Weekly NewsDrop #1—Week 37

Japan's Invoice System Update Puts VTubers in Danger, ASMR VTubers React to YouTube's Latest Policy, Hololive Indonesia 1st-gen 3D Showcase and other stories you need to know from last week.

Read this first ⬇️

Are you familiar with VTubers who graduate and then reincarnate as a different persona afterwards? That's what we feel who we are right now.

At the start of the year, the idea of rounding up stories in the VTuber community was conceived. It was called the Weekly VTuber News Round-Up, a comprehensive digest of the week's stories, milestones and ideas.

If you've missed reading the weekly round-ups after it was sunset last July, don't worry—we're back

The people behind those digests now bring to you the Weekly NewsDrop. We got a new name, and we'll do our best to be your companion for news and views in the community.

We'll be releasing the Weekly NewsDrop every weekend, starting today, September 18 (Sunday). Reach the end of this post to know how you can receive future releases via email.

We hope you're ready for this once more. Let's go!

Welcome to the first edition of the Weekly NewsDrop, covering stories from the VTuber community.

Tokyo Game Show is done, and it even had a VR edition which you can explore online using a program. Boogey Voxx tried that program alongside ZONe-ko from ZONe Energy, one of the event's sponsors; Regis Altare has his POV too. On the other hand, Rosemi Lovelock hosted the event's online experience, showing highlights from streamer Starbitzy and cosplayer Yuriko Tiger who toured the booths. Lastly, Shigure Ui had a collaboration with Yamaha inside TGS.

This weekend also marks the first-ever Crunchyroll Expo Australia, formerly the Madman Anime Festival. Hololive English's Mori Calliope and Hakos Baelz are listed as guests in this event. PRISM Project (especially Luto Araka and Sara Nagare) had their panel in the viewing area. Of course, it won't be a Crunchyroll Expo without HimeVT herself.

You may have seen the recent news of Hoshimachi Suisei and Mori Calliope's stream breaks, but they're not the only ones taking it: Phase Connect's Ashelia Rinkou also takes a break and is set to return on September 26. Aetheria's Oumiya Emma is about to return from her vacation too.

For music-related releases, NewsDrop has published its very first VTuber Music Recap, focusing on the various music projects of the larger VTubing community. Since that's been released hours prior to this, we'd like to let you know as well that Takanashi Kiara has released the music video for her latest track, DO U. Kanauru has leveled up his visual game once again.

The Latest From NewsDrop

Japan's Upcoming Invoice System Update Puts VTubers in Danger

Our Top Story this week comes from Shueisha Online's Jun Inukai as reported by ANN—Japan is set to implement a new invoice filing system in October 2023 (around a year from now), with the proposed system considering invoices "verified" if individuals file them using their real names. Worse, these names will be accessible to the public through a national database. What if it gets hacked or stolen though, and what could be the effects?

We're taking an excerpt from Morrissy's report on the matter:

[...] The Ministry of Finance is reportedly not considering countermeasures for privacy-related issues, responding that it did not believe that listing a person's real name is "highly risky personal information." According to a representative, the individual's real name was chosen over addresses or telephone numbers as a point of identity verification for this reason.

He even described the said answer to the question sent by laywer Kenji Utsunomiya from the Citizen's Liaison Group for Tax Justice as "not promising." To continue:

The database will be open to commercial use; the MoF clarified that its purpose is to allow companies that deal with a large number of clients to verify invoices in batches, instead of identifying the individuals one by one. The ministry currently has no plans to review or change the identification system, and is proceeding with the system according to the law.

Sure, it does help companies to verify invoices, but I felt that they ignored the effect of revealing your true name to the public. As an outsider, I can say that I share the same sentiment as Pipkin Pippa: "I am not exaggerating when I say that the Japanese government wants to doxx VTubers. Yeah."

This proposed system is not favored by members of the creative industries who use pseudonyms—manga artists, singers, even VTubers. There's already a petition to stop this measure on Change.org signed by more than 85,000 people.

My long-term projection is that this measure will breed more stalkers to emerge out of their holes, rear their heads and bring havoc. Imagine compiling names in a database only for it to be hacked and exposed to the larger public. No matter how many amendments Japan has with its anti-stalking regulations, the number of cases will continue to increase. In 2021, it was above 20,000.

Side note: It feels wrong to say this, but I learned about how freelancers in Japan pay taxes through "A Little Sister is All You Need." I'm also taking some cues from Mamoru Hosoda's "Belle" on how people get exposed in the virtual world—by force. (To be fair, the movie is great and I recommend everyone to WATCH it.)

