Kizuna no Allele – Episode 1

By: Chiaki Hirai April 4, 20230 Comments
Miracle dances awkwardly as vtuber 3D model dances tend to.

What’s it about? Miracle is a small-time VTuber who loves legendary virtual AI VTuber and five-time winner of the Lapin d’Or, Kizuna AI. She wants to be just like her one day. So much so she’s going to VTuber school to do it. After showing she has some mettle to her classmates and everyone else at the ADEN academy, she feels emboldened to ask popular VTuber Noelle for a collab, but gets immediately rejected. It’s fine though, Kizuna AI will keep her hopes up.

Hai domo- it’s ya girl the three-headed cat goddess VTuber Mitama Chiaki here to do a live reaction to Kizuna no Allele.

After Virtualsan-Looking flopped hard despite featuring a cast of actual VTubers—-you know, that horse guy and, uh, the peanut guy, and I really don’t remember anyone else who was on that show—Kizuna AI Inc. has decided it’s just better to have a show focused on original characters with Kizuna AI pulling in viewers as the headliner.

I guess?

Kizuna Ai poses in her 3D space: What am I doing right now?
Fighting for relevancy.

Honestly fair, though. Kizuna AI and her backers know she’s got her brand and that’s what people are there for. Random VTubers collabing with her on a show is just gonna be a chaos of clashing egos, so in terms of telling a cohesive story, not having anyone else butting in to lay claim as a headliner probably helps. 

But the story isn’t really about Kizuna AI either. Kizuna no Allele is about a world where Kizuna AI mysteriously vanished some years ago, and you have all these young kids going to school to learn how to VTube. It’s like UtaPri, except Miracle is wholly uninteresting as a character. 

The most memorable part of the inaugural episode is focused on showing off Kizuna AI’s new music video, which is cool if you’re into that. However, once we’re into the meat of the episode, we learn Miracle really doesn’t have much going for her aside from her undying love for Kizuna AI and the fact she calls nipplewort flowers cucumber herbs. 

Miracle, an orange haired 3D girl smiles and jumps in a virtual world: Wow! This video's always so great!
How can you watch the same video over and over again like that and gush on a live stream and expect anyone to follow you for it? I ask, despite openly, constantly being a wife guy to my girlfriend Lily Lycoris and promoting them in Anime Feminist articles.

Miracle is a nothing sandwich with the crust cut off. She lacks the idol protagonist feel that there’s something special to her. You know that there has to be something in there that sparks inspiration to viewers that she’s special, or there’s a side to her that makes her stand out from the rest. D4DJ’s Rinku has her undying boisterousness, Ayumu is driven by the passion she exhibits after watching a live in Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club. There was that Wall in 22/7. Miracle’s really got nothing here, partially because her entire character motivation is shaped by your opinion of Kizuna AI.

Do you like Kizuna AI? Have you started VTubing because you watched Kizuna AI say “fuck you” while playing Resident Evil 7? Then you will look to Miracle and go “same, bestie.” 

If you’re like me and kinda just rolled your eyes at her after she went in to sell Otaku Coin, and recall her as a major but somewhat passé cultural icon that she is, you’re going to just be sitting there asking “why do you like her so much?”

Aside from the Kizuna AI thing, she’s just some girl who really wants to be a big time VTuber one day, and here’s my honest opinion: I don’t think she’s an interesting VTuber.

Miracle dances awkwardly as vtuber 3D model dances tend to.
This dance sequence was meant to inspire that Miracle is truly capable as a performer, but it’s by any measure really just a “nice performance” by a girl who is doing her best. And fair, that’s just how dancing with a 3D model looks, but it honestly felt like I was just watching an Idol M@ster video in 2007.

Shiki Miyoshino joked while playing Needy Streamer Overload that you can’t be sane and a streamer at the same time, and there’s some truth to it. You need to be interesting.

Miracle wonders aloud why she only has 80 followers and why no one tunes in to her streams, and I’m here taking stock of the fact she’s a channel producing reaction vids to music videos by an idol who’s been gone for several years. As a former part-time manager for a couple of VTubers, I kinda just feel like she needs to rebrand. Do her own thing. Develop some lore. Order some skebs. Become a bunny and say “fuck” a lot. 

And truthfully, maybe Miracle really doesn’t have that ability. She notes she only has one costume for her performance, and VTubing (and 3D VTubing at that) is incredibly expensive even as a hobby. But it’s all the more infuriating to know that Miracle is going to school for this and the best she can do is have “literally her” in the virtual world instead of being, like, a cool moth or something.

A gaggle of vtubers in various forms, some have animal ears, they all have weird hair colors, one guy is wearing a cat on his head. Chaos.
Even the mob characters in this show look more interesting than Miracle, the teacher actually has some gumption to be a furry streamer. Let Miracle be a grim reaper or a shark, or something.

Aside from Miracle as a character, how is this show? Well, there’s a mysterious boy who sits around sipping tea in a greenhouse. He’s probably some famous VTuber. That’s cool. He’s slightly more interesting than Miracle. Miracle might be collabing with Kizuna AI somehow and looking into why she disappeared? Sure, go for it. 

There’s nothing problematic about this show so far. And that’s great. If there’s one thing corporate-backed VTubers are good at, it’s being good at toeing the line to be as uncontroversial as they can in the face of controversy, so you probably won’t see anything too hard-hitting here either way. 

As “normal life” resumes in the post pandemic world, the appeal of VTubers are waning. What exploded in popularity starting in the late 2010s became a sensation during lockdown, and we’re now in an era of market saturation where even your local commuter rail agency is getting in on it.

Thus, seeing a show about a school of kids wanting to be VTubers makes my skin crawl. You don’t need a degree in VTubing. What you need is business management skills. Maybe some voice training. Take some classes in video editing, But a school dedicated to VTubers? That sounds like a worse scam than the Academy of Art University, especially when they don’t even let you attend remotely despite all the classes happening in cyberspace.

This show just embodies everything I find tiresome about the artificiality of pop entertainment in Japan. It’s meant to push the myth of Kizuna AI without so much as an ounce of self reflection. But if you’re searching for the original-flavor Pringles equivalent of audio and visual media, you’ve found it in Kizuna no Allele.

Anyway be sure to hit that follow button and turn on notifications. And don’t forget to join our Discord. We’re gonna raid out to an anime I’m actually enjoying, and that’s My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999.

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