What’s not to love about a good VTuber? You get to watch a cute anime character play video games and/or just chat with their audience about inane stories and memes—and you can even participate yourself if you jump into the livestream as it’s happening!
For the uninitiated, VTubers (short for “Virtual YouTubers”) are internet personalities performed by people using face-tracking and live 3D modeling software to superimpose an animated character on top of their own bodies. They really took off as a trend in 2020, since their particular brand of unscripted cuteness and mayhem was the perfect escape for so many folks stuck at home during the pandemic. But now, with the VTuber revolution still going strong, who are the biggest players in the game and what makes them so entertaining to watch? Let’s check out the top 10 most popular current VTubers!
10. Kson ONAIR
Kson is an interesting character—she speaks in a combination of Southern-accented English and twangy Japanese, has an energetic and sometimes vulgar demeanor, and appears in live-action (usually showing off her cosplay skills) almost as often as she uses her animated avatar. Some fans see her as a successor to the retired VTuber Kiryu Coco, to the point that some people think they might both be the same person... is it possible?
9. Hoshimachi Suisei
First debuting independently in 2018 and later joining the Hololive group, Suisei is an idol singer whose dream is to perform onstage at the Tokyo Budokan. Her rich alto voice is perfect for covers like “Saga Jihen” from Zombieland Saga, as well as her own original songs like “Next Color Planet” and “Ghost”. She also has a bit of a reputation as a psychopath, first documented when she brutally backstabbed her fellow Hololive stars in a playthrough of Project Winter. She’ll eat your heart if you’re not careful...
8. Nyatasha Nyanners
This cutesy little catgirl is the most popular VTuber from English-language agency VShojo, and it’s easy to see why her “Nyanderthals” love her so much. Despite how innocent she looks and sounds, Nyatasha is best known for covering rap songs and going off on explicit tangents with lines like “It’s not about wiping my ass, it’s about sending a message.” Be warned, though - if you get too close to her, she might just steal your wife!
7. Usada Pekora
This rabbit girl, who hails from the nation of Pekoland (where she insists that she’s royalty) and loves carrots so much that she keeps a few wedged in her hair at all times, is a Hololive VTuber best known for being an absolute agent of chaos. She has a distinctive lilting laugh, a tendency to forget to end her sentences with “-peko” like she’s supposed to, and a sinister mind for trolling her friends. When Pekora is involved in a group stream, you just know something hinky is about to go down.
Here’s a Nijisanji hottie for you – the loudmouthed vampire Kuzuha! While he’s quick to boast about his own skills and claims to be a genius, that façade crumbles into stammering awkwardness whenever he has to interact with other VTubers (infamously talking about the weather so much that his “weather deck” became a meme). His little improvised tunes like the “Chihiro Remix” and his valiant attempts at English make him a precious favorite of many VTuber fans. What a good boy!
5. Sakura Miko
Nyahello! Sakura, a shrine maiden with a melodramatic personality and a questionable aptitude for video games, started as an independent VTuber before signing on with Hololive. Much of her appeal comes from her bombastic attitude: she gets way too emotionally attached to insignificant parts of games, uses any excuse to look up a female character’s skirt, and swears up a storm in Japanese and English whenever she gets frustrated. Watching her antics never gets old.
4. Akai Haato/Haachama
Akai Haato’s content is... an experience. She’s easily the most bizarre character from Hololive, since her personality is split between the tsundere cutie Haato and the chaotic goblin Haachama. If you’ve ever wanted to watch an adorable anime girl review fan-submitted feet videos or fail so badly at cooking that she burns the result to cinders, be sure to check her out. Don’t blame us if you lose some brain cells along the way, though...
3. Houshou Marine
This bodacious pirate girl has made a name for herself as a rebellious and relentlessly horny member of Hololive. When Marine manages to rein in her own lewdness, though, she can actually be very sensitive and mature. Her repeated claims to be 17 are often met with skepticism, since she acts much older than that and is suspiciously well-versed in Y2K-era pop culture, but her fans love her anyway because she’s such a good older sister figure to her fellow VTubers. Say “Ahoy” to her for us!
2. Kizuna AI
Kizuna AI is the first VTuber many people had ever heard of, debuting all the way back in 2016. Her content is a bit more polished and scripted than some of the newer VTubers, and her model is fully articulated to allow her multitude of song covers and original music videos to feature complex dance moves. Even though so many others have come onto the scene after her, we’re glad that she’s still going strong today!
1. Gawr Gura
All you really need to know about this airheaded Atlantean is summed up in her most famous clip, where she stands still with an open-mouthed grin for an uncomfortably long time... and then just says, “Ah.” Gawr Gura is one of the first English-speaking VTubers from Hololive, primarily focusing on gaming and winning over fans with her patented combination of “dum shark” antics and genuinely good-hearted nature. Maybe that’s why she was finally able to surpass Kizuna AI in subscribers!
Of course, we can’t forget legends like Inugami Korone, Shirakami Fubuki, Himemori Luna, and Rushia, or even Shibuya HAL and his PUBG tournaments. But are there any other VTubers you love? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!