“Alright then, Dad, let’s hear the full story!”
I brought my flustered dad back to the living room after he ended the stream.
We decided to have a chat over tea that Mom had prepared.
“Thanks for the tea, Mom!”
“No problem, dear. Now, why exactly was your father in such a panic?”
“He found out… that I was a VTuber…”
“Oh my, but is that necessarily a bad thing?”
“Well, not bad per se.”
“I have a lot of questions. Can I ask now?”
“Argh, there’s no use in hiding anymore! Ask me anything!!!”
“Why did you start VTubing? What was the trigger?”
“I never heard the full story either.”
“Well, simply put, I was headhunted at first.”
“Headhunting is like when someone from a company lures a talented individual from another company to come work for them by offering better conditions. Does that make it easier to understand?”
“I see. Yeah, that’s easier to understand.”
“I was originally working for a company that dealt with video production. I was promised a raise of 100,000 yen per month, so I decided to change jobs.
Plus, my former company had a reputation for overworking employees, so it was a perfect opportunity to switch. What made it even better was the fact that I was allowed to work from home for part of the job, so I could spend more time with my family.”
“But there was no VTubing factor at the beginning, right?”
I ask, to which he replies:
“Well, when I first joined V-Live, it was around the time they were recruiting for their first generation. They appreciated my looks, voice, and editing skills, and somehow, I ended up making my VTuber debut.
When the CEO suddenly told me, I was completely flabbergasted.
In hindsight, it turned out to be a success, so I guess the CEO has good judgment.”
“I never knew that could happen.”
“The truth is stranger than fiction, they say.”
“So that’s how it went, and around four years later, I had over a million channel subscribers. Now I’ve entered my tenth year,” says my dad with a touch of nostalgia.
“I see, but why did you keep it a secret?”
“There are two reasons for that.
One, corp VTubers are strongly encouraged to keep their real identities hidden.
You know how some kids brag about their parents being famous? It’s to prevent that.”
“True, depending on the person, they might spread it around.”
“Right? The second reason is simply because it was embarrassing. I couldn’t just casually tell you, my son, that I’m a VTuber.”
“I suppose if you said that out of the blue, I would’ve been like, ‘What are you talking about?’…”
“See? That’s why I couldn’t say anything.”
“So that’s why you’d occasionally say you have work and don’t want me coming into your room. It all makes sense now.”
“Exactly, but you wouldn’t know any of this without being told…”
“Still, I’m sorry for barging in during your stream.”
“No need to worry about it. No one could’ve predicted that. Even if I can’t be a VTuber anymore, I still have top-notch editing skills!” he says, laughing.
“Anyway, let’s leave my story there for now. I need to hear your side of things, Yuki.”
“Never mind the VTubing part, how did you manage to make such a high-quality model?”
“Well, I used the New Year’s money I’ve been saving from Mom since I moved out.”
“Ah, I forgot about that… It totally slipped my mind.”
“Then, I gathered all the equipment and paid around 500,000 yen to have the model made.”
“500,000 yen… FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND YEN?!”
“In total, it was around 1 million yen, including the equipment.”
“Wait, that’s a lot of New Year’s money!”
“Well, it’s about ten years’ worth.”
“Just how much New Year’s money did your grandparents give you…”
“To be honest, I’m not even sure…”
“I suppose if they were depositing it for you…”
“So Yuki, why did you start VTubing?”
“Promise not to laugh?”
“Actually, there was someone I liked in my school.”
Both my mom and dad were so surprised they shouted out loud.
“Well, I realized later it was a misunderstanding, but at the time, I thought this senior had a boyfriend, and I was so shocked… I kind of went along with the VTuber thing because she and I both liked them…”
Ah, Yuru-sensei, was it? How did you meet her?”
“I loved her drawings and followed her on Tweeter when she was still unknown.”
“So that connection also helped create Yuka Shirahime.”
“Yeah, something like that.”
“There’s something else I want to ask, how do you act as Yuka Shirahime?”
