It is fair to say that VTubing is a pretty female-dominated industry. While there are a fair few examples of successful male VTubers both out east and here in the west, one cannot deny that the biggest success stories of the medium — and the most well-known names — are all female.
Nijisanji EN’s new wave Luxiem is attempting to redress that balance a bit by bringing us a cast of five beautiful boys to entertain us. And, unlike other attempts to bring together bands of male VTubers — such as Hololive’s “Holostars” project — these new virtual entertainers aren’t being corralled off in their own little area; they’re being pushed to the public in the same way as the established stars of LazuLight, OBSYDIA and Ethyria. In other words, they’re not “Nijisanji EN’s first male wave”, they’re “Nijisanji EN’s fourth wave”.
Despite only debuting a few days ago at the time of writing, the individual members are already starting to make a name for themselves on both YouTube and social media. So let’s take a moment to meet each of them!
Luxiem’s concept is that they are all individuals who have been drawn to this world from another time and another place. Ike Eveland is a novelist — someone who discovered the wonder of storytelling at an early age, and subsequently discovered the joy of crafting his own narrative worlds as a means of touching the hearts of others. As these things tend to go, he has now discovered VTubing as a means of doing the same thing.
Ike is a pleasantly softly spoken, calming sort of individual, which is entirely appropriate for his background. He speaks English, Swedish and Japanese, and his character design is the work of TCB, a character designer who, among other projects, also designed the first-generation Holostars member Kanade Izuru.
Ike’s tastes include stories — particularly slice-of-life, romance and horror — in a variety of media, including games. He also specifically singles out a love for utsuge — for the unfamiliar, this is a term used to describe visual novels with tragic narrative such as Kana Little Sister, and literally means “depression game”.
He’s also fond of junk food and caviar toast — I guess sometimes you’re just in the mood for a bit of luxury — as well as music, “wholesome things”, cute art, soft drinks and horror movies. His hobbies include figure collecting, learning languages, writing songs, music production and bingeing YouTube; it sounds very much like he’s a creative type, so we can probably expect some original songs and/or covers from him at some point.
Despite being a horror fan, he dislikes both spiders and jumpscares, as well as software crashes, heat and vegetables. As I type all this out, I’m thinking about the “oh, man, he’s literally me” meme. Because he kind of is, apart from being Swedish and physically attractive.
His particular tastes in anime include Higurashi, Haruhi Suzumiya, Death Note, Clannad, Plastic Memories, AnoHana, Toradora and Oreimo (he really is me), and in games he’s very fond of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Nier, Drakengard, Catherine, Resident Evil and visual novels — with his favourite examples of the latter including Da Capo 1 and 2, SubaHibi, Higurashi/Umineko and Saya no Uta. Good man.
His long-term goals include the usual “introduce more people to the world of Nijisanji”, along with trying out Dark Souls and Bloodborne, getting better at Japanese, writing original songs and arrangements, getting better at singing live and collaborating with the rest of Nijisanji EN — not just Luxiem. He also hopes to one day perform as part of the 3D live show and be invited as a convention guest — certainly not beyond the realm of possibility, as he’s an articulate and very likeable person who would make a good panel member.
Luca Kaneshiro’s concept is that he is a Mafia boss from the past (specifically 1969), and he immediately endeared himself to everyone with his Shoji Meguro-style funky music on his loading screen, which was designed to resemble an actual game. He then followed this up with a “Deez Nuts” joke, which would have done the trick for anyone who wasn’t already on board with him.
Luca’s lore introduction came in the form of an animated manga that tells the story of how he rescued someone from being beaten up, was subject to a misunderstanding and was subsequently sucked into a time portal while being chased. These things happen, it’s nothing to feel bad about.
Rather pleasingly, despite his somewhat “tough guy” persona, Luca has quite a gentle, slightly nasal voice, but there’s obviously plenty of energy behind it too. In many ways, he has the feel of an “anime gangster” about him, particularly with his initial “Yo!” greeting.
He speaks English, a little bit of Tagalog, some Japanese and “Grill”. He demonstrated the latter with some astonishing falsetto work which I’m sure will come in handy when narrating narrative-based games.
