We were en route to the district office, but to our surprise, it was closer than anticipated, so we arrived in no time.
“Alrighty, I’ll quickly speak to the manager here. Wait for a moment, okay?” said Hana-san and proceeded inside the office.
Within minutes, she returned.
“It’s all good, she said!” she exclaimed with a beaming smile.
“That’s a relief!”
“Alright, I’ll lead the way, so follow me!”
“Oh, wait, what about your stuff…?”
“I’ve already dropped it off, so no worries!”
“That was quick!”
“Well, I just handed it over, so no big deal.”
As we conversed, someone approached us near the entrance.
“Oh my, are you perhaps the rumored Yuka-chan?”
“Ah, let me introduce you. This is Mitsuba-san, the representative of this office and also my manager.”
So she’s Hana-san’s manager, huh?
She appears to be a confident woman in her 30s, like a professional office lady.
“Oh, hello! I’m Yuki Himemura, the person behind Yuka Shirahime. It’s a pleasure to meet you!”
“Yuki-kun, right? Nice to meet you, too.”
“Before Utsurogi-san shows you around, I have a question.”
“What is it?”
“Are you… really a boy?”
“Uh? Yes, I am.”
“It’s just… your attire… it’s…you know?”
“I-I’ve become so comfortable in it that it scares me…”
“I think it suits you…”
“To be honest, it suits you so much that I really question whether you’re a boy…”
“Ugh… When you put it like that, it makes me feel so embarrassed…”
Feeling slightly embarrassed, I fidgeted with my fingers.
“(See? Isn’t he the cutest?)”
“(That’s totally unfair.)”
“Well, I have other things to attend to. Utsurogi-san, take care of the tour.”
“Oh, and by the way, Nano-chan will be wrapping up her stream soon.
You might run into her.”
“I’m sure she’ll be ecstatic once she sees Yuki-kun.”
“Are you talking about Nano-san from the first generation?”
“Yep, even though she was watching your stream today, she’s diligently doing her own as well.”
“Well, she did mention she’d wrap things up in about just hours today.”
“Still, that’s two whole hours…”
“I think if you see her and just say ‘hi,’ she’d appreciate it.”
“Do your best, Manager.”
“Same to you, right?”
“Ahaha, thank you.”
With that, the manager walked away.
“Now, Yuki-kun, let me show you our streaming space first.”
The room we entered had a spacious area in the center with three large monitors and cameras set up.
“Why the three monitors?”
“Well, one is for displaying the 3D models, another is for showing the comments section, and the last is for when we stream games.”
“How do you operate it?”
“There’s a drawer under that monitor. Pull it out, and you’ve got a keyboard and mouse ready to use.”
“Ooh, that seems so handy! I only have two at my place.”
“To run this setup, you need a computer with top-notch specs. A regular home computer probably wouldn’t cut it. A gaming setup might be able to handle it, I think.”
“Even if we disregard the comments section, we always max out a game’s visual settings. So, you’ve got the game, the capture board recording it, and then the computer processing all of it.
Add the 3D model, and the load gets even bigger.”
“That does sound like you’d need at least a gaming rig to handle it…”
“That’s how corporate teams can consistently deliver high-quality streams and videos. I’ve heard V-Live’s setups are similar, you know?”
“I see… But what struck me is that, even if it’s a corporate setup, the equipment doesn’t seem drastically different…”
“Yeah, that might be true.
But over here, a lot of the stuff is made to balance durability and performance, so that’s why the prices are pretty steep.
Plus, there’s this room with high-quality motion capture equipment, but the gear in there is insanely expensive. Even I get a bit nervous going in there.”
“Yup. Oh, and see that microphone? It’s said to cost around 100,000 yen. It’s just a mic, making you wonder why it’s so pricey.”
“100,000?! That’s… crazy…Why is it boxed, though?”
“We get pretty nervous using it, honestly. By the way, that box is to prevent humidity.”
“Humidity, huh… If it were me, I’d be way too nervous to even think about that.”
“Ahaha, you do like the type to be conscious about it.
Well then, that’s about it for this room.”
“Is there another place to see?”
“Maybe the conference room?”
“Do we need to see that…?”
“To be honest, not really? Truthfully, not many people come for a tour here…”
“So, some do come then… But there are so many rooms, are they all for streaming?”
“About two-thirds of them are. The rest are conference rooms and motion-tracking rooms. In the conference rooms, we decide the direction of our streams and discuss events and stuff like that.”
“Do you participate as well, Hana-san?”
“I used to quite a bit in the beginning.
That frequency has decreased lately, though.”
“So, people who can now somewhat decide the direction of their streams don’t use it, huh?”
As we were about to walk to another room, a door suddenly opened before us.
“Oh, it’s Nano-chan.”
The person who came out of the room was Nano-san, whom I had just learned about from Hana-san’s manager.
“That voice… Hm? Should I be calling you Fuwari right now?”
“No, just the usual is fine.”
“By the way, who’s that cute girl over there that’s totally my type?”
“This one? That’s Yuka-chan!”
When Hana-san introduced me with a smile, Nano-san’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Nice to meet you! I’m Yuki Himemura, the person behind Yuka shirahime!”
“Oh, thank… you.”
“Cute, right, Nano-chan? And he’s an actual guy, you know?
“That’s me, a guy!”
“I can’t believe it, nano…”
“Your persona is showing!”
“But I can’t help it, nano…”
“Well, I understand how you feel…”
“Why does everyone have the same reaction when they see me?!”
When I said that, they both made uncomfortable faces and responded.
“Because you look just like a regular girl?”
“I just forgot to change clothes!”
“Maybe you secretly enjoyed it?”
“Even if your mouth denies it, the body tells the truth, nano.”
Part of me couldn’t deny it, either.
I’ve never hated cute things. In fact, I’ve always liked them.
I used to have teddy bears and the like.
But cross-dressing… I think that’s a different story.
“Considering today’s circumstances, I probably shouldn’t say much.”
“It’s because of the content of that stream, nano.”
“It would help if you could refrain…”
“I actually have a bit of an appointment after this, so I’ll be taking my leave, nano.”
“You’re mixing up your speech patterns!”
“I’m socially awkward. If I don’t stick to a character, I’ll mess up, nano.”
“Oh right, I remember now.”
“It must be tough…”
“The only character I can play is Seiso Nano, so I honestly feel like I can’t work outside of being a VTuber, nano.”
“YOU’RE MIXING THEM UP AGAIN!”
“Hehe, both of you made the same retort, nano.
Well, see you later, nano.”
“Good work today, Nano-channn.”
“I wish I didn’t schedule my appointment today if I knew this was gonna happen, nano…”
Muttering to herself, Nano-san walked away.
“She was watching our stream earlier today, you know?”
“Oh, could it be…”
“Yup, she was the one commenting, ‘nano, nano.’”
After that, we toured the conference room, met other VTubers, and had quite an experience…
What happened, you ask?
Don’t ask… In short, it was a continuous barrage of physical interactions similar to what happened with Fuwa-chan.
I wonder if this is how people inside D*sney mascot suits feel…
Lastly, we returned to the entrance.
“The tour is pretty much this. Surprisingly normal, right?”
“I did expect something more… VTuber-like. But the equipment in each room was a pleasant surprise.”
“The real VTuber vibe comes out during events. You should visit one sometime!”
“Okay, we should head back to the station.”
As we parted ways at the station, I reflected on the day.
It was a mix of embarrassment and fatigue, but undeniably, it was a fun experience.