This is the second Weekly NewsDrop, covering events that happened during the week of September 18 to 24, 2022.
The annual Comic Frontier convention was held physically once again, this time at the biggest convention center in Indonesia, the ICE at BSD City. Aniplex Online Fest 2022 was streamed online last Saturday Japan time, and PRISM Project agents held their own watch party with Crunchyroll-Hime.
Last week was also a busy one for streaming platforms YouTube and Twitch. YouTube is winning its potential creator audience by announcing a new way to monetize Shorts. Twitch cuts its revenue share for most of its streaming partners, drawing ire on top of a recent scandal which led the platform to enforce a gambling ban.
You may have seen a notice from YouTube yesterday saying that live streams were breaking at one point, and is advising everyone to end their stream and create a new one should they experience the same problem.
Lastly, Japan is experiencing bad weather as Typhoon Talas, the 15th to hit the country this year, brought heavy rains. This affects Shizuoka's virtual local gourmet writer Aoi Sakuya as she shows how severe the flood was. Prior to this, Typhoon Hinamnor has already battered the southern part of the country.
With weather conditions this bad, Nijisanji announced on Twitter that open stage appearances of its Indonesian, Korean VirtuaReal and EN members "may be cancelled last minute," and Hololive's Shiranui Flare had to postpone her streams.
On top of all of this, we are posting this weekly newsletter as we experience the wrath of Typhoon Noru (local name: Karding), bringing strong winds and floods to the Luzon region. The Philippines and its VTuber community brace itself for a stormy dusk.
Let's get started.
Is Twitch Burning Itself?
Having to deal with a platform's changes is already a difficult thing to take for streamers—including VTubers—and with all the mess that's going on, some are motivated to take their matters away from the platform and into its competitor YouTube.
We just saw how Twitch mainstay Shylily streamed live on the Google-owned platform for the first time, and she learned why superchatting is a thing.
Teddy has the details on this widely-covered topic, and how VTubers react to this matter:
Nijisanji EN Merch Sparks Cultural Reaction
The other top story from last week is Luxiem's "Retro Roman" goods which can be purchased starting September 27 at 11am Japan time. The merch line, even before it gets released, sparks a cultural discussion especially among people in South Korea. We look at Twitter to shed light regarding this issue:
What we are learning so far: The wounds of the past are difficult to heal. Japan has been asked to apologize for its atrocities when it annexed Korea between 1910 and 1945. The Taisho era (1912-1926) The release of the NijiEN merch brought attention to this matter once again.
What's the action from the Livers: Vox Akuma retweeted the announcement but was reported to have taken the retweet off. Aside from that, we have not yet heard any further action at the moment.
This though is not the first time that a Japanese IP had caught wind of an emotionally historical sentiment.
Banner Photo from Nijisanji World on Twitter
"Refrain From Attacking Any of Our Talents" - Cover Corp
Our third story comes from Hololive, specifically the EN branches of Hololive and Holostars. Hololive Production's English account announced on Twitter that their talents create content under their individual branding, carefully considering what's best for their community. Cover Corp made it clear that they support all of their activities.
They then followed up with this stern reminder: Refrain from attacking any of their talents.
This comes after Ouro Kronii made it clear that she's collaborating with whoever she wants. "We're here to all have fun and to make new friends."
The idea of her or any female HoloEN talent collaborating with other male HoloEN talents has caused some to question everything they believed about VTuber idols.
Time and time again, our patience is being tested. We hope to survive this timely trial stronger and more open to other ideas.
Banner Photo from Kronii's Superchat stream
In Other News
- The privacy regulations that may drastically affect streamers and VTubers in the Philippines just won’t stop: The previously vetoed SIM card registration bill gets dressed up again for another round. This time, it gets the nod from the House of Congress, reports the Philippine News Agency.
- Indonesia’s antitrust watchdog Komisi Pengawas Persaingan Usaha has launched an investigation against tech giant Google over its monopolistic practices such as promoting its payment service first to access their other services. The news follows a massive online blackout in Indonesia for many online services that have affected streamers and VTubers alike.
- Korean streamers and VTubers may soon pay the price for being ‘viral’, and not many are talking about it. In a recent Asian Boss interview, law professor Kyung-sin Park of Korea University and founder of Opennet said that the Korean legislature is deliberating on the so-called “network usage fee” which entitles internet service providers to collect fees from entities for viral content because ‘it poses extra cost for them to handle heavy traffic usage’. The new updates follow after SK Broadband won a case with Netflix for network usage fee over the success of “Squid Game”. YouTube has expressed ‘concern’ with said regulation as of this writing.
- Have we actually found the very first VTuber predating Kizuna Ai? No, we’re not talking about Annoying Orange, but rather someone named The Den of Tools, who used a bear model to introduce and review hardware tools. They 'debuted' in August 2016, months before the debut of Kizuna Ai and the first use of the term 'Virtual YouTuber'.
- MyHoloTV's Liliana Vampaia is currently on a two-week hiatus for a 'good rest'. The popular Malaysian VTuber has been busy since the recent conclusion of the AniManGaki 2022 event.
- Haruo Mizuno got their Twitch suspended for–get this–being a spam account and posting unsolicited advertisements on the platform. This follows after he recently celebrated his 3,000 subscriber milestone on YouTube.
- Japan-based Vietnamese VTuber agency NIJIGEN has partnered with the AniAni Festival for merchandise release.
- Speaking of merchandise, we have some Hololive merch updates: HoloID’s first generation are getting plushies and acrylic stands.
- Chiyoda-based coffee shop LILIAN PLIAN has released a drink collaboration with various VTubers, including with independent English VTuber Reiny.
