By James Liu
Vtubers, a subcategory of YouTubers who use 2D anime characters as an identity, have recently taken the internet by storm. The majority of their earnings come from “superchats”, comments that can be paid to be put front and center on a live chat feed. These comments, upwards of 500$ at once, add up quickly and have made Vtubers millions, mainly for the COVER Corporation’s “Hololive” Vtubers whose clips and iconic personalities have brought in millions of fans. As of writing this article, Hololive Vtubers hold all of the top 5 spots in superchat earnings with each of the top 5 earning over 1 million dollars. It has recently come out that to earn all this money, multiple bank robberies across America and Japan have been committed in the name of these anime girls.
In America, an unsolved bank robbery in Minnesota was committed on March 12th, with the only clue left at the crime scene being a note reading “AH↓HA↑HA↑HA↑HA↑”. Similarly, on March 14th, a bank in Japan was robbed with a note left reading “Pe↗ko↘Pe↗ko↘Pe↗ko↘”. The notes are directly tied to Vtuber Usada Pekora, known for her multiple war crimes and currently holding the 3rd highest spot for superchat earnings. After streaming Minecraft on March 15th, authorities contacted the YouTuber and inquired about her earnings. Translated by a Reddit user, Pekora said, “I am deeply concerned about the actions of my fans. I would like to apologize if I have, in any way, contributed to any events of real world violence. I will work to ensure that this does not happen again.” The CEO of Cover Corporation, the company that oversees the Usada Pekora YouTube channel, Motoaki “Yagoo” Tanigo, released a similar statement encouraging fans to enjoy Vtubers in “a peaceful and respectful” manner, citing that they are “grateful for the support”, but “concerned about the unrelenting dedication to [their] idols”. However, these statements seemed to only add fuel to the flames and incite more bank robberies for the sake of these Vtubers.
On March 20th, five bank robberies ranging from California to the Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido were targeted and ransacked, although it would seem that some of the robbers had a pretty easy job. One Redditor, claiming to have taken part in a robbery in Seattle, said that, “The tellers just handed over the money, we didn’t even pull our guns out before they gave us thousands to donate to Gura. All we said was “Yubi Yubi!” before they nodded, grabbed all the cash they had, and just threw the money at us!” I personally had a much different experience attempting to rob a local Blockbuster for my favorite Vtubers, relying on the crack team of local Redditors u/YoDayo69, u/VentiPleaseLoveMe, u/SIMPMASTER2003, and our epic ninja skills. After remembering that Blockbuster wasn’t a thing anymore, crying in an empty parking lot for nine hours straight, and then driving to a McDonalds to cry in somewhere “with class”, we realized we could just rob the bank we passed on the way. After doing the Szechuan Sauce public freakout but times all four of us before leaving the McDonalds, we drove to the bank, kicked the door a few times before pulling it open, then screamed for fifteen minutes before realizing we should tell them to get on the ground and nobody gets hurt. We made out with a solid $20,000 dollars, but after agreeing that u/SIMPMASTER2003 should be able to pay off his college loans with the money first because nobody else could drive us to the bank, we had a solid $327.18 to divide among ourselves. With my 80 dollars, I decided to donate it all to Takanashi Kiara and ask for her to say “Poggers”. My money now well spent, I went to sleep that night satisfied and happy.