How Silvervale, Konzetsu, and Mamavale became the most popular VTuber family
Twitch stardom is one thing for Silvervale and Konzetsu. However, what’s more important is how their lives as VTubers brought them closer together — as siblings and with their mother, Mamavale — to become a family for all.
There’s something to be said about a family bond. The new-age nature of gaming and streaming frankly doesn’t lend itself well to it. Of all the children and young adults who absorb themselves into the online world, few parents and mentors actually understand what goes on.
Some are more accepting on a distant level. The kind words of ‘you’re doing great’, or vague statements and judgments without a proper understanding. Though that’s typically where it stops. The generational gap is too big to bridge, many assume. There’s a barrier — whether it be knowledge or ignorance, or a blend of both.
Among it all though, there is one family defying that and broadcasting themselves in a way that reminds you of the most innocent and nostalgic gatherings most had growing up. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more wholesome and supportive family dynamic online than the one Silvervale, Konzetsu, and Mamavale have.
Having a sakura wolf goddess, a demon who has been sealed away for millennia, and their creator as a family dynamic is far from typical. It’s not the nuclear family presented across all media, white-picket-fence and the full shebang.
But this is 2022, and frankly, the technology is there. It’s just the knowledge gap that’s hardest to close, but in doing so the family of three VTubers has welcomed thousands into the fold and given many online a home away from home.
Diving into the VTuber rabbit hole together
Silvervale laughed when I asked her to describe her lore in one sentence. She also broke the rules a little bit.
“I’m a sakura goddess who encourages people to appreciate the little things in life… sakuras only bloom for a short time so you only get to appreciate it a little bit, and they’re really pretty so I vibe with them a lot,” she mused.
“It’s fleeting but it helps you to appreciate the little things and the good things when you have them. I’m a little too sappy — I’m sappier than most.”
The wolf girl was the first in her family to pick up the medium of VTubing. Having always been immersed in the gaming and anime world, she always wanted to express herself online as a streamer.
However, there was a certain allure to doing so behind an avatar in a more private manner. VTubing wasn’t even really a term back then when Silver started, but that is what she was doing essentially by rigging up her own model — a “white hair wolf girl” — and venturing into this unknown practically alone.
“I wanted to stream and I had done it with a webcam a long, long time ago, and I went through Steam and I saw something called FaceRig,” she explained. “I knew there was that guy who streamed as a Shiba Inu and I was like ‘that’s what this is.’ I then saw you could be an anime girl and thought that was kind of cool. I like anime, it’s cute, I don’t want to use my webcam so I tried it.
“That was so long ago and you couldn’t look up anything on how to do it. You had to wing it yourself. I got a custom FaceRig model. I had white hair — I was a white hair wolf girl, but it was very janky. I was very proud of it and I streamed Black Desert Online and World of Warcraft. I would play for 12 hours a day grinding forever to no one.”
She wasn’t really alone though.
Growing up, Silvervale had a very close connection with her brother Konzetsu. The two were two peas in a pod with very similar interests and personalities. Silvervale cites her brother as a big inspiration for her taste in anime and games. Many fond memories were forged between the two as they grinded through MMOs together, or jumped on for a quick game of Fortnite.
“I played games with her constantly,” he said. “We got into WoW together and it was something where we played this MMO and we had things to talk about that we were both interested in and we both really like.
“I think we skipped over so many of the differences because we had this big thing we would always be able to go to each other for. We played games together, we liked anime and watched the same things, we hung out with my mom and did family movie nights, and ate dinner together. We all had the same interests and it helped pull us together.”
Let’s not jump the gun and say it was all sunshine and rainbows, but from the moment Silver and Kon start talking about each other, you realize just how much family means to them.
“We have the brother-sister scuffles here and there,” Kon laughed. “It’s the thing I bring up all the time — she traumatized me with save files once because I let her play a game and she’s like ‘I’m going to save this game’ and I’m like ‘okay well don’t save over that file that I played 50-60 hours on’. She was like ‘save over that file?’ and did it.
“Obviously you have that and I didn’t talk to her for a week. I had to talk to my mom to talk to her. I was not talking to her. It was like ‘you deleted my life’. A 50-hour game file was the end of the world!”
“We worked together at one point and then I started streaming and quit, but he was still working that job,” Silver added. “He really wanted to stream and then he saw VTubing and really wanted to do that.
“He taught me about games and anime, we’ve always played together which is kind of special because we don’t really fight or anything. We’ve always been really good friends.”
When the global health crisis started, that’s when Konzetsu himself pulled the trigger on being a VTuber. He worked towards his debut across 2020 and 2021, with Silver helping out wherever she could; a bit of money here and there for a model, or something for his setup.
It was a pretty big secret though. Silvervale was blowing up on Twitch, and he didn’t want to just ride off the back of her success — he wanted to do things himself so he knew his heart was in the right place.
“I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing and I was enjoying myself and I could handle it — I wanted to be okay with streaming before I make her go and ‘this is my brother,’” he said. “She helped me get my foot in the door a bit, but I made sure I tried to do it myself as much as possible, and then on my debut she was there with me.
