Vtuber Pikamee has announced her graduation, just days after allegedly being harassed by trans activists for streaming Hogwarts Legacy.
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Amano Pikamee is a vtuber who debuted in 2020 as part of VOMS Project. Beloved for her wholesome attitude, she quickly garnered an audience of 600,000 subscribers in April 2022. Her confession of suffering bullying in Japanese schools for being half American further ingratiated her with her fans.
It seemed Pikamee had found peace through streaming. However, she had been on a hiatus. Her last public YouTube video had been uploaded four months ago, and Twitch had auto-deleted her older streams. It should be noted she did appear in Pomu Rainpuff’s January 28th livestream, and there had been numerous members-only livestreams.
Pikamee’s next major stream was slated for February 6th. “I am joinning hogwarts JST 2/6 8PM yayy!” Pikamee tweeted, showing she was going to be playing Hogwarts Legacy.
Instead, Pikamee later tweeted “I am very sorry that I will cancel today’s stream. See you guys in the next stream dayo!” (Dayo being a way she ends some of her sentences). Both of those tweets are now deleted.
In a screenshot shared around Twitte — by users such as @VTuberCringe — Pikamee also allegedly tweeted, “I am just a kettle who wants to play games.” Kettle in reference to her high pitch laugh and gasps.
“Playing this game doesn’t mean I’m supporting something specific. I just want to play the game, that’s all. I hope everyone will have a wonderful day.”
Many believed Pikamee had been victim to the ongoing harassment campaign against streamers playing Hogwarts Legacy. This was over continued disparagement of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling — specifically her comments on biological sex being real and terms meant to avoid offending transgender people denied the female identity.
After several failed boycott attempts via negative press (such as false claims of antisemitism or accusing one of the game’s voice actors of transphobia), streamers were harassed, with one person even making a website to catalog who played the game.
Some were reportedly driven to tears, such as Girlfriend Reviews, while others rebounded and stood their ground.
This includes vtuber Silvervale, who noted she didn’t condone Rowling’s ideals but also stated, “I will not be bullied by a bunch of Twitter freaks with nothing better to do with their goddamn lives.”
On February 7th, Pikamee tweeted, “Have a wonderful day everyone dayo~” and “おやすみなさい〜Good night people dayo~.” As fans had assumed she had been harassed, concern grew over the short tweets, and the comments were filled with well wishes.
Just over three weeks later, Pikamee tweeted again. “Sorry for being silent for almost a month. Thank you so much for all your support and the kind words you guys gave me while I was gone. I am a lucky kettle to have people like you.”
Pikamee announced her retirement, or “graduation” in the attached YouTube video titled “Arigatou!” In vtuber circles, the term is borrowed from the Japanese idol industry when young women usually move into other entertainment fields. The term has also been used when idols and vtubers have been fired, let go, or have resigned.
“I, Amano Pikamee will end all activities at the end of this month, March 31st in Japan Time,” Pikamee revealed. “I have been able to enjoy my vtuber activities until today. Thanks to you guys a lot for giving me love and sweet words and VOMS_Project for supporting me.”
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“I am so sorry for shocking you guys like this,” Pikamee apologized. “Despite all the sad things, I still have a month left so I hope we can have a lot of fun time.”
“Also, all content of memberships and videos/vods already posted on the channel will be deleted on March 31 after my final stream. Same as Twitter, the account will remain buy no longer active.”
This is typical of vtuber groups and agencies when a vtuber graduates.
“Thanks to you guys a lot for giving me love and sweet words. It was a short time, but that is all from this time. Thank you so much for watching.” Pikamee concluded “See you guys on my next stream.”
VOMS Project founder “GYARI” also gave a lengthier statement on Twitter. After reiterating Pikamee’s retirement, he provided more details. “We have discussed this with Pikamee herself and in respect of her wishes, we have decided to ‘graduate’ in a positive way. We sincerely apologize for this sudden announcement.”
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of our viewers for the excitement you have been giving us through our distribution and other activities. With only one month left, we hope you will continue to support Amano Pikamee until the end.” As such, GYARI announced upcoming promotions would continue, with some slight changes.
“Please be assured that the VOMS 3rd anniversary pop-up store ‘VOMS PARK’, which we have been announcing since last month, will be held at Marui from March 4 as scheduled,” GYARI emphasized. “This event will be planned and implemented after we shared the Pikamee graduation with MARUI in advance and they said they would love to send us off together.”
