Tumblr can be a great way to find out about things that are trending in pop culture. As an example, I first found out about Miraculous, the French 3D animated female superhero show, on Tumblr. And today, I found out about Kizuna Ai.
According to Tumblr, Kizuna Ai is “a virtual anime YouTuber girl created with Miku Miku Dance”, but in her own words, she is simply the world’s first virtual YouTuber.
Ai first appeared in December last year, but she already has about 80 YouTube videos. That’s some output! I’ve only seen a handful of them so far, but one thing I can already say is this: she’s great! She has a really cute voice and her dialogue is very funny. Of course, the virtual YouTuber thing is a bit of a stretch: there’s a voice actor involved and possibly a separate motion actor, too. In fact, the whole thing is apparently a professional project. According to ouenblog.com (which is a Japanese blog devoted to YouTubers), Kizuna Ai is the product of a new company called Activ8, which probably created her to promote many the services they offer. One of these services is something they refer to as “character business production”. Ai herself has her own website, kizunaai.com, where you are able to download Ai’s 3D model for free!
For those who are interested, here’s Ai’s introductory YouTube video. There are English captions available.
There’s no official word on the identity of the person behind Ai’s voice, but to me she sounds a lot like Aya Suzaki. Ms Suzaki is probably best know for her role as Tamako Kitashirakawa, the main character from Kyoto Animation’s 2013 animation Tamako Market. She was also in Kill la Kill, as Mako Mankanshoku. However, this is just my guess. Does anybody have any other possibilities?
That’s all for now. Till next time, au revoir, arrivederci and may the force be with you!