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Media & Entertainment

Japan's virtual celebrities rise to threaten the real ones

Brands look to 9,000 'VTubers' as low-risk, high-reward marketing tools

A performer fitted with sensors directs the movement of a virtual entertainer at Gree's studio in Tokyo. (Photo by Yuki Kohara) 

TOKYO -- Japan's entertainment industry may have found the perfect celebrities.

They never make prima-donna demands. They are immune to damaging drug scandals and other controversies. Some rake in millions of dollars for their managers. And they do not ask for a cent in return.

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