And it’s all thanks to her “idiot grandchild.”

Japan has a new virtual YouTuber who’s just debuted. Hiroko, as she’s called, checks off a lot of the orthodox Japanese VTuber checklist items: she’s a cute young girl with a stylish hairdo in an eye-catching color, wears a schoolgirl outfit, and has a laid-back, inviting personality.

▼ Hiroko’s no-dialogue teaser video

So what sets Hiroko apart from all the other anime-style virtual YouTubers out there? The fact that she’s 85 years old. And no, this isn’t one of those “This anime girl looks like a teen, but she’s actually really old due to a magic spell or cryostasis!” kind of situations. Hiroko’s performer really is an 85-year-old grandmother from Hiroshima.

▼ Hiroko’s self-introduction video

“It’s nice to meet you all,” Hiroko greets her viewers. “Some of you youngsters might think they’ve altered my voice to sound like this, but I’m 85, and firmly in my senior years.”

So how did Hiroko end up becoming a virtual YouTuber as opposed to spending her free time knitting sweaters or playing bridge? In her own words:

My idiot grandchild recommended I become a VTuber, so I’ve made my debut…’You can do the things you weren’t able to in your youth as a VTuber’ they said, so I’m going to go nuts. Hope you don’t regret your advice, grandchild.”

Like other VTubers, part of Hiroko’s appeal is her candid conversational style. “My grandchildren are finally old enough that I don’t have to give them otoshidama money at New Year’s, but recently my first great grandchild was born, so now I’ll have to give them otoshidama,” she laments, adding “Everyone, let’s use our otoshidama wisely.”

Monetary matters seem to be on Hiroko’s mind quite often. In her next video, she says she’s received an email from a Z-generation viewer asking which is more important, love or money.

Her words of wisdom?

That’s easy. Money is the number-one thing. It’s the number-two thing. There isn’t any number-three or number-four thing, but the number-five thing is money. Love is something you’ll fall out of after a single day.”

▼ Hiroko signs off her videos by asking “Won’t y’all subscribe to my channel?” with the very Hiroshima granny-esque phrasing of Channeru touroku shite kuren ka no?”

Hiroko has just made her debut, but her self-intro video is already up to 70,000 views in just a day, and earning comments such as:

“She annunciates really well for someone her age.”
“She’s really energetic. Hoping she goes far.”
“It’s so moe how she says ‘URL’ at the 1:17 mark [of her self-intro video].”
“Congratulations on the birth of your great-grandchild!”
“She’s a rookie VTuber, but our senpai in life experience.”
“There’s something so comforting about listening to her speak in Hiroshima dialect.”

Hiroko is also being billed as the first member of the Meta Grandmas, a senior citizen VTuber idol unit that Japanese media company Otagroup is putting together. Auditions are still open, with the requirements being that applicants be female, 75 years old or older, living in Japan, and in sound mental health, with the ideal candidate also being outgoing, a good singer, and “powerful.” Applications can be made through the Otagroup website here.

Source: Otagroup via Real Sound via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/メタばあちゃん_MetaGrandma
Insert images: YouTube/メタばあちゃん_MetaGrandma (1, 2)
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