Hatoba Tsugu has been called the “most mysterious VTuber.” She’s nothing like the other chatty and cutesy virtual YouTubers. Her sepia-bathed short clips, which have racked up over 10 million views, seem like they are clues—or cries for help. And now, after a two-year absence, she’s back.
Her first clip, titled, “Hello, I’m Hatoba Tsugu,” was released four years ago, and has since been viewed over 2.5 million times. In it, Hatoba mugs for the camera and introduces herself as classical music plays in the background.
It’s rather innocuous. And yet, the camera pulls back, revealing Hatoba standing in front of a white screen in a rather dreary-looking room. There’s something unsettling about it. Ditto for the videos that followed.
In her videos, there are no jump scares or cheap horror tricks—rather, just a feeling of dread.
The videos are uneasy and spooky, even.
Her tweets seem off, too.
Why is she being filmed? Has she been kidnapped? There have been theories, with viewers wondering if this was some kind of alternate reality game.
Then, there are the questions about the people creating this project. Is it the work of one person? A team? Also, why did they stop uploading video for so long? More questions and no answers.
This week, for the first time since January 2020, the character released a new clip on YouTube. It’s only twelves seconds long:
Her return is brief, but creepy. She appears to be sleeping, with her head on a desk. The camera looks down on her below. Fans seem happy that she’s back, but with any Hatoba Tsugu video, they’re wondering the same thing: What the hell does this all mean?
Kotaku reached out to Hatoba Tsugu through the official email address, but did not hear back prior to publication. Perhaps, she’ll write back within the next two years.