How One Mistaken Commission Landed Taiga Chama In VTubing

Taiga Chama didn't plan to become a VTuber. But when given lemons, the Invicta star made more than just lemonade.

Usually when you ask someone how they got into VTubing, they usually have a straight-foward story. Maybe they were tired of being on camera and wanted a change. Or they were too nervous before.

When you ask Taiga Chama that same question though, you get a little chuckle and a funny explanation to boot: “I was an accident.”

An accidental VTuber child doesn’t really make sense, but the funny set of circumstances in Taiga’s case is the exception. 

Imagine having an art retweet account with an OC persona from Final Fantasy. It’s nothing serious, but you really like commissioning art. Your favorite artist opens up a slot ⁠— in this case, Jouvru ⁠— and you jump in. Sure, it’s a bit pricey, but you’ve been waiting a while.

Then when you get the art back it comes in a PSD file, and then she shares it on Twitter and you get hundreds of followers flooding in excited for your upcoming VTuber debut. And you don’t even know what VTubing is. 

That’s what an accidental VTuber child looks like, and it’s exactly what happened to Taiga.

“She gave me the PSD file and one day I was super curious and was like ‘what the f**k is this? Why is everything separated,’” he laughed. “I have gotten so many art commissions of this character, which was why I was so confused. 

“When she ended up posting it, lord have mercy I was so confused. Suddenly I had 2,000 followers. I was reading the comments and they were like ‘oh this guy is a VTuber? Is this a new VTuber child?’ I ended up asking my normie friends and they’re like ‘oh you got a Kizuna AI thing.’”

However there’s one thing about Taiga. No matter what he’s done previously, he’s thrown himself head first into it. And given he was given the opportunity to do something entirely new with VTubing, he gave it a crack ⁠— and it paid off massively.

Taiga's accidental VTubing start has given him much more than he bargained for.

From a meme to something serious

Taiga’s friends, quickly after the Kizuna AI comment, were very quick to make a bit of fun of the situation he found himself in.

“At first it was out of a whim and a joke like ‘I can’t believe you became a VTuber, dude!’ and they were making fun of me.”

It was a bit of a meme, but Taiga took his lemons and started looking up a lemonade recipe. He wasn’t entirely green to the influencer space, but he had never streamed before. It was a whole new form of entertainment to him. Months of research later, at the end of 2021, he started truly diving into the rabbit hole.

Putting up an avatar was a big difference from his past life doing cosmetics and modeling content. But there was some crossover.

“My knack of being able to be a conversationalist no matter the situation I was in came in handy,” he explained. 

“I was always going to different conventions and events meeting new people every day, and knowing how to tackle social situations online and offline are totally different ballparks, but require the same base skill sets of understanding communication and reading others 'body' or 'textual' language and cues.”

It let him live out his dreams originally, being an entertainer. A natural in front of the camera, he had always dabbled in the creative content on the side. But it was even a long journey to that point, having to convince his parents that this career was a legitimate money maker.

“Entertainment was too volatile for her and she never thought I had talent. And for a long time, I thought so too. 

“But when the VTuber model came in, it was a full on back push, telling me I can't run away or hide behind dumb excuses anymore. It's time to try what I've wanted to do for a long time, albeit in a medium I never expected I'd have a chance to dabble in.”

And while he could have gone alone, Invicta was a huge motivator for Taiga. The five-piece male VTubing group he’s a part of have been through thick and thin over the last two years. However they really shot to popularity off the back of Luxiem’s rise through the ranks in late 2021.

“Maybe I could have gotten that far because I’m a really hard worker, but I think having Invicta in general ⁠— our timing and all of that, everything fell into place like it was meant to be.

“That’s why people started noticing us. Then all of us connecting with each other and becoming a group just fortified that because right after that, Luxiem appeared a month or two after we all became friends. Our timing was so perfect because we just rode the wave.”

That wasn’t a guarantee for success though. Taiga knows how finicky online groups can be, given he has a background in MMOs dealing with raiding groups and guilds.

However Invicta was different. The five of them were similar enough in personality to like each other’s company, but different enough to provide some nice contrast. They don’t agree on everything, but there’s a lot of mutual respect.

For Taiga, who isn’t much of a people pleaser, this was hugely important.

“The biggest difference between those groups and Invicta is at the end of the day, no matter what, groups, friendships and relationships are going to have their disagreements. 

“The fact we’ve lasted this long shows we trust each other to a point where we respect each other enough to talk to each other when something is wrong. I love these guys. I don’t say that about a lot of people.”

Being more comfortable with being seen

As Invicta started blowing up with Taiga leading the charge, so too came in the critics. Male VTuber stars find themselves in the middle of online discourse more often than not, especially when it comes to fandoms. 

Whatever the reason for it, Taiga has typically brushed it off. Most of the time Invicta as a whole has been exempted from it. However as they have become bigger and put themselves more out there on the map, Taiga had something else to deal with ⁠— his vocal dysphoria.

Having the buffer model but not having the perceived voice to match did not help him one bit as he was starting out in VTubing, and even to this day. However he has since given people the confidence to start creating no matter what they look or sound like.

“No matter any of the online spaces I joined growing up, people could never figure out what I was,” he explained. “It caused me a lot of gender dysphoria as well. So becoming a very masculine VTuber with my type of voice was what made it more difficult for me. 

“One of the first things I had to do, as a male VTuber, was say ‘if you comment on my voice, my gender, you will be banned.’ I had to come to terms with that. But the fact I’m so used to my voice, I’ve had so many people come up to me and say I’ve helped them want to become a VTuber and overcome their own fears because they’re not what people perceive male VTubers to sound like with the deep Corpse Husband voice.”

But as time has gone on, the changes have been evident in Taiga: “There was an offhanded conversation I had with my younger brother while going to the grocery store. I was driving back home and he looked at me and was like ‘I think this is the first time I’ve seen you happy.’ 

“He was going on about how for as long as I’ve been growing up, I have done everything I can for everyone else. I am the oldest sibling. I’m a first-generation immigrant. I had a lot of responsibility on my shoulders and I never did anything for myself. It either went to my parents or my siblings.

“The reason why I love VTubing so much is because I can confidently say that it’s the one thing I’ve done for myself. I want to continue to do it for myself and not because someone else told me to or because I have a responsibility to others.”

That goes for his health issues too. Taiga is very public about his heart problems among other concerns, but it never stops him from showing up and putting a smile on people’s faces. 

“The power of the internet really opens up the opportunities for people who have health conditions, disabilities, and the like because for me it feels like I don't have to cater to societal standards of what's expected of me and the things I shouldn't be suffering from.

“I still don't want to disappoint the people around me. But I do think that the kindness people have shown me in this sphere is something I'll always cherish because I know that I've helped inspire others who are also struggling with health issues that they never asked for, and I'm still doing things I want to do.”

And so, with 2024 looking bright, Taiga is looking forward to making the most of the lemons he was dealt more than two years ago. It was unexpected, but it’s certainly not unwelcome.

“At the end of the day, I don’t think this was in my life bingo card that I became an anime character on the internet, but it happened because I just wanted art and here we are.”