Interviews with the SHS Staff

The Goddess interviews the one and only forum deviant ndbag:

uniquec: On today’s show, we are happy to have the head moderator of the SHS Forums the one and only ndbag.  Let us all give him a friendly welcome and hopefully the chair will be comfortable to his obtuse frame. We would like to thank you for sharing your valuable time for doing this interview and allowing us to get to know a little more about you than just the moderator side.

uniquec: Before we get begin, what would you like to be called Mr. ndbag since lately you were also known as pandbag on IRC? I will refrain from what I personally call you on IRC since that requires delicate explanation and not suitable for our viewing audience.

ndbag: I would prefer to be called Mr. Panda sir. 

uniquec: As you wish then Mr. Panda sir but why?

ndbag: That is because it seemed appropriate after you question and it is what I want to be called.

uniquec: But Mr. Panda sir, you are known as ndbag on the forums, why the sudden change?

ndbag: Well, all the forums regulars call me panda anyway.

uniquec: Thought they called you panda because of your avatar.

ndbag: So I figured I might make use of the intrinsical compatibility of my ndbag nick with the panda attribute.  Thus, pandbag was born and it is pronounced pan-dee-bag..

uniquec: Our audience would like to know how you came to be known as ndbag.

ndbag: That is explained in the Berserk’s thread in the forums http://forum.shinsen-subs.org/index.php?a=topic&t=500&min=15&num=15.

uniquec: For those too lazy to read it, it basically states that a program called e-Donkey which he originally used to download anime. Basically it randomly generates a user name which he never bothers to change because it almost sounded like a name.
So, can I ask how old are you really, Mr. Panda, sir?

ndbag: My forum profile says that I’m 13, and the forum profile can’t lie, of course.

uniquec: Is that panda years?

ndbag: Yes, or in boogeyman years take your pick.

uniquec: Thirteen in boogeyman years is still rather young.

ndbag: Well one of the side effects is that there are a lot of whiners on the forums who take the whole  “hey, kid” approach implying that they are so much wiser and have more experience in life and that the 13 years old throws them off when I point it out.

uniquec:LOL, it gives a new meaning to respect your elders.

ndbag: Indeed it does.  I have people private messaging me about my age on the forums.  Things like... are you really 13?  Your posts and language level seems more mature.  Those kinds of things

uniquec: I’m sure you enjoy that.

ndbag: Or “Wow, that’s exceptional” as they actually believed it.

uniquec: You enjoy being 13.

ndbag: Of course, you get away with stuff when you are 13.

uniquec: He he, you are just an ageless panda.    Well for those who are not familiar with the workings of the forums, when did you join the SHS forums and become moderator?

ndbag: Well let see, I joined back in the first of May 2005.  Back then there were less than 1000 users on the forum.

uniquec: Were they any early moderators?

ndbag: There were quite a few moderators who either didn’t have time to do any actual moderation on the forums or were not really interested.

uniquec: Useless in name only and you were chosen because of your interest or your spam abilities?

ndbag: So, when yours-truly turned up and started  (ab)using the forums together with Goran and Berserk as well as pf, things got a bit more lively.  At some point, since I really like the forums and knew my way around I started to “backseat moderate”.

uniquec: You stirred things up.

ndbag: But I always tried to be polite and helpful, rather than tell people off.

uniquec: And that was when you officially were asked to be one.

ndbag: I’d phrase everything as a suggestion or point things out nicely.

uniquec: Who offered you the post as moderator?

ndbag: So, even though, I initially didn’t want to be a moderator since that entailed keeping a certain distance in the interest of objectivity.  mebe shanghaied me into it.

uniquec: Ah, mebe the one who is in charge of the website.

ndbag: Of course.

uniquec: And the rest is history.

ndbag: mebe is l33t.  ^_^

uniquec: LOL, so mebe is a sweet talker.

ndbag: mebe is a really nice guy.  He actually made me go on IRC.

uniquec: So you can blame him for meeting the likes of me on IRC.

ndbag: Indeed I can.   We generally have a lot of fun being silly and talking about cars, computers and other “fun stuff”.

