While the launch of VTuber agency Hololive’s English branch brought the phenomenon to a more mainstream Western audience, a lot of English-speaking VTubers have been beavering away independently on their own projects, quietly building up their own fanbases and developing their own distinct styles.
Now, several of them have come together to form the first US-based VTuber talent agency, under the leadership of broadcaster, streamer and founding Twitch staffer Justin “TheGunrun” Ignacio and YouTuber Phillip “MowtenDoo” Fortunat. Let’s take a look!
VShojo, as the new collective is known, is apparently designed to be “talent first”, giving its individual members the freedom to express themselves and embrace their fanbases as they see fit. This aspect of the company feels like a direct response to the difficulties Hololive has encountered when talent doesn’t quite toe the corporate line — particularly when dealing with the Chinese market. While there have been a few cases of Hololive members “graduating” (or at the very least being temporarily suspended) following such incidents, the apparent intention behind VShojo is for no such restrictions to be placed on its talent.
So why does the company exist? Well, from the look of things it seems to be a good means of getting a group of broadcasters who are already friends and frequent collaborators to be able to work together on a more official basis. This provides greater leverage when dealing with the business side of things such as sponsorship; VShojo the company can deal with that side of things, while the talent can keep doing what they do.
Of course, this runs the risk of sponsors wanting to step in and start saying what is and is not acceptable for the talent to be saying and doing while a specific brand name is attached to their work — but this is a bridge that VShojo is yet to cross at the time of writing. The intentions are certainly good and the talent all appears to be enthusiastic about the prospects of being able to continue doing what they’re doing as part of something bigger — it remains to be seen if things will stay that way, though!
So what of that talent? Let’s take a quick look at each of them, beginning with the inimitable Projekt Melody, who came to prominence as the “world’s first 3D rendered hentai camgirl” on adult streaming site Chaturbate, but subsequently broadened her remit to Twitch streaming and YouTube videos.
Melody is well-liked by her followers for her blend of lewdness (only when the time and venue is right, obviously) coupled with a surprisingly wholesome sense of humour. She does a fine line in Dad jokes and has a number of endearing flaws about her, despite supposedly being a highly sophisticated AI that was originally developed to scan email for malware. Eventually all that porn got to her, and the result is… well, see for yourself.
Melody was involved in some mild drama in early November of 2020, as her original character designer and 3D modeler DigitrevX started mass-claiming her videos using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, claiming he owned the copyright to her body. Since Melody provided all the appropriate “receipts” to prove that she owned the intellectual property to the Projekt Melody character, and that DigitrevX was simply the character designer who had been hired for the project. It’s entirely possible that Melody’s spectacular Live2D model, seen in the video above, is intended to be a dig at this situation.
Next up, Nyatasha Nyanners (typically just “Nyanners” for short) is supposedly an ancient evil that has taken the form of a pink catgirl in order to further her plans to become an idol and achieve world domination. Naturally, this has attracted the attention of reaper VTuber Calliope Mori from HololiveEN, and the pair hope to be able to collaborate one day.
Nyanners has a tendency to juxtapose a seemingly pure, gentle, almost hypnotic personality with toilet humour and sex jokes. Indeed, several of her most memorable videos feature her admiring the powerful flush on a wide variety of toilets from various manufacturers and places around the world.
Nyanners has been making videos and streaming since 2012, but really came into her own in 2020, like several of her peers. After several years of using FaceRig avatars — initially to overcome shyness — July of 2020 saw her revealing her own custom avatar. She also settled on “Nyatasha Nyanners” being her full official name after a series of polls on her Discord server.
Next up is Ironmouse, who is a demon queen that found life on Earth so appealing that she decided to stay. In order to ensure her power doesn’t get out of control, she has to wear special bells at all times, lest she accidentally destroy all of humanity.
