Yoyo Lumi Is the Most Beautifully Animated VTuber You’ll See In a Pandemic

Yoyo Lumi Is the Most Beautifully Animated VTuber You’ll See In a Pandemic

With Yoyo Lumi, N0va Desktop is currently bringing something really cool and actually innovative to the Virtual YouTuber scene.

Yoyo Lumi mysteriously entered the Virtual YouTuber scene on May 14, 2020. Not with an introduction video like many Vtubers do, but a short dance video test, showing how incredible Lumi looks overall.

Yoyo Lumi is a new virtual YouTuber by N0va Desktop, a Chinese studio which describes itself on Twitter as “a small team creating something new and exciting”. Very little information was shared so far, be it on Lumi or N0va Desktop. What we know is that motion capture is used to make Lumi’s videos. Moreover, they are all in 4K and 60 FPS.

“Something new and exciting” is quite the right way to put it, as Yoyo Lumi looks incredibly well animated compared to every single VTuber. Not only her movements themselves, but the way her hair and clothes move too is stunning. Everything looks cute and cool. We’d also note the anime inclined jiggle physics are present.  N0va Desktop definitely is made of knowledgeable otaku.

Virtual YouTubers entered a boom in popularity worldwide, in Japan and Asia in particular, with Kizuna Ai in 2016. However, the concept itself has been existing for over a decade and isn’t particularly innovative. In particular, many anime or Vocaloid fans on Niconico made Virtual YouTuber content for over a decade now, most notably using the freeware animation program Miku Miku Dance.

Many VTubers do use MMD, or programs partly inspired from it. Live2D is a popular choice. A common factor with all these is how the animation isn’t fluid but rather fast and abrupt. The vast majority of VTubers have very dry movements, including those who have the resources for motion capture. Meanwhile, Yoyo Lumi’s movements are always incredibly smooth and fluid.

Making a smoothly animated VTuber takes an incredible amount of time and resources. Back when the boom started, popular seiyuu Tomokazu Sugita mentioned on radio shows how some companies started Vtubers but underestimated the work it implied.

With Yoyo Lumi, N0va Desktop adopted an innovative strategy: an extreme focus on quality over quantity. Only 6 videos have been published so far, with around one video every two weeks. Moreover, each video is only around fifteen seconds, following the format of a certain spying app instead of the usual VTuber content. And yet, it works incredibly well, and I’ve been finding myself eagerly waiting for the next video for a few weeks now.

Yoyo Lumi’s videos are first published on Chinese site bilibili with Chinese subs, and later on, YouTube with English subs.

Seeing how beautiful Lumi looks, but how she isn’t particularly popular, many have been stealing the videos to advertise their own games and works. Piercing through on YouTube and social platforms in general can be extremely hard, and often all depends on luck. The plagiarism is a recurrent problem Lumi faces, and fans on the Lumi discord have been organizing to report these cases.

In fact, one of Lumi’s videos has N0va Desktop directly addressing the matter, in an hilarious way:

The inscriptions on Lumi’s clothes also mentions “Virtual Actress Number 0”, which seems to hint that N0va Desktop will introduce more characters later on.

Personally speaking, there are multiple VTubers I enjoy such as Kaguya Luna designed by Mika Pikazo, but I honestly never expected to directly write about a VTuber one day. I’m not very fond of how big the trend became in Japan. With how every studio now feels forced to allocate some time and money to make a VTuber out of their characters and stay cool with the younger audiences. Even Type-Moon did it now with Rin. I believe this could turn into an actual problem for Japanese developers in the long run. In fact, two years ago already, Ichirou Sugiyama, known for LoveR, KimiKiss, Photo Kano, etc, mentioned he was downright crunching to make LoveR‘s Vtuber, Magical Yumina.

It’s also worrisome how multiple big companies joined the VTubing scene now, turning it into a huge business. The trend prioritizes never crediting the seiyuu behind the voices of the virtual YouTubers, to act as if the characters are real. It took four years for the people behind Kizuna Ai to officially announce her original seiyuu is Kasuga Nozomi. This “no credit” system could open up a path to exploitation and a whole bunch of issues in the long run.

In any case, we definitely wish N0va Desktop and Lumi all the best, and look forward to how the project will turn out.