VIRTUALSAN – LOOKING – Anime Preview
Synopsis: A TV anime featuring 30 VTubers including Mirai Akari, Siro, Nekomiya Hinata, Tsukino Mito, Tanaka Hime, and Suzuki Hina! In a creative collaboration Anno Hideaki, the six primary cast members will appear in Evangelion costumes. The theme song is composed by producer Nakata Yasutaka, sung by Kizuna Ai in the first six episodes, before being taken over for episodes seven through twelve by the main cast as the special VTuber unit dubbed “Virtual Real”. An original 3DCG animated project with an omnibus format designed to put the personality and charm of VTubers on full display. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Virtual Youtubers were something I was mildly aware of, but had never really looked into. For people in my position, understand that Virtual Youtubers are essentially performers who use motion capture technology to manipulate 3D models of the virtual girls and put on a performance as a typical ‘youtuber’ would. Virtualsan – Looking takes this concept and expands on it a bit, crafting bizarre sketch comedy and gags that feel right out of some of Japan’s most bizarre entertainment. There’s tons of little references scattered about, like a call back to Attack on Titan, and then there’s references you almost certainly won’t get, like what I can only assume is some parodying of Japanese late night TV/Radio. The biggest take away here however is that no matter the references Virtualsan is altogether strange, with many of the sketch gags offering no real punchline to land the joke.
Linny: Virtualsan really feels like its demanding you be familiar with its cast of VTubers in order to enjoy or understand any of its comedy and content. If you’re clueless like us, the entire episode feels like the most random mishmash of personalities and sketches that make little to no sense. Each character gets their own little scene or two, all set in a different place with a different tone and setting that has no connection to the last. What further hinders the comedy is that some of the jokes are clearly puns that only work in Japanese meaning you need to be fluent in the language to really enjoy it.
Tom: Overall Virtualsan feels rough. It feels like a joke I’m not ‘in’ on, where the main appeal here is getting more of your favorite virtual youtubers acting as bizarre as they possibly can. With so much of the humor experimental, and off the wall I think this is absolutely a series best left to the virtual youtuber loving crowd.
Linny: The entire show is obviously CGI based and the quality can fluctuate from one skit to the other, sometimes looking decent and other times looking so god awful clunky that it’s distracting. Unless you’re already a fan of the featured VTubers, it’s hard to warm up to them when their movements and expressions look so erratic and wooden and the comedy is so ‘nuanced.’ All in all, I have to agree with Tom that Virtualsan – Looking is definitely not a show for anyone who isn’t already fond of Virtual Youtubers.
VIRTUALSAN – LOOKING is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.