Another week, another round of the latest news and updates from the VTuber community. This marks Anime Corner’s 20th installment of this VTuber News Round-Up series. While we have lesser entries for this time, there are a lot of milestones from the wider community that we need to celebrate. Whether they are subscriber/follower counts, or new merchandise and music drops, we’ve got it all for you.
But first, why not start off with learning the dance moves for the opening of Ya Boy Kongming!, as presented by VTuber/illustrator Kamaniki?
What’s in this Issue?
The Bad News: Continuing Bot Attacks, Breaks, and Graduations
YouTube’s problems are just never going away, with bot attacks still remaining a prevalent problem in the online community. We have covered some of these cases in a separate news story, but as of this week, problems keep on appearing.
A Twitter account going by the name of “VTuber Trends” started documenting these cases, and as of this writing, they have recorded 26 unique cases of VTubers being victims of this. For another time, Hololive Indonesia’s Airani Iofifteen’s YouTube channel had been shut down due to these attacks. Meanwhile, Nijisanji’s Kana Sukoya’s channel had also been suspended, although as of this writing her channel had been restored. Following this, there has been a movement in the community to move to competing platform Twitch for the meantime, such as independent VTuber Reiny.
Issues regarding the VTuber fanbase have been also prevalent, with Merryweather posting a full statement regarding hate comments, as well as false accusations of him allegedly hiring artists from Southeast Asia for lower rates. In addition, Nijisanji English’s Vox Akuma had released a statement on stream regarding behavior of some of his fans. Vox’s Kindred got a sigh of relief as the rules are shown in the stream’s description. Fulgar Ovid have also focused on reinforcing rules on his YouTube channel.
In China, controversy surrounds Internet giant ByteDance as there have been allegations of exploitation by the company over its virtual group A-SOUL. In a report by China-based English publication Dao Insights, A-SOUL had recently announced that the group is undergoing a “live stream dormancy.” It was also discovered that the talents behind A-SOUL were from another agency called Yuehua Entertainment, where they serve as trainees. Following the ongoing issue, one of its members Carol had recently announced graduating from the group.
Meanwhile, several VTubers are taking short breaks, including Numi, Ayanda Risu, and Yozora Mel. Graduation-wise, WACTOR’s Hoshina Suzu will graduate by June, and Virtunix’s Chika Kameria has just graduated.
The Interesting News: Fan Initiatives and Taking VTubing to Space (Almost)
Can you take VTubing to space? Well, almost. This is what Nijisanji just did to celebrate the one-year anniversary of LazuLight. To the tune of “Virtual to Live”, an acrylic figure featuring Elira Pendora, Pomu Rainpuff, and Finana Ryugu had been attached to a weather balloon and elevated it at a height of around 20,000 meters. Talk about an almost out-of-this-world campaign!
Meanwhile, an observation made by clipper @TylerNotTaylor noted that Hololive’s Hakui Koyori has made on average 1.8 videos per day, 179 days since her debut and with 309 videos up on her channel.
On another note, fans are all going out with dedications and tributes for their favorite VTuber oshis. For instance, visual novels were created for LazuLight’s one-year anniversary and Hololive English’s Ceres Fauna by fans. In terms of outdoor advertising endeavors, a bus campaign for Ninomae Ina’nis is currently rolled out in Hong Kong, and a fan advertisement campaign is currently conceptualized to advertise Houshou Marine in a type of a Chinese sailing boat called a junk. Speaking of Ina, popular video editor Kanauru has made a short music video for her single “Violet.”
The Good News: Awards, Collabs, and Brand Boosts
Right off the bat at Hololive, we’ve learned that the sake created by Yukihana Lamy won bronze at International Wine Challenge (IWC) 2022 for the sake category. It bested 1,732 other sake drinks from 462 different companies. Talk about going more global in terms of beverage!
Tokino Sora recently appeared at a special event with Japanese music group Elements Garden; and Hololive Indonesia’s Airani Iofifteen and Kureiji Ollie had recently made a collaboration with Monarch, best summarized in this hilarious ‘proposal’ clip.
Murasaki Shion had just made the move to start streaming on Twitch as well, while Holostars’ Yatogami Fuma had told overseas fans he’s delighted to see the amount of English comments on his streams. He also vowed to learn other languages as well. Also, submissions for Kureiji Ollie’s “Jollie Jollie” fanchant are now closed, and we are looking forward to the entries to be featured on stream soon.
Over at Nijisanji, Suo Sango recently made comments on stream about how good the Shima Spain Village, a Spanish-themed theme park, was. Her comments spread around on Japanese social media, causing a spike in popularity of the theme park. IT was a trending topic on Twitter—now that’s what I call organic social media marketing. The VΔLZ unit just showcased their 3D models, and Ryushen teases fans of an upcoming 24-hour live stream by former SEEDs livers.
