If you have been following my twitter feed, you may have notice big changes in last two weeks; specifically, explosion of the posts including #東雲めぐ (Megu Shinonome) — I’m sorry if this has caused awkwardness with you.
Megu Shinonome, often referred as “Megu-chan” “Me-chan” and among others, but for the purpose of clarity, I will refer her as “Megu” in this article. I personally call her “Megu-chan” when I refer to her.
I like to talk about how things are, starting from actually describing who is Megu.
Simply put, she is a Vtuber, or “Virtual YouTuber” as some may put it (although as I will be revealing later, she is definitely more than this) and she has started her activity on March of 2018.
General activities, some are more Vtuber-type, including periodic live casting from (7:30 on weekdays, and 19:00 on Sunday JST) on YouTube. Also there seems to be evening live-cast on bilibili as well.
She is also very active in MCing many events, providing contents aimed to children, in addition to being a main actress for a VR musical, and she even creates her own contents.
Honestly, I can only describe her on so much with my relatively short tenure of two weeks as a fan, there’s an excellent article by Ishu-san, although it is in Japanese.
This article focuses more of my subjective view on why I was attracted to Megu, and become her fan (which referred as Meguroomer among Megu and her fans) in this time frame.
My first counter with Megu was through HoloModels. This is an application and technology to realize 3D model to real world, commonly called as AR, or Augmented Reality.
More simply put, this is a technology that can create something like below:
First time I used HoloModels was on September 17th, in 2019. This is the day when Senko-san (from the Helpful Fox Senko-san) which the release of model has been announced since the beginning of September. I was looking forward to this.
This model was one of the few that could be purchased from outside of Japan. (I guess there are some more you can do that these days.)
I’ve taken many pictures, from neighborhood to Barcelona, Spain.
Then the big change struck my lifestyle. From the middle of March, because of COVID-19, I was forced to work from home. This caused me to take more routine approach of walking around neighborhood, to make sure I keep my workout level high. Having taking pictures almost everyday, eventually I wanted to try something new.
The answer was to introduce additional character in the picture, to generate more “conversational” photo. HoloModels application itself is is provided free of charge, and it actually included a free model, and that’s Megu.
I have known about the inclusion of this model, just didn’t take much of the notice. Maybe I took her out of the box couple of times.
With Megu in picture, this allowed more interesting expression.
I’m using certain hash tag when I post those pictures. Due to inclusion of Megu, I started using #東雲めぐ (Megu Shinonome) in addition to #仙狐さん (Senko-san) which enabled Megu’s fan, Meguroomer to take notice of my work.
Joining Fan Club
Although, currently no longer possible to join (as it is being consolidated to Gugenka Universe fan club on September 30th) there is a fan club for Megu. By joining, members were provided Megu in a summer uniform, and a model of a karaoke room; I really wanted to use a summer uniform, as it really great for summer time.
I really didn’t have to keep myself as an active paying member once I obtained those bonuses above, but beginning to think it is worthwhile to keep my membership active until September 30th. This was around July 25th, I made this decision.
First Fan Letter Post to Actually Talking to Megu
There is a framework in place where you assign a certain hash tag to the post, and then it is revealed at the next evening live-casting, with Megu’s comments.
I’ve posted one using HoloModels, which was received very well.
Then on that weekend, I’ve watched a VR musical which features her as a main cast.
As a event in MIKU LAND GATE β, I’ve met up with her at the Zoom guided tour — I could actually talk with her!
I went through very densely packed experience in last two weeks.
Why Megu’s Great
Fully Expressive Appearance
Megu’s live-cast features 3D model (although she has started using her 2D version, starting from 40000 subscriber celebration on August 15th), this 3D model is very expressive, and simply put, is very cute.
Something set her apart from the competition is, by using HoloModels, you can actually take her home. With this, you can feel her presence across the boundary of a screen.
Megu’s Interaction with Her Fans
Megu takes her fan very seriously. I can only imagine how hard she has to work to do this, but she replies to her fans on Twitter. Also when some name gets mentioned in her live-cast, she remembers individual details about that person. Fans would feel very happy to see the person actually remember them by their name. She does this very naturally.
You can check out some of her past live-casting in the archive. What you notice is that you won’t see something edgy. Sometimes she sings, sometimes she plays ad-lib “Takuwan-man” (the Pickled Radish Man) but other than that’s it is really chatting random things. This is like us vising friend’s house and talk about whatever fun, it’s really nice atmosphere.
In contrary, this means she doesn’t have to do anything flashy to attract people. It feels right at home, that’s Megu’s live-casting.
To be a Fan
Honestly, I haven’t had so much of experience being a “fan” of someone to this extent — personally, I distanced myself for that, so I would call Megu being first case.
A lot of time, fandom (particularly “idol” figures) are referred as “pseudo romanticism” — but in case of Megu, I feel this is very different. It’s more “love” in straightforward sense.
Love, is the expression Megu often use in her live-cast; she often expresses that she love certain things, being that the fan submission she receives. She doesn’t try to conceal her feeling with some alternatives, showing her true nature.
Being a Meguroomer Abroad
Being Meguroomer in the United States is actually fairly difficult. Mainly, it is time difference. Evening live-cast falls into 3AM in the morning in PDT. (2AM in standard time.)
The Musical Show was from 20:00JST, which translated to 4AM in the morning.
Having said that, while this is probably applicable to following other Vtubers, as long as this time difference isn’t an issue, I can experience just as much as I would living in Japan, and that makes me happy.
This is a very disorganized article, but lastly, I like to express that Megu Shinonome is someone I would recommend to check out for everyone. She’s very consistent, and also appropriate for everyone. (Gugenka, a management company enforces very strict policy to their talents.)
As I write this, I’m surpassing my third week as Meguroomer. You will be able to check out past live-casting at YouTube. I like to welcome everyone to checkout those out.
You will be in Megu’s world in no time!
See you at the live-casting!