This week’s VTuber News and happenings are definitely WILD. We’re checking at our tracker and we are logging almost 100 links. I bet robots will hate this update once they check this one. We also have YFUBABY’s “Dimensions” concert and Mori Calliope’s medical break this week. Due to the sheer number of events from this week—and also last week—we’ll need to summarize to the best of our efforts this week’s digest.
What’s Inside This Week’s VTuber News Round-Up
- Celebrating Milestones this Week
- The UGLY
- The Bad (and Sad)
- Graduation Announcements
- VTubers Who Are Taking a Break
- AZKi’s Transition to Hololive Production: Official Website and Store to Close
- Agencies Warn Fans Regarding Unofficial Accounts, Fraudsters
- Nijisanji Reduces Use of Its Studios Due to Increasing COVID-19 Cases
- SIM Card Registration Bill Raises Concerns for Philippine VTubers
- Multiverse Monarch’s TikTok Videos Taken Down Due to Content Violations
- Some Interesting VTuber News
- The Good
- Extra: Classified Ads for VTubers, Editors, etc.
Celebrating Milestones this Week
We first start with milestones and anniversaries: Congratulations to the following reaching subscriber/follower milestones and anniversaries:
- Ironmouse of VShojo and Indie VTuber ShyLily (for their record-breaking Twitch subathons)
- Vox Akuma of Nijisanji EN’s Luxiem (300,000 YouTube subscribers—52 days after debut)
- Inui Toko of Nijisanji (570,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Risu Ayunda of Hololive Indonesia (150,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Nene Amano of Production Kawaii (100,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Millie Parfait of Nijisanji EN’s Ethyria (100,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Hina Misora of WACTOR (100,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Hime Hajime of VShojo (1st year anniversary)
- Ywuria, Indie VTuber (20,000 Twitch followers)
- Shoto, Indie VTuber (100,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Ririsya, Indie VTuber (50th acoustic song stream)
- Inukai Purin of Tsunderia (who returns to streaming after a long while)
Mafumafu’s Direct Message to Rushia Misinterpreted by Viewers
We have been made aware of Uruha Rushia’s current situation—one small Discord desktop notification caused yet another huge misunderstanding between her and the fans. During her livestream with Sakura Miko, Rushia receives a message from utaite and Merise co-founder Mafumafu: “[redacted]-chan, I’m done streaming, I’m going back home.” The lack of proper context, plus the nature of Rushia’s stream experience and the release of her Lifelong Engagement Ring (birthday goods) led some viewers to get mad.
Upon further review, we are learning that there are two meanings to this: Whether Mafumafu is cohabiting with Rushia, or as Kris the Holosimp points out, he is at his home to play games with her online. The singer and Merise virtual talent group co-founder has already apologized, clarifying that he became friends with Rushia through a game and there is no cohabitation.
On Rushia’s end, she set the stream to private but has yet to tweet after the incident. As we wish everyone a very cool mood, fans are already rallying behind her, tweeting #るしあ大好きだよ (I LOVE Rushia).
MysteriaLive 2nd Generation Dissolved Even Before Officially Debuting
On the other side of the world, VTubers belonging to the supposedly upcoming Generation 2 of South Africa’s MysteriaLive exposed the group for its behavior. In the 10-page document tweeted by then-Gen 2 member Valera Kitsu along with a content warning on “Allusions to Predatory Behavior,” they laid out the key points, the full details and what they expect moving forward.
MysteriaLive management refuses to address this matter until they have a lawyer involved, asking everyone to be patient as they gather all of their facts.
NFT Music Stream “Streamer.FM” Emerges After HitPiece’s Silence
Last week, we reported the existence of non-fungible token (NFT) platform HitPiece, which has uploaded artist discographies without permission. After the backlash, the site has since shut its doors, with a message: “We Started the Conversation and We’re Listening.” This week, another NFT platform has emerged: NFT Music Stream offers “a private NFT Music platform where content creators can charge for audio & music content and get paid in crypto.”
