Who is Kizuna AI? Meet Valentino’s New VTuber Model
Fashion label Valentino has revealed that they have teamed up with VTuber Kizuna Ai for their Spring / Summer 2021 collection. Kizuna Ai has also been featured as the cover girl of commons & Sense Issue 60. Numerous pages in the magazine feature the modeling Kizuna Ai for the Valentino 2021SS collection, presenting several outfits and bags. Do you like Valentino and his fashion, but you don’t know who Kizuna Ai is and what VTuber are? We’re here to explain everything.
Simply put, a virtual YouTuber is a character created by an individual or a company, who usually has a stylized avatar in anime, and uploads videos like a normal YouTuber would.
Kizuna Ai, who debuted in 2016 in Japan, kicked off this trendy Virtual YouTuber, or VTuber. The first videos of Kizuna Ai showed the character simply introducing herself, her actress controlling the character through motion recognition. Soon after, Kizuna Ai became a social phenomenon as several short clips of his games went viral. Today, Kizuna Ai has nearly 3 million subscribers, virtual concerts, still play games, have their own virtual reality game, and different actresses express it in multiple languages.
Following the success of Kizuna Ai, many more VTubers began to appear, either independently or with corporate support. Today almost all Japanese game companies or studios have their own VTuber for promotion. Or turn their beloved and established characters into VTubers. Many live games or ad layouts also invite popular VTubers as guests. VTubers are even invited to variety shows on Japanese TV.
Rather than developing a 3D model like Kizuna Ai, which requires huge effort and money, most VTubers use Live2D instead. Technology that automatically animates 2D illustrations. Many VTubers use animated 2D portraits with Live2D. It’s easy and inexpensive access to the world of VTubing. Regularly making new videos for a VTuber is no easy task, however, even for a large company and game developers.
While Kizuna Ai popularized VTubers, however, it’s important to note that this isn’t particularly a new concept.
Niconico Douga, which is essentially the Japanese version of YouTube, has been offering VTubers-like videos for decades. Vocaloid characters like Hatsune Miku, who are basically virtual idols who can sing whatever you want to robotic tunes, have been around for years. As well as the program Miku Miku Dance, or MMD, which is widely used to animate and create videos not only of Vocaloid but of all kinds of characters.
Another important thing to note is that the identity behind a VTuber is rarely made public. As more and more large capitalist companies enter into the VTuber business, it will inevitably lead to some problems such as lack of credit. The original Japanese version of Kizuna Ai was only officially revealed in April 2020, four years after her debut, with the voice of Japanese voice actor Nozomi Kasuga. Kizuna Ai also had his own business at the time, Kizuna Ai Co., Ltd., following the news of huge debt incurred by the original management company Activ8.
Kizuna Ai Modeling For Valentino Is Another Milestone In The Process Of VTubers Entering The Mainstream Space
- HOLOLIVE – Vtuber Amelia Watson and her Valentine’s Day cards
VTubers are mostly popular in Japan, China, and Asia. However, some companies, such as Hololive, are also launching VTubers aimed at the English audience.
Hololive by Cover Cop is, together with Kizuna Ai, one of the most important VTuber agencies. It is one of the most popular settlements in VTuber with over a hundred talents. Hololive is everywhere, not least thanks to how quickly it introduced English VTubers to a wider audience. Hololive English was revealed in September 2020, including several names that you’ll definitely end up seeing if you stick with anime fans on social media: Watson Amelia, Ninomae Ina’nis, Takanashi Kiara, Mori Calliope, and Gawr Gura. That shark girl with the blue hoodie you’ve probably seen at least once? It’s Gawr Gura.
– Gawr Gura🔱holoFR (@gawrgura) March 12, 2021
There is also Hololive in Indonesia, Korea and India. VTubers are particularly popular in Indonesia, China, and several Asian countries in addition to Japan.
That’s all for our intro for VTubers and Kizuna Ai. Needless to say, we tried to keep this as basic as possible and didn’t go into detail. DualShockers will cover more and more VTuber content in the long run, so stay with us if you want to check out some interesting VTubers and learn more about this phenomenon.
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