D.F. Ch.2

Ch 2 Before Debut

Becoming a VTuber is easier said than done since it’s an incredibly difficult task to achieve. To be precise, becoming a popular VTuber is hard, even though becoming one itself is easy. After all, we are now in the era of big VTubers. Unlike the early days, there are now countless numbers of VTubers. Moreover, new ones are debuting every day, so the competition for a limited audience is fierce.


Indie VTubers, in particular, have it tough. They start on their own, without belonging to any company, and manage to post videos with limited resources. If they were part of a company, they would have access to the channels built by their predecessors. Especially if they are well-known in the industry, even newbies can easily get tens or even hundreds of thousands of subscribers.


But indie VTubers are different. They don’t have those channels. They don’t have the connections that are weapons in the industry. Therefore, they understand their strengths, polish the quality of their videos, and build lateral connections to construct their own channels with great effort.


Even if they go that far, having only single-digit subscribers is common. Everyone works hard, but more than 90% of them can’t achieve their goals and eventually give up and disappear. That’s the world of the real battlefield for indie VTubers.


Kasai: It’s almost time. Botan-san, are you nervous?


—So inevitably, what I was aiming for was to be part of a company. After all, my goal is to serve dungeon-made ingredients to my favourite popular VTuber. To do that, I need numbers, specifically channel subscribers.


My oshi, Lehman, is a male VTuber who belongs to the top box in the industry, “Bachicarl”, and boasts popularity among male VTubers with over 500,000 channel subscribers.


If I want to interact with such a person, I need to have the appropriate numbers as well. Especially since I belong to a company, there is no point in continuing if there is no expected return.


To secure an opportunity, I need at least 10,000 channel subscribers. Of course, this is the bare minimum, and the more numbers, the better.


How can an amateur with no decent connections or streaming experience generate numbers? The answer is simple: it’s best to act as a company with some kind of connection.


Yamagami: It’s alright. Thank you for your concern.


Kasai: No, no. As a manager, I’ll do my best to cooperate fully. If there’s anything you need, please don’t hesitate to let me know.


With that thought in mind, I applied to several agencies that were recently recruiting talents six months ago, and somehow managed to pass the screening for one of them.


The agency that I passed the audition for was “Denjilas.” It’s a relatively new box in the middle to small size range in the industry, and the numbers of affiliated streamers are not that high. That’s an objective evaluation from someone who lives in the VTuber world.


However, compared to companies with no problems with their connections, the fact that there are seniors with over 10,000 channel subscribers makes it an extraordinary case. When they chose me, a complete amateur, I could only be grateful. If it didn’t work out, I would have had to embark on the difficult path of being an independent creator, so I was really saved.


Yamagami: How is Raihoshi-san doing? I haven’t been able to watch much because I’ve been preparing.


Kasai: She’s doing well. The upper management is promoting her well, so she’s already exceeded the concurrent viewership line that we had set up.


Yamagami: That’s good to hear.


The current debut streams of our colleagues are going smoothly so far. Their target viewer count was set to be in the latter half of the four digits, so it is likely that they have already surpassed 5,000 subscribers. Considering that our agency Denjilas is a relatively new and small-sized agency in the industry, I think their debut streams are indeed going well.


Now all I have to do is to maintain this momentum… But in this industry, just being a male streamer can come with debuffs, so it’s hard to say how things will go.


In fact, when I searched for my stage name online, I found a lot of questionable tweets. Since Denjilas has mostly female VTubers, or rather just me, it’s somewhat inevitable, but it’s still concerning.


Kasai: Botan-san, there’s no need to be too nervous. Please do things your own way. Whatever happens, we, the management, are behind you.


Yamagami: It’s really okay. After all, the main reason why I, a complete amateur, was hired is because of my mental strength. I don’t care about negative opinions at all.


I wonder how many times we’ve had this kind of exchange. Well, I guess the management side is probably still uneasy about it.


