Weekly NewsDrop #8—Week 44

Japan's VTuber Trends Revealed—VShojo Updates—Hoshimachi Suisei Returns—plus more VTuber News from last week.

Welcome to the newest installment of the Weekly NewsDrop. We wrote this recap just in time for the start of the internet-famous 'NNN', or as Hololive Indonesia's Ayunda Risu calls it, 'Nonstop Nut November'.

By the offset of this infamous month, we see Risu get a glorified version of the Hackerman meme using her new outfit, and her being surprised that the hashtag #RisuNNN and the phrase 'Nonstop Nut November' became trending topics in Indonesia's Twitter space.

And while the VTubing community are joking around this Internet phenomenon, Philippine VTuber (and real-life doctor) ShioriPon is thinking about doing education streams about...well—the male reproductive part. We look forward then to the educational streams, Doc.

  • Kson recently ended her fan meeting in Taiwan, with pictures showing how hugely packed the event was, meeting someone who cosplayed as herself, and updating us on how the event went.
  • The upcoming International Anime Music Festival, which will be held across North America starting Feb. 6, 2023; is seeing the first-time VTuber and Vocaloids appear on stage together. According to a recent press release, this include Kizuna AI original singeroid "#kzn", vocal duo HIMEHINA, 3 members of the vocal group MaRiNaSu, the North American debut of fan favorite GUMI, and pop twins LiLYPSE.

This week, we have seen more media coverage on VTubers, all with their varying focal points and interests:

  • Dexerto’s Andrew Amos recently published two features this week: first detailing how VTubers are changing the music industry, and featuring our favorite orca VTuber Shylily.
  • BuzzFeed recently published a comprehensive feature on how women use VTubing as a way to shield online harassment–despite growing concerns on how VTubing is catered to the ‘male gaze’ and therefore prone to sexualization.
  • Online blog Dere Project has recently interviewed Auregalia Aruri, an upcoming Malaysian indie VTuber–who has seen steady growth even before her debut. In the interview, she explains how she comes from a background of being an idol trainee for the music industry, and how her character symbolizes that past.

The Latest on NewsDrop

  • We recently tackled the recent issue related to the Philippine VTuber group LUXION, and detailed the events that led to its downfall.
  • Nijisanji’s Miyu Ottavia is set to graduate this November 27.
  • Our latest NecroNews details updates about the recent GlennMC Minecraft scam, a remake of ‘The Witcher’, and the disappointing update about the Symbiogenesis trademark.
  • Our latest Spotlight feature is Minty Yukime, who has recently undergone vocal feminization surgery. Save this in your reading list!
Kawa Entertainment made its presence at NishiFest! You can watch replays of Merryweather and Kota Kotonya's streams to know what happened at the convention floor!

Japan, as we know, is the birthplace of the VTuber culture and industry we are immersed in. But have we actually asked ourselves how their local industry fares this year? To answer this question, internet marketing service Eviry recently utilized its "Kamui Tracker" to learn the various trends of the VTubing scene in Japan this year.

Here are some interesting tidbits we have learned so far:

  • The peak of VTubing in Japan started in 2018, with 2,066 channels dedicated to VTubing launched during that year. However, according to their data, only 52 new VTubing channels launched this year.
  • Despite the small growth of new channel launches, 2022 is a year where content demand for VTubing is continuously rising. In October, there were 359,971 VTubing videos uploaded, and is expected to cap off at 474,330 by the end of the year.
  • Collaborations involving brands/entities and VTubers in Japan are becoming more prominent this year, with 945 videos (gaming and web apps) and 439 videos (non-gaming) uploaded this year.
  • Eviry also recognizes the importance of clipping and short-form content as factors that have greatly improved the Japanese VTubing scene.
  • The agency also recognizes three game-changers of the Japanese VTubing scene this year: Nijisanji’s Hyakumantenbara Salome, VSPO!’s Nekota Tsuna, and Neo-Porte’s Hizuki Yui.

Grape Japan has written a story on the trends with data from the said press release.

Featured Image: Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Nyanners' Twitch Ban-And Everything Else in VShojo

Our second top story this week concerns VShojo, and more importantly the news of its talent Nyatasha Nyanners receiving her first-even ban on Twitch.

Later on, Nyanners said the ban was due to 'inappropriate attire' and assumed that she has showed too much skin with the new model. For context, she recently debuted a new model, designed by VYyu's Dya Rikku.

