On 3 March 2020, fans of the Hololive virtual YouTuber Akai Haato/Haachama awaited eagerly a livestream titled ‘THE END.’ Ostensibly supposed to mark the conclusion to a months-long story arc exploring multiple personalities, schizophrenia, and disturbing body horror, mysterious ‘new rules’ suddenly made it impossible to perform. If this is due to a decision made by Cover Corp higher-ups, then they have a lot to answer for.
Just hours before the livestream was supposed to begin, Haachama put out a statement in both Japanese and English on her official Twitter explaining that while she was going to ‘put out a video of the ending… with the new rules, it became difficult to finish it.’ She apologized to everyone who was looking forward to the conclusion, also saying that she was going to make all of the previous horror videos private, thus locking this important piece of Hololive history behind closed doors.
It’s unknown what these ‘new rules’ exactly are, or if they come from YouTube or Cover Corp itself. Certainly, YouTube’s Community Guidelines do warn against the type of ‘sensitive’ and ‘violent or dangerous’ content that marked this series of videos, but this was never a problem before, so why now? Haachama’s channel could have gotten a Community Guidelines strike. But why would she not have just said this in her statement?
Furthermore, if it’s a policy change from Cover, then they could have at least waited until the livestream was over. To put a stop to a story just as it reaches its conclusion is a real kick in the teeth.
There’s too much speculation and not enough information to provide a concrete answer on why Haachama’s horror arc was cut short before the end, but this much is true: a vibrant and innovative part of VTuber culture has possibly been lost forever if the previous videos are never again made public. No one was making content quite like Haachama, and her creativity translated into impressive subs growth.
What’s more, it’s clear from the creator’s subsequent announcement that she was ‘going on a journey to find [herself]’ that Cover Corp has a long way to go to repair their relationship with her. She hasn’t streamed since.