Indieview #17 — Rachie, Utaite and V-Tuber

Welcome to the seventeenth issue of Indieview! Indieview is an interview series where I speak with a special guest who works on personal or business projects related to games, whether they’re an artist, a composer, a streamer, a writer, or otherwise.

This week I’m joined by Rachie, who some of you might know as splendiferachie, who is known for her many years of Vocaloid and anime covers as a Utaite, but also for her recent foray into v-tubing! What is a V-Tuber? They’re a virtual streamer who often use animated 2D (sometimes 3D) rigs to present as a character and/or different identity when streaming, and Rachie has one of my favourite designs to date! You can, and should, check her out here and here.

I know you’d tune in to see this face too!

Mitch: I’ve known you for a while, Rachie! How have you been?

Rachie: We have known each other for a while, Mitch :D I’ve been doing a-ok. Thanks for reaching out and asking me to come on Indieview!

Mitch: Of course! I’d be amiss to not have you! Have I embarrassed myself with my brief explanation of V-Tubers? Would you want to give it a go instead? You’re certainly a better voice to hear it from, haha!

Rachie: HAH! Don’t worry about it, you’re right on the money. Although I’d like to add that vtubers extend past streaming. After all, they did start off as typical YouTubers uploading video content, except, well, virtually.

Mitch: Obviously you still do cover songs, but how has it been debuting as a V-Tuber? You’ve been doing it for a few months now. I was amazed at how good your rig is!

Rachie: Thank you! You can thank my papa* for the rig, he’s 100% responsible for bringing me to life. Debuting as a Vtuber has been insanely fun so far! Too long I felt like my content was caged into the “youtaite” branding. But once I became a Vtuber, I found I was able to branch out and be something outside that girl who sings the songs of our japanese robot overlords.

Mitch: I’m happy to hear that it’s going so well for you, you deserve it. Hey, Rachie, will this Indieview be featured on awooga news? For those who don’t know, you can learn about the latest on-goings in V-Tuber and Utaite (someone who generally covers anime and vocaloid songs) news here! Would you like to give a better rundown?

Rachie: Of course it will! I gotta report on the news after all. Awooga news is my monday morning news show, usually at 10am est, where I report on mostly indie vtuber, utaite, and vocaloid news! It includes a few different segments like cool vtuber tech, an opinion section hosted by my demon bear familiar A-kuma, and we also shill out the latest Awooga Mart products and sightings sent in by viewers! (My chat accidentally took the idea of Omega Mart by Meow Wolf and ran with it when I accidentally called it Awooga Mart once on stream) Overall it’s meant to be an entertaining lighthearted way to start out the week, even though it happens at night my time hehe.

Mitch: I am honoured! I hope people enjoy reading it. Going back to your music, how long have you been a Utaite now? You were one of the first people that I really got into as a performer, and how I learned that Utaite was a term.

Rachie: Ah, I’m always happy to hear that Mitch! This year marks 10 years since I’ve been an Utaite. In those 10 years I’ve gotten a lot of comments but one of my favourites is hearing that I introduced people to Vocaloid and/or J-pop. Back in the day when I started, consuming foreign content wasn’t as widely accepted. Even K-pop wasn’t as big as it was now back then. So I’m glad I could be a part of that globalisation trend, regardless of how small a part.

Mitch: Dang, 10 years… I’ve known you since around Bravely Default’s release — I didn’t realise that was so soon after you started uploading content!

You’ve got a large and dedicated fanbase as is, but would you say that being a V-Tuber has changed it much in any way?

Rachie: Hmm this is a little tough to answer — to be honest, my fanbase doesn’t translate over to my Vtuber activities that much, that’s for sure! It may be because they’re mostly there for music, or they’ve moved on from the weeb phase, but it’s no matter since it really forced me to get off my proverbial laurels and not be complacent in where I am. It’s earned me a fresh new following of younger kids I can only connect to slightly but this boomer is trying and will continue to try her best!!

Mitch: Yeee!! Keep going!!!! If you had to create a mini playlist of your music, what five songs would have to be included?

Rachie: Ooo! That’s a tough one… Personally, my list would be Vampire, Odo, Thought Crime, Racing into the Night, and Unknown Mother Goose.

