Instagram, TikTok, or other places.
Kurumi: I can see that your managers work really hard.
Lune: Another one is my thumbnails, my schedules and everything. I would schedule it by myself, but then the graphic is done by my manager, because they do better design than me.
My team is actually reaching people out for me, like if not for my team, I would have never known Kurumi and Lili.
Kurumi: I would be just a small voice screaming in the chat: ‘Notice me!’ (both laugh)
Lune: No, I definitely notice you, I’m like smaller than you.
Kurumi: I don’t care, will always simp for with love like as ‘#KuruSimps’. I think every agency is different, some people, they do different things even if they have a manager.
Some managers don’t take over as many things, but you know, for my agency, I don’t have a manager which is kind of rare to hear of because usually agencies they provide you management.
But like I said, they let me grow very organically, but I mean maybe someday I can get a manager, maybe.
Lune: It’s not like having a manager doesn’t have its cons. It’s like, if you do everything by yourself, you will have absolute control of what you want and what you don’t want.
Sometimes in the team, miscommunications happen, like it happens so for sure. I don’t consider that a fight but at one point when our second manager joined—it used to be just me and my manager number one. When manager number two first joined, we had a lot of miscommunications, so much that I got so fed up that I cried.
Literally, the three of us went into a call and we practically just said what’s wrong here, what’s wrong there, how we should fix it, and then we fix it.
I’m really grateful to have managers that really tolerate me that, you know, give a lot of good advice and help me out so much. It’s so nice to get their help.
Kurumi: And for sure, when people have that responsibility split so not everybody’s stressed out, like one side isn’t more dragged down by the other, I feel like that’s very important as well.
Thank your managers
Lune: I’m still very, very, very grateful for the two of them really, if not for them, I will never be this successful. Like, for me, I am generally really happy with what I’m [with right now], even though I want more. But then also at the same time, I clearly know that if not for ACs resources, I can never, never grow this far by myself.
Kurumi: That’s why I think your team is great, and I’m sure everybody can see it as well. I mean, sure you get bullied and stuff in chat and all, but like those are like banter, like the playful bonding, right? You can see the whole team really works super hard and stuff.
That’s why I think, I don’t know, even though you debuted later than me, I would always look up to you. And your team, you guys are like ‘dang!’ Even though you do have your ups and downs, but it’s super wholesome by the end of the day
I think every agency would have to go through this, there needs to be some ups and downs, and then, you know, things will work out yeah, these things worked out.
Lune: I guess not everyone is willing to talk it out, so some people just scream at each other and then it’s just gone or some of it, and some people just keep.
Kurumi: Not to spill tea, but I’ve heard of some people’s agencies, they do voice out but then nothing is done, and it’s very upsetting to hear about things like that. I only hope everything goes well for everybody.
Thank you for reading through the rest of this Tsuki-Talk Prime Time feature interview with Aozora Kurumi from Project Kavvaii. Follow Tsukimi Lune on social media for the next Tsuki-Talk Prime Time schedule.
Also, Project Kavvaii has announced that it is opening a new round of VTuber applications! You can check out further details of the application process on our reporting here.
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