What is Nijisanji? The biggest VTuber agency globally, rivalling Hololive - Dexerto
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What is Nijisanji? The biggest VTuber agency globally, rivalling Hololive

Published: 6/Nov/2021 8:00 Updated: 6/Nov/2021 6:25

by Andrew Amos

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Nijisanji often plays second fiddle to Hololive when it comes to VTuber discussions, but the agency is not only the biggest, it’s also the first. They’re Hololive’s biggest rivals in the space with over 200 idols, and there’s no signs of slowing down.

Hololive is the first agency that comes to mind when you talk about VTubers and their takeover of YouTube (and Twitch, in the case of VShojo).

However, Nijisanji is arguably more influential, having brought the idea of VTuber agencies to life back in 2018. Now, they are the biggest-by-numbers, and are slowly starting to take hold in the English market.

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Who is Nijisanji?

Nijisanji is a VTuber group managed by ANYCOLOR, starting in Japan in February 2018. The group, however, rapidly expanded across 2019 and 2020 to multiple different countries, recruiting dozens of VTubers along the way.

They were the first major VTuber agency (Hololive launched their VTuber business in May 2018), breaking new ground in the industry by focusing more on livestreaming with Live2D models rather than pre-recorded content popularized by the likes of Kizuna AI.

Nijisanji currently has over 200 VTubers under its agency, including over 100 Japanese stars and 10 English members. They have VTubers in Indonesia, Korea, and China, and previously attempted to expand out to India.

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Their biggest talent, Kuzuha, has over 1 million subscribers and is the most popular VTuber on YouTube as of October 2021 ⁠— even beating out the likes of Hololive’s Gawr Gura and Usada Pekora in terms of monthly viewership.

Nijisanji’s reach is ever increasing as they break into new markets, with new “waves” of VTubers being recruited every month.

Nijisanji vs Hololive: Who’s the biggest VTuber agency?

Nijisanji are neck-and-neck with Hololive when you run the numbers. While Hololive certainly has the notoriety in the West thanks to the explosive launch of their English brand, Nijisanji has strength in numbers.

Across their 156 non-Chinese VTubers, they have more than 30 million YouTube subscribers combined. Hololive does have more ⁠— 43 million across 57 active channels ⁠— but the sheer reach of Nijisanji’s talent across countries is something Hololive hasn’t got just yet.

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Hololive does dominate the Superchat charts too with eight of the top 10 spots, with Nijisanji’s Kuzuha coming in eighth overall.

While Nijisanji doesn’t have the super popular idols like Hololive does ⁠— at least in the West ⁠— with their continued rapid expansion, their numbers will only explode. After all, it only takes one ‘Gawr Gura’-like hype-train to completely take over the industry.

Top 10 biggest Nijisanji VTubers

Numbers correct as of November 5, 2021.

Name Debut Subscribers
Kuzuha (JP) July 30, 2018 1,100,000
Kanae (JP) May 2, 2018 873,000
Tsukino Mito (JP) February 7, 2018 792,000
Honma Himawari (JP) July 11, 2018 671,000
Sasaki Saku (JP) July 7, 2018 650,000
Hoshikawa Sara (JP) October 19, 2019 633,000
Lize Helesta (JP) March 23, 2019 583,000
Ange Katrina (JP) March 23, 2019 567,000
Yuki Chihiro (JP) August 2, 2018 564,000
Ars Almal (JP) July 28, 2019 557,000