This week’s VTuber News Round-Up talks business: Three major stories happened in Japan—Nijisanji parent ANYCOLOR files an Initial Public Offering, VSPO and Palette Project is folded into Brave Group; and both Hololive Alternative and Holoearth gets updates. Let’s get to our main stories after the jump.
On This Week’s VTuber News Round-Up:
- Our Top VTuber News Stories: ANYCOLOR IPO, Brave Group Acquisition and Holoearth Game
- The Ugly: Poser Reached Out to YouTube-Suspended VTuber
- Bad News: YouTube Policy Update Affects VTuber ASMR Streams
- Interesting VTuber News Bits: Comiket 100 Coming Soon, Dedicated VTuber Space Revealed
- Merch, Music, Games, Fan Works and Events
- Good VTuber News: Nana Kagura x VShojo, Oil Barons
- Job Board: Open Auditions, Saruei Needs Minecraft Mods
Our Top VTuber News Stories: ANYCOLOR IPO, Brave Group Acquisition and Holoearth Game
ANYCOLOR, Inc. Files for Initial Public Offering
ANYCOLOR is definitely accelerating—5 years after it was formally established, it gained the trust of companies like Sony Music Entertainment Japan and ITOCHU Corporation (based on its Series B funding round). On June 8, the company behind the Nijisanji VTuber project filed an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the Growth Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange under stock code 5032 (JPY 6,510 ▲ +18.15%).
So, what’s the reason for the IPO? CEO Riku Tazumi said this in a video posted the same day as the listing: “From here, we would like to grow as an entertainment company that represents Japan and plays an active role in the world.”
The company’s confidence is expressed in its Investment Highlights, which include the attractiveness of the Nijisanji brand and building a competitive advantage in the virtual world. Underwriting the IPO are Daiwa Securities and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. Detailed information about the listing is available at the JPX Group website.
If you ask me, I still find it a bit funny that Hyakumantenbara Salome got her million-subscriber milestone before ANYCOLOR filed its IPO.
Brave Group Acquires VSPO and Palette Project
Another milestone in the VTuber scene has been made: Brave Group has acquired Virtual Entertainment Co., Ltd., and MateReal Co., Ltd. This deal adds the game-centric Virtual eSports Project and virtual idols from Palette Project into Brave’s roster of VTuber properties.
In a press release posted June 7, Brave Group CEO Keito Noguchi shares that while this is a sudden announcement for the public, negotiations for this deal took a year. The merger and acquisition will organize Brave Group into 6 business units. Virtual Entertainment and MateReal retain its management of VSPO and Palette Project respectively. Noguchi stays as CEO / representative director, Kazuyoshi Hoshi (from Virtual Entertainment) enters as a new director, and Kyuyon Kim (from MateReal) will head the group’s global business division.
The company raised 1.37 billion yen in capital from Japanese domestic companies, overseas investment funds and individual investors in order to expand their business. Their mission is to “strike wonder in 8 billion hearts.” A day before this announcement, Brave Group spun off its metaverse marketing business into a new subsidiary, MetaLab Co., Ltd. The new company will handle services based on the metaverse-building Brave Engine.
Developments on Hololive Alternative and Holoearth Game
Last but not least is the release of the second teaser for Hololive Alternative. A new character is also added—her face was not seen until the release of Concept Movie Vol. 1. The new character is then revealed to be the female character avatar for the Holoearth game, and she’s already on Twitter. Holoearth TV also starts broadcasting today.
The Ugly: Poser Reached Out to YouTube-Suspended VTuber
VTuber Momonya Miyui has been suspended from YouTube June 2 for breaking community guidelines. She already appealed the decision and even raised the appeal to @TeamYouTube on Twitter: “It’s probably due to the changes in ASMR rules, but I’m not breaking them,” she tweeted in English. The more surprising thing about her suspension is that a certain Kaila slid into her DMs and says she provides “account restoration services” with a fee—280 US dollars. She has then alerted her followers on Twitter about this ugly matter. For now, she’s streaming on Twitch.
CodeMiko just had a quad-whammy this week: She got temporarily banned on Twitch, then a “Tiktoker” tried to get inside their current place of residence. The reason? He used to live there. “I can’t believe the entitlement of some influencers,” Miko tweeted in dismay. What an ugly prank if it was one. The day after, she tweeted that she’ll need to take some time: “Things have been hard lately.” Just an hour before we were set to release this round-up, the architect posted a photo of her lump in the left eyebrow. Ouch.