Rikku defended the new design for Nyanners, saying that she tested the model for streaming in a month and they were not banned.

Our Take: While VShojo's latest models have leaned towards to more mature audiences, Twitch's terms of services on what can appear on stream is still cloudy at best.

While Twitch updates its policies on nudity and inappropriate attire every now and then, Twitch bans related to this are skyrocketing, and reasons remain as confusing as ever.

For instance, Twitch streamer TheDanDangler has been banned from the platform six times this year, despite calling the platform out previously for its so-called 'double standards'.

The Good News: Nyanners' ban has been lifted just before she joins Ironmouse and VTuber interviewer Domo at NishiFest. Watch the replay on VShojo's Twitch page.

In other news: Projekt Melody has now its own lore: published in a thirty-minute video written and directed by Merryweather.

Hoshimachi Suisei Returns from Health Break

After almost two months of hiatus due to undergoing a throat surgery, Hololive's Hoshimachi Suisei is finally, and certainly with a bang that fans were not expecting off.

For starters, Suisei did a 3D live concert on her YouTube channel last Friday Japan time, which peaked at around 200,000 live viewers. At the moment, the stream has been viewed over 900,000 times.

Guests in the concert include Taku Inoue and Nijisanji's Tsukino Mito—don't miss Suichan and Iinchou's duet of "Antigravity Girl"!

In addition, she announced three more music projects: a new single titled "Shakunetsu Nite Junjou (wii-wii-woo)", her upcoming second album "SPECTER" which will be released January 25 next year, and her second solo live titled "Shout In Crisis" to be held on January 28 next year.

Banner Image: Hoshimachi Suisei's 3D live stream

Quote of the Week

"The technical term for quitting is "graduating", but I feel that there is nothing to celebrate about it."

This was what former indie VTuber Euline Cherrie stated, as she announced her abrupt graduating from VTubing activities. While her account has since then been deleted, we have managed to archive her message, and her view on VTuber graduations made us ponder on the real meaning of the word itself.

Citing reasons about how the VTubing community has slowly evolved into a toxic pool of negativity and drama, she further adds that the community is seemingly now like a madhouse, where many bad things just happen, and therefore she is no longer happy with doing the VTubing work itself.

Our Take: Euline raises a good point in the statement she has made. Graduations are supposed to be a moment where a bit of sadness and happiness exudes to celebrate one's achievement and stepping into a new milestone.

Graduations should not be a time where frustration and hopelessness exude, with spite of the community itself. We might have to expand on this on a separate column, so keep an eye for it.

In Other VTuber News...

  • Regina Bea warns VTubers about receiving audition offers from the VTuber group Liveiva, headed by Atsushi Hoshi. In a lengthy statement by Loomi, she details some of the things that frustrated its former talents, including doing business things without their consent i.e. collaborations and merch production. Following this statement, Liveiva released a statement, stating that Hoshi has been suspended from his leadership role, and Hayashi Naki takes over it.
  • Vienna was recently featured in this year’s Second Sky, a music festival hosted by American DJ/producer Porter Robinson. It should be recalled that Vienna was also invited back then by Porter Robinson in a content campaign for League of Legends’ Star Guardian event, where he produced the theme song “Everything Goes On”.
  • Kooji has released a statement to online users who have been spamming him with messages that he is ‘related to Shoto’ and that he ‘copied Shoto’ based on the design. Following this, Shoto has responded that he empathizes with Kooji, and has apologized for the trolls using the comparison to create strife.
  • Nijisanji announces a brand collaboration with First Kitchen, a Japanese restaurant chain acquired by Wendy’s Japan in 2016.
  • Tsukumo Sana’s membership access has officially closed. Membership streams are longer accessible after October 31st. Sana graduated from her VTubing activities last July.
  • Check out this amazing application demo that allows someone’s avatar to appear on screen like it is real life and respond to the tablet movements, equivalent to walking.
  • Nijisanji’s Selen Tatsuki has announced that she is now accepting submissions for regular radio streams where they can play covers of Nijisanji songs.
  • This infographic by Indonesia’s aeronautics and space organization Organisasi Riset Penerbangan dan Antariksa featured a small art of Hololive’s Kobo Kanaeru, much to the delight of fans. In addition, we also witness that the e-sports Team Secret has taken a liking to Kobo, with the team jokingly announcing that Kobo is now part of their lineup, and that they remarked that some teams are rivaling them for Kobo.
  • Thai indie VTuber HORI 07 (who is currently part of the Eeyah Group) had almost all of her accounts—including YouTube, Facebook, and Google—hacked. She got her YouTube account back last Friday, but given the effect of the hack, it will take a bit longer for her to go live on her channel.
  • Trigger Warning: Cultural Insensitivity—The graduation of indie VTuber MummyMortem is rife with issues and controversy. Fellow indie VTuber Kootooloo notes that MummyMortem did not admit to having a history of enabling racist comments and the act of doing blackface, with Mortem reasoning out ‘drama’ as the reason for her departure, and not taking accountability.
  • Iron Vertex announces the public testing for its VTuber collaboration tool “MultiV”.
  • AKA Virtual’s Mai has announced that she is the main character for a mobile game called “Merge Bistro”. In addition, AKA Virtual was given the chance to help debut Phantasy Star Online: New Genesis' Popona's 3D model.
  • Hololive announces collaboration with VRChat for the upcoming Anime NYC event this year as part of its Hololive Meet initiative.
  • Nijisanji’s Sara Hoshikawa has removed her clipping ban, except for her olo love consultation and viewer photo submission streams.

