Pretty Knight Lauri: On VTuber Fandom and Spotlight on VTuber Diversity
The VTubing fandom’s diversity is not just made possible by the wide array of VTubers that we have at the moment. What is often overlooked is the huge number of VTuber fans that feature some of the most creative minds out there to spotlight the beauty (and the chaos) of this growing community.
Last January, we featured a case study on the success of FlaVR, a satire VTuber agency that has since then grown to feature an array of talents—thanks to the number of fans who made the creative direction possible.
But this time, we are doing a NewsDrop Spotlight first—a VTuber fan who has found themselves being a messenger of diverse VTuber groups, including those who are affiliated with the LGBTQIA+ community, and people of color (POC), among others. Aside from it, she also focused on the bright and quirky side of the VTubing fandom, which has been a normal thing for us but rather strange and confusing to the outside world.
Meet Pretty Knight Lauri: an Asian-Canadian content creator whom we first discovered on Twitter after she posted her TikTok video, celebrating her one-year anniversary with the VTuber fandom. Lauri spoke to NewsDrop to learn more about their thoughts on the VTubing fandom, what inspired them to do their own VTuber spotlight, and discuss how she discovered the ‘rabbit hole’.
Spoiler Alert: Lauri also bares plans on becoming a VTuber, so keep reading!
On Making Your Stay Memorable
When we asked them about what stood out the most in their one-year with the VTuber fandom, she noted that the amount of friends she made along the way stuck with them through this journey.
“I am still in awe of how many creative people I have befriended in such a short amount of time, that I wonder how a year has already passed. I’ve come to realize when you are in the VTuber community, everyone is connected. You become acquainted with a creator who is mutual with another creator, who is [also] mutual with another creator that just so happens to be in a VTuber group with the creator you’ve become acquainted with.
“I’m so thankful for the people I have befriended. They are all inspirations to me and have all welcomed me with open arms. They have even encouraged (arguably bullied) me to try out becoming a VTuber. And without their support, I don’t think I would’ve pursued it. But I’m happy that I am, and I hope I can join them soon. Love you guys!”
What’s The VTuber Fandom Like?
When we asked them what the fandom was like, she simply said: “It was a whole educational course.”
“I learned so much from popular programs my friends use to different styles you can make your avatar appear as. I learned the history of the industry’s very niche beginnings to how it became so easy to start off in your VTuber career. I found videos on effective model design, behind the scenes work on stream presentations, even the struggles of being a virtual streamer and having to deal with changes in platforms and changes in yourself when dedicating time to entertain an audience.
“In just one year, my friends and those I look up to have taught me—whether they were aware or not on what to prepare if you ever wanna get started on VTubing, as well as how to be a respectful fan in the community.
“And don’t get me started on how much lingo and meme culture I’ve learned—someone could make a whole encyclopedia on those topics if given the chance.”
…and there are existing glossaries on such terms existing online.
How Passion for J-Fashion Led Her to VTubing
Aside from her content about the VTuber fandom in general, she also has a knack for Japanese fashion. We asked them how their love for J-Fashion led to VTubing later on.
“It definitely saved me the struggle of coming up with a model design! Granted, I always loved character design ever since I was young. You can say so much about someone just from the clothes that they wear. Whatever style of clothing your VTuber wears can help audiences get an immediate idea of who you are, what you are and what kind of content you do.
@prettyknightlauri essential ouji etiquette the next time you're at a jfashion meetup! 🌟for all intents and purposes this is a joke🌟 #oujifashion #jfashion #eglcommunity #kawaiifashion #aliceandthepirates #alternative #lolitafashion #angelicpretty #kawaii ♬ original sound - Kevin
“The VTuber art (made by Ookiethefrog on Twitter) I use for myself was in fact inspired by the ouji style I wear in real life. I was so excited when I discovered there were in fact VTubers that incorporated different J-Fashion styles in their model designs or that wear J-fashion themselves. I have seen Vtubers in decora, lolita fashion, ouji and especially gyaru. Fashion is a form of expression and in my opinion—so is VTubing, so why not add a little bit of style to your model for some extra pizazz?”
In fact, we asked Lauri further which VTubers have showcased several J-Fashion styles in their VTuber avatars. They include Vio Chan and Soie Swan for ouji fashion; Dolce, Creep, and Stella Luna for gyaru fashion, Alice Karasuma for lolita fashion, and Cybr for decora fashion.
Falling in the Rabbit Hole
As with any VTuber fan, it’s always worth asking how they fell into the ‘rabbit hole’ in the first place. For that, Lauri has this to explain.