Now, things at VShojo are definitely brewing up: Zentreya had recently re-debuted with a model derived from sci-fi action series alongside her birthday. A lore video is also released, and her merch shop is now open. Ironmouse has been invited to Anime North, and Projekt Melody going to be at Dokomi to promote her game which is developed by Big Bang Studios.
And now, here is the rundown of other good VTuber news in the wider community:
- We’re seeing more Asian representation from the wider VTuber community on Twitch. VTuber renniesaurus ranked fourth in the most-streamed female streamer in May. In a tweet, she thanked the boost from her featured stint on Twitch’s front page as part of API Month 2022.
- Last week, Re:AcT’s Kashiko Mari debut as the first anchor for Nittele VTuber News’ Twitter account.
- In a separate story, PRISM Project’s Rita Kamishiro has successfully raised over US$10,000 for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
- KoMETA’s Elaine has officially returned from her indefinite hiatus, just in time for KoMETA’s Fan Week.
- Aetheria’s (formerly CyberLive) Kurohana Inori goes independent.
- You can now apply Twitch badges for audio and video-only as part of Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
- Iron Vertex will release a new tool that allows for VTubers to have stream collaborations without the need for a green screen.
- Ci of the Japanese VTuber duo BOOGEY VOXX held her karaoke stream featuring only English songs.
- Want to access free VTuber assets? Check them out here!
- A lore for Mito Entertainment’s Mari Tesu is now available for reading.
News Drops: Merch, Music, Events
Get ready for some merch drops from the VTubing community, as follows:
- Tokino Sora merch, following her new costume reveal.
- PRISM Project’s fourth generation merch and voice pack.
- Holo_remix 2 merchandise.
- Sakamata Chloe’s birthday merchandise.
- Japanese-style Nijisanji merch from Otaku Culture Lab.
Here are some outright diverse tracks from VTubers at the moment:
- Hololive English’s Ceres Fauna has just released her first-ever original track titled “Let Me Stay Here.”
- Mori Calliope has released a new single “MERA MERA,” as part of her upcoming EP “Shinigami Note”.
- Vienna releases her official soundtrack, composed by TOFIE. The music is free to use by streamers, as long as it is credited.
- Tokino Sora announces the release of her fourth album titled “Sign.”
- Ninomae Ina’nis covers ‘Nainai’ by ReoNa.
- AkioAIR’s RoaFen covers “Kamisama Hajimemashita.”
- Elira Pendora covers “Shoujo Rei,” mixed by Tsunderia’s Miori Celesta.
- Tomo covers Queendom’s “Chikky Chikky Bang Bang.”
- Nana Asteria covers “Eien No Akuru Hi.”
- Hoshikawa Sara covers LazuLight’s “Diamond City Lights.”
Lastly, here are some events that we have taken note of:
- Animare has recently concluded a free live concert on their YouTube channel.
- Anime Festival Asia guests PRISM Project’s Luto Araka and Shiki Miyoshino.
- Noripro has hosted a free live concert on their YouTube channel.
- Music VKet 4 returns from June 18 to 26, 2022.
- Meet and Greet tickets for Bao and Senz at ConQuest 2022 is now available!
Congratulations to the following VTubers and their respective entities for reaching these milestones!
- HOLOSTARS’ anniversary
- Zea Cornelia (90,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Nara Haramaung (50,000 YouTube subscribers)
- PRISM Project’s fourth generation (sixth monthsary)
- Yukihana Lamy (1,000,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Production Kawaii’s Charlotte Suzu (1,000,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Tsunderia’s Tomoya (50,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Vienna’s one-year anniversary (plus new model reveal)
- Aetheria;s Iekushi Chapipi (birthday)
- KoMETA’s Miria (birthday)
Debuts (Newcomers and Redebuts)
- Taiwanese pianist/YouTuber Ru’s Piano Ru debuts a VTuber model.
- Nohirara Swadayana, an Indonesian Wikipedia editor, teases VTuber model.
- Cambodian VTuber Ratanak to debut 3D model.
- Hyakumantenbara Salome to debut under Nijisanji soon.
And that’s for this week’s round-up! Hope you have enjoyed this edition, just like how we unironically love Rpr’s latest cosplay of Usada Pekora, or how we are all enamored with this short yet sweet video from Hoschimachi Suisei.
On a serious note, we are still looking for the best insights and moves in this community, like Risu Komori making a thread as to why fans should never fall in love with streamers, or how Randon leaves us with a very inspiring message for aspiring streamers and VTubers, encapsulated in the phrase “Aim high, fail forward.” See you all next week.
Featured Image: Zentreya (VShojo) / Vienna / Ceres Fauna © 2016 COVER Corp.