Another week, another round-up of some of the ups and downs of the VTuber community. Welcome to Anime Corner’s VTuber News Round-Up for the sixteenth week of this year. This time, there have been notable updates from the wider VTubing community—ranging from strides from independent VTubers, to milestones from upcoming agency VTubers and larger ones, here’s our take on the recent state of the VTuber scene this week.
Inside This Issue:
- The Ugly: Widespread Misuse of the VTuber Tag on Twitch
- The Bad: PH SIM Registration Bill Refiling? WACTOR Constraints and More
- Interesting VTuber Bits: CookieSwirlC VTuber Debut, “Pony-Rolled”
- Good News: Hololive and Nijisanji Goodness, Plus Uprising Players
- VTuber Releases: Merchandise, Music, Events
- Cheers to Debuts and Milestones!
The Ugly: Widespread Misuse of the VTuber Tag on Twitch
More recently, there has been an uptick of streamers on the popular streaming platform Twitch using the directory tag “VTuber.” The issue is: not all of them are VTubers themselves—instead, they are regular in-real life (IRL) streamers, mostly gaming and ASMR channels, who use the directory tag in a bid to climb up into the directory board at Twitch.
The issue is evident straight away: Twitch defines the tag “VTuber” as part of the streams category and is used “for streams in which the streamer uses a virtual avatar.” Right off the bat, the issue is more evident, as the platform’s Terms of Services notes that a streamer should not “… falsely claim an affiliation with any person or entity [and] misrepresent the source, identity, or content of information” [Section 9 (Prohibited Conduct), Item II].
It is no wonder why a lot of VTubers streaming on the Twitch platform raised concerns regarding the misuse of the VTuber tag, with some including LunaCross messaging an ASMR streamer and calling them out on the misuse. But most importantly, VTuber Marina recently posted a forum post on UserVoice, explaining the situation.
“There has been a recent rise in streamers misusing the tag system, most noticeably with non-Vtubers using the Vtuber tag. This makes discoverability more difficult for both streamers who are actually Vtubers, and viewers trying to use the tag system to find Vtubers. Even prominent streamers are misusing tags, so this behavior has been spreading.”VTuber Marina, on her forum post regarding the misuse of VTuber tags.
Following the uproar, other streamers disagreed with this stance, including popular streamer xQc, who noted that, “Stop gatekeeping. This is a message to VTubers, what gives you the right to say that I’m not a VTuber? I identify as a VTuber, I put it in my tags because I think I’m a VTuber. Therefore, I am a VTuber.”
Mirroring this statement against Twitch’s Terms of Service, there’s a certain disconnect between these two statements. For one, the use of the VTuber tag is not just about blatant identification but rather representation, a proper representation in the online community. There is a great difference between identifying one’s self and properly representing oneself. A statement alone cannot support itself; it needs to be proven. In other words, know the context before the context.
As of this writing, an admin for Twitch had already replied to Marina’s post, noting that they “are actively investigating additional steps [that they] can take to protect and improve the integrity of the tags feature at scale”. Clamor for this issue to be fixed remains a top-most priority, including a call-to-action article from Dexerto to fix the issue before the VTuber tag exploit becomes “meta” in the platform.
The Bad: PH SIM Registration Bill Refiling? WACTOR Constraints and More
Despite the initial fact that we reported last week that the Philippines’ SIM Registration Bill has been vetoed by the President, some lawmakers are still looking for ways to refile the bill to Congress. Recently, two senators have shown interest in refiling the bill back to Congress, as well as filing a separate petition for the social media portion of the bill. We will keep you updated regarding this issue.
Meanwhile, VTuber agency WACTOR has been rocked with several not-so-good updates for the past few days. Its former talent Shino Laila, who was doxxed by her agency by using her real-life name, announced that she has canceled her contract with the agency. She will be refraining from giving any further comments regarding the issue. Meanwhile, its former talent Merun Merino noted that her contract with the agency has been canceled since March 2, and its current talent Reyu Yumeiri showed a desire to terminate her contract with the agency due to her poor health condition at the moment.
Large agencies are also not spared with these negative updates. Nijisanji had recently made a public announcement that it had served one fan a cease-and-desist letter for slander and harassment against one of their Livers. Later on, one of its talents, Mito Tsukino, describes an experience with a fan who is spamming on her live chat.
Meanwhile, its English branch talent Millie Parfait has opened up about art that depicts her not wanting to be of Filipino descent. Lastly, Hololive’s Amane Kanata had opened up about not going back earlier from her health break, stating that she had recently mourned over the death of her grandfather. We wish Kanata all the best and stay strong in her return.
Here are some of these not-so-good updates that we have collated:
- Another week, another slew of VTuber graduations. Some of these graduations include MyHoloTV’s Athelia Hiroyuki, Virtunix’s Chika Kameria, and indie VTuber Hyurei (moving towards IRL streaming). We wish all of these talents good luck in their future journey.