uniquec: So what does your job as moderator requires you to do?

ndbag: I spend a lot of time reading the forums, keeping track of what is going on and intervene/comment/moderate /help or whatever is required.  Sometimes I have to be a bit harsher in my statements to end a bad or off topic discussion, since people don’t always respond to polite requests and some people respect “brute force” more.

uniquec: Yeah some need to be bluntly told.

ndbag: In some way you might say that moderating the forums is a bit like doing PR for Shinsen.    But I try to be fair and as even handed as I can be.  Some regulars might have noticed that I even moderate staff members’ posts when they are inappropriate.  I want to stress that we generally do not delete posts.  We might remove some of the content, but we don’t try to “hide the fact” that someone posted.

uniquec: Despite what people may think, they manage to end up in the Whiner’s Section.  Whose idea was that?

ndbag: I think I started that thread as an easy way to access an archive of stupid posts.  We even included a link in the forum rules to give people an idea.

uniquec: Is there any favourite whiner you might have?

ndbag: Well, there are a few classics but in general whiners tend to be repetitive.

uniquec: No one has made a deep impression on you?

ndbag: There are a few basic groups of whiners like the “I spotted a mistake” whiners. Usually people who don’t know Japanese and latch onto some “official” spelling for a character’s name.

uniquec: Those are fun I bet.

ndbag: Then there are the “why isn’t episode xy” out yet crowd.  This then ties into series A sucks, make series B faster.  Then there are the general trolls and Shinsen haters.

uniquec: LOL. You can’t please everyone.

ndbag: Which are the most unimaginative people.  It’s so easy and fashionable within the fan subbing scene to hate SHS.  Nobody needs to name reasons.

uniquec: People love to hate successful people and in this case the group.

ndbag: It’s one of those that come with being a large group, I suppose.

uniquec: The name brings out hatred I’ve noticed.

ndbag: But yea, all in all I believe that the forums are a pretty happy place.  We have lots of regulars who make all kinds if fun posts in general discussion.

uniquec: And spam enough for everyone.

ndbag: Indeed.  It’s a bit like meeting your friends everyday and hanging out.  I like it.

uniquec: You been known to generate spam as well.

ndbag: Spam in moderation is a good thing for a forum (pardon the pun) .  It shows that people are not one-track-minded-anime goons.

uniquec: You like your puns, don’t you?

ndbag: Of course.

uniquec: I have noticed you also manage to appear in a few credits.

ndbag:You want to know about my fan subbing activities?

uniquec: Yeah.

ndbag:Well, I am not a very productive fansubber unlike a lot of the core staff.  I see my main function as being on the forums and doing my job there.  But, I did make the mistake of mentioning that I know a bit of After Effects.

uniquec: But you do venture at it at times.

ndbag: So, a few times a year Vince pokes me about making a title screen for a show.  Basically I do the English logo text which is not part of the raw's title screen for a show.

uniquec: So you get to see your name in the credits once in awhile.  Do you enjoy working on the titles?

ndbag:Mostly yes.  The fun part is to get the look right and make it reflect the original Japanese logo/blurb.

uniquec: Something you are good at?

ndbag: I tend to poke the translator into telling me what impression the Japanese font would make on a native speaker and take the as a starting point for my design.  Then I kind of retro-engineer the logo in Photoshop.

uniquec: And then your creativity begins.

ndbag: That logo is then integrated into the op in afx with the appropriate effects and of course, I add the “Shinsen-Subs presents” or some variation thereof.

uniquec: Time consuming job for such little air time

ndbag: Well, yes and no.  I do the job once for the whole show unless it happens to be a show like Demonbane.

uniquec: Well, I didn’t think you did it for every episode.

ndbag:I didn’t enjoy working on that one so much. 

uniquec: How so?

ndbag: Because they kept changing the op slightly, so I had to do 4 or so versions of the same thing to make sure it matched up. Four screens for a 12 episode show.  That becomes annoying but in general it is fun every once in awhile.

uniquec: So what is your favourite show that you worked on?

ndbag: Well, actually those were shows that were dropped before they were ever released.

