Virtual celebrities are all the rage in Japan these days. After Kizuna Ai became famous two years ago, she’s since landed various paying gigs, and numerous other virtual YouTube stars have popped up as well, including a busty, cat-eared girl; a zombie with a cute voice and a pet slug; a girl who also speaks perfect English; and a 12-year old with 17 years of idol experience.
There’s another virtual YouTuber on that list, though she isn’t quite as famous as Kizuna Ai. Meet Hiyori Ibara, official virtual spokesperson for Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo. Japanese netizens just love her for her feisty personality.
Hiyori stands at the helm of Ibaraki’s official online video site and YouTube channel, Ibakira TV. She’s the first VTuber to be officially recognized by a local government! She even has an official appointment letter from the governor to prove it.
In her introduction video, she fields questions from Twitter users about her role, where she says that her purpose is to showcase the charms of Ibaraki prefecture, which she sadly notes was voted as the least most attractive of the 47 prefectures in Japan.
Some people might say that Hiyori isn’t as cute as some other VTubers, but she doesn’t think so. In her intro video she confidently gives us a little twirl in her cute yellow skirt and blue blazer, and is proud of the fact that she represents Ibaraki in professional clothing.
She certainly is cute. And besides, it’s her personality that draws in fans, anyway. Hiyori is a very honest character that always expresses exactly what she’s feeling and thinking. She gets mad, she makes mistakes, she laughs at herself, and she even gets a fire in her eyes when she’s excited about something.
Japanese netizens had much to say about her:
“I just learned about her but I already watched all her videos.”
“She’s so cute!”
“I’m from Okayama and I want them to do the same thing for my prefecture!”
“I like how she does her videos just like a news station.”
“I’m grateful to Ibaraki for making such a cute character!”
She’s also fiercely proud of her prefecture, which also adds to her charm. She does a great job of showing off the great parts of Ibaraki, though unfortunately there aren’t any English subtitles. Still, she’s really entertaining to watch, so check out her videos on Ibakira TV.
Source: YouTube/Ibakira TV via Kinisoku
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