The Bilibili Comics hashtag spam hit several VTubers. Elira Pendora tweets her concern as her art tag is taken over. There’s an explanation for this: “[…] It relies on an automated social engineering attack. The app offers rewards to users in order to convince them to post the spam.”
It has come to our attention that VTubers are testing positive for COVID-19: Nina Kosaka, Araka Luto, Yoclesh, Yuniiho, Lumi and 2win. Senz, who joined Lumi and 2win as guests at Dreamhack Dallas, asks fans who visited their meet and greets to stay safe. While Bao the Whale tested negative for COVID, she got the cold. We wish everyone gets well soon.
Bad News: YouTube Policy Update Affects VTuber ASMR Streams
Over at Nijisanji, Mashiro is banned from YouTube, and management is working to have the channel restored. This alarmed VTubers who are doing ASMR streams, and they are taking measures to prevent getting suspended as well. Nijisanji fellow Hina Asuka tweeted that her ASMR videos will be made private as her channel may be affected by a change in the platform’s policies.
According to YouTube’s child safety policy page, if a YouTuber’s content has minors in it, don’t post content that features minors and meets one or more of the following: “[…] Shows activities that could draw undesired attention to the minor, such as performing body contortions or ASMR.” The thing is, the platform can mistake some VTubers as minors—and in the case of Mashiro, he looks like one.
We have more news items in this section:
- VSPO’s Kurumi Noah is suspended for two weeks after sharing screenshots of DMs with fellow members. Management considers these as leaks, a violation of a part of the contract. Noah apologizes for the trouble. In the future, management will conduct training to prevent this from happening again.
- LumiLive members Fuyumi Fuwa, Megumi Kuragiri, Yui Tsukigami (Yueho), Sara Nikuya, Reiyu Guigui, and Kei Haruto have left the group and moved on to become Indie VTubers.
- Reiyu answered some questions from fans on stream following the announcement, saying that LumiLive announced internally that it is dissolving, so everyone had to go indie. Reiyu paid LumiLive 10,000 dollars to buy all her assets, and is now raising the same amount to reveal a new outfit.
- More people are touching grass (meaning going outside) these days, but there are just some tics VTubers developed over time while they’re indoors. For example, asking artists to follow them because they’re VTubers. Gigi asks: “Is this a thing now?“
- Scam Alert: The Open Broadcaster Software warned everyone to be cautious of ads on Google linking to fake versions of OBS with malware. “Only download OBS from our official site, http://obsproject.com, and never click any ads claiming to be OBS.”
- Check your emote assets if these are being stolen periodically using this tool from CommanderRoot.
- Also check your Live2D rig if it’s being stolen by scammers who are registered on Fiverr. If a scammer approaches you offering their services using stolen assets, you have the option to be blunt or do the block-and-report routine.
- Eileennoir, the Indie VTuber who was doxxed by her former agency WACTOR, reports on Twitter that her lawyer reached out to the agency, and the agency “still does not accept any contact from my lawyer so far.”
- Stream Breaks: Hana Macchia and Mika Melatika are taking their health breaks, Petra Gurin takes a school break as she prepares for her exams. Nabi is so busy that she expects to return next year. Shiki Miyoshino woke up feeling ill, so she’ll probably move her next stream to Tuesday.
- Graduations: We wish Shirahari Uni from NeoRad, Linglan Lily, Margaret Winters, and Kamiina Haruhi from Cloud Horizon the best in their future endeavors as they all announce their graduations.
- Fans of Lily, Margaret and Haruhi have one month or less to cherish the moments with the audience—especially Lily, who sang a cover of “If You Feel My Love (chaow mix)” flawlessly.
Interesting VTuber News Bits: Comiket 100 Coming Soon, Dedicated VTuber Space Revealed
It has been a tradition for some Comiket visitors to check which series dominate the doujin/indie art expo, such as Azur Lane vs Touhou vs the Fate/ franchise, but we steer away from that as VTubers will have a dedicated space at Comiket 100 this August. In Airani Iofifteen‘s tweet, a portion of West Hall 1 will be dedicated to VTubers. The Genre Code List published on the Comiket 100 website shows that, at present, VTubers are set to cover the つ (Tsu) to め (Me) booths on Day 1 and is assigned the Code 222. This arrangement is yet to be finalized.
Meanwhile, Bilibili’s global arm has successfully invited VTubers to be part of their platform, such as Polariz Project’s YanchaGoGo. There, they are called VCreators. Currently, 30 of these virtual streamers are participating in its VCreator Stars Ranking campaign where users can complete tasks to vote for their favorite, all done using the Bilibili Global app. Even the Philippines division has a promo video for the local VCreators.
