In general, I find the widespread anonymity in parts of japanese pop-culture industries (for example, it’s quite common for manga artists and to a lesser extent even movie and game directors) to never show their faces or appear much in public quite refreshing in contrast to the excessive visual branding of, especially, american pop-culture. Yet, the concerns about the potential labour dispute disadvantage are of course valid. Capital is good at ruining everything, so it’s unsurprising that it can also ruin this.
There seems to be some disagreement in the thread with the articles narrative. I wouldn’t know what’s closer to the truth, as I’m a fish out of water regarding Vtubers, and tbqh I don’t know if I’m interested enough to do the heavy research myself. Naturally, I’ll also stay away from trying to analyze ideology or whatever in the Vtubers personas and their appeal for that reason.
Furthermore, I must admit that I’m not really familiar with live-streaming in general, as I prefer recorded videos (of streams too) over watching someone live. It’s just much more convenient for me and I don’t care at all about the real-time interaction through the chat, so I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. The employment situation of Vtubers though, in contrast with the weird quasi petty-bourgeois/small business nature and associated remnants of tech ideology of regular youtubers or streamers makes me much more interested in this particular part of the industry.
If someone wants to link further articles on the topic, that they think provides a good overview, I would appreciate it.