Interview Series: "Words that changed my life"

In this series, we interview leading figures in the fields of manga, anime, music, acting, voice acting, cosplay, wrestling, entertainment, and more, focusing on words or scenes from manga, anime, or video games that had a profound impact on their lives.

We kicked off the series in December with legendary anime singer Hironobu Kageyama, who chose a powerful line from Hayao Miyazaki's post-apocalyptic science-fiction manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and last month, we presented our interview with Shanghai-born cosplayer and singer Liyuu, who chose a line from a climactic scene in the second season of the 2010 anime K-On!

For our third installment, we're pleased to bring you an interview with the Thailand-born YouTuber and singer MindaRyn!

Please see the bottom of the article for a list of past interviews in this series.

Interview with MindaRyn

MindaRyn chose a line from an important scene in HUNTER×HUNTER (pronounced "hunter hunter"), the internationally famous and ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by 冨樫義博 Yoshihiro Togashi and serialized in Shūeisha's 「週刊少年ジャンプ」 Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 1998. In our interview, we learned about MindaRyn's experience with the anime and the different ways in which the words she chose influenced her life.


In order to meet his father and become a hunter like him, Gon Freecss sets out on a journey. He joins Leorio, Kurapika, and Killua, who are also taking the test to become Hunters. Gon and his friends break through one obstacle after another, on their amazing adventure.

grape Japan (gJ): Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview. I'd like to begin from the beginning. What kind of anime and manga did you enjoy as a child?

MindaRyn: Thank you for having me! Well, I grew up watching anime and reading manga since I was a kid. It started when my dad introduced Japanese culture to me and my brother. Then, we watched a lot of anime and read manga together. We mostly watched action anime and pretended that we were the characters and fought with each other! Those were some of the precious moments of my early life.

My favorite manga and anime is HUNTER×HUNTER (I am actually waiting for the next chapter with some hope lol). This anime is a classic for me. Even though it has been 20 years, the story is still fresh and riveting. I can’t remember how many times I re-watched the anime but I still laugh, cry, and get excited at every moment.


gJ: When did you first encounter HUNTER×HUNTER and what was that time of your life like?

MindaRyn: I can’t remember my exact age but I think it was around the time I was in primary school. There was an anime TV segment that aired every morning during the weekend. My brother and I were very close and we both loved this anime. So every Saturday and Sunday morning, the television was all ours just to watch HUNTERxHUNTER.

gJ: I see. But what was it specifically that attracted you to HUNTERxHUNTER?

MindaRyn: I fell in love with all the elements in this anime. The fantasy world that Togashi-Sensei created is so fascinating. The characters, and how beautiful their friendships are... I love seeing Killua and Gon hanging out and going through many adventures together. It made me want to go on some kind of once-in-a-lifetime adventure with my best friend too lol.

The lines MindaRyn chose are spoken by Gon in a scene at the beginning of the Heavens Arena arc, after the Zoldyck Family arc when he is reunited with Killua. Killua asks Gon why he is being stubborn in not using his Hunter License yet. He then explains that he still has things to do, and continues with these lines:

...I wanna punch Hisoka in the face and make him take back this badge that he "let" me have!! Until I do that, I just can't feel that I've actually earned my Hunter License!!

かくかくしかじかで渡されたこのプレートをヒソカに顔面パンチのおまけつきで叩き返す‼ そうしないうちは絶対 ハンター証は使わないって決めたんだ‼

English: HUNTER×HUNTER Vol. 5, The SHONEN JUMP ADVANCED Graphic Novel Edition, Ch. 44, p.170 (VIZ Media, 1st printing 2005)
Japanese: HUNTER×HUNTER Vol. 5, Ch. 44, p.170 (Yoshihiro Togashi, Shūeisha, 1st printing 1999)

This scene was included in Episode 25 of the 2011 anime adaptation produced by MADHOUSE.

gj: So then, can you tell us why you chose this particular line?

