Interview With Vtuber Prof. Case!
Hello, I’m Case and I do things occasionally. Usually with sounds and pictures. I am a teacher VTuber who wants to spread interesting things he knows about the world, games, or whatever catches my interest next. Stop by my classes and enjoy watching sensei show why he shouldn’t be allowed the ability to work without supervision. Or with supervision. Or be allowed to teach at all.
Don’t worry, you signed the waiver….right?
1. What made you want to start VTubing?
I started it cause it seemed interesting and it was a way to add more humanity to my live streams. See, I had been streaming for about a year and a bit before I started VTubing and I always felt I could improve my streams through adding more humanity and personality to my streams beyond just having my voice commentate stuff. I didn’t want to use a webcam due to personal anxieties, so I started looking elsewhere for alternatives.
It was around this time Hololive EN had their big audition phase. I vaguely knew about VTubing for a while, I remember when Kizuna Ai was just blowing up and all the attention that drew, so I got a sense for how big this would be for the community. This was before they actually debuted and the community blew up again, so there weren’t any big companies that were in the EN community like nowadays. Everyone was just independent doing it because it was fun.
I got infected by that sense of fun and camaraderie so I started looking into VTubing too. It fit everything I needed. It let me put a face to my content, thus giving me a face and a person to the voice behind the streams. It gave me a network of peers I could play games and make friends with. And it just seemed like something fun I could be a part of.
2. How did you decide on what your model would look like?
I’ve made many characters from about eight years of writing, RPGs, and playing tabletop games, so I had a backlog of the kinds of tropes and rough aesthetics I liked when it came to avatars and characters I played. With that in mind, I started looking into what kind of content I wanted to make and how I wanted to present it.
Originally, I thought about being an alien. I wanted to play up a chaotic fish-out-of-water character and play up that aspect over mundane things. That didn’t last too long because it was during my initial phase of wanting to be a VTuber that the Hololive EN audition craze started. I was able to see how other Vtubers, new and old, approached the hobby and took notes. I ended up dropping that premise because, honestly, it felt strange to not be myself on stream.
There are many approaches for how you want to present yourself as a VTuber to your audience. Some people will play a character they can get into and have fun for hours without getting tired. Others, like myself, want their avatar to be an extension of themselves. When I stream, the person you see on screen is still me. I might exaggerate something for entertainment value, but overall, what you see is who I actually am.
Because of this, I was back to square one with my model. After discussing it with a friend who also wanted to be a VTuber – unfortunately she’s been delayed in receiving her model and debuting due to events in her personal life – we ended up wanting to do a matching aesthetic and theme. She would be a librarian, and I would be a teacher/tutor. I loved informational videos and had some experience in writing video essay format videos in the past. So, I felt I could work well as a teacher.
Now I had my premise, but I needed artwork next. I chose Nizima, a Japanese Live2D site, to source my model and artist. I was recommended by a friend and fellow VTuber Nitori who got one of her early models from the site.
There, I found my VTuber Parent (singular as they made both my art and rigging) Akima Akito. Now, they didn’t speak a lick of English, and I didn’t speak a word of Japanese, so getting everything to work out great through two layers of Google translate was interesting. But I worked through this barrier because I loved their artstyle and how well it was animated. Plus, they fit well into my budget.
Working with Akima was a treat even with the language barrier being a slight issue. I am not an artist in the slightest so I could only offer references for the kinds of design elements I wanted to have in my avatar. But Akima was able to take my disparate pictures and was able to get 90% of my design done in one go. It was amazing how quickly they did it too–it only took a week for them to sketch out and mock up everything with only the specific shape of the glasses and the shading of my blazer. I might have had the premise with my design but Akima brought it to live and made it truly me.
3. What can people expect to see from you in 2021?
Definitely music, that’s my biggest passion in life. I want to create more original pieces either alone or in collaboration with some of my peers who want to do more music themselves, be it covers or original songs.
Streams are certainly gonna continue. I love the live interaction between viewers and myself and how we can adjust and react with one another in order. I want to make my streams better, either through new art assets and overlays, through new content, or through stream ideas I’ve been devising and planning for half a year.
What I most want to make more of in 2021 are videos for YouTube. I originally started out with scripted and edited videos on YouTube, usually about whatever topic caught my interest. I stopped making these videos because of the amount of research and script redrafting I did to make my content reach my personal standards for myvideos. I want to get back into making these this year, even if they’re not the full informational videos they were before.
I’ve been looking at my scripts and they feel… dry, for lack of a better word. They convey the information that I want them to convey. However, it feels as though they don’t have personality. It takes a certain kind of delivery or editing style to make educational content interesting, and while I think I could do that, I want to make my videos more my own rather than only be about the topic I talk about. I’ve been reworking several of these and starting on some that veer away from my old informational video format. With these new scripts, I want to tackle other ideas I’ve had for videos that let me produce more creatively fulfilling content while showing off more of my personality in the scripting and editing. I’ve even started taking classes on video editing just for this.
Overall, I just want to improve on what I make already. Make content I’m proud of and make more of it. Streams I want to watch back. Music I love to listen to. Do more collabs with my friends. Host more charity streams and just make this year better than 2020.
4. What has been your favorite part about VTubing so far?
It was, and always will be, the people. Networking and meeting peers in other jobs and hobbies was always a much more difficult task in almost everything else I ever did. However, since I’ve started VTubing, I made so many more friends and acquaintances and forged more personal connections than I have with other past communities.
These people have become more than just my peers and my mutuals on Twitter. I had a ton of different hobbies and projects of varying scopes that netted me a ton of peers both before and after VTubing. None of them have given me such fulfilling and lively friendships as these have. They’re not just acquaintances who share a Discord server or a Skype chat, but people I talk one-on-one with over a wide variety of things, from light-hearted topics to deep and thought-provoking conversations.
The VTuber community is a very open and accepting place for newcomers. Debuts for new people are usually the hypest things you can see on VTuber Twitter, with these streamers often receiving a high amount of viewers for their first stream where it can be overwhelming. There are Discord servers for individual streamers, and even general VTuber Discords that are great places to meet people, get advice, tech support, or set up collaborations with other VTubers. My personal favorite is the Iron Lions Discord owned by my good friend, Virtuality Project’s Yuma Yamano. Everyone in the community is so talented and friendly, and they’re almost always ready and willing to help out anyone who has a question.
Due to these overlapping communities and people, I reconnected with a few of my older hobbies such as tabletop RPGs with my weekly Cyberpunk RED campaign on ELHmk1’s channel. I’ve been mixing and making instrumentals for covers, like I’ve done for LoriVT and Yuma. I’ve even been able to take part in charity streams like I have for Extra Life.
People make the hobbies you have, and this community is always making me feel glad to have joined. Being a VTuber has been such a positive experience in my life and I do hope others consider joining the community. You don’t need to be the biggest, make the best memes, or sing like a Broadway professional. Just be yourself and we’ll be happy to welcome you with open arms.