When YouTube launched in 2005, no one really knew just how big of a platform it would become.
It went from hosting random videos that people filmed of themselves at home, to now becoming a top-tier streaming platform and being a place where people actually earn their entire livelihood.
YouTube is a mega-verse that you could spiral down for hours, nay, days, and never want to surface.
An interesting trend on YouTube that’s caught the attention of many people over the past few years is the rise of VTubers. You may have come across those animated videos before that have a surreal likeliness to actual people.
But for those uninitiated, who or what exactly are VTubers?
What is a VTuber?
VTuber is short for ‘Virtual YouTuber’, and it describes internet personalities that are performed by actual people, whereby they’re superimposed on the character using motion-capture technology and live 3D modeling.
Basically, they’re online entertainment characters who walk and walk like real humans.
The first VTuber in history was Kizuna AI, introduced to the world via YouTube in 2016.
Since then, the rise in demand and popularity of VTubers has risen exponentially, and some VTuber characters have, alone, elevated their companies to new heights!
VTubers essentially provide entertainment by playing games, chatting to viewers, and participating in live streams like a real person. Some boast millions of subscribers around the world, and even collaborate with other Vtubers – just like a regular YouTuber!
They were initially Japan-focused, but since interest has grown massively overseas, there are many English-speaking VTubers out there now.
The 10 Best Vtubers In Japan To Follow
Let’s have a look at the 10 most popular VTubers you should follow.
- Kizuna AI
- Kson ONAIR
- Nytasha Nyanners
- Kaguya Luna
- Mirai Akari
- Watson Amelia
- Shirakami Fubuki
- Mori Calliope
1. Kizuna AI
Kizuna AI is the most famous and popular VTuber in Japan, boasting a whopping 2 million subscribers to her channel.
She is a virtual pop idol who participates in a variety of activities that are engaging and fun. She sings, dances, plays games, chats to her fans, and collaborates with a bunch of other VTubers regularly.
She has a separate YouTube channel that focuses on gaming called A.I.Games which has attracted more than a million subscribers!
Watching ter videos featuring her signature long brown hair and pink headband are almost like a rite of passage into Vtubers.
YouTube: Kizuna AI
2. Kson ONAIR
Kson ONAIR is a bizarre VTuber with frenetic energy and sometimes vulgar words – which makes her all the more interesting!
Kson speaks in a combination of Southern-accented English and nasally Japanese, which might shock viewers the first time they hear it.
She usually appears in videos either cosplaying or simply as herself, playing games and offering English lessons.
YouTube: Kson ONAIR
Kuzuha is the one and only male on this list, which gives you all the more reason to check him out!
A young, loudmouthed vampire, Kuzuha is an enthusiastic gamer and self-proclaimed genius. However, when he interacts with other VTubers, he becomes a blubbering mess.
He will often try to speak English, and whilst he has a long way to go before he becomes fluent, his attempts have endeared him into his follower’s hearts.
4. Nytasha Nyanners
Nytasha Nyanners is a kawaii yet loudmouthed cat-girl (introduced as an ancient evil creature) created by an English-agency called VShojo.
Her adorable exterior is juxtaposed by her incredible rapping skills and often vulgar language. She enjoys chatting with her fans whilst playing various video games such as Final Fantasy and Monster Hunter, and also simply streaming herself and watching funny online videos.
YouTube: Nytasha Nyanners
5. Kaguya Luna
Kaguya Luna is one of the ‘Big 4 VTubers’, a nickname given to the 4 famous VTubers who pioneered the way since 2016 for VTuber success today.
Kaguya Luna is free-spirited and loveable girl who is over 100 years old! Her fans often watch her videos for her easy-going chats about a variety of topics, her interesting gaming choice, and her original songs.
YouTube: Kaguya Luna
6. Mirai Akari
Mirai Akari is also part of the Big 4 VTubers!
She’s a bright and bubbly girl who is characterized by her blonde hair which she wears in a side ponytail and her signature blue and white dress costume. Audiences don’t quite know what her history is, as it was revealed early on that she suffers from memory loss.
Mirai often posts funny videos of herself dancing, playing video games, and also releases her own original songs.
YouTube: Mirai Akari
7. Watson Amelia
Watson Amelia is one of the most unique characters on this list. She is a time-traveling detective VTuber!
Her claim to fame is that she is the ninth ever hololive Vtuber to gain over 1 million YouTube subscribers, and is part of the hololive English first-generation unit.
Watson Amelia is a blonde-haired, funny girl who loves to play first-person shooter games such as Apex Legend and Valorant, and also spends her time exploring open-world games such as the Super Mario series.
YouTube: Watson Amelia
8. Shirakami Fubuki
Shirakami Fubuku is a VTuber who dates all the way back to 2018, making her one of the original Vtubers.
Her unique characteristics include her adorable cat ears which sit atop her bright white hair.
She is a quiet and shy girl who enjoys having easy-going conversations with other people and thrives off getting lots of attention. Her popular live streams are mainly casual chats, drawing, and playing video games. She also sings and uses Vocaloid in her videos.
YouTube: Shirakami Fubuku
9. Mori Calliope
Mori Calliope is an English-speaking VTuber who communicates mainly in English through her channel. This makes her a popular character for those watching from outside of Japan!
Mori is described as being the Grim Reaper’s apprentice, donning a black outfit with firey pink hair.
Her videos mainly consist of her singing and rapping, hence why she introduces herself as “HoloEN’s Rapping Reaper”.
YouTube: Mori Calliope
Siro is considered one of the ‘Big Four VTubers’, having debuted during the earlier stages of VTubing.
She has a relaxed, easy-going personality which is why many of her fans keep returning for her content. Most of the time, she is in two modes: either sleeping and gathering information on the outside world, or ‘filming’ on YouTube and talking and engaging with her followers.
She enjoys playing games such as PUBG and Minecraft, singing and dancing, and collaborating with other famous VTubers.
YouTube: Siro Channel
I hope you enjoyed this selection of the best Vtubers!
On top of the amazing VTubers listed above, we can’t forget greats such as Inugami Korone, Shirakami Fubuki, Himemori Luna, or even Shibuya HAL! Creating a list to name all the popular VTubers out there will take forever though. We hope this list satiates your curiosity for the time being.
With the amount of videos these VTubers upload regularly, you can easily browse through them until you find one to your liking!
For those who are seasoned VTuber followers, did your favorite make the list?
And if you are looking for “real” Youtubers, feel free to check out our list of the best Youtubers in Japan.