Editorial: NIJISANJI EN's Poor Management Cultivated Far More Bad Actors

"That there are humans inside the organization who are already suffering from having their backs painted a target because management self-reported when they do not deserve it in the first place."

Hi everyone! I wrote this editorial early in the morning, but I fervently hope this would be the last piece I have to write about NIJISANJI EN as we move on to other better topics to talk about within the VTuber scene.

This also mentions sensitive topics, in which we ask for your kind discretion. Thank you for your kind understanding.

A Japanese translation of this piece is also available.

Where were you when NIJISANJI’s English branch lost the trust of a majority of the VTubing audience? I was waiting in my home for updates about Selen Tatsuki, a VTuber managed by NIJISANJI EN. I was watching people asking #WhereIsSelen. I was watching them getting more and more impatient in each tweet they post on X.

Selen Tatsuki’s termination and how it was handled was the start of the worst for the branch, which—according to a Goldman Sachs report posted on Bloomberg terminals—contributes 19 percent to its mothership.

We’ve seen a pattern in how Zaion LanZa was kicked out, and how it felt that she’s not fit for agency VTubing. With Zaion in mind, I mimicked the BBC and prepared a tribute to Selen should she be terminated after the fiasco of her “Last Cup of Coffee” cover days just before 2023 ends.

Alas, the inevitable happened: Selen was terminated. But, like the rest of you, I did not expect NIJISANJI EN to release what’s considered a historical termination letter which will leave the said branch helpless for days—weeks, even.

Just like how Zaion was terminated, NIJISANJI EN management laid out a laundry list of offenses that Selen committed, that they took all considerations at their hand. They flagged Selen in May 2023, and warned her that if she continues to violate its so-called “Activity Rules,” she’ll get axed.

Management also laid out a timeline on how they handled her termination, citing the “Coffee” incident, and Selen’s response after it got set to private by management as warned. However, it was two paragraphs in that spiteful termination notice that will lead the fans to rally for Selen: 

Despite our efforts, Selen Tatsuki demanded that ANYCOLOR should be held legally responsible. She claimed that she was no longer able to engage in activities as a Liver due to the decisions made by ANYCOLOR, was being harassed by other affiliated Livers due to mismanagement, etc., while refusing to acknowledge her responsibility for violating the Activity Rules. Moreover, Selen Tatsuki insisted that if the negotiations did not progress, she would proceed to release a statement regarding her claims to the public. 

ANYCOLOR believes that the claims raised by Selen Tatsuki are in fact referring to situations that arose when she was warned about her breaches of the Activity Rules and attempts to shift the responsibility for these violations, damaging ANYCOLOR and NIJISANJI EN’s image. This led to the deterioration of the relationship between her, ANYCOLOR, and other Livers affiliated with ANYCOLOR. ANYCOLOR firmly believes that we and the other Livers under our affiliation have not engaged in unjust practices towards Selen Tatsuki.

Selen’s termination, in ANYCOLOR’s eyes, was the only remaining option. It was only through a friend of Selen—now back as the indie VTuber Dokibird—that she found out about this.

Doki promptly said on X: “I will not be silenced anymore,” and then we found out that she made an attempt on herself because of the pent up frustration from being bullied and being in a toxic environment for numerous months. 

People have seen the signs: Her plans as Selen were rejected by management—hosting a tournament and an art contest included—and the strictness she faced upon being served a prompt action from the management after posting her “Last Cup of Coffee” was the last straw. 

One of the driving forces of NIJISANJI EN, the same person who rallied for inter-agency collaborations with HOLOSTARS talents which gave birth to the historical Team Snake Bite, the one behind several VRChat projects, an artist who understands the plight of her fellows and the value they give to her—is gone… and she almost left us permanently.

People rallied for Selen (now Doki), as she reclaim her oshi mark and they reclaim their Dragoons name. As she gets more freedom to collaborate with others—and even say “Pokemon.” Right now, she’s set to compete at Palworld on Twitch. She made VTuber history after her return stream gets on top of the viewership rankings.

No matter how you see it, the signs of bad management were blatant, much more so when they cleared three talents to speak in a video which ran for exactly 15 minutes. That was not 15 minutes of fame, that’s 15 minutes of fear, uncertainty and doubt. When I woke up to the news, I didn't want to listen to them speak that way. 

Even so when ANYCOLOR told its investors that this is a small deal, a negligible loss for them. All my trust was lost already, and I am waiting for CEO Riku Tazumi to speak for the company and to take action.

So Riku did. Again, there was no confirmation that he owns a yacht at such a young age, given that he’s among the youngest billionaires today. Sure, he speaks in English to let us know that he is coming forward to apologize, complete with a 90-degree bow that you cannot ask other Japanese executives to take—unless they’re faced with a critical matter.

The company then suffered negligible losses of around 18% days after this second attempt at public relations. Hundreds of thousands of fans replied back with unsubscribes, boycotts and harassments. This is what bad management does to you and your audience. 

We’ve seen various cases of bad management—locally, we have KoMETA (shame on you), regionally, we have Project F and AkioAIR (shame on you more), OWOZU on the other side of the planet (shame on you too) and of course, WACTOR (go to hell for trying to make fools out of your audience thrice). All involve lack of proper funding, overwork and streaming quota, poor delegation of tasks, toxic work culture, demands and threats which are beyond the scope of human rights, et cetera. Mikeneko’s dilemma was the least of our worries.

