Virtual entertainers, also known as Vtubers, often spend hours on streams, playing games and chatting with their audience. During this time, the viewer usually only gets to see a character’s face or torso — but since Vtubers are 3D models, there’s a good chance a bottom half has indeed been designed for use. Recently, social media has been awash with Vtubers showing off their digital toes, and it’s all because someone thought to ask about them.
It all started when Twitter user @Torte_Kamakraya posted the hashtag #Vtuberの靴が見たい, which roughly translates to “I want to see the shoes of.” The problem is that not every Vtuber wears shoes. After all, when you have the option to present yourself as anything online, you don’t burden yourself with simple human limitations. Vtubers make up an ecosystem of shark girls, dog girls, literal moths, tentacle monsters, and the like. So when you ask to see how Vtubers get around, the answers are varied.
While the hashtag started off with entertainers showcasing their boots, sandals, and sneakers, it quickly became an excuse to post feet regardless of protection. From dog paws to tentacles, Vtubers rushed to give everyone a taste of what you don’t usually get to see — and maybe what you don’t want to see.
Many Vtubers get full-body commissions from artists, and some even have all of that part of their digital bodies rigged to move on stream. Sometimes, these elements do come into play — there are occasional full-on 3D live shows, like Hololive or Nijisanji, where the viewer sees everything. There’s excitement around a full reveal, too. Often, Vtubers tease their debut onto the scene with cropped pictures of their models. Ideally, the bits and pieces you see during this time are appealing enough that you want to check out the full thing.
This might explain why someone like Vtuber zentreya, who is pictured at the top of this post, took care in depicting not just boots with metal flourishes, but ripped stockings as well. In short: Vtubers need feet, even if it seems like an inconsequential detail at first.
There’s a huge (and growing!) amount of Vtubers out there, and therefore a huge amount of feet. Do the feet make the Vtuber? Not really. At least not until the inevitable feet-tuber comes around. For now, it’s just fascinating to see the range they’re working with.