Music producer and VTuber Synthia Iona reiterates that she will never mint her works as NFTs. Artist, composer, singer and VTuber Moon Jelly told the service she never gave consent, asking why is her music on their site. Multiverse Monarch already has a vision for these platforms: “You and me in court, baby.”
We searched for anything related to VTubers on the site, and saw rapper Connor Quest’s 2021 rap “V-TUBER GIRLS ARE IMPROVING MY LIFE!” We then emailed him, and here’s his full reply to us, published with his permission:
I’m very aware of the atrocious works of HitPiece. They used Spotify’s URI system to effectively steal creators’ works and sell them as NFT’s without any consent or communication with the artists. Any of them. Hundreds of creators who I know personally were targeted and nearly all of them were extremely unhappy, myself included.
Not only this, but they also produced fake and inflated follower and engagement ratios on their site. HitPiece was nothing short of a scam and they’d be very lucky to not have a slew of legal action taken against them. I wish to hear nothing more of them, or any NFT related content. I do not support an industry which champions theft and deceit.Connor Quest, rapper, regarding HitPiece and other platforms with similar nature (Email interview)
Non-fungible tokens are the latest craze in cryptocurrency and blockchain. The OpenSea marketplace currently lists 27 million NFTs, with the highest item listed on the platform currently priced at 5,000 ETH (around 14 million US dollars).
VTuber Lists Down Many Concerns in the Community
Capping off the UGLY side of this VTuber news round-up (in all caps) is a thread from High★Roller of Kaiteki Live. The whole tweet thread sums up the issues the community is facing. Here’s a sample:
Also, if you get banned, Girl_DM has important advice: Don’t vent about being banned on other streams.
The Bad (and Sad)
Another set of graduation announcements, VTubers announcing breaks, and warnings from agencies are included in this section.
- OTAHOO Project announced that Hano Hirai (Hyena) graduates as a VTuber due to unpreventable circumstances. His channel is hacked, rendered non-accessible and no support has been given from YouTube in order to reclaim it.
- Shura from Amber Glow to graduate March 6 “to finally take responsibility and become an elf princess.”
- Kotonoha Daku of MAHA5 Japan graduates due to family circumstances.
VTubers Who Are Taking a Break
- CyberLive’s Iekushi Chapipi takes a break due to health constraints.
- MaiR Hoshino to take a one-month break.
- Production Kawaii’s Aruru Gray takes a break “to face herself and seriously think about her streams so far and in the future.”
- Shishiro Botan will be in hospital for a week, and asks fans to respect her by not speculating.
AZKi’s Transition to Hololive Production: Official Website and Store to Close
As virtual diva AZKi transfers from INNK Music to the main Hololive Production branch, her official website and store will be closed on April 1, 2022. Fans can only purchase merchandise by February 28.
Agencies Warn Fans Regarding Unofficial Accounts, Fraudsters
- Graphics studio Uwu Media warns users against Fiverr accounts using their works to sign in orders.
- ZEA Cornelia of Nijisanji ID warns fans about unofficial accounts, saying that she “doesn’t have any other social media accounts besides Twitter, [Facebook] page, and YouTube.”
- Nijisanji warns everyone not to clip/reupload content from membership streams/paid content.
Nijisanji Reduces Use of Its Studios Due to Increasing COVID-19 Cases
Nijisanji announced that they will be reducing the use of its studios in light of COVID-19 spread. Because of this, large-scale collaborations will be cancelled, along with some planned live streams. Japan has recorded 101,000+ new COVID-19 cases as the announcement is posted on Twitter Tuesday, February 8. The agency also advised everyone to be careful as the spread of infection continues.
SIM Card Registration Bill Raises Concerns for Philippine VTubers
The 18th Congress of the Philippines has ratified the report of House Bill 5793 and Senate Bill 2395, known as the SIM Card Registration bill. The bill is passed on to the President for his signature last February 2 to be enacted as a law, but it can also lapse into law if the President did not sign the bill 30 days upon receipt.
