VTuber pioneer Kizuna AI performs “The Last Live” before indefinite hiatus

With more than 4.5 million subscribers in her three YouTube channels and over 1.5 million subscribers in Bilibili, Japanese VTuber Kizuna AI is considered as one of the most popular in the world. Yet in December 2021, she announced entering an indefinite hiatus after five years of streaming. Her final performance prior to this, set on February 26, 2022, is billed as The Last Live “hello, world 2022.” Over 1,800 have been selected to virtually join her in the event.

Kizuna Ai Resized

The concert is available for streaming globally via YouTube, Bilibili, Oculus, and U-NEXT.

According to her release, the upcoming break was intended to “update future activities with the goal of further developing Kizuna AI.” Her YouTube and other digital media channels will remain active, while existing memberships will continue despite having no new content uploaded during the said hiatus. Her content has been managed by the Tokyo-based agency Activ8. Claiming to be a sentient artificial intelligence (thus her name, AI), it was revealed in 2020 that her voice actress was Nozomi Kasuga, notable for her role in the anime series Granbelm.

A VTuber or virtual YouTuber refers to an online talent using a 2D or 3D avatar as alter ego. It was believed that Kizuna AI was the one who popularized the term, calling herself as one in her introduction video on December 1, 2016. Nonetheless, virtual idols who utilize similar technologies such as Hatsune Miku and Ling Yuan yousa, among others, have been around prior to her debut.

As motion capture rig and streaming technology became more affordable and easier to manage, Kizuna AI’s rising recognition helped fuel a VTuber boom. Data technology company UserLocal has reported the existence of over 16,000 VTubers as of 2021. Meanwhile, ranking website Playboard saw that 9 of the ten most super chatted YouTube channels last year were by VTubers.

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Avatar for Arius Lauren Raposas

A public servant with a heart for actively supporting technology and futures thinking, responding accordingly to humanity's needs and goals, increasing participation of people in issues concerning them, upholding rights and freedoms, and striving further to achieve more despite our limited capacities. In everything, to God be all the glory.

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