Weekly NewsDrop #4—Week 40
AI Art Debacle, Overwatch 2, Virtual Idol RE:VERSE and more news from last week on the Weekly NewsDrop.
Welcome back to the Weekly NewsDrop, featuring stories from October 2 to 8. This weekend, we have The New York Comic Con, TwitchCon San Diego and PAX Aus, three major events in different time zones.
Australia's 9News reports that PAX Aus opened after a three-year drought in an explosive manner akin to the opening of DOOM Eternal.
Meanwhile in the west coast, TwitchCon fills downtown San Diego with streamers from all across the country, with some coming from other countries—including VTubers. We have received reports of stalking, someone's drink getting spiked, and even someone getting banned while streaming at a partner party.
Despite this, things are going well with no major technical issues in sight as of posting. Also, shout out to Ironmouse for being mentioned in the Opening Ceremony, as well as Tiffany Witcher for being mentioned among Tiltify's list of streamers who have run the most campaigns over the last 3 years. Here's another W from the event: Someone cosplayed the Multiverse Monarch and the Monarch herself loves it. Hazumi Aileen took an L though for having a QR code direct to a Google search result which includes an R18 game.
- Interviews on NewsDrop will be under the Spotlight section, with our colleague Justin interviewing NSFW artist and PNGTuber Kinkymation. Learn how this PNGTuber "dresses up" for every game she plays on stream.
- We also have our Cosplay Mania 2022 special feature, focusing on the sights at the convention floor. This story is updated to add a quick chat with YashinLive following their participation in the said event.
- Several changes to the NewsDrop website include an option to share each story on social media, and enhanced branding in line with Kawa Entertainment's color motif.
- We are already posting quick short videos on NewsDrop's YouTube channel, featuring cosplayers from the Philippines who dress up as their favorite VTubers.
Use of AI Art: The Online Battle Against Innovation Over Tradition
Teddy: In the past few days, discussion related to the use, exposure, and proliferation of AI art online has been evident, which has been used to reap social media engagement, if not potentially exploited for money.
Over the past few months, AI art generators like DALL-E, Midjourney, NovelAI, and Stable Diffusion have become viral due to its varied uses, but mostly to create weird art generations. Despite these art models having various functionalities, AI training, and source materials used–they all share the same framework: use existing art circulated online, whether they are on public domain or commercialized artwork, and use these arts to train their AI model to generate near-perfect art based on prompts given by a user.
Why does this story matter? The clash of traditional and modern practices of art has been going on these past few months, with questions arising on the basis of art ethics, exploitation of artwork online, and potentially giving people the power to earn through AI artwork without the training traditional artists have to go through to master their unique style.
You can read more on this trending topic in a separate post.
Overwatch 2 Launches
Jay: Overwatch 2 is here. The sequel to the popular 2016 hero shooter launched last October 4. What we understood so far as this story develops over time is that:
- Developer Blizzard Entertainment transitions players to the sequel as it shuts down the servers for Overwatch 1.
- Blizzard president Mike Ybarra announced that they are experiencing a mass DDoS attack on their servers, causing connection issues among players who want to log in, like Mika Melatika.
- VTubers are excited to play the game, with most of them in the queue on launch day. Now here's Verudemi gets "Overwatched."
- The game has new heroes, including Sojourn, Junker Queen, and Kiriko. There could be more heroes arriving soon, as per IGN's guide.
More details Overwatch 2 will be covered in this week's NecroNews.
Photo: Blizzard Entertainment
RE:VERSE Virtual Idol Group: Is Idol Culture Finally Moving to VTubing?
Teddy: Finally, a story that came under our radar: the launch of virtual idol group RE:VERSE. A report from The Korea Times notes that 30 singers will hide their identities and take part in a competition, which will take place in the virtual world named "W."
The show will be produced by some of South Korea’s popular producers, including Jo Wook-hyung, who was behind the success of Mnet's "Queendom" (2019). The show will be produced under Kakao Entertainment.
Rumors circulating among K-pop fandoms have alleged that popular K-pop stars are participating in the show, ranging from girl groups such as LOONA, Apink!, and Purple Kiss, as well as former members of IZ*ONE, GFRIEND, and LOVELYZ.
