Close this search box.
4 minutes read

The Bunny Queen Usada Pekora: The Most Popular VTuber

VTubers are an off-shoot of the idol culture that has gripped Japan since its emergence in the late 60’s. Fans clamor for a taste of their favorite idol’s attention, either encouraged by the idol’s enthusiasm or comforted by seeing some aspect of themselves inside the idol. VTubers are much the same: Their upbeat attitudes warm the hearts of fans, crafting a bond through live-streaming platforms.

In this respect, Usada Pekora (兎田ぺこら) is the quintessential Japanese VTuber. Last time, Stream Hatchet looked at English-speaking VTuber Dokibird as she came out of retirement. This time, however, we’re looking at how Pekora streamed without pause for nearly five straight years to amass the largest fanbase of any VTuber.

Pekora has proven herself a consistently popular VTuber on live-streaming platforms. Last month, Pekora took the #1 spot from Sakura Miko with an AMA of 38K. But looking further back, her dominance in the VTuber space is even more certain. Pekora brought in 35.7M hours watched over the last 12 months, beating out Kuzuha by 2.8M hours watched. Stunningly, this also makes Pekora the most watched female streamer of the past 12 months even when compared to popular IRL female streamers like Valkyrae and Emiru.

Unsurprisingly, such immense popularity comes with a number of opportunities. Pekora is not just a streamer, but a brand. She’s had many marketing and merchandising opportunities over her career, always picking products and services that align with her carefree persona. Pekora has featured in the pages of Ciao manga, appeared in a crossover for the anime Oshi no Ko, and even popped up in the video game Dragon Quest Treasures. From cafes to candy to curry, Pekora has done it all.

Pekora’s enduring popularity ties back to a simple persona. She causes mischief under the guise of a sweet bunny girl, making trouble and pulling pranks while also remaining innocent and generous. Pekora collaborates with her fellow Hololive members to play games, have fun, make music and, most importantly, bring happiness to her Nousagi (her fans). Consistency is key, and Pekora never fails to feel approachable and laidback while on stream.

Usada Pekora’s Long Hop to Become the Top VTuber

Pekora is not an overnight success: She created content over five years to build a loyal following. First debuting in the 3rd generation of Hololive (termed “Hololive Fantasy”), Pekora was well-positioned to build upon Hololive’s name-recognition as the top VTuber management agency. Collaborating with her contemporaries Shirogane Noel and Houshou Marine,Pekora grabbed viewers’ attention and within her first year had amassed 500K subscribers on YouTube – the fourth Hololive member to do so.

On the 12th of January 2021, Pekora released her first solo song “Pekorandom Brain!”. Live concerts would prove to be her most popular content, frequently hitting high peak viewerships such as her March 2024 birthday concert which pulled in a peak viewership of 152K. Collaborations with Hololive members have always performed well too, with Pekora’s most watched stream being a 24-hour collab stream playing Momotaro Dentetsu with eleven other Hololive members. This stream alone brought in 869K hours watched.

The biggest setback Pekora faced on her rise to stardom came back in May of 2022, when Pekora was forced to take a month-long hiatus from streaming due to a vocal cord injury. It speaks volumes (no pun intended) that the only break Pekora ever took was due to overworking. Pekora rebounded, however, and capitalized on 2023’s Year of the Rabbit to propel herself to over 10M hours watched during Q1 2024.

Although non-gaming content has brought in the majority of Pekora’s biggest streams, there is no doubt that playthroughs of popular games form the bulk of her content. RPGs remain the best-performing games on Pekora’s channel, with Monster Hunter: World and Elden Ring bringing in 3.5M and 2.2M hours watched over the last 12 months, respectively. The VOD for Pekora’s return to Elden Ring earlier this year brought in a whopping 942K views on YouTube.

Aside from RPGs, crafting games like Minecraft are wellsprings of high viewership thanks to their suitability for collaborations. In January, Pekora frequently collaborated with fellow Hololive Fantasy members Shirogane Noel and Houshou Marine to complete the main story for Terraria. This no doubt explains how Pekora’s Terraria streams brought in just under 2M hours watched over the past 12 months. Super Mario Maker 2 similarly spelt success for Pekora, bringing in her highest gaming-related peak viewership of 111K.

Popular games are not the only reason for Pekora’s success; after all, her most watched series are also played by many other Hololive members. Her unrivaled popularity is owed to her loyal, actively engaged fanbase. Moving forward, Pekora is seeking new ways to reward her fans with diverse, interesting types of content – such as her upcoming Dragon Ball watch party on May 23rd. Stream Hatchet will see if any other VTubers can dethrone the bunny queen in the coming months.

To keep up to date with the most popular creators on live-streaming platforms, follow Stream Hatchet:

Weekly newsletter

No spam. Just the latest releases and tips, interesting articles, and exclusive interviews in your inbox every week.

Read about our Privacy Policy

More about it

More data. More power.

Start using the power of Stream Hatchet and join the hundreds of companies that use us every day to get the best industry information.

Related Videos

We create industry-unique reports for your information