Banner Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Hololive Production stopped accepting gifts addressed to its talents by the end of August last year as a result of the possible privacy invasion through the use of loss-prevention tags.

ASMR VTubers React to YouTube's Latest Policy

Our second top story concerns VTubers who do ASMR content on YouTube. ASMR VTubers Secret Subject and Miilkywayz spoke to Dexerto's Andrew "Ducky" Amos on the future of YouTube following changes to its policy on ASMR content.

For context, here's an excerpt from YouTube's latest policy update posted September 7:

Where we are being more restrictive:
  • Sexual sounds in ASMR content. We’ve strengthened our policies to better identify and action ASMR content that is sexually gratifying. ASMR videos with audio sexual sounds may be age-restricted or removed from the platform. [...]

[...] As usual, note that links that send users to websites featuring pornography or other violative content are not allowed on YouTube. Don’t direct viewers - through links or verbally - to a website with content that violates YouTube’s Community Guidelines.

This means two things: (1) Don't stream sexually gratifying ASMR content, and (2) Don't share links to your 18+ Patreon/OnlyFans content. Both Secret Subject and Miilkywayz react with concern, with Milky saying that this policy change is "extremely disheartening," and Secret Subject calling ASMR control "puritanical."

Ducky's story also mentions the case of Nijisanji's Mashiro who was banned for an undisclosed reason, though this led to a series of voluntary ASMR video takedowns from members in the said agency.

The way I see it, if ASMR VTubers can't share their ear-tingling content on YouTube, there's another option: podcasts or recorded audio releases. Do you know any ASMR VTuber who produces podcasts on the side? Please let us know on Twitter.

Banner Photo by Fausto Sandoval on Unsplash

Hololive Indonesia's 1st Generation Goes to Japan for 3D Showcase

Hololive Indonesia's first generation finally gets their 3D Showcase relay stream in Japan, starting with Moona Hoshinova. You should have seen Moona and Tokoyami Towa, as well as Risu and Aragami Oga together. Iofi did an art stream in 3D with HoloID's Kureiji Ollie, Vestia Zeta and Kobo Kanaeru. Moona, Iofi, and Risu have performed their original songs once again.

This clip reveals what Usada Pekora is preparing for Moona Hoshinova's visit.

Banner Photo features screenshots taken from HoloID's 3D showcase streams (YouTube)

In Other News

  • Also, in Indonesian VTubers, Mythia Batford and AKA Virtual's Frederett review their viewers' ...underwear?! How bold and based of them.
  • Thailand's Maruya #34 event at Samyan Mitrtown Mall has concluded. Thailand's Best VTuber Influencer for 2022 Aisha and Polygon Project's Zona graced the stage, performing some hit anime tracks.
  • VTuber Inkvoice released a chart of Hololive and Holostars members sorted out by their species based on their introductions (Human/Elf/Demon/Animal/God).
  • SEGA America posted a teaser on YouTube about an upcoming game from RGG Studios, featuring wrestler Kenny Omega, music producer Alex Moukala, Gumpla enthusiast Linda Le (Vampy Bit Me)—and VShojo's Nyatasha Nyanners.
  • Oceane Otoishi still has a dysfunctional relationship with YouTube, as she had her channel's membership features temporarily suspended. The features returned after 37 hours.
  • Also from Kawaii, Shee Icho did a "Giving Birth" stream which was dealt with limited monetization by YouTube, an action that is—according to Shee herself—"fair enough." 😫👉🤚
  • Good Smile Company teased Nendoroid Nakiri Ayame, and reservations are already open for Japanese collectors.
  • Finana Ryugu has announced that the Ryuguards' (her fans) mascot is now official, sharing with everyone a wallpaper artwork illustrated by mascot designer Melonbread.
  • A Twitter whistleblower testified before the US congress that the platform failed to secure sensitive data, causing "real harm to real people." Less than two weeks ago, Ai Arin of the Indonesian VTuber duo Bakaiko had her Twitter account hacked, by crypto bros. She has a new Twitter handle which she used to tweet a light novel-esque cover artwork of her experience, reaching around 1,300 likes as of this posting.
  • On a lighter side, remember when Bao the Whale became a barking dog because of Blaidd? I guess Blaidd's not done yet. Take this—he's the one who barks.
  • YouTuber Hwikky released a report on the recently-held Seoul Popcon, which guested Hololive English talents Takanashi Kiara and Hakos Baelz. This is also another glimpse on how big Hololive's fanbase in South Korea is.
  • Over at Nijisanji, talents Umise Yotsuha, Ponto Nei, and Amagase Muyu of Ranunculus have recently unveiled new costumes. Sales for their half-anniversary goods and voice drama "Ranunculus ~To Bloom in the Spring~" are also now available at the Nijisanji JP shop.
  • Popular Japanese software engineer T. Takasaka has stunned the VTubing community with his recent project: using sketches to generate movable 3D models in real-time. Takasaka has been known to develop a similar project back in January that transformed sketches into anime-styled drawings.
  • Merryweather opens the opportunity for VTubers who want to voice small roles for Merryweather Media's English Dub channel. His offer is seen by a lot, and we assume he's scrolling through a lot of direct messages.
  • Holostars revealed visuals featuring UPROAR!! for their participation at Animate Girls Festival 2022 in Ikebukuro.

