VTubers have quickly become my favourite new type of content creators on the internet. Though I’ve seen enough now to know that the possibilities for what creative and wildly entertaining forms their avatars might take are endless, I still wasn’t prepared for the inventive and adorable VTuber persona of Atom and Evelyn.
This article originally appeared on Kotaku Australia on December 9, 2021. It has been retimed as a weekend read.
When you first come across Atom and Evelyn, you might think, “Gee, that’s just a VTuber with a cat on her shoulder. Neat.” But when the VTuber starts talking, Evelyn’s mouth doesn’t appear to be moving, despite words clearly reaching your ear. If you’re like me, you’ll quickly come to the realisation that there isn’t anything wrong with your electronic device or their VTuber rig, you were simply looking at the wrong person, or animal, on screen. Atom is a talking cat and Evelyn is his mute owner and they’re both being controlled by one user at the same time.
For those out of the loop, VTubers, also known as Virtual YouTubers, are content creators who use motion capture to animate avatars of themselves onscreen in place of their actual faces. Some can take the form of a floating duel monster with an admiration for butts, a light novel bartender, or a virtual idol on indefinite hiatus that also happens to be dipping into NFTs. The person behind Atom and Evelyn takes the lore of their VTubing just as seriously, and has come a long way since debuting this year.
For those like myself who can’t just blindly accept the reality of a talking virtual cat, Atom and Evelyn do go the extra mile to address the elephant in the room and explain the circumstances behind their VTuber persona on their Twitch about page. Apparently, Evelyn is some sort of Dr. Slump character because she harnessed the power of science to make it so Atom can talk simply because she wanted to. Also, Evelyn was mute at birth. Evidently, it’s a psychological condition that Evelyn could fix with science “but chooses not to.” That checks out. I too would use the power of science for animals above myself.
Ever the professional, Atom and Evelyn spoke to Kotaku about how their VTuber career came into being, all while in character.
“Well Eve and I are both very real of course, but if I was hypothetically just some guy who created Atom and Evelyn as a VTuber persona, I think Atom and Eve would have been a compromise between all the things I wanted to be as a VTuber,” Atom and Evelyn told Kotaku.
For the hypothetical person behind Atom and Evelyn, the big attraction to VTubing came from how funny and cute anime VTuber avatars were. Sadly, not all human beings are created equal, and the theoretical person behind Atom and Evelyn felt they were severely lacking in the cute factor, at least personality-wise. The imagined person behind Atom and Evelyn felt they couldn’t possibly live up to their own expectations of what an anime girl VTuber should be, and had no interest in being a cute anime boy. The next-best thing for them was to become a VTubing animal, since furry creatures are inherently cute. Coming up with a VTuber persona that would wow not only their future audience, but themselves, was their first monumental task. If they weren’t impressed, no one else would be either.
“Ultimately, I landed on a cat on a girl’s shoulder. I get to be a cute cat and an anime girl at once. And since Eve, the anime girl, is mute and a separate character from Atom, I won’t taint her with my ‘uncuteness’. It’s a win-win,” Atom and Evelyn said.
Atom and Evelyn had their humble beginnings on YouTube in July of this year. The first glimpse of the VTuber was in a very short (six-second) MS Paint-style video where Atom sang his rendition of the Overwatch fan song “No Mercy” on a stool before getting yeeted out the window by Evelyn. “Some content before we, a cat and his (mute) human girl are able to debut!” they said in the video’s description. Now, the VTuber has their own face rig that allows Atom and Evelyn to interact with one another onscreen, and the “duo” has amassed over a thousand followers on Twitch.
While the pair don’t appear to have a set schedule for when they stream, you can check out their hilarious TikToks, their streaming vods on YouTube, or catch them on their Twitch channel where lately, they can be found playing Inscryption, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl, or just chatting with their viewers.