- Recently, a VTuber streaming collaboration tool called Playground was recently announced to the public. However, some concerns were raised regarding the tool’s privacy and security measures, as noted by VTuber LuaVLucky. In response, Playground said that they are working around these measures, and have temporarily closed its development server.
- Impersonators and erased pasts are haunting the community: Ywuria recently told her followers that someone is impersonating her on Discord and launched a server of their own. Meanwhile, Uwu.TV is trying to make a comeback, but not in a good way as it tried to erase past links related to them, including issues back then of internal conflict. Also, YashinLive’s Dasu had her YouTube channel suddenly hacked, which then proceeded to broadcast a live stream of a cryptocurrency-related earnings call.
- VTubers have their limits as well. Indie VTuber art group Patella Coop has announced that it is limiting its VTuber-related art commissions, Aozora Kurumi will be having a one-week break, and Artemis of the Blue being more wary after contracting COVID-19.
Interesting VTuber Bits: CookieSwirlC VTuber Debut, “Pony-Rolled”
CookieSwirlC, a YouTuber dedicated to creating kid-friendly content since 2013, had recently debuted her VTuber model to her 17-million subscriber fanbase. The art was made by Rin Yu (the same illustrator for Hololive’s Yukihana Lamy) and rigged by the blacksmiths of Iron Vertex.
Interestingly, there was discussion in the VTubing community whether she is now considered as the “most-subscribed VTuber” at the moment. Based on her content creator history, the VTuber debut can be considered as a ‘VTubing project’, likened to the endeavors of other content creators such as Kwebbelkop and Emirichu. Either way, we are excited with the new content direction, and pave the way for VTubing to have a kid-friendly faction!
There have been numerous pranks and inside jokes within the VTubing community, but we think nothing comes closer (at the moment) as to what MyHoloTV’s Liliana Vampaia and Re:Memories’ Reynard Blanc did to us VTuber fans.
It all started with teasers from Lili and Rey, depicting them in wedding attire, raising theories from fans that they will get “married.” But what we all ended up with was a duo cover of “This Day Aria,” a song performed on the kids show “My Little Pony.” Talk about being “pony-rolled,” and as the meme goes, “We’ve been tricked, we’ve been backstabbed, and we’ve been quite possibly bamboozled!”
Once again, the VTuber community never fails to pull off some of the most interesting acts online. Indie VTuber Bri showed us the perfect sponsorship segment (by breaking immersion). Romania-chan shows us a beautiful rendition of a demo using the tools Shoost and VBridger (while lip syncing to a cover of “Dragostea Din Tei”).
Fofamit showing us a “VTuber model” for xQc (well, as a play on xQc’s rant against VTubers). Fan-wise, there is a recently-launched visual novel dedicated to Nijisanji’s Vox Akuma developed by Deevs.
Good News: Hololive and Nijisanji Goodness, Plus Uprising Players
Despite all of the negative press we have covered, the VTubing community has been all about forging new steps into mainstream culture, as well as creating more ways to engage with their audience.
Kicking this segment off from updates from VTuber agency giant Hololive:
- Crunchyroll has interviewed the full lineup of the Hololive Council, namely Nanashi Mumei, Ceres Fauna, Hakos Baelz, Ouro Kronii, and Sana Tsukomo. Crunchyroll has also asked of these talents of their respective top ten favorite anime series of all time.
- Hololive Indonesia’s Airani Iofiteen has announced an event collaboration with Clip Art Studio for a coloring contest.
- Tactical role-playing game Disgaea 6 has released a game trailer featuring Hololive talents.
- There will be an upcoming collaboration stream regarding the Hololive x Shueisha collaboration, in which the talents can help in creating their dream manga magazine release.
- Hololive’s Roboco-san, alongside Gold Ship (from Uma Musume’s Pakatube segment) made the cover of a VTuber magazine, VTuber Style, for its May issue.
- Hoshimachi Suisei and Mori Calliope have recently been interviewed by Japanese music news site Real Sound. Also, Mori Calliope notes that her Spotify album page notes that she has over 500 thousand concurrent listeners each month.
Meanwhile, over at Nijisanji:
- Japanese karaoke brand DAM announces that several Nijisanji songs are now available in their karaoke song catalog.
- Lauren Iroas finally returns to streaming, stating he will be returning little by little and has since then apologized for the fiasco back then that led to his suspension.
- Male sub-unit ROF-MAO gets interviewed by MoguraVR, where they lay plans on their future production and event plans.
- A Nijisanji-centric Minecraft server has been opened to Nijisanji livers, where they can join in a unified server regardless of language.
