It’s that time of the week again: a full-on news round-up of the latest happenings relating to VTubers and the VTubing industry. We’re now on our tenth installment for this year, and our first for the month of March. Once again, we will be covering both the ‘yays’ and ‘nays’ we have collected from the wider VTubing audience.
What’s In Store This Week:
- ICYMI: Anime Corner’s VTuber Headlines and Features
- Celebrating Milestones and Birthdays
- The Bad And The Ugly
- Interesting VTuber News
- Hololive & NIJISANJI Good News
- Other Good News in the VTubing Community
- Classified Ads for the VTubing Community
- Upcoming VTuber Debuts
- News You Can Use: Something to Ponder
ICYMI: Anime Corner’s VTuber Headlines and Features
- Hololive English Opens 3rd Round of Auditions
- Nijisanji EN Opens 4th VTuber Audition
- Hello, World 2022: Kizuna AI’s Last Live Before She Sleeps
Celebrating Milestones and Birthdays
Before we dive into this week’s lineup of VTuber news and updates, we would like to congratulate everyone for their respective milestones, as well as their birthday celebrations!
- Japanese VTuber duo BOOGEY VOXX (2nd Year Anniversary)
- Hololive’s IRyS (Birthday Celebration)
- Independent VTuber Akuma Nihmune (50,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Hololive’s Hakos Baelz (500,000 Twitter followers)
- ‘Tsunami’ by NIJISANJI’s Finana Ryugu (900,000 views)
- Crunchyroll Hime (100,000 YouTube subscribers)
- VShojo’s Projekt Melody (2nd Year Anniversary)
- Mango Birbtuber (US$10,000 raised for the International Rescue Committee amid Ukraine crisis)
- NIJISANJI’s Hana Macchia (Birthday Celebration)
- Hololive Indonesia’s Anya Melfissa (Birthday Celebration)
The Bad And The Ugly
Japan Authorities Seize Counterfeit Hololive Merchandise
Police authorities from the Miyagi Prefectural Police have arrested a man in Hokkaido for selling counterfeit goods related to the VTuber agency Hololive. The infringed merchandise is composed of 490 dakimakura (body pillow), and has been reported that the man in question has already sold 50 of these items for over a year now, amounting to ¥350,000.
Japan authorities have long cracked down on the sale of any counterfeit goods in the country, with a newer announcement in 2020 instructing local and foreign e-commerce players in the country to crack down online sale of fake and faulty goods on their platform.
Kawa Entertainment Apologizes to Lunaria Amid Online Forms Issue
Upcoming VTuber agency Kawa Entertainment has issued a statement of apology to fellow VTuber agency Lunaria amid issues regarding online forms. We will leave the issue for now, as both parties have issued their relative statements of clarification and apology regarding the handling of the incident. We wish both parties good luck on their ongoing VTuber auditions.
Both groups are announcing auditions on their end as of this writing.
An Update Regarding Philippine SIM Registration Bill
We have long been keeping track of the SIM Card Registration Bill in the Philippines, which has posed a threat to VTubers and other personalities online that use an alias or a digital identity on their online presence. The gist is that if the bill passes into a law, there is a high possibility that these online personas risk being doxxed due to the registered user on the local SIM card.
In an exclusive article published by MLex (paywalled), it stated that the Philippine privacy regulator, online platforms and internet-freedom advocates have been advocating to oppose the passing of the bill into the law. According to the article’s author Jet Damazo-Santos on Twitter, the presidential legislative office told her that they don’t have it yet, and that the Senate said that the bill was with the House of Reps. This was opposed by the House of Representatives, saying it was sent back to the Senate as of Monday, March 7.
Meanwhile, a Change.org petition launched by Democracy.net.ph has collected over 75,000 signatures out of their 150,000 goal.
Other Bad and Ugly News
- VTuber Asano Ruri warns followers for any potential ‘fake agents’, revealing that a ‘supposed company representative’ offered her a meeting, only for the ‘agent’ to not appear by the schedule.
- Kizuna Ai Inc. have warned online entities using the name and visuals related to their talent Kizuna Ai, stating that they will take “appropriate measures to protect Kizuna Ai”.