Tips You Can Use ⬇️

VTuber Milestones ⬇️

  • Hololive English -Myth- celebrated its 2nd year anniversary with a 360° stream where viewers can change camera angles.
  • Kobo Kanaeru's subscriber is now at 1.5 million YouTube subscribers, the largest in the whole Hololive Indonesia roster.
  • Comic writer and VTuber Merryweather, who has reached 151,000 subscribers on YouTube, is nominated for the Best Writer category at this year's mike Wieringo (Ringo) Comic Book Industry Awards.
  • Shylily, who has reached 500,000 subscribers on YouTube, has met Uncle Roger in person. Nigel Ng, the man behind the comedic character, is now interested in having his own VTuber model.
  • Takanashi Kiara now has a dedicated German debut, streamed on her sub-channel.
  • Hizaki Gamma from Holostars' UPROAR!! unit has reached his 80,000-subscriber milestone on YouTube.
  • Illustrator and VTuber Rosuuri, most known for her work for Hololive English and VShojo's Ironmouse, reaches her own Twitter (20,000) and YouTube (24,000) milestones.
  • Nina Kosaka has reached 500,000 subscribers on YouTube.
  • It's been a long time coming, but Hololive staff Harusaki Nodoka replies to Axel Syrios—and everyone's rejoicing.
  • This month is a lucky one for PH VTuber Tee, as he received a Silver Supreme Creator Grant from Rumble Royale and AcadArena.
  • Malaysian VTuber Valyria Starfyre is set to join Amber Glow and debut with a genderbent model. Does this mean we'll see Val as an ikemen soon?
  • Chinese VTuber project AuroraLiveVR has announced the debut of their new talent: Anora, described as a 'shut-in' idol.
  • Happy Birthday, Rosemi Lovelock!

Classified Ads ⬇️

  • Phase Connect opens its auditions for Phase-03 and Phase Invaders.
  • In Indonesia: Genesix opens auditions for those residing in Jakarta or Bali. The startup aims to "incorporate blockchain technology (NFT) into the virtual entertainment industry to integrate aspects of the blockchain world into the Virtual YouTuber world." Its first talent, Divya Peashy, now has 6,800 YouTube subscribers.

What's Coming Up Next Week ⬇️

  • We're close to seeing the light—a Hololive x Among Us collab is coming, with more information to be shared on September 21. Hololive shows a crewmate dressed in what looks like Okayu's hair and Fubuki's dress, and another one dressed in what looks like Ame's hair and Gura's dress. 
  • Comic Frontier 15 at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition, a Hololive Meet event, will have the whole Hololive Indonesia roster participating there.
  • Gundam Evolution Showdown on September 24 will have VShojo's Zentreya as a pilot competing with three other streamers.
  • Independent virtual singer Delutaya is set to reveal her 2D model on September 20 at 9pm JST.

We are closing the first Weekly NewsDrop with another gigantic creation from Tobyn Jacobs, the same guy who created the gigantic Mori Calliope and YAGOO cutouts. Thank you very much for reading. Have a great week ahead!

You have reached the end of this week's NewsDrop. The good news is you can get notified of future releases via email—sign up with your email address below.

By doing so, you also receive information from us (and it won't be spam, we hate spam emails too.)

For news tips, mention @kawa_newsdrop on Twitter or email newsdrop [at] kawaentertainment.com.

Disclaimer: NewsDrop is produced in collaboration with Kawa Entertainment. The views and opinions written on NewsDrop do not necessarily reflect those of Kawa Entertainment and its talents.