Gawr Gura is the most popular Hololive EN member. The first time I heard of the fan name, the name that came to my mind was Kagura from Gintama.
And you know what? Those two characters are very similar, bar Gura’s singing ability which Kagura lacks.
Gura is a gen 1 hololive EN member. She was one of the very first English speaking vtuber sponsored by Hololive. Within two months of her debut, her sub count exceeded a million. That was in 2020 October or so. As of writing this entry which is 2023 July 23, her sub count is 4.2 million.
So, what made Gura the most popular vtuber? I think many have asked that question. I did so myself as well.
First of all, it’s Gura’s image. It’s not overly sexy nor is it overly cute. The image Gura is using is subtly cute without oversexuality or a complicated design. Basically, it doesn’t scream “weeb!” upon seeing her for the first time. Gura is easy to approach.
Secondly, I think her voice and manner of speech hit right on the spot. A lot of Japanese vtubers…, their voices are just too damn high. It makes me embarrassed just watching their streams because, on the surface, it makes me look like I am watching a pre-teen girl’s stream. Her manner of speech is charming as well. It’s oddly comical to listen to her accents also.
Thirdly, she has a natural talent in comical timing. Having watched her gameplay sessions, it has become clear to me that she picks the right moment to add comical commentaries. This is not something one can be trained for easily. Good examples of these are found in her Resident Evil gameplay videos.
Fourthly, she can really be an airhead at times. The confusion of “1 to 5” as "1, 2, 5” is probably the most popular example of her airheadedness. I think I laughed to a point of asphyxia. Nothing has ever made it laugh like that before in my whole life. Kiara has to count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 to make her understand what went wrong at which point her 2D avatar goes limp with a very quiet “Oh, my god…” in the background.
There are other points such as her having good time slots for English viewers. That point is moot for me as I never watch any live streams. I literally don’t have the time to sit around 3 ~ 6 hours watching a live stream. I mostly play such videos in the background while I am doing something else.
Another point is her good singing ability and a voice to match. But I hardly ever listen to songs anyway, so that’s a moot point for me.
Overall, Gura is an easy-to-approach vtuber whose voice is rather charming to listen to, coupled with her being an airhead and being a natural comedian, I can see why she has become the most popular vtuber within a span of a few years.
Of course, not everyone is perfect, and Gura has her own problems. The most prominent one I can think of is her communication skills or the lack thereof. She has a tendency to just vanish from the surface of the internet for weeks if not months. On one occasion, where she vanished for months, Hololive announced that she was going on a hiatus. The bottom line is that, whenever she vanishes, she does not communicate at all. It’s a weird trait.