At the end of 2014, YouTube took a look back at some of the fun, freaky and unforgettable videos that went viral over the past year. Titled “YouTube Rewind,” the official retrospective (which has 50 million views) gave special recognition to dozens of online personalities, including Kid President and Jenna Marbles, who YouTube decided were the top of class in 2014.
Japan was well represented with 14 YouTubers joining the global ranks. Their talent ranges from makeup tutorials and video game walkthroughs to clever pranks and English lessons. Without much further ado, here are the top YouTubers from featured in Rewind 2014:
1. Aichi Ono (7,000+ subscribers)
- Aichi Ono, aka Spinboy, has a pretty thick skull. He is a performer that does dances and tricks while spinning on his head. He also gives behind-the-scenes looks at breakdancing practices.
2. Bilingirl (300,000+)
- Chika “Bilingirl” Yoshida’s classroom is YouTube, and she uses her videos to teach Japanese people the proper and natural way to speak English. She also happens to be a contributor to The Japan Times ST.
3. Hajime (900,000+)
- Hajime reviews toys and food in a silly and slapstick manner. Whether it’s putting candies up his nose or kvelling over curry, he keeps his subscribers entertained and in the know about products.
4. Hikakin (1,475,000+)
- Human beatboxer Hikakin has drummed up more 300,000,000 views on YouTube. He usually makes beatbox covers of hit songs including Disney’s “Let It Go” and even collaborates with pop stars like Ariana Grande.
5. iTakahashi (250,000+)
- Takahashi is an otaku master of apps and snacks. He uploads videos of him and his friends trying out the newest, weirdest and scariest games available on PC and mobile. He also reviews “konbini” food and drinks to help gamers stay energized during gaming sessions.
6. Kosuke (700,000+)
- The only thing Kosuke cares about is “Pazu Dora” (“Puzzles & Dragons”), the enormously popular mobile game in Japan. He and his fellow co-workers at AppBank give viewers the best tips and tricks for mastering the puzzle/RPG game.
7. Max Murai (1,150,000+)
- Going by the name Max Murai, he is the president of AppBank, a news site about — you guessed it — mobile apps. He talks about a variety of mobile games, including “Monster Striker,” and often collaborates with Kosuke and Takahashi.
8. Manako (35,000+)
- Manako is a member of the idol group Q’ulle. The 18-year-old’s channel is a mix of original choreography as well as dancing to popular songs like the main theme from the hit anime series “Yo-kai Watch.”
9. MasuoTV (410,000+)
- A lover of tech, food and fun, Masuo makes videos that are a hodgepodge of his cute and whimsical interests. Sometimes he is testing out cat toys and other times he is constructing a Hello Kitty house made of chocolate.
10. Mika Shindate (27,000+)
- Mika focuses on fashion and beauty with videos about coordinating outfits and trying out new hairstyles. She also sprinkles in fun moments, such as singing karaoke with friends or taking “purikura” pictures.
11. PDS (630,000+)
- PDS is often shirtless but never serious. He does a wide variety of silly videos and skits ranging from singing to pulling pranks on friends. He will also show subscribers some of the super weird and super cute toys available in Japan.
12. Sasaki Asahi (300,000+)
- Sasaki gives practical makeup tips and reviews new cosmetics but also takes it a step further by painting her face for some extreme makeovers. Some of her most-viewed videos include zombie, doll and “Frozen” transformations.
13. Seikin (750,000+)
- Seikin is a multitasker: He is a one-man band, he plays video games, and he cooks. There should be a video for everyone as Seikin is singing rock band covers or he’s making tacos in his kitchen.
14. World Order (190,000+)
- World Order takes its dance moves and its quirky humor around the world in their videos. Whether they’re dancing in Japan or abroad, the singing salarymen are never afraid to strut their stuff right on the streets.
While every YouTuber is different, there seems to be a secret recipe for becoming big in Japan:
- Be weird: Spinning on your head? Sure. Dressing like a pumpkin to make pumpkin pie? Why not. It works.
- Be cute: It doesn’t hurt if you’re attractive. Bonus points for wearing a schoolgirl uniform.
- Be tasty: By that we mean, make fun and interesting food. Novelty dishes like Blue Slime curry or chocolate-covered bananas can hit the sweet spot.
- Be useful: We don’t care about your personal life! Instead give us tips about “Puzzles & Dragons” or how to make a homemade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume. Now that’s helpful.