As the most well-known VTuber agency on YouTube, Hololive and its cast members have accumulated their fair share of memes since they started in 2017. After all, with such a wide array of comedic personalities producing unscripted streams with near-constant audience interaction, it would be astounding if they didn’t have a thriving meme culture. So please join us as we take a closer look at five of the best Hololive memes!
5. Warukunai yo ne? – Tsunomaki Watame
The sheep themed VTuber Watame is best known for her soothing voice, bizarre facial expressions, and absolute garbage internet connection. On January 2, 2020, she released a short apology video for disconnecting so many times during her previous stream, but instead of the standard humble Japanese apology... she simply declared it to not be her fault and flashed the viewers a smug smile. “Warukunai yo ne?” (“It’s not my fault, is it?”) immediately became one of her most beloved catchphrases, even after she upgraded to faster internet a few weeks later. It’s a great all-purpose line for when you want to dodge blame, especially if you can pull off the smile to go with it.
4. I’m Die Thank You Forever – Inugami Korone and Mori Calliope
Despite how utterly adorable Korone is, she has a morbid streak that doesn’t go unnoticed by her fans (for example, she regularly demands that viewers give her their fingers). One of the most hilarious combinations of Korone’s cute and crazy sides came when she collaborated with English VTuber Mori Calliope on a stream of the bomb defusing game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes on November 27, 2020. She struggled to understand Calli’s English instructions and accidentally set off the bomb, responding with “Oh, I’m die. Thank you forever,” and laughing hysterically as the device exploded. The broken English and comedic timing of both Korone and Calli’s reactions made this quote ubiquitous in the Hololive community, often used as an equivalent to “I can die happy now” or “I’m dead with laughter.”
3. 1 to 5 and 1 to 6 – Gawr Gura and Takanashi Kiara
Gawr Gura is one of the most popular VTubers ever (even surpassing Kizuna Ai in subscribers), and much of that has to do with her charmingly dense personality. Who knows how much of it is genuine and how much is played up for the character, but one of the best examples of simple concepts going over Gura’s head happened when fellow VTuber Takanashi Kiara tried to teach her some simple German on March 6, 2021. Kiara threw in a fun fact that, where she lives in Austria, schools only have the grades 1 to 5, while Germany has the grades 1 to 6. After a concerningly long pause, Gura said, “Where’s the rest of them? Where’s 3 and 4?” Somehow, she had misinterpreted Kiara as saying “1, 2, 5” and “1, 2, 6” instead of, y’know, what would make sense. Kiara’s bewildered laughter sealed the deal to make this moment go down in “dum shark” history.
2. Subaru is a Duck – Oozora Subaru
Subaru ostensibly has a “baseball manager” theme, but you wouldn’t know it based on how much her audience goes on about her being a duck. This comes from her naturally nasally (and loud) speaking voice, as well as an epic failure of an ASMR stream in early 2020 where her attempts at whispering were compared by many to “Donald Duck with severe throat cancer”. Luckily, she has embraced this over time, even occasionally streaming with a duck version of her normal model. Other avian themed VTubers like Kiara have unofficially adopted Subaru into their ranks, so we’re glad that she’s found her flock at last.
1. Hololive is an Idol Group – Yagoo
Hololive was originally conceived as a group of virtual idols – a sort of AKB48, but for VTubers. This is how company head Motoaki “Yagoo” Tanigo explained it in an early interview, and many of the initial characters started out with stereotypical idol personalities and looks. However, that all changed pretty quickly into the chaotic group of comedians we have now. They do still release music, but trying to label Hololive as an idol agency when even its official animated shorts play out like Garry’s Mod skits is ridiculous at this point. That’s why, when Yagoo referred to it as an “entertainment company” on January 10, 2021, fans were convinced that he’d finally given up the ruse. Of course, everyone loves Hololive so much because of how chaotic it is, so we wouldn’t have it any other way!
There are so many other Hololive memes we didn’t have room for: Sakura Miko’s “FAQ-U” catchphrase and bad luck with lava, Usada Pekora’s strange lilting laughter, Natsuiro Matsuri’s “I’m God, okay?” line, Japanglish phrases like “Yametekudastop” and “Chotto wait”, and so many more. But do you have a favorite meme that we didn’t mention? Leave it in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!