The performer behind Ironmouse is a lively, very loud young woman from Puerto Rico who brings plenty of Latin fire to her broadcasts. Her extremely high-pitched, squeaky voice is most certainly an acquired taste for some, but it’s hard not to get drawn in by her infectious energy and sheer enthusiasm for what she does. She also has a cracking singing voice, wants to consume the souls of everyone who watches her work on the Internet, and can be found on both YouTube and Twitch.
Ironmouse’s performer has a condition known as Common Variable Immuno Deficiency or CVID (no relation to you-know-what), which impairs her immune system and leaves her bedridden. Working as Ironmouse has provided her the opportunity to get out there (virtually speaking) and meet new people, express herself and rediscover her love for singing. She hopes one day to be strong enough to collaborate with her VShojo castmates for a “live” motion-captured 3D performance.
Next on the list is Silvervale, a wolf-girl sakura spirit who ventured to the Earth out of loneliness. Known for her terrible sense of direction and forgetful nature, Projekt Melody fans will likely enjoy her work for a similar blend of wholesome and lewd. In fact, Silvervale, Melody and Ironmouse frequently collaborate for the LewdCast, a racy discussion show on YouTube.
Silvervale embraces a “pastel Goth” aesthetic, combining pale colours with iconic Goth styles. Her overall design is partly based on the lead character Juliet from Suda51’s Lollipop Chainsaw, and has a variety of different costumes — including a couple where she is playing entirely different characters altogether.
Silvervale’s work consists of a combination of Let’s Play videos, which are edited and posted to YouTube after their original broadcast on Twitch, and MMD dance videos which are produced and edited by Silvervale herself. Her streams themselves tend to begin with some time to chat with her audience, followed by some gaming time, and a bit more chat to wrap things up and bid everyone farewell. She also fully embraces the lewd side of things, and has her own official 18+ merchandise store.
Unusually, Zentreya doesn’t speak herself in her videos and streams, but instead makes use of a text-to-speech system with a strong Russian accent. She began her career as a completely mute YouTuber, but subsequently expanded into her current style when she was an active part of the VRChat community. In 2020, she stepped back from this community to produce more general-interest content, but still has strong ties to the scene due to the majority of her early work focusing on VRChat.
Zentreya also has strong ties with a number of her fellow YouTubers, and plays Dungeons & Dragons with Silvervale, Projekt Melody, Ironmouse and several others. She can play the drums, too.
Apricot, also known as Froot, is a bit of a mystery at the time of writing, since both her YouTube and Twitch channels appear to be devoid of content. She’s a lich, though, which is pretty cool, and enjoys both art and harvesting human souls through the medium of Twitch subscriptions. So just like a normal streamer, then.
Froot’s main contribution to the overall VShojo project so far has been the artwork; all of the official artwork for each of the cast members has been produced by her.
Finally, the equally mysterious Hime Hajime is an alien-dragon-robot hybrid who enjoys eroge and booze. Sounds like my kinda gal. At the time of writing, she hasn’t revealed much about herself or her plans, aside from the fact that “ara ara” on her home planet sounds like some sort of horrifying screech. Also she might be fluent in Japanese. No-one really knows as yet, but it’s certainly going to be interesting finding out, because who doesn’t love an alien-dragon-robot onee-sama? Follow her on YouTube and Twitch in eager anticipation.
The various VShojo debuts have been happening as I write this, but doubtless you’ll be able to catch them via Twitch VODs and YouTube archives after the fact. If you’d like to find out more about this up-and-coming cast of VTubers, be sure to hit up the official website, which features links to all their YouTube and Twitch channels as well as their social media. There’s also an official VShojo YouTube channel you can subscribe to, as well as an official highlights channel.
Remember, though: don’t spend all your money on simping, as tempting as it might be — you still gotta eat, too!
If you enjoyed this post, please consider supporting the site via any of the services below or the Donate page here on the site! Your contributions help keep the lights on, the ads to a minimum and my shelves stocked up with things to write about!