The bill is passed to deter criminals from using mobile phones and social media to do their activities such as text scams, bank fraud, and disinformation among others. This mandate will require all mobile phone owners to register their details to their telco provider.
Looking back at the Senate version, the telco provider shall then forward the registration data to a central database accessible by the local Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and its attached agency National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). It is understood that the data will be kept safely by the NTC in compliance with the Data Privacy Law of 2012, which also established the National Privacy Commission, which is also an attached agency of the DICT.
Unfortunately, Philippine VTubers caught hold of this news and are concerned for their privacy as they keep their in-real-life identities closely guarded. They, along with others who interact online under a different persona, aired their opposition to the bill on Twitter.
There are lines in the Senate version under Section 10—Penalties. Starting at Page 4 Line 28, the penalty for using fictitious identities to register SIM Cards is imprisonment ranging from six months and one day to 12 years, or a fine of up to 200,000 pesos, or both.
On the other hand, the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives said that the telcos as well as delivery and courier riders support the push for SIM Card registration. Courier and delivery riders are victims of fake bookings which cost them their hard-earned cash.
This section is updated to include additional data.
Multiverse Monarch’s TikTok Videos Taken Down Due to Content Violations
Capping off this set of VTuber news on the bad category—Multiverse Monarch, AmaLee’s VTuber persona, contests TikTok’s removal of some of her videos on the grounds of “sexual content and nudity.” Monarch stresses that there is no questionable content, and asks for a human to verify the removals. Her TikTok post on Rune Factory 5 was taken down but was reinstated afterwards—but her latest “Too hot for TikTok” post is taken down. We will keep monitoring this situation.
Some Interesting VTuber News
- Ywuria, who has reached her milestone, has left OTAHOO Project and goes independent. She will then join Polariz Project, which according to Ywu herself, is a group of independent streamers.
- Cosplayer HaneAme will get her VTuber “skin” and is set to debut this March.
- Vocaloid Luo Tianyi, who is also a virtual singer, graced the opening of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games’ Cultural Festival. Japan-based LATEGRA took charge of production, modelling, CG production and AR technology.
- Nippon TV Group executes its first major reorganization in 10 years, transforming the network’s V-Clan subsidiary into a spin-off company called CLAN Entertainment. The reorganization, which also includes changes to its VAP agency, is done “to improve management efficiency of each group, and to raise the level of overall strength of the entire group.”
- Italian Influencer marketing agency FLU sheds spotlight on Italian VTuber scene as it features the country’s first VTuber company, V-Corp. This company is established by Yuniiho, Dyarikku and Hiroshi, three famous VTubers in the Italian market.
- VTuber Serotina asked for a Twitter handle which tracks graduation announcements, and her wish was granted with the opening of @VT_Obituaries.
- Meanwhile in food and snacks, someone left Hololive CEO YAGOO a pack of Lotte Crunky chocolate bar featuring Hololive designs. Selen Tatsuki asked her viewers to suggest ingredients for her Dragoon Bento.
- Capping off this list of VTuber news—Kson’s LINE Stickers are now available.
We’re almost at the end of this week’s VTuber news recap (which is, again, a lot) with the good stuff, let’s get started with the top two agencies:
Hololive VTuber News
- Subaru Oozora gets a voice cameo on the latest Lupin III series—here’s the soundbite.
- Good Smile Company announces TEN new and updated Hololive Production figures—this covers the Nendoroid, Figma and Pop-up Parade lines.
- Tokino Sora’s fan-club reopens with two types of memberships, each having their set of benefits.
- In addition, the Hololive Fan Club is now in a new home separate from its previous Niconico setup.
- Hololive has transitioned to the Multi-Channel Network format this week—they are asking members to check their membership and manually renew if necessary.
Nijisanji VTuber News
- Hayato Kagami enters a brand collaboration with Irohani Wine. This has to be the second time a VTuber has collaborated with a wine brand.
- Nijisanji commemorates its 4th anniversary by placing ads at Shibuya, Osaka Umeda, Nagoya and Sapporo train stations. This is well-received by fans.
