It's the big tournament weekend—VSaikyo Season 5 (Apex Legends) has concluded, with team Maple Nuts Bunny-dayo (VSPO!'s Kurumi Noah and Mimi Tosaki with Nijisanji's Kaede Higuchi) taking the champion title and winning their trophy.
In the next several hours from the time this newsletter is released, Hololive's Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 Tournament will be the battleground for 18 of the agency's VTuber talents.
...and since it's the premiere of Oshi no Ko this week, we got a photo of Risu Ayunda mimicking character Ai Hoshino.
Over the course of this weekend, we are running to deliver stories which are connected to technology, industry and community. Here's what we have for you this week:
Latest on NewsDrop
- MusicDrop returns with 100+ songs you can include in your VTuber music playlist.
- Guests for ONLive Convention are announced—Start here. (We're a media partner for this event.)
- Speaking of ONLive, we are putting them on the Spotlight.
- Also on the Spotlight this week: Synthion, who has just arranged instrumentals for Miori Celesta and Hakos Baelz's cover of GIMME x GIMME!
- Last quarter's stream statistics from Streams Charts show Usada Pekora is the most-watched VTuber.
- Nijisanji EN's Hex Haywire apologizes for his "hurtful" comments while roleplaying ahead of his stream break.
- Four Indonesian Nijisanji talents—Taka Radjiman, ZEA Cornelia, Siska Leontyne, and Amicia Michella—are set to graduate this year.
- Japan: Den Den no Denno Densha, starring Shishigami Leona and the group SODA KIT, aired its pilot episode.
- Also in Japan: MBS group has acquired Appland Inc., home to .LIVE and Denno Shojo Siro, thus making Appland part of the Japanese broadcaster.
VTuber News of the Week
- NewsDrop is learning that prior to the sanction, she had a case of leaking her Steam account information, as well as use of inappropriate speech. Management is giving her time to reflect on her actions with her own thoughts.
- Other Aogiri High School members are to be educated about the code of conduct as members.
- Online publications such as KAI-YOU has picked up the news.
Meanwhile, Brave Group, home to VSPO! and Riot Music, has established a new gender-neutral sub-unit called HareVare set to debut this June.
- Under a newly established business called ENILIS (short for Entertainment is Life itSelf), Brave Group hopes to debut HareVare's first generation of live streamers on the IRIAM service.
- General auditions (Japanese) for all Brave Group units are also opened, giving opportunity to anyone to join the group and be part of one of its units.
Deus Rosaire, the name for what would be WACTOR's two new male VTubers who were supposed to debut earlier last week, quit on their own.
- The announcement was posted on the community tab of their respective YouTube channels, which also states that said channels will be deleted by April 9. The channels are still up.
VARK SHORTS, a Windows application, allows VTubers to create short vertical avatar videos using their 3D VRM models.
- The software's preview page showcases several uses of the software in creating short videos a la Tiktok / YouTube shorts.
- The software supports VRM 0.x series models.
- Its FAQ segment indicates that users can monetize content created from the software using their 3D models and assures that the model will not be uploaded once it's placed into the program.
Indie VTuber Kerimara and Lucid Multimedia's Neiomi Cielo are set to host a Karaoke Concert featuring 24 VTubers on April 22 (Saturday) at 9:0pm EST. Participants include:
- Lucid: Angelina Kumalo, Boomi Mamana, Orion Juno, Roza Coatl
- Kawa: PiaPi UFO
- NexStage Project: Ayla Yew, Blair Labri, Zhuni Excel
- RealCorp: Xander Fangsworth
- MyHolo TV: Tridoxa (Liola Lightbringer, Karrot Keromi, Woozie Wannai)
- Before that, False has announced he's now signed to Mythic Talent alongside several other VTubers, but he doesn't see this affecting his news coverage. Clipped: "We'll still talking about Shylily and Elly and Cy Yu the same way we had before."
- Before 2022 ended, we asked False his insight on the VTubing industry alongside other key opinion leaders, saying "[...] a number of independent VTubers found success to rival that of Agency VTubers [...]."