We’ll have to go all the way back—A friend of mine was showing me some clips of Kizuna Ai I think in 2018. Of course, during the time it was all out of context and I don’t even remember seeing subtitles so obviously, I was confused and didn’t pay too much attention to it.
Fast forward to the pandemic and I see that not only are my friends—GinGrins, Eggie La Falena & Slothsiren are trying out becoming VTubers but so is my favorite cosplayer—AkiMizuno. I still wasn’t into the community but I still wanted to support them by stopping by their streams and it was fun seeing them grow more and more in this new form of streaming.
@prettyknightlauri fallen into the void & the void is a huge himbo #vtubers #malevtubers #twitch #streamer #anime #weebtiktok #himbo #gamer ♬ IVE BEEN A GOOD BOY - Bunny🦀
Then while I was really sick in 2022, I decided to finally take the dive to spend my sick days by watching more VTubers after they appeared on my Tiktok For You page. And who did I decide to start watching? Pompadour delinquents.
You can thank LouZarr, Crow Jinzo and Goemon for introducing me to more VTubers through their VTuber groups. Seeing these hooligans have fun with their friends and collabing with other creators contributed to me discovering more—and thus, my journey into the VTuber rabbit hole began.
There are so many circles and groups I’ve come to know that intertwine with each other, leading to more collabs and sometimes friendships, which I find so amazing. I have even joked that the VTuber community is more connected than any comic book universe known to man.
Is VTubing Going Mainstream?
When we asked Lauri for their statement here, she notes that VTubing itself is still expanding, and that there is much to learn here yet.
“VTubing is still an evolving medium. I can understand how people see how it has become such a saturated market with the many debuts and innovations in rigging and streaming assets you can utilize in your content—but within the past year of observing, I believe there’s a long way to go for the general public to learn and understand about this new way of entertainment.
“Yes, there are VTubers being acknowledged for their efforts and even being nominated and winning awards. Yes there are even some on the top music charts, doing concerts and making the news. But at the same time, there are still people out there bullying VTubers, dehumanizing them and/or disregarding the amount of hard behind the scenes work it takes to do this kind of entertainment.
“There’s still a lot to learn about this new form of entertainment. Both on the side of the performer and on the side of the audience.”
On Putting the Spotlight to VTubing Diversity
Much like our objective with the Spotlight series, Lauri puts the focus on indie VTubers who have interesting and unique stories to share. But what makes their spotlight content special is how vital they are to represent the full spectrum of VTubing: a wide array of VTuber classes, each with their own identity they take pride of. This is what Lauri stands for in their content.
“I’m a genderqueer Asian Canadian so of course I wanna find people like me in this community. It’s the main reason why I wanted to make these VTuber showcase videos. I saw little to no people highlighting any independent VTubers and in the indie scene especially POC and LGBTQ VTubers. It was always the creators themselves trying to promote their content, and I wanted to help out.
@prettyknightlauri 🌟VTuber Showcase🌟 VTRainbow Edition! 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ #vtuberfan #streamers #pride #lgbtq #transgender #twitchstreamer #vtubersen #vtubersupport #vtuberuprising ♬ original sound - Lauri Olivier
“I feel lucky to be able to discover so many beautiful creators in these communities, but I feel like we still have a lot to work on in making sure they are seen and acknowledged in their talents and who they represent. POC and LGBTQ+ VTubers have so many stories that they can share to reach out and be closer with their audiences. And whether it’s featuring them in a video or retweeting their model showcase—I hope I can help boost them up a little more and help them grow.”
Words of Wisdom for New VTuber Fans
As the VTuber community continues to grow, many new fans will continue to pour in to support their favorite VTuber oshi. Here’s what Lauri has to say as a closing remark.
“Acknowledge their humanity. Know that your oshi, whether they are just some dude or a mythical monster girl—is a human being behind that virtual avatar. They are working hard to provide the entertainment you see on your screen. Understand that they are people that deserve respect and that little acts of kindness go a long way. It’s very easy to show kindness towards your favorite VTuber, as well as their community.
“Showing support can be as simple as cheering them on in social media or sharing their hard work with your friends. Showing support can also be being patient and giving them the time to take a break until they can come back to making content for their audience.
“I hope fans in the VTuber community learn that being polite, being kind and showing support through healthy, positive ways can really help bring smiles to our oshis as they have brought us smiles too.”
Thank you to Pretty Knight Lauri for taking the time with us with this interview! She is active in doing content on TikTok. You can also follow her Twitter for more updates.