Brave group’s Vision to Be the Top VTuber Company

Understand the steps the Japanese VTuber umbrella is taking to "strike wonder in eight billion hearts."

A Japanese translation of this piece is also available.

Among all VTuber companies existing worldwide, Brave group strikes a punch. VTuber NewsDrop has been covering the Japanese VTuber conglomerate and its branches both domestically and internationally several times.

As with any other VTuber company, Brave group had a challenging start before being known as a VTuber powerhouse. Initially, they are only managing RIOT MUSIC and Aogiri High School (now under the management of viviON). However in June 2022, their merger and acquisition of the Virtual eSports Project (VSPO!) - one of Japan's popular groups - was a head-turning moment.

They did not stop there, as the company managing singers Cocoa Domyoji and Yuka Nagase has taken singer duo HIMEHINA to its fold. Their international branches V4Mirai and globie are also expanding their roster of talents. VSPO! has also set up shop in English and Chinese markets.

Recently, management of idol Virtual Talents LTD. merchandise is working directly with Brave group. That is aside from its other companies under its umbrella which conduct research and development into the metaverse.

As they rebrand themselves in November last year and open offices in Bangkok and Shenzhen, they affirm their mission to be number 1, the very top of the VTuber scene.

There are more reasons to put Brave group into the Spotlight. On this edition, CEO Mr. Keito Noguchi spoke to NewsDrop about the business.

Renewing Brave group's Corporate Identity

What do you think is the biggest change in Brave group's purpose following the revamp of your corporate identity?

Mr. Keito Noguchi: Rather than renewing our purpose along with our vision and logo, we chose to reformulate it. By changing it to “Japanese Adventure, Worldwide Romance”, we would like to convey the concept of an idea born in Japan but with a global reach. It allows us to reaffirm our worldwide ambitions while also not forgetting our Japanese roots.

Our previous vision was very constrained to the Metaverse. Reframing it as “A Symphony of Innovations, Pioneering a Brighter Tomorrow” allows us to expand its scope with this image of an alliance of entrepreneurs, acting in concert to bring forth a new era.

Everything ties back to our renewed ambitions to not restrict ourselves to our home market but to expand our reach worldwide. Thus, our new logo also reflects our drive to become the world's number one VTuber company.

Rather than redefining our identity and our goals, we are using this opportunity to reaffirm our commitments to society. It’s time to show that we will not walk back on our words, we’ve finally reached a phase where it’s time for victory or defeat.

As a Japanese entertainment company, what trends and opportunities have you seen in terms of expanding your reach to the North American and European markets with your latest subsidiaries?

Mr. Noguchi:
As real-life events have resumed [post-pandemic], I have attended the Anime Expo 2023 in Los Angeles and have confirmed myself that there is a huge enthusiasm for Japanese content.

Japanese anime and manga have become massively popular, thanks partly to distribution platforms like Netflix, especially in Europe and the Americas. Parallel to this growth of popularity of Japanese media, we have also observed a large increase of independent VTubers in those regions, mirroring what happened in Japan in the early days of VTubing.

VTubers as an industry started in Japan about 8 years ago and have been growing worldwide, seeing new actors and agencies appearing along those indie VTubers. With strong growth and trends continuing well into 2023, we have decided that it was the right time to establish offices across the globe.

Challenges in Establishing Presence Abroad

In your overseas expansion, what limitations Brave group faced in penetrating these foreign VTuber markets, and what general strategies would these subsidiaries employ to stand out regionally?

Mr. Noguchi: Our strategy also includes setting up local offices in key regions and running operations locally. More often than not, international VTubers are managed from Japan and this can lead to issues with management due, not only to time zones but also by giving the talents a sense of too much distance. By having local offices and staff, we can overcome most of those issues.

As relative newcomers on the global market, we need to differentiate ourselves from other agencies by creating a favorable environment and nurturing strong relationships with our talents. We can also leverage the fact that we still are a Japanese company and mobilize our resources to help produce content such as music videos, live concerts and events on par with the high quality of those produced in Japan.

As a company, we need to be able to show to independent talents the benefits of working together with us by showcasing both the resources and support we can provide them with.

Additionally, we have set up recording studios for 3D streams and other kinds of content, a major advantage still out of reach for many indies and even other agencies. We hope that this can show the level of commitment we are bringing in order to help our affiliated talents become successful VTubers.

A newly established Motion Caption Studio in the United States. [OshiLive on YouTube]

On Acquiring VSPO!

Let's talk about your endeavors in VSPO!: Despite the success it already had back when it was independent, what made Brave group decide this acquisition would be beneficial for the group, and what opportunities do you see expanding into the English and Chinese markets?

Mr. Noguchi: VSPO! was indeed already popular before being part of Brave group, but there was definitely room for improvement and having a proper supporting structure can help propel that popularity even further by organizing larger events for fans and providing them with even better enjoyment.

By joining Brave group, VSPO! has been able to gain access to a much larger pool of resources, allowing them to develop content that elevates the brand much higher as one of Japan’s most representative VTuber companies.

It was a perfect match between VSPO!’s assets and Brave group’s resources, which saw an immediate subscribers growth of over 200%. While our brand awareness is growing strong in Japan, our purpose and mission drive us to look beyond Japan and share VSPO!'s philosophy about the fun of esports with the rest of the world.

We are extremely confident in VSPO!’s potential to grow into a household name around the world.

VSPO! collaborated with Kanda Myojin Noryo Festival, held for the first time in three years in the summer of 2022. A total of 50k people visited the festival during the period, breaking the previous record for the number of visitors. [Photo Handout]
VSPO!’s first exclusive large-scale offline event “VSPO! Culture and Sports Festival” [Photo Handout]

Brave group's Goals for 2024

What do you think fans should expect from Brave Group in 2024 in terms of VTubing-related endeavors and expansions?

Mr. Noguchi: As we announced last year, VSPO!'s overseas expansion will begin in 2024, so please look forward to it!

Also, keep your eyes open for Brave group’s VTuber content expansion overseas through V4Mirai, globie, and the new projects to be launched by Brave group APAC, including events that are being planned at this very moment.

Furthermore, our partnership with idol virtual talents LTD. includes multiple collaborations around the world, both on VTuber contents but also for upcoming goods.

Through these answers, we hope you get a glimpse of Brave group's mission to "Strike wonder in eight billion hearts."

We thank Brave group CEO Mr. Keito Noguchi for the time he shared with us for this edition of NewsDrop Spotlight. Special thanks to Executive Officer Ms. Kyuyon Kim for her kind assistance.