What Is Hololive? VTuber Group Blasts YouTube and the Internet.

What Is Hololive? VTuber Group Blasts YouTube and the Internet.

14.02.2021 0 By Butcher79

In 2021, VTubers became an Internet sensation. There is one group that reigns supreme: Hololive. Here’s how a Japanese company, with more than 50 authors under its banner, broke YouTube and the Internet with its idols.

Everyone knows the names in the field of online entertainment, from Felix” PewDiePie “Chellberg to Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson are highly respected and have a multi-million-dollar army of subscribers. However, new online stars are becoming more “virtual”.

The VTuber craze has taken YouTube by storm, and one company is at the forefront – and that’s Hololive . The Japanese talent agency employs more than 50 authors, and all of them conquer the Internet and break records. It doesn’t look like VTubermania will slow down any time soon.

What are VTubers?

VTubers are a relatively new phenomenon when it comes to the internet. Short for “Virtual YouTubers,” they are online entertainers and idols. However, unlike your usual streamers, they use a virtual avatar as their ‘camera’. The trend spawned out of Japan in the early 2010s, but didn’t really take off until Kizuna AI’s creation in late 2016. Considered the first VTuber in history, Kizuna broke the expectations of who streamers are, and brought virtual reality into entertainment in a big way. After that, VTubers exploded globally. At the time of writing, there are over 10,000 known VTubers. There are also talent agencies housing these VTubers, the biggest of which is Hololive. Some of the world’s biggest streamers, including Pokimane and PewDiePie, even cashed in on the craze in the peak of its mainstream popularity in 2020. However, even since then, the industry has only continued to boom, becoming one of the most popular trends on YouTube with billions of views per month.
PewDiePie's second anime avatar.
YouTube: PewDiePie
Even traditional content creators like PewDiePie (pictured in avatar form) are becoming VTubers.

The rise of Hololive in 2020

Hololive is an arm of Cover Corp, a Japanese start-up created by Motoaki ‘Yagoo’ Tanigo. Often referred to as the father of VTubers, Yahoo started exploring the concept of these virtual entertainers in 2017, inspired by vocaloid idol Hatsune Miku. After debuting Tokino Sora in September 2017, Hololive slowly expanded from there. One VTuber turned into two, and then all of a sudden, there were dozens of creators under their banner by the end of 2019. Expanding into ChinaIndonesia, and English-speaking nations across 2019 and 2020 turned Hololive from a niche Japanese group into a truly global experience. While all of Hololive’s Chinese VTubers have since “graduated” (codeword for retired) due to controversy, it did its job of bringing virtual entertainment into the foreground. 2020’s expansion into the Western market saw the rise to the trend as we know it today. Hololive English’s first five VTubers ⁠— Mori Calliope, Takanashi Kiara, Ninomae Ina’nis, Gawr Gura, and Amelia Watson ⁠— took over YouTube, leading to a complete craze in September.
Gawr Gura on stream
YouTube: Gawr Gura
Gawr Gura is Hololive’s biggest VTuber with over 2 million subscribers.
There’s no exact answer as to why VTubers exploded in popularity. The use of a virtual avatar may be one side of the story, giving previously-camera shy personalities a way to express themselves. It’s also just different from your regular online entertainer business. The VTubers themselves are immensely successful. Eight out of the 10 highest-earning YouTube stars (based on Superchats, the platform’s donation system) are VTubers. Collectively, 30 million subscribers follow Hololive VTubers, and that number only grows when you consider other talent agencies.

The future of Hololive and VTubers

With a wider Western audience getting involved with VTubers ⁠— whether it be new talents like those under Hololive, or already established streamers like PewDiePie making the switch ⁠— the future for VTubers looks even brighter in 2021. Hololive’s rise on YouTube isn’t ending here either. The group has put out a second set of auditions for English VTubers in February 2021, and their grand plans for expansion don’t stop there. What this year will bring for Hololive remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure ⁠— VTubers are here to stay.

