The unique appeal of virtual YouTubers comes from how they straddle the line between reality and fiction. Their appearance and backstories maybe made up, but each performer has a real person providing their voice and mannerisms, a combination that doesn’t really exist in the rest of entertainment media.
So it’s fitting that VTuber talent agency Hololive Production’s giant signs and posters that recently went up in Tokyo highlight that mix of the real and virtual, showing Hololive talent interacting with human fans in the real world.
The signs went up on March 13, with the largest, placed outside Shibuya Station next to the Hachiko plaza, showing Gawr Gura sitting on a train next to a fan. The Hololive crew is also waiting in the Metro Promenade that connects Shinjuku and Shinjuku-sanchome Stations. In addition to Gawr Gura, the corridor now features posters of Inugami Korone bringing a coffee to a late-working office worker…
…Kobo Kaneru watching videos with a fan on a bus on a rainy night…
…Shirakami Fubuki hanging out with a young woman who looks to be in the process of moving in to a new apartment…
…Hoshimachi Suisei and Mori Calliope performing a street concert…
…and Usada Pekora and Houshou Marin hanging out with a group of friends meeting up after school.
▼ The Metro Promenade also has a mural-size display of dozens of Hololive VTubers, not far from where every PreCure magical girl in the franchise’s history could recently be seen.
The images seem to purposely show fans in both isolated and connected situations, highlighting how virtual YouTuber fandom includes both solo viewers who enjoy the sense of companionship as well as those who form bonds with other fans of the same performer. Each sign includes the phrase “Live new real,” which could be taken as both a proud proclamation of virtual YouTubers becoming an entrenched part of the entertainment industry in Japan as well as a reference to how both the academic and business years in Japan start in the spring.
Right now, many people are in the process of adjusting to a new lifestyle, and maybe even a new city to live in, and could use a familiar encouraging voice, as well as a common interest to build new friendships off of, and it looks like Hololive is happy to be able to provide both.
Source, images: PR Times
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