Fans have commented that the new virtual show seemingly aims to bridge the gap between fans of K-pop and otaku culture, uniting them under one fandom for the show.
It is interesting that South Korea is finally tapping the virtual idol space, following other local versions of virtual idol groups such as MBN's "Avatar Singer" and TV Chosun's "Ava Dream”. However, it should be no surprise that in the future, more idol groups, especially in the East Asia region, will tap the virtual space to increase engagement.
For years, China has been active in this endeavor, to the fact that government regulations have been put into place to regulate virtual humans.
Only time will tell how successful these virtual groups will be, and what purchasing power it will show based on the potential fandom it will create.
Photo: Kakao Entertainment via The Korea Times
In Other News...
- Aspiring VTubers are reminded not to use money they don't have to become a VTuber, as a parent sought help on Reddit if they're making a bad decision not to give their daughter the funds they need to have a model.
- Oni Giri warns viewers that should they clip moments of her accidentally doxing herself or her friends, they will be banned with zero tolerance. Be careful pressing the clip button, as it generates a clip attached to your account even if you have not finished publishing it.
- OMORI game creator OMOCAT has responded regarding unfortunate incidents of theft, and asks fans for their utmost cooperation.
- Nijisanji's Ars Almal said she has bad experiences with clippers, and it has gotten worse, so she is setting rules. First, as a test, Ars will try allowing clips only on Twitter. Other Video platforms are not allowed. Next, only clips that include her in collabs (with the collab video owner's permission) or official clips will be allowed. To add, thumbnails using her 3.0 or 3D models are prohibited, and clippers cannot use assets from other archives or tweets. She opened her Marshmallow as a report line for clips that violated her rules.
- Powdury has removed a regular viewer from her community after filing chargebacks. Upon a closer look in the thread, it seems that the viewer in question had his home flooded and needs money to survive. We have seen no further communication between him and the VTuber prior to his removal. In other news, Maddiekuma felt scammed by a viewer who donated multiple gift subs only to retract it in the end.
- Hololive's Ookami Mio asks fans not to add her art hashtag on NSFW art.
- Phase-Connect's Himemiya Rie reminds fans to behave well as she adds two more rules: (1) Do not direct explicitly sexual comments at her where she can see them, and (2) Refrain from talking or sharing heavier or offensive topics to her or any other member of the community.
- Holotalk with Takanashi Kiara returns with its 23rd guest: Nakiri Ayame.
- VTuber Asahi Lina and software developer Alyssa Rosenzweig present a topic using an Apple M1 GPU and Asahi Linux at the 2022 X.Org Developer Conference.
- Cover Corp. CEO Motoaki Tanigo (YAGOO) joins Shirakami Fubuki, Ookami Mio, Houshou Marine and La+ Darkness for a fun game of making each other laugh. Prior to this, he failed his own Hololive exam, scoring 68%.
- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has detailed the country's plans to invest further into digital transformation and expand the use of Web3 technology, reports Forkast. Speaking of Web3, an NFT personality by the name of Rhaegar debuted himself as the first "NFTuber."
- Production Kawaii's Miryu Kotofuji recreates a weird game ad.
- Nijisanji EN makes history once again as Finana Ryugu and Aster Arcadia did a thigh feet cam stream. Good luck watching the whole of it without questioning your life choices, that's how fun it was.
- Vox Akuma returns to do an unarchived Million-subscriber milestone Karaoke stream, bringing in around 50,000 viewers, including one Kindred who's an audience at another concert. Here's the setlist, and a snapshot of music videos for each song he sang.
- Twitter users can now upload up to a combination of 4 media (including videos) in one tweet. Ratanak and Martyr are already creating the best out of it.
- HoloX will have its own manga series on Shonen Jump Plus. Anime Trending reports that "holoX MEETing" will begin publication on November 1. Okada Anmitsu takes charge of illustrating the title.
- Multiverse Monarch Amanda Lee is set to voice Uta in the upcoming One Piece Film: RED, in theaters November 4.
