Kizuna Ai Anime And Vocaloid Inspired AI KZN Announced at Hiatus Event
Kizuna Ai is getting a new anime!
Before going into indefinite hiatus, Virtual YouTuber superstar Kizuna Ai announced a new anime project, alongside a new Vocaloid-like AI.
Kizuna Ai held on February 26 the “Kizuna Ai The Last Live hello, world 2022” concert. This was her final stream and event before going into indefinite hiatus, as announced on December 4, 2021.
Kizuna Ai anime project revealed
While Kizuna Ai is going into hiatus and won’t be releasing any content on YouTube and social media, a new Kizuna Ai anime project was revealed. The anime is currently in production and additional information will be coming at a later date.
The Kizuka Ai anime is all but confirmed to be in 3DCG. The actress behind Kizuna Ai, Nozomi Kasuga, most notably voiced Mimi Rin in the Granbelm anime series before focusing on her VTuber career. It’s guaranteed she will reprise Kizuna Ai’s role in the anime.
Kizuna Ai gets her own Hatsune Miku Vocaloid
The second big announcement during the Kizuna Ai hiatus live is how an AI specialized in singing will be released, titled “Kizuna” and shortened as “KZN”. This will be an AI project very similar to Vocaloid programs like Hatsune Miku.
Kizuna will serve as a hub to connect fans and music creators, to keep supporting Kizuna Ai until she comes back. Kizuna has overall the same design as Kizuna Ai, but pinker and smaller in height.
How Kizuna Ai changed the entertainment world
The concept of Virtual YouTubers already existed for years on NicoNico Douga, Japan’s YouTube, but was popularized with the launch of Kizuna Ai in late 2016. Her rapid gain of followers made the concept and the words “Virtual YouTuber” mainstream.
While initially focusing on streaming games such as Resident Evil, Kizuna Ai eventually started releasing music videos, singing like a Japanese idol, trailblazing content creation patterns that are now imitated by nearly every other VTuber.
Most iconic VTuber goes on indefinite hiatus after over 5 years of content
Nowadays, be it anime production committees, game studios, or even variety shows on TV, Virtual YouTubers are omnipresent in the Japanese and Asian entertainment industry.
For example, you regularly see VTubers from the two biggest agencies, Hololive and Nijisanji, acting as promotional ambassadors for newly released games. Kizuna Ai herself already sponsored several projects, some of which highly criticized by fans such as the Otaku Coin cryptocurrency.
After the launch of Kizuna Ai in late 2016, several other VTubers launched, some of which are actually already retired. It’s important to cite Kaguya Luna, who explained the world of VTubers isn’t all hopes and dreams through her original Utaite personality @p_ma_ru in late 2021.
Many game studios or anime franchises also started using their own classic characters as VTubers. It’s pretty ironic in a sense to see legendary characters such as Creamy Mami, Lina Inverse, or Dejiko becoming VTubers when the concept wouldn’t exist in the first place if not for them.