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How the Indonesian siblings behind Animasinopal found YouTube success through animation and 'pure chaos'

What do K-pop, Indonesian ghosts and a giggly school-going girl have to do with one another? Absolutely nothing – unless you’re acquainted with the world of Animasinopal.

In the animated sketches by these Indonesian content creators who are based in Bogor, located south of Jakarta, characters and stories from popular culture are parodied through slice of life shorts made for a Bahasa Indonesia-speaking audience.

Animasinopal started out in 2015 as “Si Nopal.” It was an online comic strip by full-time content creator Naufal Faridurrazak, which centred around a character loosely based on Naufal himself – “Nopal” being a simplified way to spell and say “Naufal.” 

Then in 2018, Naufal wanted to find new ways to bring his comic characters to life. “I wanted to create something that can enjoyed without having to read,” he said.

“Back then, the comics scene was pretty saturated so I wanted to try something else.” And so the 27-year-old, who enjoyed watching movies from the likes of  Disney and DreamWorks, taught himself animation.

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ROLLING WITH IT, GOING VIRAL  

Together with his 21-year-old sister Nadiah Rifatummumtaz, Naufal began improvising character voices. “We thought, ‘let’s just roll with it’ and the end result was pure chaos” said Naufal. The siblings would regularly end up laughing and shouting during their recording sessions.

In Animasinopal’s videos, with its plain broken humour, logic works differently. “If you notice, in our Youtube bio it says, ‘Welcome to Animasinopal, broken animations…’” Broken because the character dialogs are always running away from the script that they become chaotic and unpredictable. “We can have a Siamese fighting fish on screen and suddenly, it’s breakdancing!” said Naufal. 

Humour aside, Naufal reckoned one main key to their comedic success was “regardless of how the characters turn out, if you include things people recognise in their day-to-day, they will relate to it.”

“WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH CUTE GIRL’S FACE?”

And then there’s also the runaway success of Cute Girl, whose larger-than-life character Naufal jokingly described as embodying his sister Nadiah’s most annoying traits – attention-seeking, self-absorbed and slightly delusional.

“She is so much like Cuty that I feel like she’s born to be Cuty, not to a be human being!” he quipped.

Cuty’s lack of facial features – save for two curved lines – has also been a recurring topic of debate in Animasinopal’s comments section on YouTube.

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