“Since this event will be the last time that the four current VOMS members will be together, we have been planning this event with the hope that it will be a place for everyone to create memories in a positive way,” GYARI revealed.
“As previously announced, we will be broadcasting a pre-event announcement on the VOMS Project channel on March 2. We hope everyone will enjoy it, as we have prepared a plan related to the graduation of Pikamee.” That video showed additional merchandise of Pikamee would be available, such as goods with artwork of her in school graduation clothes, crying with joy.
GYARI reiterated that Pikamee’s channel would be closed, along with merchandise based on Pikamee no longer being produced. “The VOMS Project was launched by the GYARI, as a private project, but it is needless to say that Amano Pikamee’s activities played a major role in the project gaining greater momentum than originally thought,” GYARI concluded.
“Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to Amano Pikamee. We are truly sad to see her graduate. But, the VOMS Project itself and the activities of other VOMS members will continue. We hope to make the VOMS 3rd anniversary event with MARUI a fun and memorable one for everyone. Thank you for your continued support.”
In the video where Pikamee’s retirement is discussed, as translated by YouTuber Yura, GYARI adds, “Actually, we’ve been in discussion with Pikamee for quite a long while… The fact she would graduate was decided quite a long time ago. Quite a long time ago.”
“Pop-up shops absolutely need a couple of months of preparation. So I’d like to state upfront that, this isn’t a situation where something suddenly happened and now there’s a graduation. I’d like to emphasize this point,” GYARI explained, before reiterating the decision had been made “a long time ago.”
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Likewise, Vtuber Pomu explained in a tearful livestream she had known about Pikamee’s graduation around January of this year. Though sobbing, she states both that at some point she knew or suspect “it’s going to be March!”, and that she didn’t know when the announcement would come.
Silvervale also stated she had known about the graduation “ahead of time,” and that she was “glad they could be there for each other.”
Thanks to or despite the above, some on Twitter proposed Pikamee’s harassment didn’t play a major or any factor in her graduation. Others theorized that while the pop-up shop was planned in advance, the graduation was intended to happen much later (hence the sudden announcement), or the graduation-themed merchandise was designed and produced more recently than the other goods.
Some gaming news outlets have also had doubts about the harassment. Kotaku’s Sisi Jiang reported, “Because Pikamee’s Hogwarts Legacy tweets have been deleted, it’s hard to get a holistic view of how strongly people actually opposed her stream, though evidence suggests the criticism was clear in its disappointment but did not seem to escalate to harassment.”
One person made a Google Doc archiving almost 1000 instances of harassment (or intent to harass) against various streamers over Hogwarts Legacy. In 16 instances users can be seen giving faux concern over Pikamee streaming the game, with a select few showing bitter hatred.
Over 500 other entries show discussion after her graduation announcement. Aside from enraged and disgusted fans, others dismissed the claims of harassment or seemed to be delighted about it.
“When you buy this game, money goes to someone who thinks I shouldn’t have rights and has been a powerful advocate in favor of my oppression,” insisted @LilBrattyBun “When you stream this game, other people see it and spend money on it and feel like they need to play or risk missing out.”
@Ozpin_Cane’s reply to Pikamee also appeared to be in reference to her denying she supported Rowling’s beliefs. “You… bought it. You’re LITERALLY supporting Rowlings positions. Like, from your checkout to her account to the far right politicians she’ll donate to.”
“Like, do as you like, but as with everything acknowledge the consequence. I didn’t ‘just swing my arm’ if I break a guys nose,” the user concluded.
Whether true or not, @reddline_ mocked Pikamee for being harassed. “Oh you’re getting bullied for playing dumb wizard game? Getting abused by your chat? Gonna cry? Damn now you know a fraction of what trans folks feel, y’know, the ones your money is supporting the abuse of.”
“The toxicity against others that you turned a blind eye to coming back to you is just getting what you paid for, ” read a follow-up tweet.
@reddline_ later added “I tweeted this before I even knew about what happened to Pikamee, but now after having learned about the situation I would just like to say. Lol, lmao”
Since the graduation announcement, there has been an outpouring of love on Twitter for Pikamee, and blind fury against those who harassed her. Pikamee’s first stream after the graduation announcement didn’t have her reveal whether the harassment played a factor but did say she had received an outpouring of support.
[Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article’s headline portrayed Pikamee as having received harassment for actually streaming Hogwarts Legacy rather than having received it for her announcement.]
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