“She wanted to help me. If she thinks ‘maybe I can raid in and help there’ or do some family collabs and have a good time — a lot of times she will be like ‘I want to play with you, it’ll be fun’. It’s more ‘I want to play games with my brother’ rather than ‘what will this do for stats?’”
However, not even he really understood just how big Silvervale was blowing up online. By the time he was streaming, she was pulling in thousands of viewers every broadcast.
“She was talking about streaming and all the big things she was doing. We would hang out and play games together and do these fun things, and it was like ‘you’re doing this thing and you’re having a good time with it and I’m happy for you’. I was proud of her, but I didn’t fully understand how big of a deal it was until I started streaming and it was like ‘oh god you are actually doing this well.’”
That’s two parts of the equation now. Silver and Kon were streaming as VTubers, sharing their lives (and avatars) online and just enjoying games together through a new medium. So how does Mamavale (or MamaValeZetsu if you want to get everyone in) fit into the equation?
Well seeing her son and daughter transform into a sakura wolf goddess and a skeleton online certainly wasn’t in the plan in her mind when Silver and Kon were growing up. But she was a constant in both of their lives, always looking over their shoulder as they grinded through WoW and other games together.
She was also very green to the online world, and that knowledge gap did prove to be a barrier when Silver was starting out.
“We’d sit in the living room on our laptops and play and my mom would come by and she didn’t know what the f**k was going on but I’d be like ‘mom look at my cool mount or look at this outfit’ and she’d be like ‘that’s great honey,’” Silvervale laughed.
Though rather than turning a blind eye, Mamavale tried to embrace it. Tried is the operative word here — but she was successful eventually.
“My initial reaction was probably confusion,” she said. “I didn’t understand why people would want to watch other people play games. The tech side was overwhelming — and still kind of is. But the more I learned I felt better about Silver doing it.”
“I still have so many questions and they both love talking about their passions — gaming and VTubing. Ever since they were both young they’ve been playing video games together. Seeing both of their personalities come through with their models is fascinating to me. Each one represents them perfectly.”
Mamavale started out as just a name in Silver’s Twitch chat, cheering her on from the sidelines. Now she’s a staple of her streams, occasionally jumping in for a family collab with her own VTuber model which ties into her childrens’ lore.
“I started watching the kids streams and then as they collabed with their friends it was like having a front-yard full of neighborhood kids and I was watching them all play together,” she explained. “I would see all the different models and how everyone put their personalities into designing them and thought it was the coolest way to express yourself — your true self.”
Even the simple things we take for granted in the online space, like the anonymity of a gamer tag, had to be rote learned for Mamavale to try and get truly involved with their interests. But she kept pushing through, even when the spotlight was on her.
“I do remember the first collab I did with Silver, I literally put sticky notes all around my monitor that said Silver. I was so scared I would call her by her name! To make it easy now, so I don’t slip up, we call each other by their Twitch names. It is second nature now.”
The impact of that support, however, has forged a truly unbreakable bond between the three.
“She says a lot of the time that she feels like a Kardashian mom,” Silver laughed. “She’s a mom — you go to work, you go home, make dinner, you go to bed, you do the same thing the next day and that’s your life. That’s fine, but she gets all the benefits of being an internet personality without any of the work.
“She can just enjoy Twitter and having a bunch of followers and celebrating things and she really likes going into other people’s streams and hanging out. She sees herself as a VTuber mom — and she definitely is.
“She’s there supporting everyone. I get really busy and I’ll miss things on Twitter sometimes so she’ll always send me ‘look what this person said’ and ‘look they’re drawing you.’ She loves it so much because she gets to live vicariously through us and it gives more purpose to her life. It’s not like her life wasn’t purposeful before, but it’s almost surreal and magical.
“A lot of parents will support you in your dreams and be like ‘you’re doing great.’ It’s very unusual for them to play such a big part in your career, especially as a streamer because a lot of people just don’t get it or don’t vibe well with your jokes. She feels like my best friend. She is so funny and amazing and chat loves her, and it’s really special.”
The unbreakable bond
It’s always a pretty big affair on Twitch when Silver, Kon, and Mamavale all hop on for a collab together. The communities of — let’s face it — the three of them (given Mamavale’s own fandom) all coming together to watch what is essentially a family game night. They will load into games together (typically horror), scare each other, laugh it off, and bond.
Viewers love it, but it’s a very meaningful experience for the three of them that has led to some lifelong memories.
“She played on her work computer when we first started playing games together,” Silvervale reminisced. “We played Phasmophobia as our first game together and she kept running into walls and she couldn’t open the door. It was so funny and we figured out it was because her computer was so laggy she couldn’t handle anything.
“I bought her a new computer that might be better than my desktop — she has a bomb laptop — and the joy in her voice saying ‘I can move’, she was playing really well and I was so proud of her. It’s so cool to see someone from a completely different generation enjoying the games that you love and understanding game mechanics.”
There’s also something to be said about how important the connection online has been between the three over the last two years. With Silvervale and Konzetsu out of home, this online outlet provided the three the perfect opportunity to keep in touch while we were all physically distant.
