The Hololive Alternative hype train appears to be oiled up and ready to go full throttle. About a week ago, COVER released a new fully animated Teaser PV on Hololive YouTube channel. The clip’s gorgeous animation and visuals were no small feat in production, with collaborating anime industry veterans who worked on Evangelion 3.0+1.0, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and Sword Art Online: Alicization. The melodic theme song “Dawn Blue” was written and sung by none other than Hololive EN’s talented Mori Calliope. With the video garnering over 3 million views, fans are ecstatic, to say the least. The Hololive universe is evolving above and beyond its iconic cast of VTuber celebrities to form new multimedia entertainment, including virtual live shows and possibly a video game.
So what is Hololive Alternative exactly? Here the rather vague description taken from the official website has to say:
Let us present to you a slightly different — yet ever so the same possibility for the girls of hololive. This is a project that will create an alternative world that you never knew existed before, yet had always imagined being. It could be possible, and it can be possible — We wish to turn this possibility into a reality together with everyone.”
In other words, Hololive Alternative (or Hololive Alt, for short) is an expansion of the Hololive franchise. The charming and captivating virtual personalities will take on new roles and narratives in different forms of multimedia. The project is a means of “broadening the content spectrum,” if you will. In anime terms, Hololive Alternative is the “isekai” of Hololive. COVER CEO Motoaki Tanigo (aka Yagoo) described it as a “metaverse centered around the fan community.”
The idea is to produce high-quality content through collaborations with skilled artists, designers, and other content creators within the Hololive community. Many talented supporters have already generated a plethora of fan-made Hololive animations, compilations, and remixes. Now Hololive Alt will provide them with an opportunity to create official canon content for their favorite virtual idols.
This alternative universe will also allow fans to experience Hololive in more diverse ways than what viewers are accustomed to. The Hololive members, for the most part, have been restricted to the embodiment of their stiff 2D avatars. Other than their animated comedic shorts or infrequent 3D model collabs, viewers have yet to see Houshou Marine steer a pirate ship, Uruha Rushia practice the dark arts, or Minato Aqua perform maid-like duties. Hololive Alternative opens up a whole new world (in a literal sense) where the possibilities of exciting new tales or unique member interactions are endless.
At one point, Hololive Alternative was confirmed to have a spinoff manga series. Unfortunately, the leading artist of this endeavor, Mizuryu Kei, left the project due to a disagreement that involved Mizuryu not complying with COVER’s wishes to abandon his “NSFW content” for which he is known. This incident left many hopeful fans puzzled about what Hololive Alternative is or would become. We’re still in the dark on what is planned for the future of Hololive’s manga production, but most likely, COVER will find other suitable writers and artists to manage that portion of this project.
For a while, rumors of a potential Hololive anime in the making were circulating the internet. However, back in February, Hololive JP member Shirakami Fubuki clarified that Hololive Alt isn’t an anime like most people thought. The eye-catching Teaser PV is more of a promotional video than anything. Though this doesn’t mean a possible anime in the future is entirely out of the picture.
— 白上フブキ@ホロライブ?∞⛩ (@shirakamifubuki) February 17, 2021
“Alternative is not an anime!
Yet a big thanks[to everyone]
But someday, I hope it will become[an anime]”
On the flip side, fans are fairly certain that Hololive Alternative will incorporate a video game and virtual live shows that feature members of Hololive. The premise is to create an “alternative world” in which “anyone will be able to live in an online world using 2D characters.” Yagoo tweeted the following job listing:
— YAGOO / Motoaki Tanigo (@tanigox) May 21, 2021
COVER is shifting its focus from developing live streaming and AR software to cultivating their VTuber talents and production. in pursuit of this goal, Hololive Alternative is an opportunity for VTuber personalities to widen their horizons. According to the job listing, COVER is also looking for a “Unity and client-side Engineer,” which means this upcoming game would likely have online features and services. Some additional details suggest the game will be on mobile platforms; however, everything so far isn’t etched in stone, leaving lots of room for speculation.
Some fans surmise that one of the main projects of Hololive Alternative will be a story-focused gacha game similar to Genshin Impact. The upcoming manga and the teaser MV projects will probably help develop the lore behind the game’s story. Those familiar with Genshin Impact will know how miHoyo released high-quality comic series in full color that introduced the world’s lore and characters’ backstories well before the game’s massively successful launch. So for COVER to take a similar approach isn’t a far-fetched assumption. If the Hololive Alt game is a hit, there is a decent chance that COVER will go on to invest in an anime adaptation of the game similar to many other well-known gacha franchises.
The Hololive video game will take the concept of “virtual interaction” to the next level. The experience is going to be an inventive way for fans to immerse themselves directly with their favorite VTubers — essentially combining “virtual interaction with what is already virtual.” As Inception-esque as that sounds, connecting with the members in real life on stream and then meeting them in-game sounds like a novel experience that fans will thoroughly enjoy. Over the months, Hololive and its staff have diligently strived to create an impressive and believable universe for its fanbase. Hopefully, Hololive Alternative will be able to realize its ambitions and become a truly breathtaking “alternative world.”
Have you boarded the hype train for Hololive Alt? What are your thoughts on the animated PV? Is a Hololive video game something you think fans would be interested in? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments!