Following in the footsteps of other agencies, Japanese virtual YouTuber group NIJISANJI has launched their own 3D animated series titled Chokosanji. Also known as Snack Time! in English, it will bring talents from across the group’s giant roster together in a series of comedic shorts.
Incidentally, the first episode of Chokosanji makes light of the fact that there are literally hundreds of VTubers now associated with NIJISANJI: titled ‘MISSION START! NIJISANJIfication of all humankind,’ it sees Toya Kenmochi declare that ‘Turning the rest of humanity into NIJISANJI VTubers is now only a matter of time…’ And then Hayato Kagami busts in to save the day.
The second episode of Chokosanji is also similarly meta. Although it spotlights Saku Sasaki, Yuika Shiina, and Ririmu Makaino, Saku and Yuika appear only as static 2D images as they ‘used up [their] budget in the first episode.’ Ririmu, meanwhile, gets to move as a proper 3D model: Yuika wonders whether this is because ‘she bribed the right person.’
All in all, then, Chokosanji is off to a pretty strong start.
That being said, this isn’t the first time that NIJISANJI have dipped their toes into 3D animation. They contributed several of their talents to the VTuber anime Virtual-san wa Miteiru back in 2019, after all, but this is the first time since then that they have made a concerted attempt to bring their talents into 3D. Why now?
To find that answer, we only have to look at NIJISANJI’s biggest rival, Hololive. Since 2019, the company has been releasing new episodes of the short series Holo no Graffiti every Friday, with the episode count now surpassing 100. They’re also all subtitled in English, much like the first two episodes of Chokosanji.
Would it be an assumption to say that Chokosanji is attempting to replicate the success of Holo no Graffiti? Perhaps, but not an unfounded one.
You can look forward to future episodes being posted on an ‘irregular’ basis via the official NIJISANJI English YouTube channel.