Weekly NewsDrop #39—June 24, 2023

June VTuber Debuts, Mirei Gundou and the latest in VTubing this week

It's already post-OffKai weekend—the organizers are taking their well-deserved rest, the visitors have returned back to their homes, and we are still at the desk watching out for the latest in VTubing this week.

Hololive's Shirakami Fubuki has revealed her brushed-up model, complete with enhanced expressions! She's much cuter now.

We are also looking at several events happening this weekend such as VidCon Anaheim and Indonesia Comic Con if there are any newsworthy stories we can pick up—and by the way, in case you live in a time loop, Anime Expo happens next weekend. How are you preparing?

Latest on NewsDrop

  • Guest writer Willow explores Astlive's approach in nurturing VTuber talents in a cafe atmosphere.
  • On the Spotlight—PRISM Project's Sara Nagare: “For me, VTubing is that blend between reality as well as that fantasy element of animation. That blend between those worlds is the cool thing about being a VTuber and it’s something you can’t get by being a regular streamer or doing pre-recorded content.”
  • Vexoria on the latest Behind the Model: “I think it was Michael Douglas or somebody that said that cancer could bring you to your knees or can lift you to your feet because it can show you how you want to live your life and what really matters to you. And that kind of is what done for me in a way.”
  • Virtual Girl Nem drums up discussion about her award-winning "Metaverse Evolution Theory" book by releasing an English-translated introduction.

Here's the latest stock market update for select companies listed in the Tokyo Stock Exchange as of June 23, 2023:

Biggest VTuber News of the Week

The month of June is associated with brides, but this month will now be associated with debutants—lots of them.

  • Nijisanji EN debuts three new male VTubers under the Krisis generation—and for the first time, this generation will be tied to the other two generations of male VTubers in the Nijisanji mothership.
  • Just after debuting their first male VTubers under the Polaris generation, PRISM Project in a surprise move has acquired Mako Sameshima (say, May-ko), Nana Asteria and Emma Oumiya to form its 7th generation talents.
  • Brave Group's Riot Music brand has two new virtual artists who will be part of its Blitz Wing label: Chise Itsuki and Shirase Shirakawa.
  • VSPO! has welcomed Koimeno Akarin to its talent roster, bearing the new name Yumeno Akari. This marks the first time the esports-oriented VTuber project has adopted an indie VTuber as part of its roster.
  • We witnessed the physical debut party of VOLs, a new esports-oriented VTuber group that has set up shop in the Philippines. Shirousa Mikumi, Aria Synth and Tenko Sorara are the agency's first talents. We put their representative on the Spotlight, so expect a feature story from us this week.

Nijisanji's Mirei Gundou has graduated this week. This ends further speculation on her possible return after getting suspended over baseball-related tweets.

  • Her tweets irked Japanese baseball fans at the height of the country's journey (and eventual win) at the World Baseball Classic last March.
  • The graduation stream involves going through her Live2D models, staying true to herself, and uttering her last word as she signs off for good: "Poop!"
  • Anycolor's flagship VTuber brand spared no time to grieve, as it moves forward with other projects, such as an upcoming original reality show in collaboration with DMM TV, and the much-awaited Nijisanji Koshien 2023.

In Other News

  • Twitch is introducing mandatory content labels for specific content such as mature-rated games, violent and graphic depictions, sexual themes, among others.
  • Discord is introducing new tools for creators and community leaders to earn more via server subscriptions.
  • YouTube is introducing an A/B testing for thumbnails, allowing creators to test out various thumbnail types across its videos and check to see which thumbnail works best. It is now also asking channels to pre-determine if they are fan accounts.
  • Neuro-sama and its creator Vedal have been recently interviewed by Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. In other media exposures, VShojo’s Justin Ignacio did an exclusive interview with MoguraVR.
  • Japanese companies Activ8 (startup behind Upd8) and Synamon have entered into a business partnership to integrate services in improving the growing metaverse-hosted entertainment industry in Japan.
  • Metaverse Cluster agrees to a capital and business alliance with Hakuhodo DY Holdings, the holding company behind advertising company giant Hakuhodo.
  • ANYCOLOR has released a public statement, clarifying its current roster of talents and those expected to become one, do not engage in disseminating misleading information of this nature. A similar announcement as well has been made by Filipino agency Mito Entertainment.
  • Over at esports-related VTuber news, Bittie, Alleyoop, Hambino, Evil Toaster and Nijisanji’s Selen Tatsuki are invited for Twitch Rivals: Apex Legends Mode Medley.  
  • Meanwhile, the #NomadSeriesAPEX tourney by Nomad Productions has recently concluded, with the rankings here.
  • Anime Expo has announced that VAPOLLO has opened a stage at the upcoming event, where attendees can enjoy performances and panels from VTubers such as Tacitly, the recently-debuted V4Mirai talents, and the VShojo Japan panel.
  • Idol Corp’s CEO Aviel Basin has reported that it has raised US$4,160 for St. Jude Children's Hospital following its recent participation at OffKai Expo. Meanwhile, here’s a very interesting video essay exploring the huge success of Rin Penrose.
  • AKA Virtual has been tapped recently to create an animation for a YouTube Shorts collaboration of JVKE and Fujii Kaze.
  • AuroraLiveVR is dealing with a new wave of talents departing to go independent. They include OneTwo and Cayena Hakaba. The agency previously responded to allegations of them being a “black agency,” but they have since then deleted their responses.
  • Online channel ABEMA did a news segment featuring Cover Corp's recently-unveiled ¥2.7bn studio. Meanwhile, Hololive has announced a partnership with Tokyo Otaku Mode where merchandise will be available at TOM’s official online shop and at Anime Expo.
  • Indie VTuber Tiffany Witcher has won the BIPOC Streamer Awards for the category “Community First.”
  • Japanese VTubers Emu and Koyu—a yuri couple—got married in a public ceremony attended by their friends. They have been living together for 4 years.
  • Here’s a very interesting long tweet about the harsh truth of the VTubing scene as a “fantasy” and a reminder for all of us to not get fully attached to it.

Stream Breaks/Graduations


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