Other good updates include:
- Over at VShojo, Projekt Melody hosts a stream where she and Kson is being toured through Japan virtually, much like how CDawgVA did this similar stream to Ironmouse. Speaking of Ironmouse, she has scored another mainstream media interview, with newspaper giant The Washington Post featuring her streaming endeavors as well as her subathon which led her to accomplish various Twitch milestones.
- Popular indie cooking VTuber Oni Giri takes part in two cooking show-offs with fellow indie Vtuber Bao and streamer Malika respectively.
- Translator VTuber Kamishiro Taishi announces that he will be part of an interview series with distributor J-Novel Club.
- CyberLive’s Alchemilla Menace announces she’s switching platforms to Twitch, though she will be using her YouTube channel to upload past streams.
- Kson announces that she has opened a post office box address to receive fan letters and gifts. Take note of the restrictions her manager has placed regarding accepted gifts.
- CodeMiko has unveiled a VTuber model for American-Canadian YouTube Andrea Botez, famous for her chess gameplay and being a chess commentator.
- There are tools that have been recently launched: VTuber Studio announcing availability of Steam Workshop integration, and Avatar Dynamics now available on VRChat.
- Rigging group Iron Vertex announced that they are currently working on an initiative in partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
VTuber Releases: Merchandise, Music, Events
A week in the VTuber community won’t be complete with these music releases, as follows:
- “Jollie Jollie,” the first-ever original song by Hololive Indonesia Kureiji Ollie
- “Hoozukibiyori,” a new single from Hololive sub-unit AyaFubuMi.
- “Chuuku No Niwa” by Hololive’s Amane Kanata
- A cover of “Beat Eater” performed by Hoshimachi Suisei, Mori Calliope, and Pavolia Reine.
- A cover of “Comedy,” the ending song of SPYxFAMILY, by PHVTuber/utaite Kohanishi.
- An original song in the works by idol Corp, to be released before the debuts of their first generation.
Also, does anyone fancy these merchandise releases?
- Wine brand KURAND brand collaboration with the VOMS Project.
- MyHoloTV’s merchandise to commemorate the six-month anniversary of “MonstarZ”
- Noel Shirogane brand collaboration with wine brand Meishurui.
- Birthday merchandise of Sera Alba from Sony’s VERSEn project.
- Nijisanji unveils its “Sakura Bloom” voice pack and merchandise goods for this year.
- Uwu Market announces a merchandise box collaboration with VTuber Lumi.
- Nijisanji has announced a brand collaboration with TOYBOX.
- Playasia unveils a VTuber merchandise marketplace.
- Nekomata Okayu and Inugami Korone Nendoroid models from Good Smile Company.
- Girl_dm gets a teaser for a plush merch.
- Nijisanji’s Kanae 1/7 model available for sale.
- PlayAsia’s huge lineup of indie VTuber merchandise.
In addition, we have noted these event updates from the VTubing community:
- The VSaikyo tournament has concluded, with the final results: QED with Kuzuha, Ibrahim and Uduki Kou (and Coach Uruca) winning the tournament.
- VCarnival has released online information for those who want to purchase their event tickets (limited to Japan only).
- Nihon Pro Mahjong Kyokai announces they will open a professional test for VTubers in February 2023.
Cheers to Debuts and Milestones!
Congratulations to these new talents of the VTubing community!
- The first-generation teaser from Kawa Entertainment
- RJ Hinode and Peachii from CreatiVT
- A Japanese redebut from former Nijisanji Indonesia liver Hana Macchia.
- Murasaki Hiroshi, a science-centric indie VTuber.
- A VTuber model teased by Mikeneko.
- Airi Gwynevere and Mikazuki Mai from Project Kavvaii’s Lunetide generation.
Congratulations as well for these VTubers and their respective milestones!
- MyHoloTV’s MonstarZ (6-month anniversary)
- Shylily (Discord partner badge)
- AmaLee (2,000,000 YouTube subscribers)
- PRISM Project’s Shiki Miyoshino (120,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Holostars UPROAR’s Yatogami Fuma (50,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Nijisanji’s Etna Crimson (45,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Saruei (Birthday)
- Sellena (Birthday)
- Production Kawaii’s Nene Amano (1-year anniversary)
And that concludes our very own round-up for this week. There are interesting takes to note from VTubers, such as being mindful of not giving mental health advice if you’re not qualified, or how there should be more talk about tax filings in the VTubing community, especially during the tax season in the United States.
Interestingly, there are warm and funny moments we have noted online: Kureiji Ollie reflects on her amazing community, how VTuber duo Yuna and Yuki share the same space for their VTuber streams, and how a VTuber deals with an NFT client, retold in a video sketch. See you all next week.
For your feedback and suggestions, email the section editor: jay.agonoy [at] animecorner [dot] me. Follow us on Twitter, @VTuberSection. You can also tag us with any activity you have, and the best ones will be included in the next VTuber News Round-Up.
Featured Image: Sellena, Amane Kanata, CookieSwirlC
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