Kson ONAIR is back on the air

For those of you still mourning the sad departure of Kiryu Coco from Hololive, I can’t help you through that pain since I’m still feeling it myself… but I can provide you with something that might help with said pain.

Specifically, there’s a streamer with a certain amount of similar appeal that you might be interested in checking out if you haven’t already. Her name is Kson (pronounced “Kei-son”) and she originally hails from Atlanta, Georgia in the USA, though she moved to Japan about ten years ago when her parents had to relocate there for work.

Kson first came to prominence back in 2018, when her playthrough of Sony Japan Studio’s SIREN: New Translation on Japanese video streaming site NicoNico attracted significantly more viewers than typically expected on the platform. Subsequently, she started doing videos and streams on YouTube, appearing as both her “real” self on camera as well as a 3D VTuber avatar that she manipulates in VR.

Much of her appeal stems from a certain amount of “gap moe”; her appearance might give one the initial impression of a quiet, demure and beautiful Japanese girl who happens to be a dab hand at cosplay, but as soon as she opens her mouth you’ll know you’re in for quite the delightfully energetic experience.

Despite becoming known for her Japanese streams, the fact that Kson hails from Atlanta, Georgia means that she’s a native English speaker, which explains a few things: her distinctive Southern accent any time she speaks English; the fact that her Japanese has a distinct “twang” to it, also; and the fact that, over the years, she has hosted a number of “Southern English” classes on YouTube in an attempt to, in her words, “let the Japanese learn real motherfucking English”.

According to an interview with Tokyogirlsupdate, Kson decided to learn Japanese after becoming fascinated with Sega’s Ryū ga Gotoku series, better known to us in the west as Yakuza.

“My ex-boyfriend used to play Ryū ga Gotoku,” she explained, “but I was just looking at it when he was playing it. Even though there’s a ton of substories in Ryū ga Gotoku, he only played the main story and got it over with quickly. After we broke up, I was really curious about those substories, so I ended up getting it for myself and started playing. Then I totally hooked up with the world of Ryū ga Gotoku, and I inevitably began studying Japanese to know about the yakuza.”

Consequently, the distinctive twang to Kson’s Japanese is attributed to some by the fact that she learned a fair few words and phrases from video games rather than formal study — though it’s clear from her fluency (and the fact that many of her streams and videos are primarily in Japanese) that she did more than just pick up the odd bits and pieces here and there.

“In order to understand the true feelings of the characters, I had to study Japanese so that I can discover just what it means to become a Japanese yakuza,” she explained.

Kson's Southern English classes

Back at the time Tokyogirlsupdate’s interview was conducted, Kson had no intention of making money from her streams and videos — she was simply doing it for fun alongside her “real” job. Niconico didn’t offer monetisation features at the time, after all, and her YouTube work was sporadic alongside her day job.

Early in 2021, however, Kson, who had already attracted a decent following on YouTube by this point, activated the Membership programme on her YouTube channel, which allows fans to subscribe for a fee to her channel in exchange for exclusive streams and custom emoji that can be used in live chats. And over the summer of 2021, she enjoyed a massive explosion in subscribers.

After a couple of tentative streams between February and July of 2021, Kson finally hosted a stream thanking her audience for 700,000 YouTube subscribers on August 1, 2021, during which her video title indicated that she intended to start streaming daily. And it appears that she intends to follow her previous pattern of streaming as both “herself” and her VTuber avatar depending on the occasion or mood.

Notably, one of the streams she hosted after starting to stream daily was a look back at her famous SIREN: New Translation video. This suggests that she’s keen to acknowledge her past and how far she’s come over the course of the last few years — and how much she’s looking forward to her new future on YouTube.

Things look pretty rosy for Kson’s comeback so far; her streams are well-attended and her subscriber count continues to rise as both native Japanese fans and overseas English-speakers flock to her channel. We’re yet to see the return of her delightfully foul-mouthed Southern English Class, but surely it’s only a matter of time at this point.

If you’d like to welcome back Kson to her activities on YouTube, stop by her channel and subscribe. And before you post that thing you’re thinking about posting in the comments, rest assured… we know. We all know. It just seems polite to be at least a little obtuse about it…

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Pete Davison
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