Hololive star Airani Iofifteen has been praised for incorporating sign language into her 3D debut. The star sung a song by Japanese band HANDSIGN, rehearsing the song’s lyrics in sign so deaf viewers could enjoy the experience — and she plans on doing more in the future.
Airani Iofifteen is incredibly talented when it comes to many things, including languages. The Hololive Indonesia star can speak six languages: English, Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, German, and Sundanese, a local Indonesian dialect.
She can add a seventh to that list though through sign language though, with the Hololive star receiving heaping praise for being the first agency VTuber to incorporate it into a 3D Live.
Iofifteen performed a song by Japanese band HANDSIGN called Boku ga Kimi no Mimi ni Naru, translated to I Will Be Your Ears. The band, while all of hearing, has tried to raise awareness to those hard of hearing and their struggles. Iofifteen, a fan of HANDSIGN, wanted to learn sign language to do the same for her fans.
She also signed some of her conversation leading up to the performance.
It was a roaring success, with those even outside the Indonesian talent’s usual fandom — including HANDSIGN themselves — taking notice.
“After I did sign language, there were a lot of people who came to watch,” she said after the 3D debut. “I think that’s amazing. I received a lot of messages from those who cannot hear after I sang and danced to that song.
“I’m really happy for that — I guess I’m the one who should say thank you. They said ‘Yopi, I understand what you said that time’ and I was like ‘awww.’
“I also got a message from HANDSIGN’s members. They actually thanked me. I was like ‘wait shouldn’t I be the one thanking you instead?’”
It came in handy outside of the 3D concert too. Iofifteen saw a fan at Comic Frontier, an anime convention in Indonesia, and communicated using sign language, making their day” “There was someone using Indonesian Sign Language [SIBI]. At first I wasn’t fluent in SIBI but fortunately some of the signs are similar to American Sign Language [ASL] so I can understand it.”
There are a few limitations with VTubers using sign language. For Hololive, their stars all stream using Live2D, meaning it’s hard to capture hand gestures. When Hololive ID were preparing for their 3D debuts though, Iofi put a conscious effort into making her performance accessible.
“When I heard that it was possible for us to hold a 3D Live, I trained so hard,” she said.
“I was the first ever person in Hololive that kind of wanted to try sign language. My practice and rehearsals were a bit longer than the others, because the staff told me that it was the first time ever someone wanted to try sign language. It was really… wow. It’s amazing.”
It won’t be the last time Iofi tries to incorporate sign language into her streams too: “If there’s any chance for me to use a full 3D model again, I really want to try sign language again.”