Mitch: Bangers, if I do say so myself. I’m particularly fond of your cover of Delusion Tax!

I’d love to know more about the process of creating a V-Tuber design! Did you know from the beginning more or less what you wanted? Such as the eyepatch, hair colour, etc, or was it a lot of trial and error?

Rachie: I knew I wanted a different design from my utaite persona. A more interesting design that was more fit for a vtuber! But I’m very bad at character design — my previous personas were designed by friends, so I commissioned another friend (@pierrotsdoll) who’s super good at fashion, gave her a few references and keywords (“cult party kei / fairy kei + chuunibyou”) and she hit the nail right on the head first try.

Look, I just think V-Tubers are pretty neat, okay?

Mitch: Had you considered an alternative personality/keeping your identity a secret when creating your V-Tuber? Most V-Tubers seem to do that, but you’re always good ol’ reliable Rachie!

Rachie: And forsake 10 years worth of progress and clout building?! Hell nah!! Jokes aside, I feel like people would figure it out anyway, so why hide it?

Mitch: Very fair point, haha. What’s the process behind getting a V-Tuber model created? Yours is very high-quality!

Rachie: Oh this is a pretty useful question, I wish I knew the process before doing it, it was so stressful trying to figure it out all on my own. Essentially you need an artist (a vtuber “mama”) and a live2d rigger (“papa”) to work hand in hand to create your model. The artist needs to cut your model up six ways to heaven so that your rigger can make you move properly! This requires a lot of communication and the more experience your mama and papa have, the easier it is. But before that, looking for a mama and papa can be quite the challenge! My suggestion is to look through vtubers twitter profiles and contacting them through there. If you look hard enough, you may be able to find one in your budget!

Mitch: I do always see the “parents” (which is well cute) and man, this is how I could live my “having a good hairline” dreams again.

I imagine quite a few people look up to you and what you do. What would you advise to anyone wanting to get into V-Tubing or Utaite?

Rachie: I’d like to imagine that too x) My advice would be to have fun with it! Too many people these days are pressured to monetise their hobbies, but with covers especially, there’s no guarantee that you’ll hit it big or rake in the big bucks. But if you love what you’re doing, and if you do what you love, you may just learn a skill or two that you’ll be able to put on your resume or college application or something.

Mitch: Very good advice and I agree — Indieview actually has helped me get work in the past! People like to see you doing stuff in your own time, which is great if you enjoy it too.

Want to give us a little rundown on your Patreon? I am a subscriber cool.emoji

Rachie: Well firstly thank you kindly! I don’t earn nearly enough to pump out high quality content on a weekly or monthly basis, so I opened up a Patreon to be able to do that. By pledging $1 or more per upload, you can get access to my discord server, works in progress, and early access to anything I upload :D Everything goes back into YouTube channel so please consider supporting me today! (Was that good enough? lol)

Mitch: Yes! Reader — go check Rachie’s Patreon out at least!

Is there anyone or anything you’d like to plug today?

Rachie: I know I should be plugging my album (Summer Blooms Without You, a Yorushika English cover album) or my Twitch channel where I stream now and just made partner but.

May I plug the song Touch Tone Telephone by Lemon Demon?? It’s most definitely my favourite song of all time (trumping even vocaloid!) and I would love it if more people listened to it.

Mitch: Psst, reader, Rachie’s album genuinely is great, so check that out on top of her recommendation, okay?

Hey, Rachie, what games are you playing at the moment? Watching anything good?

Rachie: Oooh! I’m playing the acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV that has a free trial up to level 60 with no restrictions in playtime, which includes the first expansion Heavensward — 3k hours and counting!

Mitch: Ah yeah I’ve heard of that! I am NO where near 3k hours, but I am Endwalker ready!! Okay, final question, but when are you releasing eyepatch merch?

Rachie: Er… yes :)

Mitch: … indeed :)

I hope you’ve enjoyed Indieview #17 with Rachie. I’ll be back with another Indieview in the near future, so thanks for reading, thank you to my guest, and I hope to see you all again soon!

Writing a novel | Communications Associate at Funimation UK | Hang around for #Indieview, Otome, and maybe a little more!