From the ups and downs of this community: welcome to Anime Corner’s VTuber news round-up for the week! We’ve definitely covered quite a lot for this week, and while there have been great moments in this community, we have certainly covered a lot of the ‘bad and ugly’ side of this community. For us, this coverage not just serves as a newsletter but also insights as to how the VTubing community can move forward smoothly. (Section Editor Jay [SE] also adds more info to this week’s update.)
What’s In Store For This Week:
- ICYMI: Anime Corner’s Headlines and Features
- The Bad And Ugly: From Impersonators to Call-Outs
- Interesting VTuber News: Fan Initiatives to VTuber Impact
- The Good Stuff: From The Top Guns to the Rising Ones
- VTuber Milestones
- VTuber Debut Updates
- Music Releases from the VTuber Community
- Pro Tips and Classifieds
ICYMI: Anime Corner’s Headlines and Features
- Crowds of Fans Open Hololive Super Expo 2022
- VShojo Raises US$11M in Funding To Expand Brand Worldwide
- Hololive VTubers Stirred by Magnitude 7 Earthquake in Japan
The Bad And Ugly: From Impersonators to Call-Outs
This week’s VTuber news round-up was definitely a lot to take in, as we have seen a lot of call-outs from upcoming independent VTubers and artists from this community regarding alleged behavior from larger independent names in the community. We won’t be taking a deep dive into these issues, as we hope that both parties involved have made a resolve and learned valuable lessons regarding their activities.
Saruei In Hot Water After Call-out from Karoo Amid Art Contest
French independent VTuber Saruei is in hot water after allegations of disqualifying artworks from several VTubers regarding her art contest she recently launched, with a prize pool of US$5,000.
The allegations started when Karoo, an independent VTuber and participating artist, reached out to one of Saruei’s moderators to ask for her disqualification of her entry, only to be met with vague responses. Since then, many members of the online community have rallied support behind Karoo regarding the response she had gotten, while others also rallied to protest against Saruei’s contest.
Initially, Saruei made a statement regarding VTubers accusing her of using the content as ‘free art’, but then backed the tweet with a response, saying that she will be arranging any form of communication to those that have been disqualified.
In addition, Saruei has also released a formal statement regarding the issue, stating that he has made contact with her moderator regarding the inappropriate responses, as well as hoping to improve relations with the online community.
Jay: Karoo confirmed on Twitter that Saruei has contacted her directly to set things right. During the conversation, it is revealed that Saruei and her staff have received threats, which prompted Karoo to say that those people still do not have the right to do such things over what she considers a small thing.
Bunny_Gif Under Fire After Allegations of Manipulation and Sabotage
VTuber and Twitch streamer Bunny_Gif is embroiled in controversy after several people in the online community have raised allegations regarding manipulation and sabotage of personal and business relationships.
One of the most prominent call-outs came from Layna Lazar, where she detailed to an extent her professional and personal experiences with Bunny_Gif, which stemmed from a commission for a figurine of her.
Later on, Bunny_Gif also released her own statement regarding the issue, which included a point-for-point response regarding the responses of Lazar. Jay: She followed up with a statement she wrote on Twitlonger apologizing to each party involved “a hundred times over.”
Blue Archive VTuber Program Canceled Hours After Announcement
The video game Blue Archive had recently announced that it is debuting a VTuber called Irua as part of their game immersion. However, the campaign was cut short just a day after it was announced.
Fans have speculated that the “cancellation” was due to negative responses from the larger Korean player base, with the common sentiment being the mascot “ruins the game’s immersion.” In an online statement by chief producer Yongha Kim, she said that they “will improve their game content and to return with better content.”
Other Bad and Ugly Reports From the VTubing Community
- Pre-debut VTuber Hiroshi under fire after call-outs from Rya regarding unprofessionalism regarding an NSFW art commission.
- JubyPhonic releases an online statement to clear up false allegations against her following an alleged user named “Jaripho” posed as her to commit inappropriate acts against a minor.
- Online impersonators are back at it again, as Bao, Vienna, and Shylily have warned their followers of users impersonating them on TikTok. Bao even added that a “lewd” account was impersonating her as well on Twitter.
- NIJISANJI’s Yugo Asuma announces a short break to reflect on the issue of showing affection to those affected by the recent earthquake in Japan.
- CyberLive announces the termination of its talent Sato Misaki on the grounds of unplanned absences and inattention to project management. In addition, one of its talents, Oumiya Emma announces a hiatus up until the end of March this year.
- Crescent Link Productions announces the suspension of Nephilim’s activities on the grounds of breaking company rules, which included leaking private information. In addition, its talent Diana Yeou takes a break from streaming activities.
- Eileen Academy has announced that it is dissolving the agency, turning all of its existing VTuber talents into indie streamers.
- Sera Amai steps down from Prism Virtual to continue her VTuber activities independently.
- AkioAIR raises awareness on deleted subscription counts across their talent’s YouTube channels, encouraging their followers to check their subscriptions as well.
- Hololive has their own fair share of not-so-good news as well: the HoloEarth demo halted due to display corruption, and Hololive Indonesia takes a stand to warn the community against those who defame their talents.