- Hololive announces refunds to willing users following Rushia’s termination and non-appearance to the upcoming SUPER EXPO/hololive 3rd fes. Link Your Wish events.
- Nyanners of VShojo told her followers that her “alt” Twitch account has been suspended due to ASMR sounds.
- VTubers in the Middle East, especially those who stream at Twitch, are in jeopardy after a report by Input Mag revealed that many Twitch streamers have their Twitch payouts blocked for this month due to “discrepancy with certain tax information”.
- CyberLive announces that two of its talents, Amaris Yuri and Kaneko Lumi, will graduate from the agency on March 31 to pursue an indie streaming career. The agency also announced that Lumi will also step down as one of the agency’s managers.
- We would like to also wish some of the talents to take care of themselves, as some have taken their breaks due to health concerns, including SNOWDROP’s Nixie Waverly and Charlotte Sylvia, CyberLive’s Inami Yoki, Hololive Indonesia’ Kureiji Ollie, and other VTubers such as Mito Tsukino and Shylily.
- Miyu of NIJISANJI’s VirtuaReal is set to depart, six months after her debut (read the English fan translation of the message here).
Interesting VTuber News
- Heads up, podcast lovers: there is now a first-ever Spotify Original podcast series dedicated to VTubers. The podcast series is titled “VTuber Magical Limousine Tokyo 1 Day Trip”, and focuses on experiences of VTubers paired as they visit particular places in Tokyo. The podcast is hosted by seiyuu Yui Ogura.
- Hololive’s Laplus Darkness has interviewed Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz as part of the promotion for DC’s “The Batman.”
- Yes, Nijisanji’s Azura Cecilia is back at it again with the webinar stream format: this time reeling in fellow talent Zea Cornelia to discuss boys love (BL) literature. Too bad there wasn’t a certificate this time.
- Phase-Connect has announced a very unlikely collaboration: with Canadian video producer company WatchMojo, most popular for their listicle videos. The video collaboration, used in the video “Top 10 Anime Scenes That Are Probably Illegal”, features Phase-Connect talents doing some voice overs for the video.
- Hatoba Tsugu is back, and once again: it never failed to raise more questions than answers. Two videos have been recently uploaded, namely “courtyard” and “room”. This was after two years since she published a video, a thing that Kotaku speculated as being somewhat of an augmented reality project, given the eerie and unsettling nature of the videos.
- Lastly, Cover Corp’s Motoaki Tanigo, also known as “YAGOO”, will be much more active online–well, on LinkedIn at least. According to one of his latest posts, as he will be taking regular English lessons, he wants to practice English via the professional social media network.
Hololive & NIJISANJI Good News
- New details about the upcoming SUPER EXPO/hololive 3rd fes. Link Your Wish events have been released, including details on booths, stage programs, and goods; as well as schedules for the programs during the event. In addition, a TV commercial will be released regarding the “puzzle solving” campaign launched by Hololive across all prefectures.
- Hololive’s alternate reality project Holoearth is calling for beta testers for its communication lobby, which showed snippets of the project in February.
- Hololive is continuing many brand collaborations for its talents, including its partnership with the Pacific Racing Team, as well as with Yamaha for Himemori Luna, and with sake brand Meiri Shurui for Yukihana Lamy.
- New looks will also don Hololive’s talents, including new costumes for its 5th generation, as well as a 3D debut for Holostars’ Rikka.
- OMOCAT announces that they will be restocking merchandise related to their clothing collaboration with Hololive English.
- Augmented reality app Hololy updates to now include members of their male group division Holostars.
- In case you missed it: Roboco-san will be now streaming on Twitch as well.
- Following the demo playthroughs by Gawr Gura and Mori Calliope, SCARLET NEXUS officially releases on their YouTube channel demo highlights from their gameplay.
- NIJISANJI announces the second installment of its NIJISANJI Fan Club Talk, where fan members can get the chance to meet their oshi, 1-on-1.
- On other news: NIJISANJI’s Kana Sukoya is finally back, nine months after she announced the break in preparation for her qualification exams.
- NIJISANJI members join forces in their own cover rendition of “Snow Halation”.