Denjilas has a bitter past. A male VTuber who was once affiliated with the agency suffered from depression during his activities and attempted suicide, leading to his retirement.


He became depressed because of the slander and verbal abuse by antis. There was a group of people, commonly referred to as “unicorns,” who detest the presence of men in female VTuber groups, and they caused a huge uproar. They were joined by some mischief-makers who just wanted to cause trouble, and the situation spiraled out of control.


Until his debut, Denjilas was all-female. The reason was not that the agency was selling idols, but because female streamers simply tend to have more growth potential.


It’s natural for small agencies that have just entered the market to steer in the direction that promises high profitability. Ultimately, even if the agency’s goal is to create a space where men and women coexist, as a business, it needs to earn operating funds.


So for Denjilas, the idea was to first make profits with female streamers who have relatively lower hurdles to grow their audience, and then gradually debut male streamers once there’s room to spare. At least, that was the plan… which some idiots ruined.


“That was an incident that would make even bystanders feel sick to their stomachs…”


Given that there are many female streamers in Denjilas, I also think it’s natural for such people to appear. Even if I don’t sympathize with them, I understand why they exist. When there’s only one man in an all-female group, he’s bound to face more resistance.


The problem was that those types of people were even more intense than the officials had imagined. It is regrettable that the management side overlooked the strength of the actions of those who would genuinely fall in love with the talent of small and medium-sized agencies, and it is a part that cannot be regretted enough.


Continuous messages of support, along with direct personal attacks. If one’s popularity also declines, and unfounded rumors are spread, it’s no wonder that most people’s spirits would break.


The management was working hard to get the situation under control, but the small to medium-sized agencies, which had just been established, inevitably lacked the manpower to do so. When they were finally ready and had issued a statement of legal action, he had cut his wrist with a razor blade. Fortunately, he survived the incident…


Kasai: I understand that Botan-san is someone who doesn’t really care about such things. However, we still don’t want to make the same mistake again.


Yamagami: Yes, I understand.


That incident caused a significant loss to Denjilas. Not only did they suffer financial losses, but more importantly, they were labeled as unable to protect their affiliated live streamers.


Originally, Denjilas was founded by people who had a strong passion for the VTuber industry. That’s why this incident was particularly painful for them to bear.


Fans decreased, revenue decreased, and even when recruiting new talents, few showed interest. This was a big blow, especially for a small to medium-sized agency that lacked the resources of bigger players.


That’s why Denjilas hired me. They hired me because I understood the situation of the company and still applied for the job. Although I’m an amateur with no streaming experience, they hired me because I’m tough enough to explore dungeons and engage in life-threatening battles.


Yamagami: Let’s take it easy. This is a win-win situation. You, who want to work as a VTuber even as an amateur for the sake of your goals, and the management side who wants to clear their name. Let’s work together and do our best, don’t you think so?


Kasai: Yes, I see. I’m sorry, it’s just that as a manager, I feel like I should be the one doing the supporting.


Yamagami: No, no, no. As a former resident of the VTuber world, I understand that managers can get nervous as well. 


It takes courage just to hire a male streamer again, and the surrounding situation has clearly worsened since the previous incident, so it’s understandable to be nervous.


One man in a company full of women. And yet, despite the past troubles, the management is trying to replicate it. It’s no wonder that they are being looked at with cold eyes.


Even if there was an unavoidable reason why the struggling agency couldn’t hire multiple male streamers with a high risk of failure, it doesn’t matter to the public.


Still, Denjilas went ahead with it. To clear their name at this point and to aim for a company where both men and women can work in the future.




—In other words, I, the new male VTuber “Yamagami Botan”, am taking a once-in-a-lifetime gamble that could make or break the company. It’s a crazy move to enter the VTuber industry just to be able to treat my oshi to meals, but it’s not a bad thing either.


“Wow, it’s really exciting, isn’t it?”


Once you set your goal, it’s a straight path. And carrying the weight of many people’s futures, you must advance relentlessly, regardless of the consequences!!

You can get Advance Chapter – Patreon

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