How Honesty Helped VTube Twitch Streamer Yuzu Sanagi Realize Success Online

Twitch’s first moth spirit influencer

Lightning doesn't strike the same place twice, but success does. VTube superstar Yuzu Sanagi is a testament to that. Previously an on-air success story, the anonymous content creator has created a whole new identity via augmented reality streaming, better known as Vtubing.

Twitch and VTube star, Yuzu Sanagi.

Yuzu Sanagi

Through Vtubing, this former nurse has amassed an audience of 200,000 affectionately nicknamed Lamp Champs across all social media platforms. Her largest platform? Twitch, where she recently celebrated her 100,000-follower milestone. 

"I don't care about the numbers too much nowadays. When I first started, I did, but now? All I want to do is make people laugh, spread happiness, and harvest a community that fosters positivity with like-minded individuals huddling in one area, having a good time," she said in a phone interview with Lifewire. 

Quick Facts

  • Name: Yuzu Sanagi
  • Age: N/A
  • Located: United States
  • Random Delight: Sanagi worked as a Starbucks barista during the pandemic. After trading in her white jacket for a green apron, she was on the frontlines while juggling streaming before eventually leaving to become full-time.

A Budding Star

Growing up wasn't easy for the would-be streamer. Through her relatively traditional Asian household, Sanagi said, invisibility became the backdrop of her life. She felt like a familial outcast: always playing second fiddle to her siblings.

"We would share everything. My brother and sister would usually get what they wanted, and I was left in the dust because I was the middle child," she said. "I was super depressed, and gaming quickly became an obsession of mine. I would always fantasize about being in a game."

She was introduced to the medium through her brother, who would often seek Sanagi as a gaming companion. Multiplayer titles such as Call of Duty, Dynasty Warriors, and Halo were just a few of the games that interested the young Sanagi. 

The virtual worlds of video games became a refuge for Sanagi. This would be the catalyst to her eventual ascent into the gaming-centered content, but not before a detour. 

Sanagi had an unconventional journey to content creation. Prior to becoming a full-time content creator, the streamer worked as a registered nurse. She resigned to find her true purpose.   

Yuzu Sanagi on Twitch.

Yuzu Sanagi

"I thought it was really fun, and it would be my future, but I realized that it was super hard on the emotional side of things. It was very stressful, and I realized it wasn't really my dream. It was my father's," she said. 

TikTok was her first instance of viral success. Her now-deleted TikTok page was nerdom comedy often centered around JRPGs. Her videos amassed as many as 1 million views before she left the platform to reinvent herself.

"There was a lot of emphasis on looks. When I was recording myself, there was tons of pressure to look a certain way. I was dealing with a lot of self-confidence issues constantly being in front of the camera," she said.

But the theatrical—almost performance artistry—of Vtubing captivated her. The possibilities were endless. With curated identities cultivated by artists and technological advancements in facial tracking software, you could become anyone–or anything.

The Unhinged Goblin

VTube stars Pekora and Gawr Gura were two of Sanagi's early inspirations. Seeing the success of the faceless users behind these digitized virtual avatars ignited a spark in the fledgling TikToker. She could have a second chance at viral stardom but remain anonymous to mitigate what she saw as the downsides of online existence. 

When I was recording myself, there was tons of pressure to look a certain way.

Vtubing seems to be a revolution for women on the platform. It offers privacy and a reprieve from the inevitability of objectification that female content creators often endure. 

"I didn't want people to know me for what I look like," Sanagi said. "I wanted them to know me for my creativity, humor, and the hard work I put into my content." 

Quickly, she created her virtual alter ego, Yuzu Sanagi. The ambitious project initially started out as a character, your typical uwu anime girl aesthetic, but with time more of the real Sanagi peeked through the proverbial curtains. Now, she says, there's little artifice. What you see on screen is exactly who she is. 

And what you see are fantastical streams of RPGs, MMOs, and the occasional horror games, all hosted by an ethereal, fluffy moth spirit. Sanagi enjoys her newfound success. The ability to exist online on her own terms was revolutionary. 

"I never thought gaming could be something to make a living off of. Since I used gaming as a way to escape from the real world, it's cool to think about now as a full circle. Now, I'm a virtual character on the interwebs in the same sphere that used to be a safe haven." 

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