He’s also keen to emphasise the fact that he is completely human, and is painfully aware of the fact that most of the rest of Nijisanji consists of dragons, mermaids, sentient flowers and all manner of other weird and wonderful creatures. But nope, he’s just human. Juuuuust human. His designer is ohyg3, who is a prolific illustrator that has worked on a wide variety of projects for Hololive, Nijisanji and Fate/Grand Order.
Luca’s likes include fancy jewellery, gambling in video games, tattoos, food, athletics, horror games and Nijisanji. His hobbies include running, singing, playing games, playing guitar and voice acting — which he’s rather modest about despite clearly having a talent for it. His dislikes include both bugs and flying bugs — the latter of which he dislikes seriously enough to list them separately — along with vegetables, seafood, puzzle games and reading.
His favourite games include Super Mario Galaxy, Pokémon Gold, Getting Over It, Monster Hunter, Outlast, Sekiro and Among Us (which he’s keen to point out if you misspell slightly and read backwards is an invitation to do something to deez nuts). In terms of anime, he likes Mushoku Tensei, My Hero Academia, Danmachi, Bungo Stray Dogs, Darling in the Franxx, Vinland Saga, Gurren Lagann and Berserk.
His favourite foods include ice cream cake, smoked barbecue ribs, anything barbecue, lechon (a popular Spanish dish that is essentially a roasted baby pig), KitKat and KFC’s cookies and cream Krushem.
Luca’s goals include “becoming one of the best VTubers on the planet”, becoming fluent in Japanese, collaborating with his Nijisanji senpais and Luxiem peers, improving his singing, making some song covers and getting better at guitar. He’s very likeable and welcoming — a fun contrast with his character concept — and I suspect we’re in for some fun with him in the coming months.
Shu Yamino is a sorcerer — although he claims he hardly even knew ‘er. He inherited his parent’s abilities as a sorcerer, and uses Jujutsu, which is a type of sorcery related to curses and which uses natural or mythical powers to augment and cast spells.
His intro animation was a delightfully awkward depiction of how he ended up burning hotter than your mom, but God and Jesus, slightly distracted at the time, determined that he probably deserved to be sent to the future for some reason.
After the animation, Shu immediately burst into song and demonstrated that he’s clearly got a set of pipes on him, even if the stream lag meant that he was a little bit out of time with his backing track. After that, though, he introduced himself with plenty of energy, a touch of nerves and a beautiful PowerPoint presentation, featuring the very best in WordArt and transition animations.
Shu’s character designer is HoeL, who also designed his genmate Mysta Rias, as well as third-generation Holostars member Aragami Oga. He speaks English and Japanese fluently, and he stands 5 foot 8 inches tall.
His likes include everything about computers, particularly mechanical keyboards, gaming mice and audio gear. He’s a big fan of VTubers in general — particularly Nijisanji, of course — as well as singing, sparkling water, coffee and orange juice with pulp, because “if you drink orange juice without pulp, you’re drinking orange water”.
His anime tastes include Steins;Gate, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Haikyuu!!, SK8, K-on!!, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun and Nichijou, and he’s a particular fan of Vocaloid, Utaite and J-pop music.
His favourite games include Super Auto Pets, Smash Melee, Valorant, fighting games in general, Tetric, party games and Among Us. He’s particularly interested to try Undertale, Jump King, Back 4 Blood, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Nier and speedrunning in general.
Shu’s main goals in the short term are to not be nervous on stream, release a singing cover and collaborate with both his genmates in Luxiem and other members of Nijisanji EN. Longer-term, he hopes to release an album — possibly a Christmas album — as well as singing on stage in 3D, releasing an original song, sing with an anime song singer, and collaborate with a variety of worldwide VTubers outside of Nijisanji. The latter is definitely possible, given how open Nijisanji has been to collaborations with outfits like VShojo.
Shu seems like a lot of fun. He obviously had a touch of nerves during his debut, but he very much relaxed into things as things proceeded — and he’s definitely got a hint of the cheeky trickster about him. It’s going to be fun getting to know him in the coming months.
Vox Akuma hails from 1614, at the tail end of Japan’s Sengoku period. His origins are as a mysterious man who lived at the tip of Honshu, whose seemingly magical voice would instil anyone with warmth and comfort — and which tended to engender feelings of intense loyalty. It is because of this he became known as Vox Akuma: the Voice Demon.