Other Good News in the VTubing Community
- After 31 days, Ironmouse’s subathon has officially ended, putting her 3rd into the most-subbed streamers of all time, behind Ludwig and Ninja. In addition, she became the most-watched female streamer for February, according to statistics from Streams Charts. Ironmouse clocked in more than 155 hours of watchtime, breezing past female Twitch staples such as fuslie and Amouranth.
- Idol Corp has released its highly-produced promotional video featuring its five characters, set to debut in May this year. The debut trailer, which revolves around the theme of various gaming worlds or genres, has been also sponsored by Nintendo.
- Philippine-based VTuber agency Yashin Live is open for future streaming collaborations. In addition, its CEO Daru announced that the agency is open for investors to grow the company.
- You can meet Japanese VTuber Mirai Akari via virtual reality in the upcoming VirtualCast event.
- Coyote of Kemono Friends V Project (KEMOV) to get a 3D character debut, as well as MAHA5’s Lumi Celestia.
- Indonesia’s Nakama Virtual welcomes back virtual talent Freundin Felin to its official roster.
- Want to cover a DECO*27 song, yet need to recreate the video? The popular utaite has announced that the project files for the song’s tracks are available now to the public.
- Birthday merchandise of Kagase Uno of Sony’s VERSEn is now available.
- The upcoming OffKai VTuber convention has announced a slew of panelists, including Bao, Shisui Michiru, Hakushika Iori, Ashelia Rinkou, Tenma Maemi, Pipkin Pippa, Kisaka Toriama, and VTuber interviewer Domo.
- Studio A.X.’s VTuber ASHA is revealed in a separate interview.
Classified Ads for the VTubing Community
There are multiple agencies and groups that are opening up auditions for their VTuber lineup. These are namely:
There are also initiatives in the community to give free assets to the community:
- Live2D graphic design group Artemiz announces giveaway to the VTubing community for Live2D and 3D graphic assets.
- UTALIVE releases free BGM assets for the VTubing community
In other classifieds: indie VTuber Vienna is inquiring about various artists with different art styles in line with her upcoming birthday celebration.
Upcoming VTuber Debuts
Let us all welcome these new members of the VTubing community!
- Polariz Project: Group of indie VTubers successfully held their Debut Stream as a team
- SIVYL and their two new 2nd Gen VTubers: Amayuri Uno and Tsunagi Iro.
- Project Kokonatsu; Two members coming soon
- AkioAIR; Season 1 lineup debut
- MetanoiaID’s Esme Kingsleigh
- WACTOR’s Himea D’Almaria for its 4th Gen lineup
- Mito Entertainment; whose VTuber lineup lore is based on Philippine mythology—we’ll have more info on this upcoming group soon
News You Can Use: Something to Ponder
- The essence of the VTubing community is that there is a sense of belonging and helping out one another. But that wasn’t the case for what upcoming VTuber Seraphine Lucreta learned when she celebrated her follower milestone, and forgetting that she must mention her artist and rigger to show gratitude. Perhaps context matters, but it isn’t an excuse to publicly call out someone instead of going the diplomatic route.
- Sure, VTubing ‘shipping’ is fun and all, but we all ought to know our boundaries. This is what LaeDee pointed, asking her followers to stop ‘shipping’ her with FalseEyeD, her fellow co-host on the VTuber news channel “Things VTubers Say.”
- Again, be more wary of artists in the VTubing community, as one VTuber has experienced. Indie VTuber Mizuka has stated that her Live2D artist has ghosted her since January this year, and nine months since she first contacted the artist.
And there you have it again, folks! Another week of VTuber news round-up. We want to end on a lighter note that amid of all of the negativity in the community, there is still room for lighter moments. Like when ‘Candice’ jokes remain relevant for a VTuber, or how relatable it is to get frustrated when you can’t roll that one character you like on Genshin Impact.
We would also like to promote that we have launched a Twitter Community tab, where any VTuber can join! This brings us closer to the community more than ever, and our sourcing for future news and events is easier. Join us on Twitter for any tips and updates you have regarding the community!
Banner Photo: Roboco-san (©COVER Corp) / Akuma Nihmune / Kana Sukoya (©ANYCOLOR, Inc.)