Time moves very fast in the sphere of the otaku community, where anime series air their episodes in an average of thirteen weeks and smartphone games are constantly updated with new content. In that world, five years is a virtual eternity, but that's how long Virtual YouTuber Kizuna AI has been at the top of the Virtual YouTuber community.
Heralded as the first Virtual YouTuber in history, Kizuna AI's high energy and low pretense set the standard that hundreds of other virtual talents now emulate, and she remains popular long after many other copies have seen her. final. But while Kizuna AI's presence has been a constant on the YouTube virtual scene, some fans are convinced that her voice hasn't, leading to speculation that her voice actress has changed.
The situation has reached the point that Kizuna AI herself felt the need to address the rumors in a new video.
"I am very angry. It never ends. They are in every video, "the virtual star mentions before launching into a list of popular conspiracy theories that have been seen in the comment sections of his videos:" I am sad that they have replaced Kizuna AI "; "Aren't there four Kizuna AI’s?"; "His voice has changed"; "His voice is so different now LOL" and "Meh, I prefer the original Kizuna AI."
What does Kizuna AI say about all those rumors? Completely false, he mentions in his voice full of exasperation: "My voice has never changed from the beginning," she insists. However, he does admit the possibility that what fans are hearing is a little different than what they heard earlier in his career, as his performance itself has evolved. “I admit that she was not so crazy back then and 'fuck you' was not part of my character. But don't you change too? ”She asks, citing how people's experiences and moods can alter her ordinary tone. To prove her point, she then recreates her original self-introduction video uploaded in 2016 and puts it as evidence that her voice has not been replaced.
There is a certain irony to the seriousness with which Kizuna AI refutes the allegations, but it brings up an interesting aspect in Virtual YouTubers culture that will likely be seen from now on. Obviously, as constructions in CG animation, Virtual YouTubers do not visibly age. If anything, their appearance becomes more youthful as advances in graphic technology allow for less awkward models and movements, which viewers' brains interpret as fresher and newer and, by association, younger.
But on the other hand, the real people who provide the voices of Virtual YouTubers do get old. Unlike completely virtual projects like Vocaloid idol Hatsune Miku, Kizuna AI has a real human actress who provides her voice and eventually her vocal chords are going to age and her voice is going to change. This is the same as it happens with flesh and blood YouTubers, but in their case, subtle age-related voice changes are accompanied by subtle age-related changes in physical appearance, helping to prevent a sensation. of mental astray.
As his recreation of the original video shows, Kizuna AI can still sound exactly like before whenever he wants. It is also true that some anime voice actresses, such as Mayumi Tanaka and Masako Nozawa (the voices of Luffy from One Piece and Goku from Dragon Ball) have continued to play the same characters for decades. However, not all artist voices have such long-term consistency, and it will be interesting to see if the designs of the Virtual YouTubers will end up being revised to fit the voices of their voice actresses once they begin to age.
© Kizuna AI