List of Hololive VTubers

Subscriber numbers correct as of February 14, 2021. Italicized = retired.
Name Generation Debut Subscribers
Tokino Sora Hololive Generation 0 7 September 2017 654,000
Roboco Hololive Generation 0 4 March 2018 536,000
Sakura Miko Hololive Generation 0 25 December 2018 868,000
Yozora Mel Hololive Generation 1 13 May 2018 430,000
Shirakami Fubuki Hololive Generation 1 1 June 2018 1,250,000
Natsuiro Matsuri Hololive Generation 1 1 June 2018 830,000
Aki Rosenthal Hololive Generation 1 1 June 2018 434,000
Akai Haato Hololive Generation 1 2 June 2018 1,020,000
Hitomi Chris Hololive Generation 1 3 June 2018 Deleted
Minato Aqua Hololive Generation 2 8 August 2018 1,060,000
Murasaki Shion Hololive Generation 2 17 August 2018 636,000
Nakiri Ayame Hololive Generation 2 3 September 2018 710,000
Yuzuki Choco Hololive Generation 2 4 September 2018 525,000
Oozora Subaru Hololive Generation 2 16 September 2018 736,000
AZKi Inonaka Music 15 November 2018 324,000
Ookami Mio Hololive Gamers 7 December 2018 586,000
Nekomata Okayu Hololive Gamers 6 April 2019 872,000
Inugami Korone Hololive Gamers 13 April 2019 1,330,000
Hanasaki Miyabi Holostars Generation 1 8 June 2019 54,500
Kagami Kira Holostars Generation 1 9 June 2019 54,000
Kanade Izuru Holostars Generation 1 22 June 2019 80,600
Usada Pekora Hololive Fantasy 17 July 2019 1,250,000
Uruha Rushia Hololive Fantasy 18 July 2019 954,000
Shiranui Flare Hololive Fantasy 7 August 2019 510,000
Shirogane Noel Hololive Fantasy 8 August 2019 856,000
Houshou Marine Hololive Fantasy 11 August 2019 1,090,000
Yakushiji Suzaku Holostars Generation 1 7 September 2019 Deleted
Arurandeisu Holostars Generation 1 8 September 2019 78,500
Yogiri Hololive China Generation 1 27 September 2019 Deleted
Rikka Holostars Generation 1 20 October 2019 111,000
Civia Hololive China Generation 1 1 November 2019 Deleted
Hoshimachi Suisei Hololive Generation 0 1 December 2019 (was previously independent) 756,000
Astel Leda Hololive Sun Tempo 7 December 2019 65,400
Kishido Temma Hololive Sun Tempo 14 December 2019 50,600
Yukoku Roberu Hololive Sun Tempo 24 December 2019 129,000
Amane Kanata Hololive Generation 4 27 December 2019 674,000
Kiryu Coco Hololive Generation 4 28 December 2019 991,000
Tsunomaki Watame Hololive Generation 4 29 December 2019 751,000
Tokoyami Towa Hololive Generation 4 3 January 2020 507,000
Himemori Luna Hololive Generation 4 4 January 2020 464,000
Spade Echo Hololive China Generation 1 30 January 2020 Deleted
Doris Hololive China Generation 2 3 April 2020 Deleted
Rosalyn Hololive China Generation 2 5 April 2020 Deleted
Ayunda Risu Hololive Indonesia Generation 1 10 April 2020 376,000
Moona Hoshinova Hololive Indonesia Generation 1 11 April 2020 490,000
Artia Hololive China Generation 2 11 April 2020 Deleted
Airani Iofifteen Hololive Indonesia Generation 1 12 April 2020 302,000
Tsukishita Kaoru Hololive TriNero 29 April 2020 Deleted
Kageyama Shien Hololive TriNero 30 April 2020 81,600
Aragami Oga Hololive TriNero 1 May 2020 79,400
Yukihana Lamy Hololive Generation 5 12 August 2020 531,000
Momosuzu Nene Hololive Generation 5 13 August 2020 475,000
Shishiro Botan Hololive Generation 5 14 August 2020 670,000
Mano Aloe Hololive Generation 5 15 August 2020 Deleted
Omaru Polka Hololive Generation 5 16 August 2020 570,000
Mori Calliope Hololive Myth (English) 12 September 2020 1,100,000
Takanashi Kiana Hololive Myth (English) 12 September 2020 801,000
Ninomae Ina’nis Hololive Myth (English) 12 September 2020 798,000
Gawr Gura Hololive Myth (English) 13 September 2020 2,220,000
Watson Amelia Hololive Myth (English) 13 September 2020 1,010,000
Kureiji Ollie Hololive Indonesia Generation 2 4 December 2020 418,000
Anya Melfissa Hololive Indonesia Generation 2 5 December 2020 236,000
Pavolia Reine Hololive Indonesia Generation 2 6 December 2020 283,000