VTuber illustrator spotlight: 3 of our faves!

VTubers! Frequent readers here on Rice Digital are most likely well aware of just how much I and some of the others love our VTubers. They rose to popularity in the peak of COVID — a mass depression was sweeping over the world and they appeared like heroes to save us and provide a source of light in an otherwise dark time. 

As wonderful as the performers behind our favourite VTubers are, one of my favourite things about the whole phenomenon is the variety of illustrators who give birth to these amazing characters.

So today I will be celebrating some of my favourite VTuber illustrators — the mamas and papas, as we know them. And we’ll revisit this topic every now and then, each time bringing in new illustrators to explore!

VTuber Illustrator Spotlight - 3 Of Our Faves!
Veibae by @Neonbeat619

NeonBeat (Veibae)

First up is NeonBeat, the illustrator for VShojo’s Veibae. At the time of writing this, Veibae is the only VTuber that he has created, and also the only one he plans to focus on. NeonBeat has mentioned in the past that his process for making the models is a bit different from the way some other illustrators go about it, and because of that he only has the time to dedicate to a single model. 

If you’re a fan of Veibae you’ll know that she is planning to debut a new model — and if you managed to catch any of NeonBeat’s Twitch streams, you’ll have already seen what the new model looks like. Neonbeat has a very distinctive style — whenever I see one of his works, I immediately know it’s his without having to check. It’s something about the way he draws faces and eyes that really sticks out to me; I really like it. 

Vtuber illustrators: Kujou Ichiso (Pomu Rainpuff)
Pomu by @KujouItiso

Kujou Ichiso (Pomu Rainpuff)

Next up is the illustrator of Pomu Rainpuff from Nijisanji EN, Kujou Ichiso. She isn’t exclusively known for her work on Pomu; if you’re a fan of Kantai Collection then you are more than likely familiar with some of her work already, since Ariake, Yamakaze, Murasame are some of the characters that she’s worked on. 

My introduction to Ichiso-sensei was through Pomu, and it’s because of a lot of her features that I have put her on this list. Pomu is such an adorably designed character model and she has some really unique features that always stand out to me. Some of her animations are really cute as well, especially the way that her mouth and eye-tracking works!

A part of VTuber culture that I have come to absolutely adore is the relationships between illustrators and their characters. Pomu and Ichiso-sensei are a standout example of this and their interactions on Twitter and on stream are always so wholesome. Seeing your creation come to life must be quite an exciting experience for anime-loving illustrators.

Pavlovia Reina by @lizhi3 (Iida Pochi)

Iida Pochi (Pavolia Reine) 

Ah Pochi-sensei, I’m sure that all of the cultured folk from among our readership have heard this name before. Iida Pochi is a well-known and respected mangaka; she’s the author of Ane Naru Mono (The Elder Sister-like One) and also the illustrator of what is colloquially known as “Milf Isekai”, Okaa-san Online or Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? For the REALLY cultured ones out there, you may also know her for some off-brand manga as well.

I have loved Pochi-sensei’s art style ever since I first came across her manga, and I remember when Reine debuted for Hololive’s Indonesian branch I instantly recognised the art style. I then found her own YouTube channel where she herself is a VTuber and as it turns out, she has created a whole bunch of VTubers whom she refers to as her family — very wholesome stuff. 

What I love the most about Pochi-sensei is just how much she loves everything about the VTubing community and culture. Thanks to her close relationship with Hololive ID member Iofi, Pochi-sensei was able to create a VTuber for Hololive, and it’s because of Iofi that Pochi-sensei decided to create one for Hololive ID instead of the Japanese branch. 

Similar to the way that Ichiso-sensei interacts with the VTuber’s of Nijisanji EN, I love the fact that Pochi-sensei even goes so far as to collaborate with some of the VTubers, including many of the Hololive girls. She has become good friends with Hololive EN’s Ina as well as others since creating Reine, and I think she is a genuinely wonderful, hard-working person.

So that’s that for today. Who are some of your favourite VTuber illustrators? Feel free to share them down in the comments or via the usual social channels — or wax lyrical about them at length in the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!

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Conor Evans
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