- Fans greet Shirayuki Tomoe a happy birthday with a bus wrap.
- Enna Alouette opens channel memberships.
- Some goods in the Nijisanji 4th Anniversary Fair are available again starting February 10.
1,809 Virtual Talents to Appear at Kizuna AI’s Hello, World 2022 Concert
Kizuna Ai’s staff has received more than 6,000 submissions to be part of her Hello, World 2022 concert. A total of 1,809 virtual talents are picked by raffle to join Ai-chan, including our very own Tsukimi Lune, select Nijisanji livers, members of Indonesia’s MAHA5, Phase-Connect, WACTOR, PRISM Project and more.
Other Good VTuber News this Week
- Thirteen (13) VTubers from PRISM Project, MyHolo TV and Production Kawaii did a Crab Game collaboration, and as with any Crab Game collab, it’s wild.
- Virtunix agency of Indonesia’s Media Formasi asks fans what they want to be included as merchandise.
- Two VTubers return to streaming: KoMETA’s Elaine has recovered from COVID-19 and has celebrated her birthday. Indonesia’s Mythia Batford returns to streaming as well after a hiatus caused by medical issues. In addition to these two, pioneering Indonesian VTuber Maya Putri has teased her return to streaming.
- Indie VTuber Emiri Kura released her first song, “Dream,” which premiered February 6 and as of this writing has 1,113 views on YouTube.
- Singapore’s VReverie group has teased three new members for its first generation—Lilrya, Ophelia and Nova.
- The first Sing THE Virtual competition hosted by Virtual YouTubers Philippines is a success—Mika Mahika is crowned the champion after competing against 8 other VTubers. Norumaru achieved the most takedowns during the competition, and Kuri Sutaru is hailed as an audience favorite.
- The 10th Thailand Zocial Awards has recognized VTubers for the first time. Thai VTubers HORI 07 (MyHolo TV), Aisha Channel, Laibaht (ManyVProject), Hinabe Hongfei and Laguna Juju (Pixela) are listed as finalist VTubers under the Best Influencer on Social Media category. The award ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook on February 22.
- In Events: Life Like a Live 3 virtual idol festival is set from March 25 to 27. A VTuber Prom with Miller and Ven will be held on February 13.
- Ayane Hylo of CyberLive goes independent, the agency has announced, saying that they came to this conclusion for the best. Hylo on her part tweeted that she has so many plans and she “couldn’t be happier right now.”
Extra: Classified Ads for VTubers, Editors, etc.
We are almost done, but let’s check out the open applications in the Classifieds:
- New VTuber project “Blast Project” is established, and applications are open. They will focus on live games. The company behind this project is headed by Taiki Iwanaga, formerly of Ichikara (now ANYCOLOR).
- CLive (pronounced clive) opens auditions for English and Japanese speakers.
- Kawa Entertainment opens applications for VTubers.
- Hololive ID opens up applications for interested creators for potential collaborations.
- French Indie VTuber Saruei opens applications for editors.
- PRISM Project Generation 2’s (Rita Kamishiro / Araka Luto) 1st Year Anniversary Project “ERROR: MISSING RECORDS” opens, and artists are invited to send artworks based on its lore guide.
- Japan’s Kanda Tamagoken restaurant seeks talent for their official VTuber, and DELTA-V Co., Ltd. will handle the audition process.
Thank you for reading this week’s VTuber News Round-up until the end. We are happy to list down a digest of all VTuber news from this week alone—a total of 83 out of 90+ stories we tracked are included in this round-up.
Before we let you go, allow us to share a piece of advice: Remember to turn off everything properly, or else you may end up with a sleeping stream by accident. This is what Vivi the Dragon has experienced as she goes to the office.
Here’s to more VTuber news next week (which we believe will be THIS many again). We hope you are greeted by your friends dressed up as VTubers on your birthday.
Banner Photo: Kizuna Ai with Anime Corner’s Tsukimi Lune / Uruha Rushia © COVER Corp / Ayane Hylo