Have you ever looked up to a celebrity and wish to be like them? Like the muscular Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson or the super hot Emma Watson? Well, that’s how much influence a celebrity has over the lives of many people, including myself. In recent years, becoming a celebrity is easier than before. In the old days, it took a lot of talent and effort to become noticeable by major companies who would hire you to get a role as a side character or a minor role in your interested build and build up your reputation from there. But now with Youtube, Facebook and TikTok being some of the top social media platforms in the world, the standard of becoming a celebrity has dropped drastically. This is to not discredit some online celebrities like Pewdiepie, Jackspectieye and Rooster Teeth who have built their reputation since the early days of Youtube to become who they are today, but most online celebrities recently gain their fame through posting mainstream content without any creativity and originality.
In 2016, a Japanese 3D live avatar made her debut and has changed the world today. Enter Kizuna Ai, the world’s first virtual youtuber, or vtuber, that gave the rise of many other vtubers today. When Let’s Play content was popular, many other channels were following the footsteps of major Let’s Play channels to become as popular as their more popular peers. Kizuna Ai first debuted as a Let’s Play channel but with a unique twist, she is an anime girl. For years, anime is one of Japan’s main entertainment that is still popular even today, but anime fans would always live in a fantasy where they wish their favorite anime characters would come to life, which leads to what we have today. As the first vtuber, Kizuna Ai has become a worldwide sensation, and that is not an exaggeration. BBC even wrote an article about how her debut has changed how we view entertainment online.
As times goes on, more vtubers debut in her footsteps that they were even featured in advertisements in Japan that top branding agency Malaysia would love to feature them in advertisements. However, Kizuna Ai has slowly lost her audience due to having multiple talents taking over her original actor. This has led the original actor, Nozomi Kasuga, to establish her own channel and attract her old audience back.
Despite her downfall, many more vtubers have debuted in the past few years giving confidence to other Youtube channels to create their own live 2D avatar. This has led to famous vtuber groups such as Hololive and Nijisanji to become the most popular vtuber groups in the world that they even have branches in other countries to expand their diversity. This has also allow more opportunities for animators to generate revenue by opening commissions to animate their clients’ character and artists to create original characters that even some of the most popular artists in Japan are responsible for the design of some of our favorite vtubers.
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