It’s the seventeenth installment of Anime Corner’s VTuber News Round-Up this year. For this week, there’s more mainstream success we are now seeing in the VTubing community, with clear indication for more global and mainstream domination. In addition, we are seeing more positive strides within the independent space of this community. While negative updates continue to smear this community, over-all, the VTuber space is keeping up pace to be the next wave of content creation, or maybe even influencer marketing in general.
Inside This Issue:
- Both Bad and Ugly: Warning Against Bad Actors, Counterfeits, and Personal Beefs
- Special Mention: VTuber Graduations
- Interesting Bits: On VTuber Research and Acts of Community Wins
- The Big VTuber Three’s Good Ones: On Mainstream Marketing and Coverage
- Other Good VTuber News: On VTuber Partnerships, Leaderships, and Collaborations
- Announcements: VTuber Merch & Music Drops
- New VTuber Talents and New Looks
- Something to Ponder: On Putting Yourself Out There
Both Bad and Ugly: Warning Against Bad Actors, Counterfeits, and Personal Beefs
We start off this week’s round-up with a couple of warnings from VTuber agency Nijisanji, who first posted an advisory regarding those who have claimed to be or represent Livers from the agency’s English team. This is in line with multiple reports from companies and individuals who have received such communications. Furthermore, the agency has also warned of those who are purchasing counterfeit and/or illegal goods that copy their brand.
Our section editor Jay has pointed out that these major agencies cracking down on counterfeit goods are part of their trademark protection. In his personal blog, he noted that the Nijisanji brand itself is registered under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Brand Database. This is aside from their intellectual property registration in Singapore.
Meanwhile, streamer Susu has released a new statement regarding allegations of VTuber Bahroo sending police her way. In the statement, it was noted that an individual who was both close to them allegedly made the report to the police. We won’t elaborate on this issue further, and we wish both parties to make amends.
Lastly, Live2D rigger PUDI has taken to Twitter her frustrations for a certain VTuber agency that has not paid them, other staff members and its talents salaries for the past five months. Although she is still under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), she has warned the public about these agencies that have no concrete agency structure.
Other negative news we have picked up include the following:
- Have you ever seen that “Am I Shadowbanned?” web app circulating around the VTubing community? Well, don’t use that, as independent VTuber Lychee Dayou points out. We resonate with this advisory, despite the fact that big tech companies will always deny shadow-banning exists. The best we can do is not live in online fear, but push ourselves to our organic follower base.
- Independent VTuber Shylily has opened her frustrations about bigger channels using faces of known online personas, including VTubers, into videos that are negative in context and doesn’t necessarily connect with the entity used in the thumbnail. This has always been a growing problem, with so-called ‘drama channels’ engaging in thumbnail manipulation to reel in views.
- Following her previously announced hiatus, KoMETA’s Elaine has asked to extend her hiatus from April 29 indefinitely, the agency stated. This is to pave the way to more time for the talent to work on other projects.
- Over at our counterparts in the United States, there has been clamor for VTuber representation in the recently-concluded PAX East 2022 event. In an article by Ana Valens, she noted the few presences of VTuber-related booths, unlike what she has seen with Anime NYC and at the New York Comic Con 2022.
- In regards to break and health watches, Hololive talents are taking a hit. Ouro Kronii has been recently diagnosed with COVID-19, and Pavolia Reine is taking a one week break from streaming.
Special Mention: VTuber Graduations
Another week passes, another wave of VTuber graduations. In the seventeen weeks we have been covering VTuber news, we have seen at least quite a handful of them every week. We are keen to share our insights into the constant decline of established names in the community, but we’ll save them for a separate article in the future.
For now, we take a look at some of these (shocking) VTuber graduations this week:
- American-based VTuber agency Tsunderia has both shocked and saddened VTuber fans when they announced a slew of talent graduations, namely Kallin Yazaki, Meru Matsuro, Yuuna Nini, Miori Celesta, and Orla Gan Ceann. All but Gan Ceann and Matsuro have announced that they will be moving forward as independent VTubers.