The fact it is just being broadcasted to thousands doesn’t even weigh on them anymore, and even then, they still do things offline too.
“Our relationships are better now than they ever have been,” Mamavale stated. “We just have fun and honestly really enjoy each other’s company. They are young adults now. I’m not giving them chores for allowance, making sure they did their homework, or worrying they won’t be home before curfew.
“What you see during a family collab is just us hanging out. I honestly forget they are streaming and on my end, we are just playing a game together. They are very patient with me learning how to play games — it is much harder than everyone makes it look! Playing games together — whether online or board games at home — is something we really enjoy and have fun doing as a family activity.”
The level of support isn’t lost on either Silver or Kon.
“There’s the motherly part where she’s so proud of me — I’ll probably cry — living my dream because our childhood was really rough, growing up was hard and we dealt with a lot of really tough things,” Silver said, through tears.
“We didn’t have a lot of support for things, and now I get to support my mom. I can buy her Christmas presents and I can buy things for her house when things go wrong. It’s nice to spoil her after her being such a great mom dealing with so much crap. I just feel really lucky to be there for her like she was there for me.
“She went out of her way to talk in chat, occasionally show up on streams, but she was just really into making sure Silver was happy and had everything she wanted,” Kon added. “As soon as I ended up getting into it, she was like ‘well I have this other thing.’”
One of the greatest memories all three brought up when I spoke to them individually was the saga of Mamavale and Mamazetsu before Kon’s debut. Because they were trying to keep it a secret, Mama made two accounts and chatted using both in Silver’s stream so as to try and not blow the cover.
She wanted to support in any way possible, even if it meant having conversations with herself.
“She would talk to her other account and they would bounce back and forth,” Kon laughed. “It was this weird thing of her talking to herself and some people notice every time she would slip up and say the wrong thing on the wrong account, but she would sit there and have conversations.
“She went out of her way to support me even if she couldn’t ‘publicly’ do it yet, she was going to be there. As soon as everything was out and it was like ‘hey we’re related’, she was all in there and doing what she could to talk about me, post fun pictures together.”
It’s those memories they are cherishing as a family — their own special thing.
“They are so special,” Mamavale said. “I get to hang out with my kids and just laugh. It is always so chaotic, but I smile the whole time! What you see during a family collab is just us hanging out with each other.
“How we are on stream is the same as us hanging out in our living room playing games or watching a movie. Kon is usually teasing Silver and I’m laughing telling them to play nice! It is such a fun way to enjoy some family time together since they don’t live at home anymore.”
And while some might assume, as parents do, that boundaries could be crossed, the two siblings don’t really mind. In fact, they embrace their mother’s openness into their hobbies, careers, and lives — and they aren’t changing the way they act just for that because… why would they need to?
“I still do things I’d always do because I’m very myself with my family. They know me, so it doesn’t change anything,” Silver said. “Sometimes I try to be more mindful of being too vulgar because I know mom is going to watch the VOD and sometimes I’ll be like ‘sorry mom’. But they don’t affect it in any way.
“If I play a game that’s really emotional or sad, I feel like I have to call my mom after this and she’ll come in chat and start crying or call me. It only affects it in positive ways and not too greatly. I’m always myself with my family so it would all be in my regular content anyways.”
Being a family for those without
There is another level to how Silvervale, Konzetsu, and Mamavale act on Twitch that is a smaller yet just as important part of their own family dynamic. By making their very wholesome interactions very public, they’re aware of the influence it can have on viewers.
It’s not typical, but just them streaming important things together — like family gatherings and holidays — can give those who are feeling homesick or missing out on that connection a home away from home.
“I have a lot of people who say this on my stream when I’m playing with my family, but if they’re not super close with their family or their parents have passed away, it’s a good way to live vicariously through us as a fun gamer family,” Silver said.
“Sometimes certain people can go a bit far with it, but most of the time everybody is really cool, having a good time relaxing and enjoying the weird chaos going on,” Kon added. “They’re like ‘I wish my family was like this’ or ‘it’s nice to spend time with you guys when normally I wouldn’t have anything close to this.’”
Even Mamavale now sees herself as a mother for not just her two children but for the dozens of VTubers she’s adopted (via chat) across the last few years.
“You get to know some of them and recognize many others. Some have just really clicked and fit in with us and play with us on family game nights even. I have used the hashtag ‘Mother of VTubers’ like the Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones.”
But at the end of the day, they could be doing this in front of zero viewers and it’d still mean the world to them. For Mama, being able to be closer to her kids is something money can’t buy.
“There is honestly no greater joy than seeing the child you raised become an adult and living their dream. I feel I did my job raising them very well, they are both such caring, genuine people. I am very proud of them both, in the people they have become and what they have accomplished,” she said.
And for Silver and Kon, their mother’s support is all they could ask for.
“Family always comes first,” Kon stated. “They’re the ones that see the good and bad. They’re with you through everything and care about you the most. No matter what happens they’ll find ways to include you in things, make things better for you. You can be there for them.
“It’s a deep connection you can’t find anywhere else.”