If you’re a VTuber fan, I hope you’re not sleeping on Nijisanji’s English offerings. Between their first wave LazuLight and their recently launched second wave OBSYDIA, Nijisanji EN is providing a convincing alternative and rival to the big names in the business such as Hololive and VShojo — if not necessarily in terms of raw numbers, then certainly in terms of entertainment value.
A little over a week after their debuts, the first of OBSYDIA’s three members has cracked 100,000 YouTube subscribers — a milestone which it took LazuLight about twice as long to achieve. The first to join the 100K club was frost penguin VTuber Petra Gurin, whose endearingly wholesome attempts to overcome her own social anxiety through streaming have resonated particularly strongly with a broad online audience.
Petra’s OBSYDIA genmates Selen Tatsuki and Rosemi Lovelock aren’t far behind her, sporting 81.2K and 71.2K subscribers respectively, and their infectious energy on social media — as well as their willingness to have fun both with each other and their audiences — have made them beloved parts of the VTuber community, despite how “young” they all are.
So with that in mind, I thought it worth taking another look at what they’ve all been up to, and present a few highlights for you to enjoy. Maybe you’ll be the one to push Selen and Rosemi over the top into the 100K club alongside their penguin buddy?
Petra cracked 100K subscribers on the morning of July 28, 2021; she posted on Twitter that she was hoping to reach the milestone during her stream the following day, but it turned out asking people to hold fire on subscribing until then was a foolish mistake — naturally, she promptly enjoyed a flurry of new subscribers to take her right over the edge, prompting her to host a 100K celebration stream the very same day.
Petra’s appeal stems from her cute design, her endearingly gentle personality and her willingness to casually chat with the audience, despite her self-proclaimed anxiety over public speaking and social functions such as calling people on the telephone. Many streamers — VTuber or not — have found that broadcasting online has really helped them overcome or at least deal with such issues, so it’s great to see Petra doing so well and being rewarded for her efforts.
At the time of writing, one of Petra’s most popular video archives on her channel is her Japanese free chat stream, which she hosted a couple of days after her debut. This specific attempt to include her Japanese audience — without whom we wouldn’t have this whole VTuber phenomenon, let’s not forget — seemingly went down well with Nijisanji fans out east, many of whom appeared in the commends section complimenting Petra’s natural, comfortable use of Japanese.
Consequently, it’s fair to assume that a decent number of those 100K subscribers hail from Japan now that they’ve seen Petra is willing to cater specifically to them as well as her English fans.
Another popular stream was her Ring Fit Adventure challenge. Ring Fit has been oddly popular among VTubers, especially considering that we can’t see the full body movements of those who have 2D avatars. However, many VTubers seem to recognise that their very nature creates parasocial relationships with their viewers, and as such they take responsibility for this by acting as good role models. Much as VTubers might inspire people to try out new games, so too will Ring Fit streams encourage their audience to get up and get active — so runs the theory, anyway.
Compared to her peers, Petra has done relatively few gaming streams, instead preferring to host chatting streams and “Marshmallow” question-and-answer sessions. These make great “background” entertainment because you don’t necessarily actively have to watch them to fully appreciate what’s going on — but they’re also convincing evidence of how Petra is getting more and more comfortable speaking to her audience.
The penguin’s doing great, in other words — and her subscriber count is reflecting the audience’s appreciation of how hard she’s working.
While OBSYDIA’s resident toxic gamer Selen and occasionally sadistic rose maiden Rosemi haven’t cracked the 100K mark at the time of writing, all three of the OBSYDIA girls have now had monetisation activated on their channels, which means that fans can make use of YouTube’s Super Chat system to donate money to their favourite streamers in exchange for having a special highlighted message appear in chat and be recorded for later perusal. Selen hosted a stream to celebrate and promptly found herself being held hostage by her viewers’ generosity; it ended up going on for nearly 5 hours in total as the Super Chats kept rolling in.
Out of all the OBSYDIA members, Selen has hosted the most gaming streams so far — this is unsurprising, given her background and stated interests. Notably, though, she has displayed a willingness and interest to explore more retro titles on her streams; one of her first gaming streams that didn’t involve Apex Legends (which she has a particular affinity for) was Capcom’s classic Onimusha: Warlords.
Selen played through the whole thing in a single 5-hour sitting, and the audience was keen to see her take on the other entries in the series — though she noted that whether or not she will be able to do so depends on if she can get permission from the publishers to do so. VTubers from high-profile groups such as OBSYDIA are seemingly subject to quite tight restrictions on what games they are and are not allowed to stream, so while retro games whose publishers are defunct probably won’t be a problem, titles such as Onimusha, whose publishers are still around, require some “approval” before they can appear on-stream.
Selen has also showed herself to be well up for collaborating with her fellow Nijisanji EN members, even outside of OBSYDIA, with her Apex Legends stream alongside Finana Ryugu proving to be particularly popular — it’s one of Finana’s most-viewed videos over on her channel.
Selen and Finana complement one another well because they both have a tendency to speak what is on their mind — Selen in a loud, brash, unashamed way (inevitably followed by her delightfully infectious laugh) while Finana always sounds like she’s saying unexpectedly filthy things in a half-asleep haze with her wonderfully sweet voice… one suspects she knows exactly what she’s doing, however.
Selen also seems to have a strong interest in modern indie games; to date she’s played both Shovel Knight and Little Nightmares II on stream, and had a great time with both. She seems more than happy to do endurance streams that are five hours or more, too — so she’s your gal if you want to enjoy some gaming along with your chat.
Despite initially claiming to not really know what she was doing with chatting streams, Rosemi has proven herself to be a gracious host who it is very enjoyable to spend time hanging out with — even with the occasional thorns. To that end, she’s hosted several pure chat streams to date — during which she often talks about tights, if you’re into that — as well as a particularly memorable stream in which she attempted to make a lasagna. Despite a somewhat negative interaction with her can opener, she eventually succeeded. She did manage to burn a toaster waffle the following day, however.
Given Skyrim’s never-ending popularity, it’s surprising we haven’t seen more VTubers take on its challenge — particularly with the game’s scope for freeform, open-world silliness. Hololive’s Amelia Watson has previously showed that there was plenty of mileage to be had from Oblivion, however, so it was surely only a matter of time before someone stepped into the land of the Nords. And Rosemi proved herself to be very much up to the challenge, letting loose her creation “Toddemi” onto the world before having a thoroughly lovely time peppering wolves with arrows, setting fire to spiders and all the usual Skyrim activities.
Finally, her collab with Petra on Night Delivery — a game that every VTuber seems to end up playing at one point or another — was an absolute delight. Both girls admitted to a certain amount of nervousness during their debuts, but they ended up playing off well against one another; Petra’s sweetness and Rosemi’s occasional lapses into performative sadism worked well together, particularly during the times when it seemed like Petra was less scared than Rosemi.
What have been your highlights from OBSYDIA so far? Let us know in the comments, or pen us a letter for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!
Header art by @carrotccp.
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