- Indonesian agency MetanoiaID has also announced two talent graduations, namely Nantoka Naru and Karo Yakanii.
- Korean Nijisanji VTuber Han Chiho has bid his goodbye to the agency with a graduation stream on April 27.
- Re:Memories has announced that one of its talents, Evelyn, will be leaving the agency and continue as an independent VTuber.
- In a sudden announcement, independent VTubers Moenamii and Aida Mihan announce their graduation from VTubing activities.
Interesting Bits: On VTuber Research and Acts of Community Wins
In every VTuber news round-up we do, we always come across some very interesting tidbits of endeavors within this community. Here are our top picks:
- Need a proper start on how to shape your online etiquette as a VTuber? Worry no more, as independent VTuber Yami has created a great summary of the dos and don’ts of VTubers when starting online.
- Maltese researcher Liudmila Bredikhina, who is known for her multiple researches revolving around virtual identities and VTubers, has received an award from her alumni Université de Genève for her research titled Babiniku: what lies behind the virtual performance. Her research is a great look into how female content creators explore the concept of “parallel lives and inventing secret identities” as a VTuber.
- In one of those VTubing moments that speak of spelling out social change, VTuber Rayshii invites fellow VTubers in their initiative called “VTubers for St. Jude”. This group is an online initiative aimed at raising money for St. Jude’s Live Play 2022. For context, the St. Jude’s Live Play 2022 is an online initiative by the well-known medical and research institution St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, inviting gamers and other online content creators to join in their global video game charity event fundraising campaign.
- How extreme are you willing to take to advertise your merchandise? Ask Hololive’s Omaru Polka, as she advertised her merch for her 1-year anniversary—while skydiving. Yeah, like real-life skydiving. Talk about having enough courage to do a promo.
- Nijisanji’s Selen Tatsuki recently played Overwatch Beta on stream, and for some reason she ended up going against the team of streamer xQc. As this clip shows, Selen and her team won the match. Looks like the VTuber finally beat the “VTubber.”
The Big VTuber Three’s Good Ones: On Mainstream Marketing and Coverage
For some reason, this week’s good coverage has been centered around the wins of the larger VTuber community at a mainstream level, thanks to partnership and exclusives done by the big three: Hololive, Nijisanji, and VShojo.
Here are the good stories from all of the “Big Three”:
- Hololive has gotten its biggest (and boldest) marketing partnership yet. The VTuber agency has scored a marketing campaign deal with Marvel Japan to promote the upcoming film “Doctor Stranger in the Multiverse of Madness”, set for Japan release on May 4. Some of the paraphernalia that we have seen for this campaign includes a trailer that mocks the Marvel intro, and a movie poster that mirrors the Doctor Strange film.
- Following the release of its international meet program, Hololive Meet, the agency is once again making an international move, this time expanding the reach of its international shipping for merchandise. The newly-added markets are namely Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan.
- Another marketing campaign is on the horizon for Hololive, this time with energy drink brand Red Bull in Japan. In this campaign, talents Aqua Minato and Shishiro Botan will be featured in a contest by Red Bull for its Purple Edition release.
- Despite the lukewarm response of the initial release of Hololive ERROR, the game is back with a new update. This time, players are now set in a haunted train station storyline.
- As part of her single release ‘Marine Set Sail’, an animated music video featuring Hoshou Marine has been made for the song. The video is animated by animation collective Frontier One, with staff members being tapped from various studios such as TROYCA, Watanabe, Snow Drop, Studio Mogana, and other freelance animators.
- Hololive Indonesia will be present at the new YouTube Music Weekend event, with Pavolia Reine, Kureiji Ollie, and Ayunda Risu confirming their attendance.
- Over at Nijisanji, its parent company ANYCOLOR has had major updates. Its CEO Tazumi Riku has announced that the company has been registered at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, slated for public listing by June 8 this year. In addition, the company has featured an interview with their so-called overseas talent managers, those who handle their talents outside of Japan.
