Okay, the title’s a bit of an exaggeration, depending on what you mean by “arrives.”
I’ve been watching Hololive for a few years now, as I discussed in a podcast a while back. While I mainly watch stream VODs and don’t tend to keep up with the music (or current events), last year, I stumbled across the beginning of Hololive 3rd Fes: Link Your Wish, the concert accompanying Cover Corporation’s annual convention in Japan. The first few songs of Day 1 and Day 2 were free to watch on YouTube; the rest of the stream was locked behind a paywall.
Seeing the YouTube portions on my phone late at night got me in the door. A little while later, I decided to acquire a full recording of the event to use as background entertainment while I worked on a video (I had to spend about 12 hours rotoscoping for my Big Frugal NAS Build (Part 2) video, which I discussed in its behind-the-scenes segment.) I wasn’t even dedicating 100% of my attention to the concert while I was working, but watching the entire event while I worked, I was really entertained by some of the songs and also really impressed by the production quality of the entire performance.
I genuinely want to see the technology behind this kind of performance continue to improve (and for creative use cases like this to thrive), so I decided to support Hololive by ordering some of their merchandise from the concert/expo event. I chose a wall scroll representing the expo and a T-shirt representing the festival. Below is a timeline of the process:
- 28 March 2022: I placed the order with GeekJack.
- 30 May 2022: GeekJack sent a notification that the goods would arrive with them for shipping soon.
- 2 October 2022: As the six-month estimate for shipping had now passed, I sent an e-mail to GeekJack confirming they hadn’t shipped yet.
- 3 October 2022: GeekJack responded to my inquiry confirming that the goods were still “inbound” to them, and that they would begin shipping shortly.
- 7 October 2022: GeekJack sent a notification that the goods had been shipped (via EMS, which goes from Japan Post to the USPS.)
- 9 October 2022: The package was processed by Japan Post at Chubu International Airport (in the Aichi prefecture.)
- 11 October 2022: The package was received by the USPS at the International Service Center in Chicago (a.k.a. customs.)
- 15 October 2022: The package was released by ISC Chicago and returned to the USPS’s Chicago distribution center.
- 17 October 2022: The package arrived at a USPS distribution center in St. Louis. A few hours later, it went out for delivery (so either this must not have been the downtown distribution center, or they got it to the local post office very quickly.) Around 1pm the same day, it was delivered to my shipping address in St. Louis.
- 17 December 2022: I drove from my current residence in Denver to my shipping address in St. Louis.
- 29 December 2022: I finally opened the package.
- 8 January 2023: I drove from St. Louis back to Denver.
- 9 January 2023: I picked up some command strip hooks to hang the wall scroll from at my local Target.
- 10 January 2023: I finally hung up the wall scroll.
There are a few things to note here. First, shipment of the merchandise didn’t actually take nine months. It only took about seven months (which is still a long time!) I actually had some family visit me in November who could have brought the package to me then, but I was moving into a smaller living space, and I wasn’t sure if I’d have the space to actually use it, so I held off.
Second, most Hololive fans today would recommend ordering from Cover’s official store rather than going through GeekJack. The reason I ordered from GeekJack is because a couple of years ago, Cover’s shop only shipped to Japan, and GeekJack was the only option for international deliveries (or at least U.S. addresses.) From what I remember, I did see that I could order from the official shop, but since I remembered that GeekJack used to be the only option, and because GeekJack may have had slightly cheaper shipping, I went with them.
GeekJack’s homepage is a little odd, since it only lists Hololive and Holostars merchandise. This makes it seem less like a third-party option and more like a first-party venture. It’s also worth noting that as of today, the Hololive website still has a page which lists GeekJack as their “OVERSEAS” option, even though they list the U.S. and several other overseas countries as being available from their own shop as well. (The “Official Goods” link on the top of the website actually skips this page and goes straight to the in-house Cover shop, but I don’t think it did back when I was ordering.)
Anyway, the wait was pretty much worth it, although I don’t think I’ll be ordering again (at least through GeekJack) knowing that it takes that long. The wall scroll is a convenient but substantial size. The T-shirt (which I probably won’t wear much, since I don’t want to damage it) looks how I expected it to.
I took some photos of the unboxing process. Both goods shipped in one long box. Apologies for the poor lighting; I opened these in my family’s kitchen, which was undergoing renovations and didn’t have a light above the counter.
The T-shirt is especially cool because the last performance of both days featured the talents wearing the shirts onstage. That kind of creative detail helps push the augmented reality technology even further in making the performance and the characters feel real.
But I was kind of more excited about the wall scroll anyway, since I rarely wear branded T-shirts in public, but I do tend to decorate my apartments with posters and artwork. My new living space is a bit cramped (I’m renting a half-story of a house, getting me a single bedroom, a loft, and a bathroom), but I found a place to stick the wall scroll, just slightly behind a NAS box that I might move onto the floor later.
While I’m here, I’ll take the opportunity to reminisce about a couple of funny things from the concert. For both days, all of the foreign performers (from the Indonesian branch and the worldwide English branch) were grouped together. This might have partially been because they didn’t have special outfits for the concert, so they would have stuck out a little if they’d been more interspersed.
However, on Day 1, I sat up a little bit when the EN talents I normally watched were about to perform, and was subsequently surprised that the first (Gura), then the second (Watson), then the third EN talent (Ina) sang songs in Japanese. I supposed that it made sense, since the concert was happening in Japan… however, the Indonesian talent (Moona) came on last and sang a song not in Japanese, not in Indonesian, but in English!
Another funny thing I remember is that in the final act of Day 2, only one of the girls was wearing a black T-shirt (with the rest dressed in white.) I assume the talents were allowed to pick whichever T-shirt they wanted to wear, or at least that it was supposed to look that way. The one who picked black stuck out a lot over in the corner, though.
There are plenty of other moments I remember from the concert, and I’ve watched both days all the way through a second time by now, along with revisiting several of the songs repeatedly. This year, I’m trying to acquire tickets to see Hololive 4th Fes in person, although Cover and their ticketing platform L-Tike are not making it easy for me as a foreigner… but that could probably be a blog post of its own.
To conclude, I’d highly recommend checking out one of Hololive’s group concerts to see the latest in V-Tuber technology and augmented reality broadcasting presented as a fun musical package. The merchandise took a long time to arrive, but I’m happy to have it as part of my collection.