Opening up this month of shoutouts is someone particularly special to my history with Twitch. My introduction to her came through extraordinary means, resulting in a “right place at the right time” sequence of events that laid the path to my residency on the platform. A joyful exuberance of positivity and affection, each stream is a showcase of fun, coziness, and elation.
Introducing RaeRaeSenpai. (← Link to her Twitch channel.)
Identifiable by her fringe, impeccable Jigglypuff impression, and overflowing plushie collection, RaeRaeSenpai—or more simply, Rae—is a veteran Twitch streamer with a couple years under her belt. One can easily see this with the overall make-up and presentation of each stream. With a large variety of redemptions ranging from hydration to roasting chat members, one could easily mistake her for among the platform’s biggest channels. I certainly found myself enamored with it the first time I discovered it.
Watching Tama Hero stream during the events of 2020’s Lass Project, she ended up raiding Rae, who was next on the block schedule. For whatever reason, I decided not to click out of tab, amused by the enthusiasm present in my new setting. As she clamored to catch shiny pokémon in Let’s Go, Eevee(?), I found myself among many enthusiastic Pokémon fans, bouncing off conversation topics and ideas with our host. I ended up watching the entirety of her block, giving her a follow by the end, with the promise that I’d attend more streams.
For the next half a year, I attended maybe 95% of her streams. (She generally streams 3-5 times a week.) This may sound impressive, though I should note that I was only following two other streamers at the time—one whom I rarely frequented and another that streamed maybe once a week. It made it very easy to make the time to frequent her streams.
Of course, I would not be such a dedicated viewer if the content was not up to expectations. Slowly, I became a part of the community as a whole. Rae would continue to evolve as a streamer herself, branching out into variety territory rather than as a dedicated poké-streamer. With each new game came a new experience, and further experimentation with how flexibly she could juggle everything that was going on. T’was always a treat.
One such game came in the form of Shadow Hearts, a cult-status JRPG game from the early 2000’s that holds the prestige of being Rae’s favorite game of all time. I was present for a large majority of streams dedicated to her second(?) playthrough (on stream). Thanks to this, Shadow Hearts will forever be “The game that Rae loves.” It also unveiled the most astounding form of a spherical infant I have ever seen. Truly a pinnacle of the gaming world for this alone.
Rae has a very palpable, kindred spirit that makes it easy to want to support her. Honest, passionate, emotional, and kind. Upon seeing a familiar name in chat, she exclaims a joyful cheer, as if it’s the greatest gift the world has given her. Playfully jovial; able to keep a conversation topic going to the point where she (and chat) will end up losing focus on the game at hand. Her entire person makes it feel as though Twitch was made just to let her personality thrive.
Admittedly, nowadays I don’t frequent her streams nearly as much as I used to. Now with 25+ followed streamers, I tend to find myself having to choose between several different people during the time she does stream. When I do return, I’m normally fairly quiet—conversation carries on as normal, with a subtle feeling of nostalgia kicking in as I listen to her voice and see familiar names in chat.
For me, to think of RaeRaeSenpai is to think of beginnings. That one shiny hunt led to plenty more shiny hunts, Animal Crossing town makeovers, spherical baby sightings, fanfiction readings, chao raising, and more “Noice’s” than one can count. She was the gateway to the wonders of Twitch and how it would eventually consume my life, like Toradora! was for anime or Super Bowl XLV was for football. Her role in my life, outside of the fun and comfort her streams have brought me, is equally tied to how it has shaped its course.
If not for The Lass Project, if not for Tama Hero, I would not have found Rae. And if not for her, I would very likely not be as fond of Twitch as I am today. Being able to assimilate myself into a community of people, orchestrated by weekly opportunities to hang out and watch someone play games live, is a natural evolution of the Let’s Play phenomenon. What an absolute stroke of luck that my introduction should come with such a powerful force.
Not counting another streamer whom I rarely tune in to, Rae is by far the person I’ve followed on Twitch the longest. Since April of 2020 (less than a month after COVID struck my specific area and left me unemployed) I’ve followed her, currently the only person I’ve followed for over a year. It would not be hyperbole to state that I’ve accumulated over 100 hours watching her streams. And I was so content with her streams alone that I didn’t feel the need to follow anyone else until October.
In a time of a lot of uncertainty, she was able to keep me entertained and enthused for the world at large. A close-knit community of friendly people and curious minds, speaking incessantly of Pokémon and Nintendo games in general. She will always be the person that made Twitch important to me, and thus making the connections I’ve made along the way entirely possible.
If any of this has made you interested, I would highly encourage checking out RaeRaeSenpai on Twitch. You can also find many of her Twitch-related shenanigans on her YouTube.
For all other Twitch streamer odes, check out the Twitch Streamer Highlight Reel.
Be sure to stop by on the 3rd for the next edition of the month’s Twitch streamer shoutout post!
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.