The Sherbert Interview

I’m just singing this song as I’m reading a manga. I’m not saying that out loud because I’m a floating head… OMGG!!! It’s that time of the month yet again where we get to interview someone out there. And it’s hosted yet again on the Kemono Cafe. Seriously Kemono Cafe…Thank you so much. But without any further ado, it’s time to introduce a very special guest that the Kemono Cafe met in the VRChat at Anthrocon that has a few HUGE projects coming down the pipeline. Introducing the one and only…SHERBERT SHENANIGANS!!! Hello, fellow floating head, I— OH GOD, where’s my body!! I mean…hello! Pleasure to be here! (sort of) Don’t worry about it my good fellow! You get use to it like I do…eventually. This is so exciting! I can hardly stand it. But just for clarification, I know the anime/manga is called Sherbert Shenanigans yet your TWITTER NAME is redhot_yamada. Which one would you prefer to be called?
Actually, the anime and manga are called “Magical Beast Sherbert” while “Sherbert Shenanigans” is what we call the Youtube and Twitch channels, and more of the side content. In that case, what would you like to call me for this interview????? You can call me Sherbert! And for that matter, what is the origin of your username? Red Hot Yamada was my username back on a few video game forums back in the 2000’s. It was a play on Schmendrick’s line from The Last Unicorn: “I am Schmendrick, last of the red hot swammis!” The Last Unicorn? OH! I remember that movie. Classic. While looking over your LinkTree, I noticed that you don’t have any public art galleries. Are you a writer of sorts then?
I am a writer, voice actor, animation producer and content creator. I do everything but draw! AH SNAP! This is my first time interviewing a voice actor! That’s awesome! And I’m curious to know what got you into writing in the first place. What were your inspirations so to speak? I can’t really pin down one inspiration that got me into writing. I’ve wanted for a long time to create an animated series, and I’ve always been doing scripts or writing to develop it, but with Sherbert, it’s the first time my work is actually out there and being seen by an audience. And from the videos I’ve seen on your KickStarter, I must say I’m looking forward to it. It looks so AWESOME!!! And does your writing correspond to any other hobbies that you might have?
Not hobbies, per se, but it does help with work across the board. Developing projects, scripting for clients, producing both in Japan and abroad. Japan? OH! DO you live there? What is it like over there? Where are your favorite places to go over there????
I don’t actually live in Japan, though I was planning a move before COVID hit. Typically I’m there about 4-5 times a year for work. I enjoy the culture, though mostly I work in Tokyo, so I’m more familiar with the city scene than the countryside lifestyle. I did see that you have an Instagram Account with some photos of you in a fursuit of sorts. So I’m curious…could you show us this suit and tell us a little about it?
So I actually have two kemono suits, both were made by K-LINE in Japan. Sherbert, of course, is my main character, and Razu (the pink bunny) is a co-host of the channel. Both have adventures, make video content, and Razu is technically there to take over for Sherbert when his adventures really take off. I must say that those suits are so colorful and bright! I just adore them. And did you make your fursuit or did you buy it? If the latter, from whom did you buy it from? And did you design it via sketches of sorts? As mentioned, K-LINE designed and made both Sherbert and Razu. The way they do it is they come up with designs, and post them on their website for interested parties to apply. If they accept your application, you get the suit of that character custom-made to your body specification. A lot of makers are doing it this way now. Atelier Amanojaku–another Japanese kemono fursuit maker–has a website where artists submit designs, and if you want that design, you buy it on the site, Amanojaku makes the suit for you, and the artist gets a commission. That’s a solid way of doing it too as a means of avoiding any issues with customization and payout. Very smart. I’m not too familiar with fursuits or these Kemono Suits. So I’m curious, how did they make it? What materials do they use? Do you get hot in there? How do you stay cool? Tell us basically what it is like wearing a fursuit.
I’m not really certain on the materials, but it definitely gets hot in any fursuit. Kemono fursuits are a special breed because many have sealed eyes (a lot of western suits have mesh eyes which allow airflow, but many kemono suitmakers put plastic or acrylic lenses on the fursuits to give them that shine. It looks great, but the eyes can fog up, and you can’t ventilate through them) and tiny mouths. So the best way to counteract that and stay cool is to install fans in the head. And of course, take frequent breaks to cool off! The important thing is just to be aware of your physical state while you fursuit, and don’t ignore it. And to think that you folks do this in the summer months that are freaking hot. You have my respect. I also saw that you have a YouTube Account dedicated mostly to Sherbert Content, especially live-action adventures in Japan. I also saw that you normally do weekly VRChat streams on Twitch. Are you a virtual designer too? If not, who designed your avatar?