- Meanwhile, other Nijisanji updates include a comic release on LINE Comics, new reintroductions by Korean and Indonesian talents following the merger, and its English male unit Luxiem being present on Anime Fest.
- Over at VShojo, Ironmouse is back at it again with numerous achievements. She has been recognized as the top female content creator for Q1 2022 according to Stream Hatchet, as well as getting an interview opportunity with technology publication The Information. (The article is on paywall.)
Other Good VTuber News: On VTuber Partnerships, Leaderships, and Collaborations
The VTubing is not always about mere collaborations, it’s all about creating organic connections. These can lead to massive partnerships and in turn, establish a leadership presence in the community. Here’s the other good news from the wider VTubing community:
- In a long announcement, VTuber Merryweather has announced restructuring his entertainment and content company to introduce various content subsidiaries such as Meme Girls Studio and Merryweather Media.
- Japanese VTuber ShibuyaHAL officially joins the roster of popular esports organization Team SoloMID (TSM), known for their esports teams at League of Legends. This adds up to ShibuyaHAL’s growing gaming experience, including his Apex Tournament series VSaikyo.
- Production Kawaii launches a Kickstarter campaign in a bid to transform their existing VTuber lineup into 3D models. As of this writing, the campaign has reached over US$26,000 out of its US$77,000 goal.
- Anime distributor Muse in Indonesia has announced a new lineup of twelve VTuber partners that they can tap for streaming collaborations in their channel.
- Other good news include:
- Congratulations as well to these following milestones:
Announcements: VTuber Merch & Music Drops
Get the latest VTuber merchandise updates here:
- Birthday merchandise goods from Vox Akuma’s birthday
- Girl_Dm plush available for order
- New merchandise lineup from Holostar’s UPROAR unit
- Pop-up figures of Inugami Korone and Houshou Marine from Good Smile Company.
- Birthday merchandise from French VTuber Saruei
- Uwu Media is opening up merchandise slots from VTubers for their June lineup
Check out the latest VTuber music drops here:
- Houshou Marine’s “Marine Set Sail”
- Tsunomaki Watame’s “Kimiiro Hanamizuki”
- IRyS’s “Till The End of Me”
- Phoebe Chan’s “Symphonic Sky”
New VTuber Talents and New Looks
Check out these new talents (and some new looks as well)!
- Mikeneko, known as the alter ego behind Hololive’s Uruha Rushia, has finally unveiled her VTuber model.
- In a rather more interesting move and lore, Terumi Koizumi has unveiled a revamped lore, combining elements of love of idol culture while being a common office lady (really hits close home).
- Animator CupZ has unveiled its new VTuber model.
- Moth VTuber Juniper (complete with an eerie yet interesting teaser)
- Mythic Live teases upcoming generation with new trailer
- DAYBREAK unveils new VTuber lineup with teaser video
- Polygon Project opens the audition for its second generation VTuber talents.
- South Korea’s V&U Entertainment announces its new VTuber lineup.
- Following Sonic and Tails, Knuckles joins the VTuber lineup of the Sonic franchise.
- Ars Almal gets a third revamp of the character model.
- Amane Kanata gets a costume revamp.
Something to Ponder: On Putting Yourself Out There
VTuber model reveals have become some sort of a ‘meta’ thing in the community, so much so that it has become so boring, typical, and not hyped at all. This is what Kozi notes, recommending that VTubers should become more creative, utilizing other queues such as gamification to pique follower interest.
In addition, there’s a great thought from Pumpkin Potion about the ‘plague’ that scatters around the VTubing community: self-deprecating behavior. This truly resonates with us at the VTuber Section team, as we believe that we cannot always lie on the same spot and expect change. We need to act as well.
And there it is once again folks: our take on this week’s biggest updates on the VTubing community. Everything is always a feat, despite being uneasy at first. Just like how we commend independent VTuber Selkie for using her real voice in her streams, and our congratulations to Mythic Live’s Emuri’s marriage. To everyone who has done something as a first step moving forward in this community, we salute you all.
See you in the next installment.
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: Mikeneko, ShibuyaHAL, Houshou Marine