Interview with Alia Nabalu: Supporting Malaysian VTubers, One Tweet At A Time

With the rise of Malaysian VTubers over the past years, we have also seen an increase in VTuber supporters on social media. Much like fandom accounts that act as community hubs and news sources, VTuber supporters play a crucial role in ushering attention in the right direction — whether it’s a seasoned VTuber announcing a big event, or a new VTuber ready to make their debut.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Alia Nabalu, most known as the “No. 1 Malaysia VTuber Supporter” who also recently debuted as a VTuber themselves. They shared a little insight into the world of VTuber supporting, and their thoughts and hopes for the Malaysian VTubing scene as a whole.

Disclaimer: The following interview has been edited for reading clarity.

Let’s start with a quick introduction of who you are & what you do

Hi guys, nice to meet you! I’m Alia Nabalu and I’m a Malaysian VTuber supporter. My job is to support Malaysian VTubers!

What made you want to become a Malaysian VTuber supporter?

Malaysian VTubers have a lot of hidden gems, but less recognition. I can see some of them competing with other VTubers on the ASEAN or international level. Not only that, I can see that VTubing will become mainstream in Malaysian entertainment one day.

What have you accomplished as a Malaysian VTuber supporter?

At the beginning of this year, I started working on a community project called Malaysian VTuber Family Photo where Valryia, ShafyPie and I collected all the PNGs of Malaysian VTubers and Malaysian VTuber fans that we can possibly gather into a single photo. The project is still in progress until the end of this year.

Recently, I also compiled a sheet for the VTuber showcase, activities, and booths for everyone at AniManGaki this year. Not only that, I made a Twitter thread and Reddit post about local VTuber agencies to give them more exposure to the general public.

I also regularly do VTuber shout-outs for Malaysian VTubers that are newly debuted and important news like ACG events and announcements. Plus, I contribute to Valentino Ringo’s database for Malaysian VTubers.

How do you feel about the rise of VTubers in recent years?

I can see the rise of VTubers getting better and better. With the new software updates and the VTubers’ unique talents themselves, VTubing can be a major form of entertainment.

The number of Malaysian VTubers specifically skyrocketed during the pandemic. Now that we’re a few years after the lockdown, how do you feel about the Malaysian VTuber scene now?

Since the pandemic is over, some Malaysian VTubers have either kept streaming or slowing down their activities and even graduating — and that’s okay! Some people do have a hard time streaming and managing thei real life jobs at the same time. However, that is not stopping others who are dedicated to streaming to grow! Malaysian VTubers are more experienced and growing fast now. I see a lot of new Malaysian VTubers coming up too.

What are the biggest changes you’ve noticed after the pandemic?

Well, the biggest one is creativity. Year by year, I see some awesome agency-VTuber level song covers and content! I also noticed they are more open to talk about their daily life than before. Speaking of that, they also host real life meet-ups at ACG events more often now, so everyone going back to their normal lives hasn’t been a bad thing at all.

How do you feel about the increasing presence of Malaysian VTubers at local ACG events?

I feel happy because Malaysian VTubers are getting more exposure to the public! Not only that, people also get to learn what is VTubing and get to know that we have our own local VTubers too.

In your opinion, what are the major differences in culture between Malaysian and Japanese VTuber communities?

On the streamer’s side, Malaysians are still learning how to create interesting content and how to entertain viewers, as compared to Japanese VTubers. As quoted by Liliana Vampaia, what we need now is not growing numbers but creating better content. One of the advantages that Malaysian VTubers have that Japanese VTubers don’t is that we can talk in multiple languages, like English, Bahasa Melayu and Mandarin!

For the viewer’s side, there are a lot of Malaysians who are new to VTubing and don’t know the VTuber culture yet. Some commonly asked questions to Malaysian VTubers are: “Akak dari mana?” or “Boleh cakap Jepun?” or even “Tidak faham English” [laughs]. Don’t worry, at least they watch our streams, right?

But most Malaysian VTuber fans are very supportive to their favourite VTubers and even donate and gift to them.

After years of supporting the Malaysian VTuber scene, you’ve recently debuted as a VTuber yourself. What inspired the debut, and can we expect more VTubing content from you?

I wanted to become a VTuber because I wanted to show my gratitude to the community for helping me all this time. From making my VTuber model to my logo and such, it is all their contributions. I also want to become an inspiration for new Malaysian VTubers who want to start VTubing!

As for future plans, I’m looking forward to stream collabs and doing projects with others! Probably content that promotes Malaysian VTubers like news or watch-alongs maybe? I don’t know myself, but let’s see how this goes [laughs]

What advice would you give to people who want to get into the Malaysian VTuber community?

For the Malaysian VTuber community, we have a community Discord server that everyone can join — not just Malaysians! You can freely interact with others and share ideas with them there.

If you want to search on Twitter, most Malaysian VTubers will use the hashtag #MYVT, #MYVTuber, or #MalaysiaVTuber. There are a lot of Malaysian VTubers you can choose from, and you can start by following VTubers based on your liking. Or you can also follow me on Twitter for Malaysian VTuber news and announcements!

Thank you to Alia Nabalu for collaborating with us on this interview! For more Malaysian VTuber news and announcements, follow them on Twitter.

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