VTuber Stream Breaks, Hiatuses and Graduations

  • AkioAIR’s Athena Nightingale takes a one-month hiatus to focus on her health recovery.
  • We also have indie VTuber hiatuses from Ais Riale, Miles Touya, and Miss Lupin.
  • Akumako Rei graduates as her name and will be appearing under a new identity starting November 11.
  • Kojo Anna is set to graduate from 774 Inc. on December 3 this year. As part of her last activities, she will be present at the upcoming Nanashi Festival, the 3D live festival of 774 Inc.
  • Jooin from Korean VTuber agency V-LUP has graduated last November 2.
  • Helen Etherna and Celine Etherna from V&U have left the agency on November 3, citing ‘very personal reasons’. No formal graduation streams were done, and the talent’s social media accounts were immediately locked.
  • We have also indie graduations from Kurohime Luna and Orochi Sua.

Milestones and Anniversaries

VTuber Debut Announcements

  • MyHolo TV's Tridoxa generation has debuted—and capping off the debut day is the release of the trio's song "Our Brand New World".
  • Indonesian VTuber agency AKA Virtual announces a slew of VTuber talents added to their new roster. They include Alona Driad, MiU, Lilian Grimmxandra, Rynn, Amaya Miyu, Ranggema Gathika, Juliana Shafira, and Ave Kanehoshii,
  • Japanese VTuber agency Lambda Live (ΛLIVE) announced the debut of talents Yuikon Aruka and Mitama Sinofuchi.
  • Bond Live teases their new upcoming VTuber generation called “LunaCattus”.
  • VTuber Gemuyo joins the VTuber roster of AuroraLiveVR.
  • Holostar’s Minase Rio (3D model debut)
  • Bao gets a 3D model debut.
  • Japanese VTuber shiroAN get 3D model debut, alongside a new voice actress Ayaka Nishiyama.

Auditions, Job Openings and Tips

  • Nijisanji announces auditions for its Virtual Talent Academy, albeit applicants must be able to be in Tokyo physically for an interview.
  • The Web3 x VTuber project VHigh! has announced auditions for its new VTuber generation.
  • Indonesian company Shinta VR has teamed up with MAHA5 Indonesia to invite brands and companies to use their virtual character system to create influencer marketing strategies.
  • YAGOO has posted on LinkedIn that COVER Corp is looking for interested applicants to work on the business and content planning scene.
  • Gamer Supps is on the hunt for VTuber applications to complete its Waifu Cups collection for next year.
  • Offkai is on the hunt for potential VTuber guests for its second installment of the event.
  • Kawa Entertainment’s Kozii has warned VTubers about Nintendo going on YouTube and Twitter and issuing DMCA notices to content about data mining and mods.
  • Twitch Guest Star is now available across all streamers.
  • Everyone is talking about how to contact Japanese artists, but this thread is helpful if VTubers want to find Korean artists.

We cap off this week's NewsDrop by featuring a wholesome story from the Philippines: Former Philippine senator Bam Aquino was spotted playing the locally developed game Good Knight, as well as being educated on VTubers by the game's developer Alex Valdez.

This was spotted during the recent Esports and Gaming Summit event last week. To recall, we have previously featured Good Knight's efforts in spreading the word about Philippine VTubers.

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This newsletter is posted three hours ahead of its schedule (which is usually 10am Pacific Time).