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Virtual Youtubers: New and refreshing entertainment

Have you ever come across clips of Kizuna Ai while browsing Youtube late at night? Or have your friends showed you a clip of Kaguya Luna being irresistibly cute in her stream? What about hearing about the new trend of live streaming on the internet as an anime avatar? If your answer to any of these questions is a yes, then chances are that you have stumbled across Virtual Youtubers!


You're probably confused, wondering what even are Virtual Youtubers or VTubers, for short. Don't worry, by the time you finish reading this blog post, you'll be interested in finding out more or even watch some of them!


So what are VTubers?

If you've ever heard about Twitch or even Youtube, you're already somewhat familiar with the concept of VTubers. Essentially, VTubers are content creators just like any other, they upload videos, live stream themselves playing games or even just interact with their audience. However, a stark contrast between VTubers and normal content creators is that the former uses either an existing anime character or an original character as an avatar.

Nijisanji member Shizuka Rin, streaming Minecraft

So instead of using a webcam and showcasing your true identity, an anime-like character can be seen on-screen playing games. These avatars are usually 3D, with motion capture recording and displaying their movements live in real-time. There are even some that have different expressions for the right situations! 


Hololive member, Natsuiro Matsuri, playing Mario Kart Deluxe 

Kizuna Ai, in her recent video doing a skit

As you can see, many VTubers are playing different games or doing something else. Because of the recent skyrocket in popularity of VTubers since 2018, there have been many new and upcoming VTubers, so I'm sure there'll definitely be someone that will pique your interest!

Where can I find VTubers?

Virtual Youtubers... Where can I find them?

Here's a hint: Look at the name!

Okay, in all seriousness, VTubers can be found on Youtube itself! All you have to do is search VTuber and the results would pile up. However! Most of the VTubers here are from bigger corporations and companies such as 2434(Nijisanji) or Hololive. You can also find solo VTubers, though their audience is smaller because of lesser exposure. In addition, there can also be VTubers streaming on Twitch, though the market is smaller over there. Japan live-streaming as a whole has not really ventured into Twitch at the moment, but I do believe that moving forward, more and more VTubers will emerge, whether on Youtube, Twitch or any other website.



In short, there's always a certain VTuber that will be able to catch your interest!

If you are worried that you won't be able to understand what they're saying, don't fret! The VTubers community is really active in translating their favourite moments from a stream and uploading it with subtitles so that foreign audiences can still enjoy their favourite VTubers without having to learn Japanese!


An example of fan-translations, by Iyger

Furthermore, certain VTubers also stream in English sometimes. Some of these are Akai Haato, Kiryu 
Coco and many more! 

Akai Haato's archives, or VODs, a few of the streams are in English

So you don't have to worry and start enjoying their streams!

VTubers also interact with their fans off-stream through their social media as well! Yes, that's right! They have other forms of social media that they use. Examples include Twitter, Discord, etc. Most of them use these to talk and answer questions, but they do post some amusing and questionable updates sometimes!

Essentially, this new and refreshing form of Japanese media has been taking over the Internet by storm and many others, like me, have been swept into it too! From what I have experienced so far, there's never an uneventful stream or video that has been uploaded and it has been really enjoyable so far. From gaming streams to singing streams, or even streams where VTubers just sit down and talk to their audience about their day, every single one has been entertaining so far! You should definitely give it a try one day!

To end it off, I'll be linking some VTubers as well as their groups for anyone that is interested!

Independent VTubers and other smaller VTubers





Hololive



Natsuiro Matsuri

Nekomata Okayu

Murasaki Shion

Nakiri Ayame

Minato Aqua

Uruha Rushia

Sakura Miko


2434 (Nijisanji/にじさんじ)



Shizuka Rin

Ange Katrina

Sasaki Saku

Rindou Mikoto

Morinaka Kazaki

Tsukino Mito


Remember, these are only a drop in the ocean of the VTubers there are so be sure to explore and support them! I will also post spotlights of certain VTubers and highlights of them in the future so look forward to it!

Written by Yeon Hee











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3 comments to ''Virtual Youtubers: New and refreshing entertainment"

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  1. I don't think it wise to put Kizuna Ai as Independent Vtuber there...

    she is still affiliate with Upd8, so she is not so independent vtuber, Hell, she even the biggest Vtuber in term of Subscriber count (2,5 MIL)

    ReplyDelete
  2. infact, all the independent and smaller vtuber is not valid. yes, kaguya luna is independent now, but not smal vtuber in regard of subscriber count

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems you're right! I have not heard of upd8 before so thanks for letting me know! I'll make the amendments soon, but I'd like to hear more about upd8! Thanks again!

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