- VTuber Merryweather was forced to delete its comic strip criticizing NFTs amid online harassment.
- Popular Twitch streamer Asmongold criticizes several Vtubers for their ‘child-like’ appearance. Following the stream, several well-known streamers have received hate statements, including Ironmouse.
- Health watch: Ito Life tests positive for COVID-19, while Aozora Kurumi is also wary after one of her family members tested positive for COVID-19.
Interesting VTuber News: Fan Initiatives to VTuber Impact
There is an interesting slew of VTuber news we can enjoy for this, from absolutely great fan initiatives, to interesting VTuber debuts, and understanding the impact of VTubers in real-life, from communicating sustainable development goals (SDGs) to representing a popular mobile game.
- Our most interesting (and most certainly the biggest “W”) story for this week is how many fans of Hololive’s Ouro Kronii have crowdsourced to buy an advertising spot at Nasdaq’s Times Square digital billboard. This was in line in celebration of Kronii’s birthday.
- A manga centered on the theme of VTubers has been recently published in Shonen Jump. According to Natalie, the manga is titled “Waiting for Ami Suzunami” and is written by Nuruta Ippo with illustrations by Oomine. The manga revolves around the story of Suzunami disappearing after her one-year celebration, as fans watch her archives constantly. Nijisanji’s Sukoya Kana provided her comment on the title: “I cried, I bawled.” Also, the author is into VTubers so much that he has built extensions for Google Chrome.
- In the ongoing stride of VTubers doing good for the betterment of the environment, independent VTuber Naiyo has announced a stream where she is raising money for Born Free USA, an animal advocacy and wildlife nonprofit.
- Our very own VTuber journalist, Monty Seelana, has shed light on a very interesting tool they can use to schedule collaborations without the hassle of changing time zones on a cellphone. Meet Hammertime, a chat syntax one can send on Discord to discuss potential collaboration time frames. This tool is built upon the addition of UNIX timestamp support on the chat app.
- In the idol world, it has always been unlikely that a fan falls in love with his or her oshi, which sort of applies to VTubers nowadays. But that was not the case for Malaysia-based Hagane Verona, who announced on Twitter that she is engaged with a fellow streamer. Congratulations to the new couple!
- VTubers continue to grow in number, and most influencer marketing agencies are keeping on track with their rising popularity. New data from Taiwan-based influencer marketing agency iKala noted this growth, with insights such as that the use of “VTuber” as a keyword has soared in use to 138% in 2021 at Taiwan.
- This interesting video essay by VThinking explores how the rise of VTubers from a niche genre went into the mainstream media, all thanks to a combination of rising accessible digital tools and the unfortunate COVID-19 global pandemic. Interestingly, the video essay tackles how our consumption of VTuber content reflects the current events of this world, just like how previous films after the 9/11 attacks have been centered on themes of invincibility and strength.
- Brand VTubers are great and all: but have you ever heard of VTubers being used as ambassadors of sustainable development goals (SDGs)? We kid you not: we actually found one, and it is the initiative of Japan-based uyet Inc. and Brand Research Institute (BRI). According to its press release, they are seeking VTuber talents who can communicate each prefecture’s charms in line with the SDGs, which will start off at Tottori prefecture.
- On the topic of controversial NFTs: a Japan-based VTuber group called Voice-Ore has launched a NFT collection based on clips of their talents. Meanwhile, the Anata VTuber NFT project got a break by being interviewed by crypto publication CryptoBriefing.
- Spotted in the Philippines: an unexpected street chalk art of Hololive’s Ninomae Ina’nis, which is posted by Baguio City’s Public Relations office.
- The popular mobile game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has introduced its very first virtual streamer, based on the character of Angela. The introduction was made for the promotion of the MLBB x Sanrio skin update.
- Kson gets interviewed by Japanese news portal Shupure to discuss the rise of VTubers and explain the use of Live2D avatars.
The Good Stuff: From The Top Guns to the Rising Ones
Hololive News: In-Agency Endeavors and Brand Collaborations
- Hololive’s male group Holostars announces the launch of a new unit called “UPROAR”, seen on display at Hololive Super Expo 2022. More details to follow.
- Electronics brand JVC has collaborated with Hololive for a themed gaming headset for sale.
- Hololive English’s Ninomae Ina’nis is interviewed by Japanese news portal Febri regarding her VTuber journey.
- A 100-song megamix by IOSYS featuring some of the most popular original tracks from Hololive has been released.
- The Pacific Racing Team announces that their Hololive collaboration team lineup is complete: Tokino Sora, Aki Rosenthal, Shirakami Fubuki, Oozora Subaru, Houshou Marine, and Lamy Yukihana.
- Oozora Subaru gets a sponsored stream by playing Metal Slug Attack.
- On a lighter note, Takanashi Kiara and Amelia Watson host a ‘dance party tutorial’ with fellow Holomyth members.
- Amelia Watson premieres an analogue horror short film featuring Holomyth’s small 3D models as part of promo for the ongoing Super Expo.
