Hololive just announced a new group of Virtual Youtubers, collectively called ReGLOSS. Ever since the Hololive Splash Party concert at the end of August, there have been numerous teasers for something called “hololive DEV_IS,” and these new members seem to be the first project under that banner. Now we have both their appearances and a debut music video, one thing that stands out to me: The girls of ReGLOSS have surprisingly clean character designs.
Most VTuber designs take what I’ve referred to as a “maximalist” approach. Typically, a Virtual Youtuber wants their essence to be easily identifiable at a glance, and so most will have things like wild hairdos, horns, animal ears, and complex outfits on display. The most recent Hololive English generation, Advent, features all these attributes and more. While there are exceptions, this is the general trend.
In comparison, the ReGLOSS designs are actually quite subdued. Sure, they’re still pretty flashy, but they’re somewhat less elaborate than even typical IRL human idol or Kpop fare. The fact that all five members’ outfits are coordinated with one another is new and different—rarely have generations looked this cohesive. (And if anything, they kinda look like they stepped out of the anime RahXephon.)
As for why Hololive has decided to go this angle, I wonder if it’s because they seem poised to be a music group first and foremost, and there isn’t as much of a need to go big with the designs. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that another major Hololive singer, AZKi, has herself gotten more elegant redesigns over time. That said, I’d be shocked if they didn’t stream at least a decent amount, as that connection with the fans has been a boon to the followings of all the various musicians in Hololive.
For now, I’m pleasantly surprised. While I appreciate plenty of VTubers with maximalist designs (including Advent), I have wondered if that “arms race” has gone a bit overboard. If ReGLOSS finds success, maybe we’ll see a turn back to simpler and more refined aesthetics (if we ever really had them at all).
PS: While it’s somewhat futile to speculate about what they’re really like, Hololive seems to be very aware of this, and has created an image and hashtag for fans to predict what they’re like. So I figured, why not join in on the fun?
PPS: Hololive has also revealed their casual outfits. Though they no longer match, I think everything I said about their designs still stands—even Raden’s.