VTuber (Virtual YouTuber) agency Hololive Production has nixed its agreement with popular virtual streamer Uruha Rushia, for allegedly violating her contract and leaking private information.
Hololive Production has over sixty VTubers on its roaster and 43 million-plus YouTube subscribers. Debuting two years and seven months ago, Uruha Rushia has over 1.5 million YouTube subs, her official profile describing her as “a necromancer from the Underworld Academy who is not good at communicating with people.” But now it seems they are parting way, with accusations of her violating business agreements at the core.
Hololive Production’s parent company Cover Corporation issued the following statement:
Regarding ‘Uruha Rushia,’ it has been apparent for some time that she has been distributing false information to third parties and has been leaking information, including communications regarding business matters. We have been investigating the facts related to these matters.
With respect to the above, we were able to confirm that she engaged in acts that: violated her contract by leaking information that she acquired from the company as well as communication over SNS [social media], both of which she has a responsibility to protect; and caused the company to suffer reputational damage, such as by publicizing falsehoods to various related parties. As a result, we, as a company, have determined that it has become difficult to continue managing and supporting her and have elected to make this decision.
Hololive Production thanked fans for their support and apologized that it had been put in this position. At a later date, the company will announce details regarding refunds for Uruha Rushia birthday merch. It will also shut down her YouTube channel at the end of March.
“Please understand that we are taking this matter very seriously,” Cover Corporation added in its announcement. “We intend to put further efforts into instructing the talents that are affiliated with us on compliance matters so that similar incidents do not happen again in the future.”
Kotaku reached out to Hololive Production and Uruha Rushia for further clarification regarding the matter, but did not hear back prior to publication.
According to ANN, there has also been speculation about Rushia’s relationship status with online singer Mafumafu (a common peculiarity of VTubers is the unpleasant need to present as single), as well as whether the VTuber allegedly divulged personal info to another YouTuber.
Dexerto reports that Rushia, under her old moniker Mikeneko Doro, tweeted out an apology twelve hours before Cover Corporation’s announcement, writing that she was sorry for making everyone worry. She wrote that she exhausted physically and mentally, and that her heart had been torn into pieces. “Please let me tweet out this apology first,” she wrote, adding that she would say more in a few days.
In a TwiCast stream on February 24, Mikeneko discussed the matter further, saying, “Regarding the rumors in various places, I’ll be firm. If everyone can refrain from spreading those, I would appreciate that.” She added that she will speak more publicly when she is able to do so. You can watch the stream here, which was translated by YouTuber Marune.
The profitable world of virtual YouTubers seems incredibly secretive. The real lives of the VTubers must be obscured for the sake of their image, and these sorts of restrictions aren’t exactly new. In Japan, for example, talent agencies often ban pop stars from revealing personal details like their love lives to avoid alienating fans.
The world of VTubers might even be more strict to maintain the illusion—and sell more merch.