The voice actress for the first Kizuna AI, Nozomi Kasuga, will be an advisor for new company Kizuna AI Co., Ltd.; the virtual YouTuber’s new owners. (Thanks Idol Seiyuus Paradise!)
Kizuna AI first appeared on YouTube in 2016, and practically kick-started the “virtual YouTuber” trend. Since her inception the “artificial intelligence” had splintered off into numerous other personalities (each with different voice actresses).
These include “Black” Kizuna Ai, Number 2, Number 3 and the Chinese Kizuna AI. Each personality specializing in a different role- such as playing video games, more generalized content, singing music, or for Chinese speaking audiences.
Over time however, fans noticed the original Kizuna Ai appeared less and less across the various channels. However her voice actress will soon be more important to Kizuna AI than ever.
While many had guessed her voice actress was Nozomi Kasuga (Mimi Rin in Granblem), it was never officially announced by Activ8, the original company behind the virtual YouTuber.
Now, not only has Kasuga been acknowledged as the official voice actress for the original Kizuna AI [1, 2], but she will now be an advisor for Kizuna AI Co., Ltd. The new production management business (Translation: Google Translate) now owns Kizuna AI (rather than Activ8), and Kasuga will be an advisor to Representative Director Eriko Matsumoto.
You can find the rundown on the business (via PR Times Japan) below.
“Kizuna AI, who acts as the world’s first virtual YouTuber, has expanded the range of activities such as video distribution on its YouTube channels ‘AI Channel’ and ‘AI Games’, TV appearances, one-man live, and appearances at music festivals.
Even in today’s society, as the sphere of living expands from the real world to the virtual world, we are working as an entity that delivers the ‘future’ from the virtual world to the real world.
Kizuna AI aims for its mission of ‘connecting with you’, delivering new possibilities as a hub that connects the virtual and the real world in the future, and aiming to become an entity that imagines the future.
Along with that, we have renewed the management system and team, and established the company so that we can support Kizuna AI independently.
The team will work as one to realize the mission of Kizuna AI by constantly anticipating new values and providing scalability.”
Translation: Google Translate.
The company will be officially founded on May 11th, 2020.
In other news, Kasuga founded her own YouTube channel on April 1st, complete with English subtitles.