His dramatic intro video tells the story of how Vox built a paradise for those who had no place to go — and how Ieyasu Tokugawa sought to bring it under his heel. Vox appeared to lose his life in the battle — but many believed his demonic blood would allow him to return someday. And, indeed, here we are — with an incredibly striking VTuber designed by character artist LAM.
As you might expect from that setup, Vox Akuma’s voice is incredible. Deep, rich and filled with warmth and passion, he also sports a wonderfully dry sense of humour that is enormously entertaining — right from the moment he admits that even he pronounces the “Akuma” part of his own name wrong sometimes.
He’s also more fascinated than insecure about the fact that the average height of people has grown considerably since the time he came from, and confesses that despite hailing from the Sengoku era of Japan, he has lost his memory of that language and now only speaks English.
Having lurked in the shadows for years, he has developed a number of tastes that are appropriate for the modern age. He is particularly interested in cooking, and encourages everyone to get over the fear of getting a dish wrong — everyone who learns to cook has been there, he says, including himself. He also notes that because 99% of people will not become chefs, those people who learn to cook can do so purely for the love of delicious food.
He’s also fond of voiceover work — no surprise there, with a voice like that — and arthouse film, but despite these tastes he is not at all fond of either fishy food or the movie adaptation of The Lorax. He is especially fond of creative works — particularly movies — that allow you to understand an artist’s agony through their work.
His anime tastes include Hunter x Hunter, Fullmetal Alchemist and Darling in the Franxx. For games, he’s fond of FromSoftware’s games, Runescape, Death Stranding, Omori, Five Nights at Freddy’s and Smash.
One of his initial goals was to reach 522 subscribers — the population of his clan when Tokugawa obliterated it — but at the time of writing he has over 42,300 subscribers, so he’s achieved that and then some already. Longer-term he wants to star in an anime or video game, win a Smash tournament, max out in old-school Runescape — and, of course, collaborate with other Nijisanji members.
Vox’s calming voice and dry humour is definitely going to win him some fans — along with that character design, for sure — and he’s definitely going to be one to watch. It’s evident that he’s a highly intelligent individual, too, so it’s going to be fascinating to spend time with him as he comments on the more artistic side of things.
Finally, we come to Mysta Rias, Luxiem’s resident detective and, if his conduct on social media is anything to go by, the biggest mischief-maker in the entire group. His lore connects with Luca’s — he was the one who was chasing Luca when the pair of them got sucked into a time portal.
After getting really drunk, crying and swearing a lot and then being exposed to VTubers — specifically Pomu Rainpuff telling Elira Pendora to “shut the fuck up” — Mysta decided that he wanted a piece of that action, and so here we are. He believes himself to be considerably less talented than everyone else in Luxiem, but more than makes up for that with his sheer energy and enthusiasm.
Mysta is half British, half Filipino, though only speaks English. His parents didn’t speak Tagalog, so he was never exposed to that language, and thus he tends to primarily think of himself as British more than anything, and attributes his first name to this fact.
His likes include Magnums (to a borderline erotic degree), sleeping, mysteries, rhythm games, anime and manga, mild katsu curry and getting stepped on. He claims to be an excellent detective, but thought that E.coli was a “deez nuts” joke. Meanwhile, he dislikes moving, cleaning, exercise, social meetings, the Internet being down, horror and the dark.
His favourite anime and manga include Nagatoro, Jahy-sama, Servant x Service, Recovery of an MMO Junkie, Nisekoi, Toradora! and many more. He is keen to emphasise despite his love of Nagatoro and Takagi-san, he is not a masochist and does not enjoy being bullied. Uh-huh, sure.
His favourite games include Osu! and Taiko no Tatsujin, and he’s a little disappointed that copyright shenanigans mean that he probably won’t be able to play them on stream. He also likes Apex Legends, Valorant, Undertale and Animal Crossing, and appears to be in some sort of denial about League of Legends.
Every generation of VTubers has to have at least one rambunctious troublemaker, and it’s clear that it’s going to be Mysta taking care of that job for Luxiem. He’s a joy to be around, and I suspect we’re in for some entertaining streams in the next few months.
That’s all of them, then! Have any of them caught your fancy as yet? And who are you hoping to see them collaborate with in the future? Let us know down in the comments or via the usual social channels!
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