VTuber, Kiryu Coco recently announced that she will be graduating from Hololive, meaning that her character will no longer exist in the VTube world.
On Wednesday, 9 June 2021, young people all over the world were sharing melancholic memes and posting fan art following a shocking announcement. They had just found out that Kiryu Coco is graduating. The term “graduate” comes from J-pop, in which talents retire from their careers. Despite not being a real person, Coco has more than 1.2 million subscribers on YouTube. She is one of the pre-eminent figures of a Japanese cultural creation, the virtual YouTube scene.
A virtual YouTube is a channel that follows an animated or a virtual character instead of a real-life person. These VTubers first became popular in Japan in the mid-2010s and have now spread around the world. The characters are animated beings controlled by a human actor, often through the use of motion capture technology. They inhabit livestreams on YouTube, Twitch and other popular streaming platforms. Some channels go even further by hosting virtual events where attendees can take on a virtual form of their own to join in on the action.
Kiryu Coco is one of Hololive’s most popular stars. Hololive is a VTube talent agency owned by a Japanese tech entertainment company, COVER Corporation. The agency manages 52 VTuber talents, in addition to Kiryu Coco. Kiryu and other talents of Hololive have more than 40 million combined subscribers on YouTube.
Coco debuted in December 2019, and has since reportedly earned more than $1.4 million through YouTube’s Super Chat donation system. Super Chat is a feature created in 2017 by YouTube. It allows viewers to pay to pin a comment on livestreams. This way, a comment is more likely to be seen by other viewers and the creator themselves.
Coco held a livestream announcing her decision on her YouTube channel. A message popped up on the stream, stating that Coco will be graduating from Hololive. In other words, her character would not exist on YouTube anymore. A graduation event is set to air on 1 July at 20:00.
“The reason involves a lot of things, a lot of things that I can’t talk about. So, you won’t hear anything from me. I know that’s hard to accept,” Coco said in her livestream.