What They Are And Where To Start
As Written by Someone who Can’t Escape the V-Tuber Hole
So if you’ve been anywhere on the internet these past few months you’ve probably seen fan translated clips floating around on youtube of anime girls playing video games, doing karaoke, and acting in a way that can best be described as chaotic. Now if your response to that first sentence was “Oh yeah I have seen them around, wonder what that’s about” then that’s good, that means you’re fresh meat. Ominous statements aside, what you encountered was what’s popularly referred to as a V-Tuber. V-Tubers are to put it simply, virtual youtubers. What it boils down to is content creators creating content using a 2d (on occasion even 3d) anime portraits as their avatar. Sometimes that portrait is tied to a character that the content creator is playing although this is not always the case. There are many V-Tuber companies (essentially talent agencies that rent out equipment, set up events, handle pay, etc etc) and many indie V-Tubers but the two biggest companies at the moment are Hololive and Nijisanji. For the purposes of the article I’m going to focus on Hololive as it is definitely the most popular of the two and the easiest to get into as Hololive has a significantly smaller cast than Nijisanji whose roster is absolutely massive.
So then, what is Hololive? Hololive is a Japanese V-Tuber idol group that is owned by the parent company Cover Corp which was started by one Motoaki Tanigo or as he’s commonly known in the fanbase, YAGOO. The idea behind Hololive is simple, take the popularity of Japanese idol culture and make it more accessible by having the idols have their own separate V-Tuber Youtube channels where they produce solo and collaborative content and a main channel where things like album release announcements, more collaborative live streams, animated shorts and music videos are released. Before I continue I figure I should take a second to explain that Hololive is a bit of an odd one out in that their content creators are playing characters that are primarily idols whereas other companies don’t really do the whole idol thing. This somewhat limits what Hololive idols can do but it’s not really that big of a factor in the long run and honestly it’s very easy to forget Hololive members are even idols to begin with considering some of the rather questionable clips of their streams on the internet, but I digress.
Now that you know what V-Tubers and Hololive are, it’s time to find the right idol to start you out with. Hololive currently has 5 generations of V-tubers with generations 1-4 having been around for a while and generation 5, as of the time of writing of this article, starting to roll out. Alongside that they also have a gaming division called Hololive Gamers as well as having their original talent. Hololive also has different branches such as Holostars which is the male counterpart of Hololive and currently has 3 generations, Hololive China which currently has 2 generations, Hololive Indonesia which only has 1 Generation, and INoNaKa music which is a record label owned by Hololive with one V-Tuber currently associated with it. For now i’m just going to focus on the main Hololive Idols as they have the biggest roster of the branches and are the most easily accessible thanks to a plethora of fan subs on Youtube, but I just wanted to let you know that if these aren’t your jam then you have plenty of options to look into.
The current cast of Hololive Idols looks like this:
1ST GEN: Akai Haato, Yozora Mel, Natsuiro Matsuri, Aki Rosenthal, Shirakami Fubuki
2ND GEN: Oozaru Subaru, Yuzuki Choco, Murasaki Shion, Nakiri Ayame, Minato Aqua
3RD GEN: Usada Pekora, Uruha Rushia, Shiranui Flare, Shirogane Noel, Houshou Marine
4TH GEN: Tsunomaki Watame, Tokoyami Towa, Kiryu Coco, Amane Kanata, Himemori Luna
5TH GEN: Yukihana Lamy, Momosuzu Nene, Shishiro Botan, Mano Aloe, Omaru Polka
Hololive Gamers: Shirakami Fubuki, Korone Inugami, Nekomata Okayu, Ookami Mio
3D Talents: Tokino Sora, Sakura Miko, Roboco
2D Talents: Hoshimachi Suisei
Because of the size of the roster I’m not going to go into detail on every single one as that will make this article absolutely massive. What I am going to do however is go through a few of my favorite V-Tubers and clips that I think would be great jumping off points. Don’t worry about thinking you’ll miss one you might enjoy since the cast do tons of collabs meaning even if I don’t talk about them you’ll most likely discover your favorite in some form or fashion. Do be aware that a majority of V-Tuber content are live streams which won’t be translated as they are happening so if that is a turn off for you, you should probably stick to the translated clips. If you do participate in the livestreams just be mindful of the rules and also be sure not to mention other Hololive members not participating in the stream as that is considered rude. Now onward we go.