A month ago I would have said no, but I just finished working on a booth for Vket6, a virtual market. I had a lot of help from many people, but I learned a lot about Unity along the way. So I don’t know, maybe I CAN be? But that’s probably a long ways away. The Sherbert avatar has actually gone through a number of iterations, improving over time. The base for the current version of Sherbert that you’re seeing was designed by Lemurfeature (@JacobOvrick on Twitter), but then modified several times by a number of people. Expressions were revised by the Japanese avatar maker Rasuchin (@aoikarasu1562 on Twitter) specifically to give him the standard kemono expressions. Most recently he’s been worked on by ZERO (@Zer0thePanda on Twitter)…they’re all amazing artists and modelers, go hit them up! Don’t sell yourself short. Virtual reality is pretty solid to say the least. I know there is a ton of virtual design software out there. Which platform, such as VRChat and Neos, do you prefer and which worlds do you like to hang out in the most on said platform? I use VRChat almost exclusively, but Neos does have some real potential, which I witnessed during VBLFC. There’s just so much customizability in there. There’s a function that allows your Twitch viewers to mess with you in game ala “Duck Amuck”, there are weapons that do things like grow/shrink people, and you CAN actually make working arcades in Neos, seemingly more easily than in VRChat. But I do like the polish of VRChat, so that’s where I spend most of my virtual time. As for worlds, typically when I stream we end up playing either shooting games or Murder4, but I’ve been enamored by a lot of really cool worlds. I found a Ghost in the Shell-inspired world that was just insane. It’s too bad it’s not an actual game world. Yeah, there are so many worlds out there. It’s hard to keep track of them all. And now for the questions you’ve all been waiting for… I saw on your Twitter that you recently completed your KickStarter for Magical Beast Sherbert. I’ve seen some of the clips on Twitter Post and KickStarter. Could you give our readers a little taste of the manga in terms of a short bio and some stellar pages?
We did! We exceeded our funding goal, and I’ve started writing the manga, which will be drawn by shoujo manga artist Mochiusagi! (Aikatsu GoGoGo, Nanairo Change) The story is going to parallel the anime series (though probably not exactly), and introduces Sherbert to our world, where he meets Erika, and together they fight off the evil monsters that Sherbert may or may not have accidentally brought to Earth. (OOPS!) It’s a multiverse magical girl series with plenty of surprises and many Erikas and Sherberts (??) That…that just sounds so awesome! I’m looking forward to it. And from the preview thus far, I see that Sherbert and Erika are the primary protagonists. Could you tell us a little about each of these sparkling characters?
Sherbert is a hero-in-training on his home world of Lylasia, a parallel version of Earth where a race of magical creatures is locked in battle with a mortal enemy. Living in the shadow of his older brother–the Great Hero Gelato–has not been easy, and Sherbert is eager to prove himself. But when his magical power to hop across dimensions awakens, he finds himself (along with a pack of enemy creatures, known as the Kuuka) in Tokyo. He’s in awe of the human world, but there’s no time to rest…without Gelato, Sherbert is going to have to grow up fast and be the hero that he’s always wanted to be! Erika Togawa is an 11-year old girl living in our Tokyo. One day, on saves Sherbert from a monster, and he gives her the ability to transform into a magical girl in order to help him fight and save Earth! But it turns out our Earth isn’t the only one in danger, now that Sherbert’s power has inadvertently connected our world with many parallel Earths. Together, with their magical bond, they will fight and discover if their friendship is the greatest bond in the universe! AH SNAP! Looks like these sparkling heroes know that friendship is indeed magical. Hope they can save the worlds before school starts. *peers* Not sure if MLP reference or PPG reference… Can…can it be both? Do you have future plans for this manga, like say a volume two or anime? Right now the Kickstarter only guarantees one volume, but I would love to expand this into multiple volumes. And of course, there is an anime series in development right now. Trust me, it will with what I’ve seen. And out of curiosity, what is your favorite image of Sherbert and Erika? I love the key visual of Sherbert and Erika for the anime series. It’s so colorful and dynamic! ONE FINAL QUESTION! How can we the readers support your hard work? The best way is to subscribe to me on Youtube and Twitch, and to check out my Patreon where you can sign up to get exclusive merch and behind-the-scenes updates! Also, we’re working on starting a subscription box service in Patreon called SherbCrate, so please check it out! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day for this interview. And now to fix a nail with this rather large magical hammer that I found. Take care all.