Here are the other interesting VTuber tidbits:
- Have you used Hakos Baelz‘s CHAOS font? Just make sure you’re not doing anything nasty, as that’s still Bae’s handwriting.
- Kaela Kovalskia asks her subscribers how long a stream is to be considered an endurance stream. The majority responded, “10 hours.”
- We’ve seen trucks with VTuber livery this week, such as the Nakiri Ayame truck itasha and Inuyama Tamaki‘s LED truck promoting a new single, “Atashi no Kamisama.” We also have the Nyanners itasha shining brightly under the gas station lights.
- Shout-out to Neco Danna‘s Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Disk Live2D rig, as well as Yuma‘s cool inset graphics—you guys rock.
Merch, Music, Games, Fan Works and Events
- Natsuiro Matsuri, who’s celebrating her debut anniversary, and Daimonji Ryugen, who celebrates his birthday, get their merch sets.
- New Singles: AyaFubuMi released “Renjo Shinka,” Tsukumo Sana released “Astrogirl” composed by Ujico*/Snail’s House, and Enna Alouette released “Birds of Time” with PrettyPatterns.
- Song Covers: Chikafuji Lisa and Amiya Aranha cover Q, Murasaki Shion and Hoshikawa Sara cover “Identity,” and Rikka covers Yoidore Shirazu.
- Singer Kohmi Hirose congratulates Tokino Sora on the announcement of her 4th album.
- Maimai includes Rain Drops‘ Ontology and HIMEHINA‘s Hitogata
- Production Kawaii celebrates the success of their 3D Idol Project Kickstarter with a Karaoke Relay.
- Fan Works and Efforts: Have you played “Gawr Gura: Quest for Bread” and Beeg Sana fan games? Have you seen the Astel Leda bus in Taiwan?
- Ike Eveland‘s upcoming birthday fan projects from fans in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Thailand look promising, and I am looking forward to see this fan effort because in my honest opinion, Ike is a precious cinnamon roll. See you when I see you!
- Minato Aqua will have an official game—it’s called Aquarium, and will be available on the Nintendo Switch and PS4 October 27.
- Ironmouse was present at the VShojo booth in Germany’s Dokomi last weekend—and so is IRyS and Takanashi Kiara. Ironmouse will also appear at Anime Expo with CDawgVA for a special panel.
- We expect Ninomae Ina’nis‘ Hatsune Miku: Colorful Stage illustration to be included in the game should her stream reach 150,000 views.
- Moving on, have you seen ZEA Cornelia‘s 360-degree stream?
Good VTuber News: Nana Kagura x VShojo, Oil Barons
Good news for fans of VTuber Nana Kagura: She’s working as an illustrator for a special VShojo project. There are no further details at the moment, but we consider this a collaboration between VTubers.
Last weekend at Dreamhack Dallas, Bao and xQc had an air hockey battle, and Bao won. Speaking of winners, have you heard of Oil Barons? This term we saw from anime also applies to the mega-donors in VTuber streams. Zentreya and Haruka Karibu are among the ones who have been blessed by oil barons recently.
Other Good VTuber News this week include:
- Update your VTubeStudio apps to use your Live2D item assets!
- JOQR’s English podcast “Cat with Beard from Japan” guests kson
- Kickstarter backers chose Amano Nene, Isla Coleman and Shee Icho as center for Production Kawaii’s 3D Idol Project concert
- Momosuzu Nene collaborates with Cup Noodle next week!
- TakaMori reunites, and it’s still a fun, organized chaos.
Debuts and Milestone Anniversaries
We have a lot to celebrate this week, from the recent debuts to the milestones reached. Congratulations to the following:
- Ookami Mio (1 million YouTube subscribers)
- Kobo Kanaeru (703,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Nina Kosaka (400,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Bao the Whale (400,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Yugo Asuma (250,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Pina Pengin (20,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Athena Nightingale (10,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Kabhaal (5,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Ayamy (Birthday and 3D model debut)
- Tsunomaki Watame (Birthday 3D concert)
- Takane Lui (Birthday)
- Tsukumo Sana (Birthday)
- Crunchyroll-Hime (Birthday with invited guests from Nijisanji EN among others)
Job Board: Open Auditions, Saruei Needs Minecraft Mods
Production Kawaii opens auditions for its third generation. Cloud Horizon based in Taiwan has also posted an open audition for VTubers (although the registration form is written in Traditional Chinese).
To cap off this week’s VTuber News Round-Up, we leave you with a VTubing flowchart from Kyou and a reflection from Hiiragi Yuu on how easily accessible broadcasting software and other VTuber tools are. Catch you all next week!
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