Plarail YouTuber Matsuoka Sensei is interviewed

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The following interview is by Wani Books News Crunch's Mochizuki Yuki with longtime Plarail YouTuber, Matsuoka Sensei:

Here is an excerpt:

The date of the first video posted was November 22, 2011. You've been active on YouTube since quite early on.
Matsuoka: At the time, my computer's specs were low and I couldn't save the videos I shot as a hobby, so I ended up posting them on YouTube as a "save destination." There were videos of Plarail, but they were of no genre, such as videos of stray cats in the city, and videos edited from live footage of a band member I know.
 
Did you shoot videos of Plarail because you've always liked it? 
Matsuoka: I used to play with Plarail a lot when I was little, but I didn't always like it. When I was working part-time at Book Off when I was a student, I happened to come across a book about Plarail, and suddenly thought to myself, "There's no one who is an expert on Plarail".   I once again became interested in the existence of Plarail, and started taking videos.

I see. Something happened to me when I was in college and I started posting Plarail videos. 

Matsuoka: That's right. Even after getting a job, I continued posting videos as a hobby. However, at that time, my personal life was at its lowest point, as I couldn't fit in at work, changed jobs four times in one year, and even developed a sleeping disorder . 
 
That must be quite exhausting both physically and mentally.
Matsuoka: It was really tough. There was a time when I was thinking that I might not be able to work for a company. But just as Plarail's videos started to grow, I started receiving some advertising revenue from YouTube. So I decided to make a living with Plarail videos, set myself the goal of posting 3 videos a day, and began my full-fledged career as a YouTuber. Back then, I would wake up at 7am and go to bed at 2am the next day. I had to spend more time making videos, and my meals per day decreased from two to one. I rarely went out and didn't get enough exercise...I couldn't say that I was very healthy and energetic. Now that I think about it, it's because I was really young (bitter smile).
 
Wasn't it quite difficult not only physically and mentally, but also financially? 
Matsuoka: There were times when I ran out of savings to the point where I couldn't buy a Big Mac set. However, it was also a time when the number of plays and subscribers were increasing, so I didn't feel particularly pessimistic. I had a light feeling like, ``Ah, if this continues, I'm going to end up living on the streets.'' 
 
That's a pretty strong mentality... 
Matsuoka: The attention level and number of views have been on the rise, and in addition to YouTube advertising revenue, I've also been getting more requests for events and other events, and thanks to that, I'm now able to earn enough to live on.

In the past few years, events have not been held due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, and the financial blow has been huge, hasn't it? 
Matsuoka: Since the late 2010s, my popularity has increased and my income has also increased. However, from that point on, I told my partner (wife) that I only had three years left, so I started saving instead of splurging. I never expected a pandemic to occur, but I had predicted it, so I didn't have to worry about making ends meet. 
 
By the way, how much did your income decrease? 
Matsuoka: There were a lot of things going on, including my income decreasing by one-third and my annual income dropping to less than 1 million yen. However, my partner and I laughed and said, ``Isn't your annual income already low?''

In a sense, they're a "power couple"! Have you ever found it difficult to be a YouTuber? 

Matsuoka: It was really tough when I watched all the episodes of the anime to recreate the world of Thomas the Tank Engine . There are over 500 episodes, so I almost started having obsessive behavior. On top of that, not all the railroad tracks are depicted in the anime, so I had to read the original book as well...it was really difficult. 
 
In order to express your world view with Plarail, you need a lot of preparation.

Example of  the following video:



Matsuoka: It's hard work to wash the rails, which is difficult to convey to the viewers . When events are held, the rails are placed on the ground and get dirty. There are 4,000 straight rails alone, and having to clean them is a real pain. Naturally, I don't have enough space at home, so I rent a room in my apartment to store my various equipment. I also use the kitchen as a storage area, but I leave the bathroom alone so I can wash the rails and other things.
 
Please tell me about the happiest moment you've had since becoming a Plarail YouTuber. 
Matsuoka: Actually... there's nothing in particular. Of course, there are happy moments, such as being able to appear on a TV show or seeing people enjoying an event. However, when I think of memorable "happy moments," nothing comes to mind. But there are fun times. For example, in preparation for recreating a station, I buy various magazines, check the location on Google Earth, and transcribe it into a drawing. When I'm doing something like that, I'm so engrossed that I forget the time.
 
(This post was last modified: 01-28-2024, 12:02 AM by KNDYNT2099.)
[-] The following 3 users Like KNDYNT2099's post:
  • generic_truck_69420, Super, Viktor
Very interesting read KNDY. I have always wondered about him and this article gave me a good idea of where he started and his path to YouTube success. Thank you for sharing. 👍
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Incredible post. I’ve been a fan of Matsuoka for a while now.
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  • Super



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