MindaRyn: I love Gon’s attitude in that scene. During the Hunter Exam, Gon was trying to steal Hisoka’s badge but failed and got punched in the face. But it turned out that Hisoka adored him and gave him the badge to let him pass the test. That made Gon feel very weak and very upset that he couldn’t do it on his own. But that also motivates him to try his best and become stronger until his first 1-on-1 fight with Hisoka in Heavens Arena when he actually punches Hisoka right in the face and finally returns the badge to him. I have goosebumps every time I watch that scene!

©P98-22 | Photo courtesy of MindaRyn

gJ: That certainly is a great scene! Can you tell us more? For example, how did those words change your life and how have they impacted your work?

MindaRyn: I feel like this mindset can always apply to everything in my life: I set a goal and try my best to reach it. The most important thing is to never give up on improving yourself and never be afraid to fail. It’s okay to be sad or to be disappointed in yourself when you make a mistake. I think of all those failures as Hisoka’s badge. One day I will improve myself and return it just like Gon did. (And I will definitely get another badge again in the future! lol... So, always prepare to fail and improve!)

For example, back when I started doing anisong covers on YouTube a long time ago, I was invited to perform at a big venue where people had to pay to get in. It was my first big stage performance and I didn’t have much experience. I was scheduled as the opening act before the "real" guest anisong singer from Japan came up to the stage. My body shook and my voice was super unstable because I was so nervous. The show ended up being so awkward and disappointing. I was so sad, especially after reading all the comments talking about my show. The sadness took me a while to shake off, but finally, I realized that I had to get over it. I failed, but it didn’t mean the end of the world. I just had to practice more and more. Just like how Gon tried his best to punch Hisoka’s face.

Photo courtesy of MindaRyn

gJ: Thanks for sharing that episode from your past. But now I'd like to ask you about the future. Looking at your career going forward, what kind of goals do you have in mind?

MindaRyn: There are so many things that I want to challenge myself to accomplish in this career path. I still have a lot to learn, so first, I want to keep exploring the anisong world. I want to sing many kinds of anisongs. And I hope more people will listen to ainsongs via my songs as well! I would be very happy if my songs could become a bridge for people who have never listened to this genre before, inspiring them to become regular anisong listeners.

gJ: Many fans are excited about your 4th single “Daylight” which is the OP for Season 2 of the TV anime Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest. What is the song about?

MindaRyn: This song is like a song for Hajime, the main character of the anime. It is full of his loneliness but he's also embraced by the warmth of his friend who always supports him. The song is trying to say that sometimes you might feel alone fighting in this cruel world. But even if the whole world is denying you, I will always be by your side. We will get through all these things together, fighting together until we see the new “Daylight.”

A message for grape Japan readers

Thank you for reading! And nice to meet you! I’m really glad that I had a chance to introduce myself to grape Japan readers! I had so much fun talking about my favorite anime. Thank you, grape Japan, for giving me this incredible opportunity. I hope we can get to know each other more after this. Please don't forget to check out my social media channels by searching for “MindaRyn” on Youtube, IG, Twitter, and Facebook! And lastly, my 4th single “Daylight,” the opening theme for Season 2 of Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest, was released on February 23rd! The music video is on my Youtube channel, so please check it out!

ขอบคุณค่ะ kʰɔ̀ɔp kʰun kʰâ (Thank you).


MindaRyn started her career as a YouTuber focusing on anisong cover videos. Currently, she has more than 1 million registered users on YouTube.

In November 2020, she made her debut as an artist with the ending theme song "BLUE ROSE knows" for the TV anime By the Grace of the Gods, followed by the opening theme song "Like Flames" for the second season of the TV anime That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime in August 2021, and the ending theme song for the TV anime Sakugan in December of the same year. “Daylight,” the opening theme for Season 2 of Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest, was released on February 23rd, 2022, marking the third consecutive anime season in which she is singing original songs. She's currently in the spotlight as an up-and-coming anisong singer.


"Words that changed my life": Past interviews

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By - Ben K.