Our next spotlight is a new group called Kiss-A Kissaten (Kiss-A Cafe, or KissVT for short). The group was established "as a way for their talents to grow together under one banner." As a group of 6 talents, they call themselves Bittersweet.
One of their managers, Fryxie, spoke to VTuber NewsDrop weeks ahead of their debut this Saturday, April 29. Here's how our conversation went:
Taking the Adoption-Style Approach
Q: What is the story behind KissVT?
Fryxie: "To fill in a bit, we were a mix of experienced, semi experienced, and newbie streamers who noticed a large gap in in the VTubing space, especially in regard to corporate diversity (people of color, celebration of identity etc).
"It’s certainly not wholly our purpose as that’s streaming and content creation, but we’re far from shy about our identities (which is also why we decided to adopt rather than create as they were very personal to the talents).
"It started as plans for a group and has evolved to aspirations of a larger agency around the concept and helping others grow once we have enough standing and resources to really get things moving."
Q: Following the fact that you are taking an adoption-style approach, will you be accepting applications (auditions) this year?
Fryxie: Ultimately this will be decided by the success of our first generation, BITTERSWEET. Ideally, we'd like to have a second gen picked out by the end of the year, but our primary focus at the moment is on making sure our first generation is able to grow and succeed.
Q: What do you want to showcase for each talent under the group?
To try and sum our group up:
- Fig's Roost (she/her): Our resident speedrunner who has run at several marathons including GDQ Unapologetically Black and Fast. She's mostly known for speedrunning the Drakengard series, but also dabbles in other PS2/PSX era games. One of our singers with a few covers in the pipeline.
- Rosie Mallow (she/her): One of our newer streamers who's still finding her footing, she's made a lot of progress in the short time she's been with us and is choosing to focus more on games like Fortnite and Disney Dreamlight. She's also one of our singers and has a few covers in the pipeline. She is also an ESVtuber and plans on doing more Spanish streams in the future.
- Goma Unazoko (they/them): Our newest streamer, Goma is fluent in Japanese and loves variety streaming. They have a very mellow personality and want to create a cozy environment for everyone to feel included.
- Chihaya Hoshino (she/her): Our most veteran streamer, she's carved out a niche playing visual novels and other comfy variety games late at night. Another one of our singers, she has two covers in the works now.
- Neona Wolf Spider (she/her): Our deaf horror and spooky streamer who also loves sewing and plushies. She's actually sewn a few plushies for us in our likenesses.
- Fryxie (she/her): Our coffee streamer who has started dabbling in ASMR script reading. She's growing as a mahjong streamer but also has been experimenting with ASMR on YouTube to some success as a previously unknown channel.
Digging Deep into Each Other's Personalities
Now that we know who they are, we asked each member one question to further describe themselves:
Fig on Drakengard
Q: Why is Fig so much into Drakengard? What's so special about it? What was the longest playtime she did?
Fig: "Funnily enough, I got into Drakengard from reading a let's play and decided that I wanted to experience the wild ride myself! It's become one of my favorite "bad" games, which is saying a lot because I love a lot of them!
"There's something really special about how bland the gameplay is in comparison to how good and dark the actual story is, and the fact that they set out to make a game that didn't feel "good" to play is, as someone who's done game development, incredibly interesting. Don't even get me started on the music!
"I actually speedrun the game, so I'll reverse the question! My current Any% personal best is two hours and fourteen minutes to get to the first ending!"
Rosie on the Latin American VTubing Community
Q: One of the interesting VTuber communities comes from Latin America and Spanish-speaking countries. Assuming Rosie's from the LatAm region, may we ask what makes the said community unique?
Rosie: "Yeah, I’m Peruvian, and while I was born in the states (parents immigrated before I was born), I think what makes the community unique from my perspective is there is a market in Latin America for VTubing, it makes me happy to see VTubers from various parts of LatAm get into it especially from my motherland Peru!
"Many are independent or create groups together, and really have worked hard to create a strong community especially after a bumpy start in 2020 like many VTubers who started back then.
"Also, many of them collab together in tournaments and it’s fun to see several LatAm countries join together during those [collabs], as well as the support for one another when times are hard. [It also] blew my mind that several stream to Facebook, which I never thought of as a possibility to stream outside of Twitch and YouTube!
"What also impressed me is that you don’t need expensive equipment or model to be a VTuber especially considering that a lot of equipment that is mid-priced and fairly attainable in the US is extremely expensive in Latin America; but they really turn out [with] strong and funny content! It goes to show you, you don’t need to have the most up to date and expensive equipment to start out!
"My dream one day is to cross the bridge between English and Spanish speaking VTubers because a lot of them are super sweet, and while I understand there is the language barrier and general shyness, I do believe that it’s possible!
"I would love to interact more with the LatAm community not only as a way to be more in touch with the culture and language from my motherland that I pride in being Latina myself.
"I do believe there is a very powerful market in LatAm that has been untapped for a while. I do believe that LatAm [VTubers] can branch out internationally and have strong success!! I’m always cheering them on!!"
Goma's Proudest Translation Work
Q: Given that Goma's doing translation work, can they share their proudest work so far?
