From Manga to Vtubers to Virtual Human: How Animated Characters Are Changing the Way We Communicate

From Manga to Vtubers to Virtual Human: How Animated Characters Are Changing the Way We Communicate

Last Sunday, I attended an interesting event in Tokyo hosted by one of our client’s partners: a management company representing YouTubers and Vtubers. The event featured a unique virtual human exhibition, showcasing digital beings created through a combination of 3D modeling, animation, and artificial intelligence. As I left the event, I couldn’t help but wonder why virtual humans are becoming increasingly prevalent in Japanese society. 

The Rise of Virtual Humans in Japanese Society

In Japan, manga and anime have been a dominant form of pop culture since the mid-20th century. As someone who has been living in Japan for a year and a half, I’ve noticed how animation characters have impacted the way Japanese people communicate, creating new avenues for the expression of feelings, concepts, and ideas. For example, instead of writing out entire sentences, it seems like a simple emoji can convey a message more effectively. You must have noticed if you ever visited Japan, animated characters are everywhere. 

At the same time, Vtubers have exploded in popularity in Japan and are quickly gaining traction worldwide.  Vtubers are virtual personas who live and work on the internet, primarily on YouTube and other social media platforms. They are created using motion capture technology and computer-generated imagery, and they interact with fans through livestreams, videos, and other online content.

How Avatars Work: Tips and Techniques for Optimal Synchronization

If you are interested in learning more about how avatars work, you may want to check out one of our most popular videos, “The Easiest Way for Perfect Sync with Your VRoid Avatar – Improve Your Face Tracking Even More!” During lockdown, I got a chance to explore being a Vtuber and experimenting on different ways of using avatar on my channel and in this video, we demonstrate techniques for achieving optimal synchronization between your VRoid avatar and your real-life facial expressions, improving your overall face tracking experience. Whether you are new to avatar creation or an experienced user, this video provides some valuable tips and insights that can help you take your virtual persona to the next level.

Virtual Humans and Avatars as Branding and Marketing Tools

For me, Avatar creation can be an excellent branding and marketing tool for businesses. Nowadays, there are numerous platforms for individuals and companies to utilize animated avatars to communicate their brand image. One of the key benefits of using virtual humans or avatars for branding is the ability to create a unique and consistent brand identity. Ii find through my avatar, I can easily create a character behind my persona. So by using a virtual persona, businesses can create a distinct personality that is easily recognizable and relatable to their target audience. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that operate in a crowded market, where standing out and being memorable is critical. Another benefit of using virtual humans and avatars is the ability to connect with a global audience. By using digital representations of themselves, individuals and businesses can overcome language barriers and communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds. This can be especially useful for businesses that want to expand their reach and connect with customers in different regions of the world.

Here is another video in which I explore the exciting possibilities of avatars using Animaze, and highlight the new updates of Ready Player Me – a cross-game avatar platform that now supports VRChat, Animaze, DeepMotion, and more!

Both avatars and virtual humans are digital representations of a person, Virtual humans are usually created using advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP), and can be used for a variety of purposes such as training, education, and entertainment. The key difference between the two is their level of complexity and interactivity.

If you are still confused about difference between avatar and virtual human, there are many virtual humans on Instagram, created by various artists and companies. Here is a list of some of the most famous virtual humans. They often have their own unique personalities and storylines, and are used for various purposes such as branding, marketing, and entertainment.

Some popular virtual humans on Instagram include:

  • Lil Miquela (@lilmiquela): a virtual influencer with over 3 million followers. She has her own fashion line and has collaborated with brands like Calvin Klein and Prada.
  • Bermuda (@bermudaisbae): another virtual influencer with over 200,000 followers. She is known for her edgy style and outspoken personality.
  • Shudu (@shudu.gram): a virtual model created by photographer Cameron-James Wilson. She has been featured in various fashion campaigns and has been called the world’s first digital supermodel.
  • Noonoouri (@noonoouri): a virtual fashion influencer with over 400,000 followers. She has collaborated with brands like Dior, Versace, and Marc Jacobs.
  • Imma (@imma.gram): a virtual fashion model with over 300,000 followers. She has been featured in various fashion campaigns and has been called the “most human-like virtual influencer.”

For example, SK-II, a Japanese skincare brand, utilized Imma, one of the virtual human artist on the list , in their commercials to appeal to a younger demographic.

Self-Expression Through Avatars: Breaking Down Barriers in a Digital World

Virtual humans and avatars have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to communicate and express oneself in a digital space. In addition to branding, virtual humans and avatars can also be used for self-expression. For example, individuals can use avatars to express different aspects of their personality or to experiment with new identities. This can be especially helpful for people who are shy or introverted, as it allows them to express themselves in a way that feels comfortable and safe. This resource could be extremely helpful for many Japanese individuals, especially considering that Japanese culture often fosters introversion and shyness. There are many different platforms and tools available for creating virtual humans and avatars, ranging from simple avatar creation apps to more advanced motion capture technology. Some popular platforms for creating virtual humans and avatars include Vroid, VRChat, and MocapX. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more advanced and realistic virtual humans and avatars in the future. Overall, using virtual humans and avatars for branding and self-expression can be a powerful tool for businesses and individuals alike. It allows for greater creativity, flexibility, and global reach, and has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate and connect with each other in a digital world.

In conclusion, The use of virtual humans can make a brand more creative, and innovative, and can easily appeal to a younger demographic. As we continue to explore the potential of avatars, perhaps a new form of communication will emerge. I can see how these virtual humans are changing the way people interact with technology and with each other, breaking down barriers between different cultures and languages and creating a more inclusive and interconnected global community. And it is defiantly a fascinating development in the world of technology and communication. However, in the future, Vtubers may look very realistic and even more human-like, which could further change the way we communicate and interact with technology. We believe it is important to consider the ethical implications of using virtual humans, especially as they become more realistic.

What do you think about this trend? Do you believe that avatars and virtual humans have a place in the world of branding and self-expression? Or do you think that they are too impersonal and lacking in authenticity?

We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic. Feel free to share your thoughts on social media and tag us! #facreative