Kickstarted by the debut of Kizuna AI, the VTuber phenomenon has only grown over time as more people engage with live streams and online videos of Virtual YouTubers. Part of the appeal is that, in spite of their appearance and character, there are real people behind the performances, and thanks to the many unscripted livestreams they take part in, you get a chance to engage with that person for hours at a time. The growth of VTubers internationally has helped to fuel this boom in popularity, and the largest agency managing VTubers, hololive, is taking advantage of this popularity to launch HoloLive English -Myth-, a mythological-themed English-speaking VTuber team targeting an international audience.
The five members set to debut as part of Hololive English -Myth- are Ninomae Ina’nis, Takanashi Kiara, Watson Amelia, Mori Calliope, and Gawr Gura. Each of these characters is based on an animal or character of legend. For example, More Calliope is advertised as being the Grim Reaper’s first apprentice, while Gawr Gura is a girl in a shark outfit said to be a descendent of Atlantis, who swam to Earth while saying ‘it’s boring down there LOLOLOL!’. Watson Amelia apparently chose to investigate rumors of strange creatures at Hololive before becoming an idol herself, Ninomae Ina’nis gained the power to control tentacles from a strange book, while Takanashi Kiara is a phoenix who wants to run a fast food shop. Importantly, she isn’t a chicken or turkey.
Each member is now active on Twitter, and will start livestreaming on YouTube from this Saturday.
While many of the VTubers at Hololive can or at least attempt to speak English to their growing subset of international fans (just look at how Inugami Korone’s recent Banjo Kazooie stream even caught the eyes of the game’s original composer after fan-edited clips from the stream were shared online), this is a clear recognition of the international fanbase from Hololive. After already looking to hire in-house English translators, creating a new VTuber team specifically for the English-speaking market just goes to show how popular VTubers have become outside of Japan.