Suisei is one of the most popular idols in Hololive and for good reason. She’s pretty damn good at everything she does, it’s a little insane. She’s a talent born of practice and determination. In fact she actually had auditioned for Hololive previously and rather than giving up she just got back up and tried again. As for how Suisei acts, she’s probably one of the most well balanced members having equally funny and insane clips. My personal recommendations for clips are Suisei vs Tetris 99s 2nd Best Player World Wide and The Origin of Psychopath Suisei.
If you’ve ever encountered a V-Tuber clip in the wild it was most likely Matsuri doing something either wild or degenerate. Now Matsuri isn’t always like that but that’s what makes her stand out from the crowd at Hololive and a lot of her clips are of those crazy moments. It’s such a prominent part of her character now that it’s very easy to forget she’s an idol, which makes the times where she does act like an idol stand out because she’s definitely no slouch in that department. My recommended clips are I am hololive and I am not angry (warning these are both VERY loud).
Probably one of the most cartoony V-Tubers that I recommend. I don’t know if it’s just a part of the character or the world just kinda deciding it’s going to mess with her but when Pekora acts smug or tries to do something cool it usually backfires on her in a cartoonish way. That aside Pekora is just a joy to watch but fair warning you won’t be able to get her unique laugh out of your head. I actually have 3 recommendations for her: Pekora gets robbed (gets loud), Pekora makes Minecrafts strongest sword and throws it in lava for no reason, and Rise of Pekora Construction.
Take Eric Andre and make him a dragon girl, and that’s Coco Kiryu. Coco is probably one of the stranger recommendations just because her style of humor is that kind of late night Adult Swim type of humor which isn’t for everyone. However if that’s your thing Coco is the one for you. She is also one of the few V-Tubers who Moderates the r/Hololive Subreddit. My clip recommendations are Why Cant I Stream In English, HololiveEN Audition CM, and 3D Model Debut Summary. Oh also she’s a huge Yakuza fan and her last name is a reference to Kazuma Kiryu.
Every Eric Andre needs a Hannibal Buress and Kanata is exactly that for Coco. While not as zany or excitable as Coco, Kanata still has those moments where she’s just as goofy as the others. She also probably has one of the best vocal ranges in Hololive, being able to go from a relatively high pitched voice to a very almost male sounding deep voice, it’s a little nuts to hear. My clip recommendations are Amane Kanatas Debut Livestream, Amane Kanatas Big Brain, and I’m Hungry Therefore I Eat.
Do you like feeling happy? If so, then check out Korone because I’m thoroughly convinced she is a literal ball of sunshine in the shape of a dog person. Seriously I don’t think much can bring her down. Strangely, despite her sunny demeanor Korone has a fascination with fingers and methods of torture which is unbefitting her cheery nature. Or at least would be if she didn’t tackle it with the same level of enthusiasm she does everything else. My clip recommendations are Inugami Korone’s search history is a very dangerous, Korone the Yubi Cutter (Warning: Graphic Content due to Heavy Rain), God Dog Says.
And there you have it, those are my personal recommendations for members of Hololive who I think are the easiest to get into. It should be noted that this really is just my opinion and you can pretty much just choose who you’d like and go for it because they’re all top tier. If you really want to start from scratch you can watch the debut streams of any of the 5th gen idols since they’ll all be debuting throughout the week. The rough part about it however is that they won’t really have too many translated clips for you to view starting out but if that doesn’t bother you then you go right ahead. Now you’re ready to begin your journey down the Hololive rabbit hole, hopefully you find your favorite member and remain financially stable if you donate to them during their live streams.