Discussion How did you start and why do you watch Vtubers?

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share your manliest thoughts on the subject

Deliberate Zero

As with everyone else, aware of Kizuna early on but never paid attention beyond a few minutes. It wasn't until just before Coco and Haachama were suspended that Hololive popped up on my radar. At that point I'd seen a little, but I ended up watching all the HoloEN debuts live. From there we see a classic rabbit hole effect, delayed until the ENs in my case because I've never been into the clipper ecosystem, so that was when I started to really understand what was going on.

I'd been aware of the technology for a fair bit longer, I was watching a streamer who was experimenting with not-even-vaguely-human models instead of facecam. Unlike some of the streamers jumping on the bandwagon when vtubers took off, in this case it was just due to morbid obesity. That's an aspect of the tech that I love in principle. On the internet, nothing exists but what you put there: your username and avatar can change to whatever the forum software allows. All you can judge a user on are the words he says. There's no nationality unless you bring it with you, no weight or height or scars or a funny-shaped nose or some missing hair. Live2D allows for a lot of the benefits of facecam, the bits of expressiveness that you just can't get on voice alone. Yet it's not tied to your genes or your wardrobe or Euclidean geometry. A vtuber can be whatever, in the same way you can use an avatar from any anime, and completely disregarding that dragons and demons and talking sheep don't exist.

It is good. Vtubers are aligned with the old spirit of the internet, from before the smartphone generation. It can be used for evil, but the tech is inherently good.

For years leading up to 2020 I'd grown used to having a stream on in the corner of a monitor while I was working. The main drawback being that my job often involves reading or writing text, so when something gets complicated I used to have to pause the stream for hours at a time. Or switch to my music collection, finding something instrumental or in a language I don't understand (which is every other one). I was already watching mostly gaming streams with the occasional chatting or watch-along etc. as variety.

These days I'll switch on the fly depending on my needs. If I have spare brain power while I'm doing something monotonous, maybe something in English. When I need to focus, something not-English and preferably not too chaotic either. Hololive provides countless hours of not-English background, and is more pleasant than just about anything else I've found to watch in my life. When I'm watching someone I understand, most likely one of the ENs or IDs, I crack up laughing as often as with Fawlty Towers. It's almost perfectly suited for my purposes, entertainment and morale.

Favourites would have to be Ina and Reine. Took me months to get my head around the full stable of idols, but now I can name and describe pretty much anyone in a group photo. Gura's enjoyable. With Mori her character is better on paper than when I'm watching -- it plays on the broken mask effect where we see the rapping reaper through the blatantly feigned innocence, knowing both are masking the real person providing the voice. Ame Watson is a huge surprise, coming dead last in my EN rankings on debut but having clawed her way back up to credibly challenge Gura for second place.

HoloJP, of course Fubuki and Marine stand out as favourites. Noel, Nene, Polka, and Pekora are also right up there -- tricky to find ones I don't like, though obviously I watch some more than others. And for Indonesia, again it's Reine by far. Never really had a reason to venture outside Hololive until I finally looked up Pikamee: very good, captures whatever it is that so many other vtubers can't replicate about Hololive, and again I can't put my finger on it.


Like most people here Kizuna Ai was the first one I discovered. Did not really follow her actively but did watch some of her content if they showed up in my recommendations and the FAQ you meme clips. Though, at the time I considered her to be more akin to Miku Hatsune then a livestreamer or Vtuber in the current day sense.

While I did see some 2D Vtubers pop up from time to time it wasn't until late 2019 when the youtube algorithm really started to push them both the translated (short) clip and their channels. At first loads of Nijisan but later more Hololive with sometimes independent ones throw into the mix. I tend to watch whatever translated clips I get recommended from mainly Hololive JP.
Another more surprising thing I like about Vtubers is their songs both their own original ones and covers. So yeah my likes and watch later list are filled with Vtubers. Personally, I only follow Japanese Vtubers. I just cannot get into the English speaking ones probably due to my personal disdain for dubbing.

However, I'm actually subscribed to only one small Japanese Vtuber. (Mainly did it because I'm her 100th subscriber lol) She doesn't stream regularly and I miss most of them due to time zones but she seems to albeit slowly growing in terms of views and subscribers.