Goma: "I love this question; it's actually hard to pick just one thing. Most of what I've been asked to do for the group consists of smaller editing tasks like making sure DeepL isn't saying something incomprehensible on a Skeb request, or making sure a Skima message is phrased correctly. I've also offered the ability to review song covers to give pointers on Japanese pronunciation, as well as catching errors that the other members might not notice.
"I think the biggest and coolest thing I've worked on so far, though, would be... well, if you've seen KissVT's promo videos, you know that there's a song we use in most (all?) of them. Fun fact: That song actually has lyrics!
"I think we've skewed away from using the lyrical version to try and not distract too much from the content, considering how short the videos are; on top of that, I haven't managed to get the body of the song to work quite how I like... but I think I did a really good job on the chorus line, which is in Japanese with a rough English-translated version as well.
"I've actually never written lyrics in my life in either of my two primary languages, so I consider this quite the accomplishment."
Chihaya's Favorite Visual Novels
Q: What is Chihaya's favorite visual novel, and can she describe the story in less than 20 words?
Chihaya: "It's genuinely a toss-up between Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi (also known as You and Me and Her: A Love Story on Steam), AI: The Somnium Files, Hatoful Boyfriend and Symphonic Rain.
"So to sum them up in 20 words or less...
- Totono would be "A Totally Innocent and Cute School Love Story";
- [AI: The Somnium Files] would be, in the wise words of one of the close friends who got me to play it, "Pathetic, wet amnesiac decidedly can't mansplain, manipulate, or manwhore his way out of solving a string of murders. He tries.";
- Hatoful Boyfriend would be "A Genuine tale of love and promises with birds",
- and Symphonic Rain is "Overcoming PTSD with the power of music"
A VTuber Who Creates Plushies by Herself?
Q: What's the best item Neona has sewn? Do we expect sewing streams in the future?
Neona: "The best things I've sewn are the VTuber plushies. They're modified from Cholyknight's chibi doll patterns to give them their individual outfits and hair styles that make these VTuber's character designs so unique. I also try to give extra attention to little details. Fig's plushie has multiple magnets in her feet that allow her to hang upside down like a bat. Her wings also have a wire in them that allow them to be posed.
"My favorite so far is Fryxie's plushie. It was the first one I planned to make, and the fabric for her dress was the first fabric I ordered. The industrial piercing on her ear is an actual bar earring that ended up being the perfect size for the doll. For the cuffs on her other ear, I pushed jump rings through the fabric. They aren't very thick, so it doesn't show up on camera very well.
"I didn't have an embroidery machine at the time, so her face was actually done with an iron-on transfer using the eyes and mouth from her actual model. The plushie was meant to be a surprise, so I had a friend help me get access to her model. She'll never know, unless she reads this when it's published, so it's probably okay and I will never face any consequences.
"I feel an incredible amount of pride whenever I see the Fryxie plushie show up on her set for her coffee streams. The first week it wasn't on set turned out to be a great bout of luck--Fryxie pushed her Aeropress over and flooded the entire scene with hot coffee. Without a doubt, I think that would have actually melted off the Fryxie plushie's face, even before the damage of any coffee stains were taken into account.
"As for sewing streams in the future? It's inevitable. I've been stockpiling fabric to make the rest of the Kiss-A Kissaten VTubers into plushies. I also have a new embroidery machine to play with. The issue is with anonymity under the hand camera--I can't wear long sleeves and gloves while working with the machine unless I want to risk them getting caught under the needle. On the other hand, being mangled on stream would probably make for some great content."
A Coffee Streamer's Recommendation
Q: What's the best kind of coffee for your consumption? Also, a curious question: Has Fryxie streamed mahjong ASMR altogether?
Fryxie: "The best kind of coffee... what an impossible question to answer. I can and will say though, light roasts! Give me something fruity and sweet, with some wonderful tasting notes.
"One of my favorite hobbies is getting single origin roasts from everywhere I can to try, always a new flavor to explore (and why I try to do coffee reviews every week as well!). For example, I just finished an Ethiopian single origin with notes of berries and bergamot, nice and light and sweet enough to not need any additives to make the flavors blossom forth as well.
"Per the question of 'Have I streamed mahjong ASMR'... Well, I've recorded ASMR and have streamed dozens and dozens of hours of mahjong and have played even more... but I haven't put those together yet, no. That's an incredibly fascinating idea though, I'm extremely going to have to give that some thought that sounds like a delightful time."
Collaborating with Other Groups
Q: We also saw that you have RealCorp merch on your website, perhaps you are also partnered with RealCorp?
Fryxie: "The part with RealCorp is that we’re both small and it was decided that doing a collab merch sales project would make it easier for both of us fiscally and logistically to pull off well, so we’ll be hosting theirs (and maybe others in the future depending how things go as well).
"Our manager has experience with merchandise fulfillment, so we decided to take on the project. Apart from that, no, though we are friends with the owners and do plan on collaborating."
Kiss-A Kissaten debuts this Saturday, April 29 at 5:00pm EDT. More details on KissVT's Twitter page. Thank you very much to KissVT for taking your time to share your stories with us here at VTuber NewsDrop.