- Hololive’s Oozaru Subaru has thanked fans for understanding the delay of her new Live2D model. The third of its series was supposed to be released by the end of the year, but has been delayed for 'quality improvements'.
- Iron Vertex has released new updates for its collaboration tool MultiV, which includes support for 2D and 3D VTubers. Open beta testing for the tool is set to be open within three months of this writing.
- VTube Studio has announced that they have been working with NVIDIA Studio to bring the NVIDIA Broadcast face tracking to the said VTuber software.
- Back again in Japan, where we see a public service announcement video made by the Oita Prefectural College of Arts and Sciences using a VTuber named Yomema Hoshino to raise awareness against piracy. She is voiced by seiyuu Shina Shuto.
- Asano Nori, the producer of the Asano Sisters VTuber Project and VSen, has started a motion capture rental business, with details to be announced soon.
- Suo Sango and Nishizono Chigusa from Nijisanji will serve as ambassadors for “High School Girls and Magical Notes” anime.
- Popular Taiwanese actor and YouTuber Li Yu Chun, also known as Setfire Louis, has recently uploaded a video where he attempts to date local VTuber Iiti Fox. We’ll have you watch the whole 40-minute video (with English subtitles) because it is so good, and reminds us of the Connor-Ironmouse duo, but with more romantic turns and less banter.
- Following Bilibili’s rapid expansion to Southeast Asia, its local platform Bstation is aiming to bolster its local operations with VTuber collaborations as well, according to a report by Tek.id.
- We have inspiring news from the indie VTuber community: Minty Yukime has revealed the results of her MTF vocal feminization surgery, a year spent for full recovery of her voice. We can’t wait to hear more from her and the future of her content.
- The most-awaited surprise from Nijisanji’s Aster Arcadia turns out to be his first cover song of “Anima.”
- Here’s a hilarious clip where Hololive’s Takane Lui ‘shuts down’ a super chat for ‘crossing the line’. Speaking of Lui, she was also a recent guest on TV Asahi’s VTuber program Gariben Girl V.
- Meanwhile, Takanashi Kiara has once again hosted a large Among Us collab between the English and Indonesian branch. This follows days after the Hololive x Among Us collab has been finally confirmed.
- Nijisanji’s previously-announced “Nijisanji's Bizarre Story” drama has officially been streamed recently, and seemingly competes with the horror project of Hololive “Hololive:ERROR”.
- Japanese app REALITY has announced an advertising campaign inviting VTubers to advertise themselves on the app and across their social media platforms.
- LUVCO’s Kentax has invited VTubers and its followers to check out them and their companion’s work on providing marketing insights about the VTubing scene.
- Popular Japanese VTuber Mirai Akari has hosted a recent episode of FM North Wave’s ‘V/R Relation’ radio program.
- Sony Music Entertainment’s VEE Project is having its very first fan meeting event to be held on October 9 at the Akihabara Wado-Cafe.
- Taiki Iwanaga, formerly the chief operating officer at Ichikara (now ANYCOLOR) is now heavily involved in the VTuber/NFT project called VHigh.
- PRISM Project's recent audition is now on its screening stage. Initial successful applicants will be contacted via email.
- PlayAsia’s CEOTuber Obake Pam has recently hosted a VTuber concert, attended by over 20 VTubers for the concert lineup, with performances coming from the likes of Go Go Nippon's Makoto and Akira, MyHolo TV's Virion Kisei, VReverie's Ophelia Midnight, Phoebe-chan, Pan the Bread and Miori Celesta.
- VShojo’s Ironmouse welcomes Crunchyroll-Hime as its new guest for her talk show ‘Speak of the Devil’.
- Kizuna Ai Inc. has hosted a collaboration with Keivi for an illustration contest for its AI singeroid kzn. Here are the winners.
- VERSEⁿ’s Kagase Uno will appear at a match of The Gaming Days VALORANT Series.
- Porcelain Maid (Jowol) has made an apology towards their Chinese audience on Bilibili after reports of local fans having poorly-made plushies as well as having issues with how the workers treated the fans for the product delivery. Their local translation group (which helped Jowol get a local audience) has been disbanded, and that the VTuber will stop doing Bilibili content for the meantime.
- ‘VMommy’ Milky has thanked her followers for celebrating two years of the anniversary of her VTuber activities.
- Polygon Project’s ZONA has just received her 100,000 subscriber YouTube Silver Button award.
- Hololive’s Himemori Luna has reached the 800,000 subscriber milestone on YouTube.
- Nijisanji’s Min Suha has reached the 200,000 subscriber milestone on YouTube.
- In addition, Nijisanji EN’s Ike Eveland has reached the 800,000 subscriber milestone on YouTube.
- We welcome back Nijisanji's Tsukino Mito as she resumes her streaming activities!
- Happy Birthday to Nijisanji’s Bonnivier Pranaja and MissSqueaks!
- Delutaya has recently debuted their Live2D model, following her resumption of activities in March this year after a hiatus that started in August 2021.
- Here’s a very interesting debut: we are witnessing the debut of an Ustadz VTuber named Roffi Daijoubu. For context, an uztadz refers to an Islamic religious teacher, and Roffi aims to teach Islamic perspectives within the VTuber community.
- Japanese mangaka and illustrator Iida Pochi has revealed a new model and their real voice…and we must say: big M A M A energy.
We cap off this Weekly NewsDrop with a snapshot of a Nijisanji EN cosplay group in the Philippines. Do tip us over on Twitter if you have a VTuber cosplay showcase you want us to share with fellow readers—we look forward to seeing something so unique that we'd share it to everyone as soon as possible.
Stay safe and dry, everyone!
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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.