“Well, I tell myself in my mind that I am Yuka Shirahime, and somehow, I can just become her.”
“Ha… I wonder if that’s inherited…”
My dad sighs and mutters to himself.
“What do you mean?”
“Yuki, that’s called a self-suggestion.
I do the same thing when I’m playing Schwartz, but when you strongly suggest to yourself during that time, you completely become that character. It’s hard because it’s unconscious.
Don’t you remember anything?” says my dad.
When I tried to remember, I thought it happened twice.
The day I first fully became Yuka Shirahime in real life, the day Kaoru-san patted my head, I was sure I was deeply in character that day.
To be honest, my memory gets fuzzy.
“I thought so.”
“Listen, Yuki, you look more adorable than I did back in the day.
When you’re using self-suggestion, make sure you’re in front of someone you’d be okay with even if they attacked you.”
“Even if they attacked me…”
“I mean it, absolutely!”
“Your dad’s saying that because he’s had an experience with an older person attacking him in the past. He doesn’t want you to go through the same thing.”
I didn’t know that!
“If you can’t, do it in a place with many people.”
“Would Comiket be safe?”
“If someone could attack you in that venue, they’d be amazing, frankly.”
“I can’t argue with that…”
“Also, right. You wanted to know about taxes.”
“How much did you make at Comiket?”
“Wow, Yuki-chan, that’s impressive!”
“And from Super Chats, I’ve made about 700,000 after everything…”
“Hold on! So you made 3.2 million in just over a month?!”
“Yeah, and that’s why I’m worried about taxes…”
“First of all, the income generated from full-time VTubing is often treated as business income.
And the money used for VTuber activities, like the portion of the rent used for the space where you do your VTubing, can be considered an expense. Do you follow?”
“Yeah, so you mean, if I dedicate half of the space at my place to VTubing, I can consider half of my rent as a business expense, right?”
“Yes, that’s exactly what it means.”
“And basically, living expenses are not recognized as expenses.
What can be claimed as expenses are things that are necessary for your activities as a VTuber.
For example, if you drink something during your stream, that drink can be claimed as an expense.
But if you drink it after the stream, then it doesn’t count.
Also, assets like computers must be depreciated over a certain number of years, so you can’t claim them all at once as expenses.”
“I didn’t know it was so detailed…”
“When you file your taxes, it’s good to keep a detailed account book and go for something called ‘blue return. It gives you a sort of allowance, or a tax cut, up to 650,000 yen. It’s good to keep it in mind.”
“Got it. There’s a lot to remember…”
“In my case, I’m part of a corporation, so they take care of all of that for me. That’s one advantage.
If your income increases, you might consider reducing your video production time, or you can hire a tax accountant by paying a little over 10,000 yen per month.
If there’s something you don’t understand, you can always ask a tax accountant.”
“How much tax is usually deducted, by the way?”
“It depends on the case, but you should be prepared to lose close to 30%. Income tax and resident tax together are about less than 30%, but in some cases, it could be over 40%. It changes depending on how much you earn, so it’s really based on your income at that time.”
“So, in my case, if I take care of all the rent and stuff, I can keep the tax down a bit, right?”
“Yes, but I was planning on covering your rent until you graduate from school, so don’t worry about it.”
“Really? But I can afford it now and pay for it myself…”
“It’s the least I can do, right? You’re still a kid. Let your parents spoil you a bit.”
“…Okay. Thanks, Dad.”
After a detailed explanation from my dad, we all had dinner together as a family.
Mom’s cooking, after not having them for such a long time, was as delicious as ever.
“I’m gonna go to bed soon, but remember to wake up a little earlier tomorrow. We’re visiting your grandparents.”
“Okay! I can’t wait to see them!”
“Haha, I wonder when they’ll start physically aging… I’m not really one to speak, though.”
“Why do all the men in our family look like this?”
“I really have no idea.”
“Maybe your grandparents might know something about it.”
“I’ll try asking them!”
“That might be a good idea. Well, good night, Yuki.”
“Good night, Yuki-chan.”
Being back home after such a long time felt pleasant.