uniquec: LOL, such bad luck.

ndbag: So, very people ever got to see them.

uniquec: Aw that is a shame.

ndbag: Well, that’s one of the hazards of fan subbing, I guess.

uniquec: A lot of things never make it to release.

ndbag: Well, I kind of found my “middle of the road”.  Those first few ops were a bit “overblown” on my part.

uniquec: Middle of the road?  You got carried away.

ndbag: I’d take like a week to make them and really spend a lot of the time and effort on minute details.  Nowadays, I try to do it within a reasonable stretch of time, depending on what is needed, one or two days.

uniquec: So who are your favourite people on the staff to interact with?

ndbag:Hmmm interaction.  Well, that’s the really cool part of being in Shinsen, I can’t really think of any staff member I don’t like.

uniquec: Or not willing to say out loud.

ndbag:For the most part, we all get along pretty well and have a lot of fun goofing off and just hanging out and stuff.

uniquec: Fun bunch of characters.

ndbag:Of course, sometimes, one does get on each other’s nerves.  That is part of spending time together and when people work together there are bound to be differences of opinion.

uniquec: Yeah like in real life.

ndbag: But mostly they are resolved.  Sooner or later.

uniquec: Eventually since you all aren’t children.

ndbag: Well, most people on staff are older than 13. : p

uniquec: Back to 13 reference.  So, it’s basically a peaceful group.

ndbag:Yes, I’d say so.  Even some of the staff members who used to annoy the hell out of everybody with excessive wb’s had some good sides and could be fun from time to time.

uniquec: So who actually runs SHS?

ndbag:mebe and myself, of course.

uniquec: LOL

ndbag:Just kidding.  Well, Vincent is the definitely the one who holds things together but it is a group effort. And all the hard working core staff get a say and do provide some kind of input.

uniquec: Hold things together with whip and chains, I hear?

ndbag: Don’t forget the shock collars.  : P

uniquec: It’s a democracy not a dictatorship although Vincent does take the fall.

ndbag: Yes, it is just like a real democracy. Everybody gets a say and then we do what Vincent wants.

uniquec: He he.

ndbag:Oh, and I have to mention that there are some “quiet” staff members who don’t say much on the forums or on IRC but  who do carry a lot of the weight in the terms of workload.

uniquec: The hard working, quiet ones who are only known in the opening credits

ndbag: Exactly, I’d mention them by name, but they are so quiet that I forget who they are.

uniquec: They are so quiet you forget they are around.

ndbag:They know who I am referring to and I think I’ll leave it up to them to come out of the closet.

uniquec: Are they pranksters in the group?

ndbag: Hmm, aren’t we all?

uniquec: Are you one?

ndbag:Well, sometimes.

uniquec: How so?

ndbag: Just remember this year’s April Fools joke.

uniquec: That was amusing if I do say.

ndbag: Almost everyone participated in getting the dub done in time and of course, we do sometimes pull the lecher’s legs in main.

uniquec:You even had a part in the dub.

ndbag: Of course I did, scientist #1 was a nice part.

uniquec: A small but important part.

ndbag: LOL, I like to think so.  Unfortunately I am the only one who does.

uniquec: Although, dancinbojangles’ Lulu was my favourite character. 

ndbag:I liked mebe and Masaru.

uniquec: They got the opening scene.  I was like, I know these voices.

ndbag:He he, they are like that in real life since he met them both.,

uniquec: I can imagine since I know how they interact on IRC with each other. 
So any favourite prank you like playing with the lechers?

ndbag: Well, nor so much prank as making fun of those people who ask really stupid questions.

uniquec: No real pranks on IRC, say like getting them banned from the channel?

ndbag: So, I play along or reply with questions until even the dumbest log realizes that they might switch on their brain.  Well, for a time I did the whole /msg  JJ|away xdcc list thing.  That was fun.

uniquec: LOL.

ndbag: But all good-natured.

uniquec: I ’m sure JJ just loved that.

ndbag:Of course he did.  Or insinuating that it is a good idea to message EdK[Bot] is fun as well.