- Hololive talents participate in the popular APEX tournament VSaikyo namely Tokoyami Towa, Aqua Minato, and Hoshimachi Suisei.
NIJISANJI News: Ranunculus Debut and VSaikyo
- ANYCOLOR Inc. has announced the debut of its new unit called “Ranunculus,” which debuted from their first-ever Virtual Talent Academy (VTA).
- Pomu Rainpuff takes part in the online edition of the Japan Cultural Expo, where she even wrote a haiku in celebration of the opening. Pomu is featured as well in promotions for the virtual event on Facebook.
- Reimu Endou is also part of the lineup at the popular APEX tournament VSaikyo.
Other Good News
- Independent VTuber Ywuria debuts a new model amid her ongoing subathon. As of this writing, she has already hit 4,000 subscribers on Twitch.
- Shylily’s subathon officially ended on Day 40, March 13. According to TwitchTracker, she currently has 40,554 active subscriptions.
- VShojo talents, as well as Snuffy, take part in AustinShow’s “Name Your Price” stream segment.
- Amaris Yuri, who will depart from CyberLive soon, announces a new Twitch username.
- VTuber/Live2D artist Kanbutsu Himono announces marriage.
- Following his debut as a VTuber, Tails from Sega’s Sonic franchise has announced that he will be getting his own show sooner.
- QooApp launches its own Top VTuber Global Awards, and voting has started!
- CodeMiko is the Best VTuber Streamer at The Streamer Awards, besting VShojo talents Ironmouse, Veibae and Nyanners.
- VTuber Fes Japan releases its talent lineup for the event, amounting to more than 100 talents, including Hololive, Nijisanji, Vesperbell, Omega Sisters, KMNZ, Ibara Hiyori, and Uma Musume’s Gold Ship.
- VSinger Taka Kazuki appeared at the Toppen ACG Fest event in Malaysia.
- Kizuna Ai and KZN get acrylic stand merch releases.
Congratulations to the VTubing community for witnessing such notable milestones!
- Haruka Karibu, birthday
- VShojo’s Project Hope, US$100k raised
- CyberLive’s Iekushi Chapipi, return stream
- Pumpkin Potion, Twitch partnership
- Lucastre Mavia, birthday
- Amatsuka Uto, return stream
- Hololive’s Tsunomaki Watame, 1,500,000 views of “My Song” music video.
- NIJISANJI’s Yuuhi Riri, birthday and 3D model debut
- VOMS Project, 2nd year anniversary
- Shiori_P0n, 2nd year anniversary
VTuber Debut Updates
Congratulations as well to the upcoming debuts from this community!
- MythicLive, with its teaser for their four upcoming VTuber talents.
- JAPONEKO, a cat VTuber catered to promoting Japanese tourism to foreigners.
- AkioAIR’s Athena Nightingale; redebut
- Uni Mello, a VTuber group made in partnership with PONY CANYON.
- NIJISANJI’s Axia Krone, Live2D model 2.0.
- CodeMiko debuts a new model.
Music Releases from the VTuber Community
- Hololive’s 3rd generation releases a new single titled “PRISM MELODY”.
- Mori Calliope announces the release of “UnAlive”, her first-ever full music album.
- Tokoyami Towa releases a new EP titled “Scream”.
- Hololive Indonesia’s Airani Iofiteen releases an original song titled “Q&A=E”.
- VReverie’s first generation released their debut song called “CATALYST”.
- Sony’s VERSEn releases two original songs: “Egoist” by Alba Serra and “Pathos” by Kashi Otoha.
- Shishiro Botan covers “Creation” by Vocaloid artist LUCAS.
- MyHolo TV’s HORI 07 and Athelia Hiroyuki covers “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna.
- Tsunderia’s Miori Celesta and PRISM Project’s Hoshifuri Iku covers “flos” by R Sound Design.
- Guild CQ’s Quon Tama to release their first cover album.
- Several indie VTubers and popular reactor duo Velo City join forces in releasing an original song dedicated to NIJISANJI’s Hana Macchia.
Pro Tips and Classifieds
- Two job offerings open up from COVER Corp.: Indonesian-based personnel for VTuber content planning and management, and English-speaking personnel for public relations (PR) support overseas. Both job descriptions require knowing Japanese from a business language standpoint.
- Kawa Entertainment announces that the first part of the audition process has been concluded.
- Kira Omori gives short yet concise tips for aspiring VTubers when looking for artists for hire in the community.
- Sensei Yami gives tips on how to use sound plug-ins and software to equalize voice during streams.
- GIRA, the CEO of VTuber agency KoMETA, has published a guidebook for VTuber etiquette, especially those who work under agencies.
And there we have it: this week’s VTuber news-round up for your enjoyment. We wanted to close off this article with some weird, light-hearted moments we have seen from VTubers. Like when Kureiji Ollie literally asks her fellow Hololive members if they will hit her for one million yen, or why in the world does Reynard Blanc put ice cubes in a noodle dish that is meant to be served hot. See you all again next week.
Jay: Don’t forget to visit our newly-built Twitter community to see our latest updates—we’ll post the weekly update there first.
Featured Image: Athena Nightingale, Shylily, Ywuria