It’s been 5 years since Hololive Production was initially founded as a vtuber agency and it’s been 2 years since Hololive English took the internet by storm with their debut; and with talents like Kiryu Coco making waves when she first debuted, many could consider Hololive EN or HoloMyth was their introductory gateway into the ever growing rabbit hole of vtubers, myself included.
So, how did the debut of HoloMyth be the one of the key factors of the rapid growth of corporation and how did it set the trend of being part of mainstream media to the western market?
A Brief History Lesson
According to the Virtual Youtuber Wiki, Hololive production founded back in December 2017 was COVER Corporation – a Japanese tech entertainment company, and was initially used to demo the company’s 3D capture digital avatar technology. It was later in 7th September that the first ever Hololive member made their debut on both Youtube and Niconico Douga – Tokino Sora.
On 21st December of the same year, COVER then released an Android and iOS app named hololive where they opened auditions for a second hololive member and the auditions for new members continued on.
Following the success of Hololive production’s and their Japanese-speaking talents, it was then on April 2020 where COVER corporation and seeing as to how the company was already well off with their Japanese fanbase, they had the liberty to open up auditions for the company’s first ever English-speaking Vtuber group, a decision which not many other companies could do due to either limited resources or maybe not seeing the potential market outside of Japan.
Fast forward to September of the same year, we were then introduced to 5 new vtuber members which was later known to be the Hololive English 1st Generation – HoloMyth which comprised of Mori Calliope, Takanashi Kiara, Ninomae Ina’nis, Gawr Gura and Amelia Watson.
What stood out for HoloMyth compared to other previous Hololive generations other than being an English-focused speaking group is that they are the first ever generation within the company to have a consistent backstory and theme of being an assortment of mythical creatures ranging from the apprentice of a grim reaper, an immortal phoenix, a priestess of lovecraftian horror, a descendant of Atlantis and the time-traveling detective who sets out to investigate them.
This was further exemplified during the group’s first collaboration stream with featured all 5 members on Amelia Watson’s Youtube Channel, where Amelia did an interrogation styled Q&A session between her and the rest of the HoloMyth members.
The debut of the girls were extremely well-received, and was especially so with the debut stream for Gawr Gura which had garnered up over 45,000 concurrent viewers and being the first ever Hololive member to reach 1 Million subscribers, even taking the #1 spot from industry pioneer Kizuna AI in 2021. As of time of writing, all of the members have well over 1 million subscribers.
Busting the Myth Behind HoloMyth
But why and how did the group get so much traction? The timing of the debut for HoloMyth was right in the middle of when the pandemic was still at large, affecting everyone’s daily lives and whatnot and so without being able to socialise with people physically, people with an affinity to anime and other similar medias would gravitate to the next best thing, which would normally be anime characters but they could only go so far with interacting them. Thus comes anime characters who streams content by either playing games or interacting with their viewers.
Prior to HoloMyth, Hololive only had Japanese-speaking vtubers as well as the handful of Indonesian-speaking ones, so as a non-Japanese speaking fan it could be a bit difficult to understand what their favourite oshis are talking about due to the language barrier.
It was back in the year 2020 where there was a surge of popularity on the western sphere of the world with the debut of the legendary Kiryu Coco who managed to bridge the gap between the Japanese and Western audiences by being fluent in both Japanese and English. This was where Hololive saw the potential of tapping into the western English-speaking market and thus introduced us with the company’s first ever fully English-focused vtuber group.
Being able to speak English wasn’t the only thing that had appealed to the audiences, it was also due to how uniquely diverse each of the members are and how their personalities and creativity played a huge part in their success.
You have the Gap Moe “Tsundereaper” in Mori Calliope who subverted everyone’s expectations during her debut stream. Everyone had initially thought that Mori was just your average cutesy and airheaded personality but she then dropped her Music Video titled “Excuse my rudeness, but could you please RIP” where she showed her prowess of rapping which no one had expected.
Meanwhile with Takanashi Kiara, she previously had her Youtube Channel be terminated by an error on Youtube’s part, Kiara took advantage of the return of her channel by having a “re-debut” stream where she had faithfully recreated her original debut stream with some minor differences, one of which had her claiming that she had lost her memories. Turning the whole ordeal into something positive.
Ninomae Ina’nis was adored by many for her calm demeanor and pun-making capabilities as well as being an extremely talented artist which she had shown many times, one of which was her involvement of being the artist behind the official illustration of Hololive EN and having a part in designing some of Hololive’s official merchandises.
We also have Gawr Gura and how she took the internet by storm with her rendition of Tatsuro Yamashita’s 1980 city pop single Ride on Time as well as being the fastest-growing VTuber ever from being the third VTuber overall to achieve the 1 Million subscriber milestone after Kizuna AI and Kaguya Luna.
And last but not least would be Amelia Watson and her creative look at content making, one example being how she concluded her debut stream with a surreal experience in which she injected the viewer with “Watson Concoction,” resulting in bizarre hallucinations. Amelia also had hosted a 9 hour charity stream in an effort to raise money for the Best Friends Animal Society, an animal charity organization in the United States which marked the first ever charity stream within Hololive.
In short, seeing as to how HoloMyth, Hololive and Vtubing as a whole is still gaining popularity within the community, it’s safe to say that the whole anime characters streaming content won’t be going anywhere soon with brand new Vtubers making their debuts just about every other day.
I for one, among many others will be interested in seeing what the next big step that girls from Hololive EN will make in the foreseeable future.