These experiences, on top of the ones I cannot speak of publicly due to its sensitive nature, prepared me for the worst—but as with what happened to us here at VTuber NewsDrop, we had to take a break. Admittedly, we almost lost it: I started to believe the grand narrative from conspirators, and forgot to be a human. 

Doki said it best: “...no life, no matter what, should be risked for ego or winning anything. There are no winners in this. Please don't make it like high school. Treat everyone like adults and with some empathy and kindness.”

Thoughts of me asking Doki “please give us names” frequent me on an hourly basis, wanting to satiate my thirst for revenge. The Selen Tatsuki incident now involves the world, and gives off an impression of welcoming everyone to the hell that is VTubing.

However, Doki was such a tease when she said this: “Revealing private documents and talking about the details within will only just make things worse and more complicated as outside parties get involved and will just hurt everyone.”

I understand that we should leave this to the lawyers, but man, I want people responsible to be accountable, else this cycle will just go on and on and on. The thing is, if Doki follows the bidding of some revenge porn enthusiasts, things would be more complicated.

In today’s VTuber scene, when we call out anyone for their misdeeds, we preface by asking everyone not to harass the subject. It’s been done numerous times, but I see myself getting tired of this—because after all, the subjects still get harassed no matter how they want to put it. You call out someone from misdeeds (with absolute proof of evidence) and people will listen to you, console with you, sneer the subject and worse, actually harass them.

I didn’t sign up for a VTuber scene that’s akin to showbiz! Look, even the Livers are not having it and are starting to speak out—only to be clapped back. This is not normal.

Look, newstubers and other content creators are "eating hard" these past few weeks: One video after another, they talk about the topic and stay relevant to their audience. It’s like an animal party out there, with a bunny man, a pony (definitely not an android), a parrot, a duck (OUR duck) and a horse girl sharing their takes. Even a lawyer dips in and entertains us with possible scenarios which by logic makes sense as he expresses his legal opinion on his knowledge of existing laws.

It’s all good business to them, and I should not have any problem with that. However, I am frustrated that the principles I set for myself are barring me from dipping my toes into this issue—If I joined the bandwagon, I’d be tagged as a spineless hater, or a troll or whatchamacallit; if I stray from the common narrative, I’d be called an apologist.

Damned if I do, damned if I don’t; but for real, if not for these policies set, I cannot steer this platform of ours.

I was so immersed and disturbed at the narrative and how it’s made to make sense of things that I got called out, “Why are you reading that?” I cannot even answer that question without getting myself into a fit, so I decided to stop minding this matter.

However, the painful feeling of this experience on top of secondhand embarrassment is still there. This is what bad management does to you, your talents and your audience. 

Hey NIJISANJI EN, this is the last time I’m speaking to you from the heart:

  • Remember the time you announced an AR Live concert for your EN talents? It did not happen.
  • How about the time that you terminated Zaion and made her look dumb as heck? Because I still love my first encounter with her on Twitch over Words on Stream.
  • Or when you guys asked Cy Yu to quit his voice acting career in exchange of working for your agency?
  • Not allowing Pomu Rainpuff to live her best and fulfill her dream collaboration as an otaku?
  • Or when your CEO Riku lamented about the talents' wasted potential to your investors?
  • Putting Selen in a situation where she made an attempt not once but twice? Do you regret looking haughty against your beloved audience?
  • How about the Indonesian audience you betrayed after building a great relationship with them?

I pray that this is indeed the last time I will forget that there are humans in NIJISANJI EN. That there are fans who keep drawing their oshi and get discriminated against in public (shame on them, I can shame them in a language they know).

That there are people of various identities who got great friends as a NIJISANJI EN fan; who are having fun bonding with their fellows, some even cosplaying as their oshi and having a great time despite the self-reporting this damnation of a management did.

That there are humans inside the organization who are already suffering from having their backs painted a target because management self-reported when they do not deserve it in the first place.

Doki said, “No one deserves to be pushed over the edge. So many people have got hurt and involved even if they were innocent bystanders.” 

I don’t care about the yacht, I don’t care if Tazumi prostrate himself in front of his investors apologizing, I don’t care if the losses were negligible, just take me back to the good old days when I have a NIJISANJI EN oshi and nothing matters. Bring me back to the time Pomu was spreading good vibes by teaching us MIXes, damn it!

Should ANYCOLOR merge their EN branch to the mothership for real (the first incarnation of EN from India felt just like a test), they’ll move along and have the mothership steer their financial direction as a Japanese stock company.

They can surely stand still, but at what cost? The opportunity to expand globally because they’re marked as a black company who is willing to work the hell out of their talents for their benefit. 

Now you have hundreds of bad actors sharing their takes on Reddit, Facebook, 4chan, X, YouTube and other social media platforms milking your boo-boos to oblivion and are ready to attack your fans and your talents as they continue to dig out the truth every day.

ANYCOLOR, you have cultivated far more bad actors in the scene because of your mistakes. The pent-up folks aren’t stopping either, with demands for accountability and a lack of trust in their hands. Again, this is what bad management does to you, your talents and your audience.

Those who want to build an empire out of VTubing—out of numerous talented humans—should be warned to strive harder, learn better and invest larger, for this is the business of entertainment where the audience can collectively act to call you out when signs of bad management pop out of your garden.