More and more frequently, Japanese bloggers on the hunt for an otaku fanbase have kept their true identities on the downlow.
Thanks to voice altering software, the online community has grown used to machine-like voices in online videos. So, when inexpensive motion-sensing technology became available (so advanced it can convert your body movements and facial expressions into computer animation on the fly), we were destined for a boom in virtual YouTubers in Japan.
…And not surprisingly, most virtual YouTubers take the form of cute, young anime girls. One of the newest to appear on the scene is Nora Cat, who made her debut just two months ago (and in that time has attracted 55,000+ subscribers to her YouTube channel).
Her claim to fame? Casual convo about video games.
She checks off every standard otaku must-have: steampunk dress ✓, cat ears ✓, and striking eyes ✓… Even Nora Cat’s polite, soft speech is aimed at otaku. As a matter of fact, she knows she’s designed that way, and has even stated in one of her videos
If you want to fall in love with a virtual character, then you should. I won’t betray those feelings. If everyone feels attracted to me, I will continue to be attractive, so it’s OK.
However, Nora Cat’s ability to get viewers’ hearts all aflutter may have taken a hit following a surprise unmasking. One of her gimmicks is that her videos are streamed live, with the voice and movements of her human creator/performed being converted in real-time to create the character. However, as shown in this clip shared on Twitter by @karakasa893, broadcasting live comes with the danger of an on-screen glitch that shows viewers that Nora Cat is really…
…a middle-aged dude.
— からかさ (@karakasa893) February 4, 2018
Some people aren’t willing to let their fantasy die, saying that this isn’t any different from a sexy or beautiful anime/manga girl being drawn by an artist who’s a middle-aged man…
It’s even caused a few online commenters to say they’re actually more interested in checking out her videos now that they’ve seen who’s behind them. As @karakasa893’s tweet claims,
We’re living in a cutting-edge society where middle-aged otaku dudes are falling in love with other middle-aged otaku dudes.