- Twitch has updated the time duration of Elevated Chats starting at the $25 tier. It is also rolling out the function to download clips on the mobile app, making it faster for VTubers to Tweet videos on Twitter.
- Suichan update: She can now do daily conversations.
- Bryan Veloso joins VShojo as Vice President of Product and Design. Prior to his new position, he was a UI/UX Designer at Twitch.
- Ironmouse secures her first house key, therefore having her new abode. Congratulations! Also, she's featured in a game... not quite actually—the game is "Attack on Time: Kaisen of Girls" available on Google Play.
- Crash Landing Studios released the first episode of Detective Diaries, featuring Amelia Watson and Gawr Gura. The studio is an artist circle who aims to create quality Hololive fan animations.
- Aloupeeps will premiere a multilingual cover of halyosy's Connecting as a gift for Enna Alouette.
- Ethyria 1st Anniversary Goods and Nene Amano's Birthday Celebration 2022 Goods are now available for orders.
Stream Breaks and Hiatuses
- AuroraLiveVR's Kiri takes a break from streaming for a week or two.
- Heavenrend's Juliet Winters goes into a medical hiatus to prioritize rest and seeking medical attention, and she will host a guerrilla stream when she's able to.
- MyHoloTV's Virion Kisei takes an extended break for 3 months to finish his final year of studies.
- VirtuaReal's Karon also takes a 3-month break to prepare for PhD viva (oral test). She also reveals that she's suffering from long-term depression.
- AkioAIR's Athena Nightingale sets her priorities straight and announces a short hiatus starting this week.
- Leivani takes a break from streaming to recover from an operation which involves his right lung.
VTuber Graduation Announcements
- EDMS' official mascot and owner Koro (October 1)
- Luxion Project's Shen Imaka (October 8)
- Kimxeraa (October 10)
- Roi of VirtuaReal (November 11)
Altherbit's Laly Wolf passed away following complications from heart surgery. She leaves this world with over 2,000 followers on Twitter and 19,000 on Twitch. "A great person, a great player, you will live in our hearts and in our memories!," tweets AgonyCraft, the Minecraft survival multiplayer project led by Altherbit. May she rest in power; she will be missed.
Pro Tips + Featured VTuber Assets
- There's an asset for a Danganronpa class trial integrated to VTube Studio using PNGs of the models, and the asset for this will be published at a later date.
- Zin shows a guide illustrated by KohakuACE which can help VTubers streaming on Twitch comply with standard guidelines on showing body parts.
- Live2D artist CharoHime posts a video for her fellows to help them create glitter effects for Live2D models.
- Chroneco's releases new, customizable Comfy Donobar for StreamElements (paid asset)
VTuber Debut Announcements and Milestones
- Yukinoshita Peo re-debuts as Flower Fairy
- Vera Vee (October 10)
- Kurumi (October 9)
- Production Kawaii debuts the full outfits for its idol project
- Japan's I-Stream debuts its 5th generation (October 14-15)
- Wactor Boys (October 8)
- Inochi2D Project is now 2 years old (October 10)
- Tokino Sora debuts a new hairstyle
- Airi Cordelia (35,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Fefe (550,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Pomu Rainpuff (500,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Elira Pendora (501,000 YouTube subscribers)
- Liliana Vampaia (200,000 YouTube subscribers)
- YFU BABY (10,000 followers on Spotify)
- Happy Birthday, Rita Kamishiro (October 7) and Izanami Kamiko (October 8)!
More Wholesome Stuff
- Liora Walkyria and Naki Kamizuki build their own Kamen Rider tier list.
- Kson talks to Mirai Akari and shares Akari's effect on VTubing.
- Onigiri and Magni Dezmond did a hand-and-brain collaboration, showcasing Korean food.
- Read Tsukumo Sana's letters to all her friends.
- One of Indonesia's biggest VTubers, Kobo Kanaeru, finds out that kids in a place with difficult internet accessibility are singing her songs.
- Phase-Connect opens positions for talent coordinator, project coordinator, video editor, social media and community coordinator and graphic designer.
- DELTA-V will hold an audition on Showroom for those who want to make their VTuber debut with Project Sign.
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Banner Photo: Ayunda Risu on Twitter