uniquec: That is always priceless.

ndbag: Of course.  But yea, in general I try not to be too mean to the lechers.

uniquec: You are a kind panda after all.  Oh you run out of tea, will some get him another cup.   I’m sorry but we don’t let people smoke on the set and the cup is not as large as you normally use and this interview is a bit long.   Some of the audience, would like to know what staff member you would want to date or have a crush on?

ndbag: Well ex-staff member.  ;)  Although she was part of the staff when we met.  As for current staffers… if I was a girl, I’d totally say mebe.  I think the regulars can draw their conclusions.

uniquec: LOL.

ndbag:mebe is hawt.

uniquec: You have a thing for mebe, should we be suspicious of that?

ndbag:Nah.

uniquec: Just platonic.

ndbag: Yup and not in the gay Greek way that the platonic philosophers understood the term either.

uniquec: Greek not geek?

ndbag:Greek.

uniquec: So what or who got you into anime?

ndbag:My mum.  I have been watching anime on and off for years.  Stuff like Akira, GITS.

uniquec: Favourite anime?

ndbag: One day I caught my mum watching Inuyasha on TV and I sat down and watched it with her.    Then I started looking for episodes on the net and leeched my first fan subs that were on e-Donkey.

uniquec: Inuyusha drew you in.

ndbag:Kind of drew me back to anime and got me hooked to watch it on a regular basis.  It’s an endless and ultimately pointless show but it is good fun.  As for my favourite, I kind of hate superlatives “the one best ever” kind of thing.  I liked FMA, Inuyusha of course but also like GITS, Paranoia Agent, Last Exile, Gungrave, Azumanga.

uniquec: Variety.

ndbag: Indeed.  In general, I like slightly historical anime.

uniquec: What are you hobbies outside of anime?

ndbag: I like to read a lot and I have dogs.

uniquec: Who is your favourite author?

ndbag: Hmm again…one favourite is hard.  Frank Herbert, Peter F. Hamilton and Robin Hobb just to name a few I enjoy reading.

uniquec: Your least favourite book then?

ndbag: That is easy.  I don’t remember the English title but it was by a guy called B. Traven.  Something like “The bridge in the Jungle”.

uniquec: What was it about?

ndbag: Some lame South American thing about how a girl dies and how all the natives mourn her.  It was super boring and pretty pointless, in my opinion.

uniquec: Guess you aren’t into dying girls.

ndbag: Nothing happened throughout the book and the author revelled in the “native nobility” of the natives.  So yea, don’t read it.

uniquec: Heh fun topic not.

ndbag: "The loneliness of the long distance runner" probably comes in as close second for me.

uniquec: On a brighter topic, have you met any other staff members and were they like what you expected them to be or were you surprise?

ndbag:I have met mebe, Masaru, Midz, shag and Doria irl and I wasn’t all that surprised, because we spent a lot of time on IRC together as well on Skype etc.  So, you gain a pretty good impression of people.

uniquec: What would you want others to know about them?

ndbag: That they are really, really super nice people and a lot of fun to hang out with.  Oh, and that Masaru is hawt as well.   (and single, in case any girls want to meet him  ^_~)

uniquec: Heh and Midz too.

ndbag: He he of course.

uniquec: What do you do irl?

ndbag: Irl I am the boogeyman that lives in the hamper in Midz’s closet and I sort and eat socks.

uniquec: The final question that we all want to know, do you have an inny or outie belly button?

ndbag: Inny.

uniquec: So you can collect lint.

ndbag: Of course, outies are yucky.  Sorry, outies but you suck. : p

uniquec: Any parting words of wisdom, you have for the audience?

ndbag: Do your homework, read a book from time to time and try to write decent sentences on the forums. ^_^   Because being a moron is not cool.. : p

uniquec: In that order?

ndbag: Any order will do. But yea the order does make sense.

uniquec: We would like to thank Mr. Panda, sir for kindly allowing us to spend time with us, as we got to learn a little more about him.

Copyright 2007 Uniquec Productions

Any unauthorized use of this written work in any form without permission from the author will lead to lawful prosecution.