While a little slow to jump into the English-first market compared to their rivals in Hololive, Nijisanji has proven they’re absolutely serious about catering to audiences outside of Japan with their EN branch. Their first wave of VTubers, known collectively as LazuLight, have been working hard and capturing the hearts of their audiences since their debuts in May, and now we already have a second group to enjoy: OBSYDIA.
The three new girls have had a few days to get settled now, so I thought it was high time we take a look at what they’ve been up to and why you might want to check them out. So settle in, grab a bubble tea and don’t look away from your dinner while Selen’s around — let’s meet OBSYDIA.
First to debut was Petra Gurin, a “frost penguin” who has gained the ability to take human form. According to Petra, frost penguins can do things regular penguins can’t, such as living in warmer climates — and things that humans can’t do, such as swallowing a fish whole. She reverts to her penguin form if she gets too cold, which explains why she is perpetually clad in her super-cute penguin hoodie.
Petra’s debut provided a charming visual novel-style introduction to her background — initially considered a research subject, she has subsequently integrated herself into human society, and has taken on the challenge of VTubing as a means of improving her socialisation.
During her debut, she explained that she dislikes public speaking and that she was extremely nervous speaking to all the people watching — but she’s determined to use her role as part of OBSYDIA to conquer her own anxiety, develop her confidence and get better at speaking in front of others. One gets the distinct impression that this wasn’t a character “bit”; she really did seem to be nervous, but there was a quiet determination in her voice, too.
She kicked off her debut with a solid performance of Snow Halation from Love Live! School Idol Project; she has a breathy, sweet voice with excellent Japanese pronunciation, and everyone was delighted to hear her sing so soon.
It turns out her Japanese is very good in general; she introduced herself in Japanese as well as English, and she also speaks a bit of both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese but claims to be “pretty bad at both”. She learned Japanese out of a burning passion for otome games — the imminent BUSTAFELLOWS is one of her all-time favourites.
Petra’s character designer is momoco_haru, who draws beautifully airy art that wouldn’t look out of place in an Atelier game. She has a somewhat more “pencil sketch” style than her compatriots in OBSYDIA — as well as a rather more gentle, quiet personality — but as we’ve seen in other VTuber groups (with VShojo being an excellent case study), having a nice range of different personality types among the complete cohort of talent means that there’s a performer for everyone to enjoy.
Petra’s goals are to collaborate with other Nijisanji members, whom she idolises, and to finally finish a horror game. In the days since OBSYDIA’s debut on Sunday, July 18, 2021, she’s picked up 81.5K subscribers on YouTube, making her the most popular of OBSYDIA so far — and the one who is snapping most closely at the heels of LazuLight in terms of simple numbers!
Rosemi Lovelock is a rose maiden — the personification of a rose who once lived alone in a garden, wishing she could connect more with others. Upon seeing a beautiful fairy — one Pomu Rainpuff — expressing a considerable amount of joy and happiness, she asked a passing bee what her secret to success was. The bee, a little put out by being interrupted from his important flying business, explained that Pomu was into “BeeTubing or something”, so Rosemi decided to explore this for herself.
And now she’s Pomu’s intern, clearly not knowing what she has let herself in for.
Rosemi kicked off the main part of her stream after her introductory animation with an excruciating Dad joke-tier pun — “hey buds, how’s it growin'”, which immediately endeared her to her audience. Despite exhibiting obvious charisma and energy right from the outset — helped along enormously by her perpetually smiling avatar — she claimed to be “super duper omega bigly nervous” about debuting as part of OBSYDIA.
She speaks English, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin and Korean — she explains that she had a lot of time to study languages while she was alone in the garden. She is less confident at Italian, Latin and Korean but is very open to the idea of learning or refreshing her knowledge of other languages on stream alongside her viewers.
Tastes-wise, she likes tights, which makes her a winner in our book. She also likes Japanese history, fairies (even after meeting Pomu), poker, anime and Vocaloid music, and hopes one day to collaborate with a popular Vocaloid producer.
In terms of gaming, she has a broad range of tastes, including RTS and MOBA games — the latter of which she refused to go into detail about in case people laughed at her. She’s also a fan of murder mystery visual novels and fighting games, particularly Guilty Gear, Tekken, Street Fighter and Samurai Shodown. She claims to be an excellent sniper, loves Zelda (particularly Majora’s Mask and Breath of the Wild) and is a fan of RPGs, so expect plenty of our favourite kinds of games on her streams.
Rosemi’s character designer is abandonrnk, who is a specialist in Gothic designs with a strong emphasis on the colours black and red. Unsurprisingly, Rosemi’s character design fits right in with this, but her dark Gothic-inspired clothing contrasts with her exceedingly cheerful face and her bright green tights, giving her a highly memorable appearance.
Rosemi’s goals are to get better at singing, learn the piano, practice her languages, develop her confidence in communicating and to gain 100K subscribers. She’s already over halfway there on that last one, having nabbed 57.4K since OBSYDIA’s debut on July 18, 2021.
Petra and Rosemi are both off to a strong start already, but Selen is going to be something very special in the VTuber space — I can absolutely tell. Right from her fantastic loading screen, which featured a custom animation synced perfectly with her background music, it was clear she’s serious about doing a great job of entertaining her audience.
And this impression continued the moment she started talking; out of the three OBSYDIA girls, Selen was the most obviously at ease from the outset, and appears to be a very natural entertainer. She was cracking jokes, she was adlibbing on her scripted elements, she was laughing along with the audience — she generally established an immediately welcoming atmosphere where everyone was having fun.
Selen’s character designer is kamamesigogo123, the same as for LazuLight’s Elira Pendora. There are some obvious design similarities between the pair, but they’re also designed to contrast heavily with one another — both in terms of appearance and personality. While Elira exudes powerful older sister energy at the best of times, Selen is very much a cheeky, mischievous younger sister who prizes having fun — sometimes at the expense of Elira.
Her gaming tastes include Spyro the Dragon, Heroes of Might and Magic III (“not the other ones”), Starcraft, arcade shooters and Dynasty Warriors; she attributes most of these tastes to her father, who introduced them all to her at an early age. She also loves Transformers, “but not the Michael Bay ones”.
Her long-term goals are to get a world top ranking in FPS — she’s a self-professed “toxic gamer” — and get a custom PC setup using her distinctive colours. She also wants to improve her singing and release a cover version within the next year, learn Japanese (which she doesn’t currently speak, unlike her genmates) — and most importantly, she wants to make her audience laugh so that they can take her energy, because in her own words, she has “too much” of it.
So far Selen has got off to a solid start, with 61.8K subscribers in the bank since OBSYDIA’s July 18, 2021 debut. She’s definitely going to be one to watch, I reckon.
The Nijisanji EN girls are all very active on Twitter, and their banter there is almost as entertaining as their streams, so be sure to follow them over there. Here’s Elira, Pomu, Finana, Petra, Rosemi and Selen.
Who’s your favourite of the Nijisanji EN girls so far — and how do you rate them compared to other groups like Hololive and VShojo? Let us know down in the comments — or if you have more to say, why not pen us a letter for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page?
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