- With this new development, he now adds: "Finally, some exclusive and non-exclusive agencies have finally recognized that VTubers are a thing. They found out that their attach rates are amazing—absolutely fantastic—and they're giving them the same sponsorships as a normal IRL streamer."
- This was a stark contrast to the early years of agency VTubing, where sponsors have to be educated on the VTuber market—here's VShojo's Justin "GunRun" Ignacio from a 2020 interview: "While working with VTubers to grow their channels, I noticed that brands were not aware of the VTubing space even though it has a significantly large audience." How time flies.
A good example of brands supporting the VTuber industry right now is AMD Gaming and HP. They will sponsor the VTuber avatar for IRL streamers Larissa Rochefort (Indonesia) and Sandee (Thailand).
- In an interview with Famitsu (Japanese), producer Haruki Katsumata found potential in building a new project following Miki Hoshii's special live broadcast.
- According to Katsumata, the three new characters are candidates who will be working on the project, but once they make their idol debut, they will release CDs and perform live in the same way as other artists.
To wrap up this segment, Inugami Korone celebrated her 4th year anniversary with a live concert streamed to YouTube. Among the guest performers is singer Isao Taira, who with Korone sang the theme song for the 1980 Sunrise anime Space Runaway Ideon—in person, almost seamlessly blending with the 3D environment.
In Other News
- Nabi returns after a long content drought
- VSPO! x Pacific Racing car livery revealed
- Cy Yu's human body, voice actor Alejandro Saab, will voice Gabimaru in the English dub of Hell's Paradise
- Hololive reveals three digital singles for its Blue Journey project—first single to be released Monday past midnight Japan time
- Kujirano Aika and Honoka Yumeno are hired as staff for service development & deployment at Sucolab, a streaming screen design service
- Snuffy has been banned on Twitch for one day following her costume reveal
- Events: Hololive will exhibit at Tokyo Toy Show 2023 this June
- Production Kawaii Idol Project's first live event, Forever Bloom (Our First Chapter), on July 1 PDT at El Rey Theater in Los Angeles.
- CONQuest Festival announces Shoto and Demenishki will attend as guests
- Prior to his upcoming show Behind the Model, our own Ducky gets ready with his VTuber model
- Spica celebrates her birthday with an 'ungraduation'
Stream Breaks, Agency Departures, Graduations
- Hana Tsubasa (Graduation—April 14)
- Amber Glow: Wysteria (Departing), Pura Kiyomizu (Extended Hiatus)
- Skyler Reach (Graduation—July 25)
- Rurumi (Hiatus)
- Sakurami Ruby (Semi-hiatus)
- Riifu Evergreen (Stream Break)
- Projek Hikayat: Manika Kuramu (Hiatus until May 31), Kurisu Kowa (Stream Break)
- Miilkywayz (Stream Break until April 22)
- Nagimuto (Stream Break)
- Anora and Gemuyo Tan (Departing from AuroraVRLive)
Milestones and Debuts
- Amber Glow: Travesia (Debut)
- e-Elements' Happy Hunters Haven (Debut)
- Todoroki Sachi (Debut)
- Aicandii (3rd year anniversary)
- Phase Invaders (1st year anniversary)
- Honey Goblin (100,00 YouTube subs)
- VShojo: Ironmouse (900,000 YouTube subs)
- Idol: Yuko Yurei (100,000 YouTube subs)
- MyHolo TV: Karrot Keromi (10,000 YouTube subs)
- Nijisanji: Luca Kaneshiro (Birthday)
- Idol is also looking for sound mixers and music producers.
- EIEN Project is looking for more moderators for YouTube, Discord and Reddit.
- Thailand: Pixela Project opens hiring for several positions.
- Philippines: KooApps opens auditions for its brand VTuber Koochan.
- Opera GX opens auditions for its Aura VTuber.
- VT Rainbow opens Wave 2 applications.
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Banner Photo: Risu Ayunda on Twitter