After first appearing on YouTube back in 2016, heralding an age of VTubers, Kizuna AI is set to take her “indefinite sleep,” going out with a huge bang during her show “Kizuna AI The Last Live ‘hello, world 2022′” which was supported by sponsors, crowdfunded in three minutes, and is currently 790% funded, proving the love and dedication of AI-chan’s supporters.
As AI-chan’s many admirers look towards an uncertain future without the pioneering VTuber to greet them at the start of every new video—at least until she awakens new and improved—fans can look back to see how far their digital idol has come, and find a new sense of appreciation and pride before AI-chan takes her extended nap.
As everyone in the VTuber community knows, Kizuna AI is a trailblazer. She paved the way that well over 10,000 VTubers are currently walking. Without AI-chan, there would be no Tokino Sora, Calliope Mori, or Gawr Gura.
The Dawn of a New Era
AI-chan’s first video, “[Self-Introduction] Nice to meet you! I’m Kizuna AI,” was uploaded in December 2016, and even her earliest comments were filled with praise and encouragement for her. Comments like “I support you! Please do your best! Aim for Top YouTuber!!!” and “I don’t really know what this is but…very! I support you!” She was already being called a goddess even back then: “There is a God < 3”
As wholesome as her initial video was, she was quick to show a more playful side in her 30th overall video titled “Carbonated Juice Bath!!!,” where she trolled her fans into thinking she would make a pool video. She revealed that her clothes were holographic, and thus she was always without clothes. She had access to a giant bottle of soda, and she could perform such a powerful dive that could empty that bottle of soda.
Besides her popular video game uploads, such as her “Playing a game using only your voice challenge” video, and her famous Cuphead series, AI-chan has proven to be a skilled singer, as her music video “AIAIAI” remains one of her most popular videos. Her cover of “Hej Monika” earned PewDiePie’s attention. PewDiePie later reacted to her video where she expressed gratitude to him, which became a wholesome moment that many of their fans enjoyed.
In the six years since Kizuna AI graced the internet with her presence, she has gained over 3 million subscribers on YouTube, her videos earn hundreds of thousands of views, with her more popular videos earning views in the millions, and she started the Age of VTubers, providing millions of people around the world with the glory of cute anime girls singing and playing video games.
The Last Live, For Now
As fans look forward to ‘hello, world 2022′ with bittersweet excitement, they might consider thanking AI-chan for all her hard work as she takes a well-deserved nap. Even before the show, her supporters are looking forward with optimism: “Don’t worry guys, Kizuna [AI’s] just gonna go [on] hiatus, she [will] be right back for sure, just keep supporting her.”
AI-chan’s last concert for the foreseeable future has an incredible 1,809 VTuber guest appearances. A total of 6,567 VTubers from all over the world put their names in for consideration, with the guests determined by raffle.
‘hello, world 2022′ began with a bang—a brief intro sequence where AI-chan planted a tender kiss on the globe, a scene from ‘never stop my beat’, and a series of people, both live-action people and numerous VTubers, offering kind words to AI-chan and the fans, as well as their excitement for the concert.
Incredible fan art was being shown between these heartfelt segments featuring some of Kizuna AI’s close friends, including HIKAKIN, Hajime Shachou, Fischer’s, Enako, HIMEHINA, Tokino Sora and Mirai Akari, along with promo images from different Kizuna AI music videos, and merchandise for fans to purchase.
The very start of the event saw well over 20,000 viewers flooding in, and the number quickly climbed from there, with eager fans cheering for the event and offering bittersweet words, as this is going to be AI-chan’s last performance for the foreseeable future. All of this was a prelude, and by the time the show started in earnest, 46,000 fans were cheering for their digital idol. An army of large, gold chibi AI-chans beat drums as she finally arrived in a stunning angelic dress and sang a remix of “Hello, Morning.”
At one point, she summoned Black AI, a darker version of herself, to play the guitar. The chat—all 100,000 of them—loved every moment. AI-chan saw fit to change her outfit and summon another backup player on the keyboard for ‘Melty World’. It wouldn’t be the last time she changed outfits in a brilliant flash of light, or summoned different backup performers. Since it would be her last concert for a while, it’s completely understandable that she would want to strut her stuff for her adoring fans.
As the concert continued, more and more VTubers appeared on stage, dancing and performing with Kizuna AI, including our very own Tsukimi Lune. During an intermission, we were introduced to #KZN, or Kizuna-chan, a CeVIO AI Kizuna AI herself helped create. The two performed a duet of the song “Kizuna AI to AI.” According to Kizuna AI’s developers, Kizuna-chan will “serve as a hub to connect with everyone and support Kizuna AI and creators while she is asleep.”
Another surprising announcement was an upcoming anime project with Kizuna AI, which assures fans that this will not be the last time they meet her. Towards the end, Kizuna AI talked to the audience, giving a heartfelt speech, with tears and hearts filling the chat of 130,000 people cheering for their digital goddess.
In the end, Kizuna AI left as suddenly as she appeared, with a smile.
It’s always sad when a VTuber takes their last bow. Even smaller VTubers gather a crowd of fans who tune in for every stream. For Kizuna AI, the “boss” of VTubers, her rest will leave many saddened, but it’s important to remember two things: the first, we should celebrate all the joy she brought us, and all the joy we brought her, and the second, this isn’t ‘goodbye’.
While her rest will be ‘indefinite’, she will awaken at some point, better than ever. Until then, #KZN (Kizuna-chan), Love-chan and the rest of her staff at Kizuna AI Inc. will “help support her wish in connecting with everyone,” and I hope all of AI-chan’s supporters will be there for her once she returns.
Source: [Photos] Kizuna AI Inc.
© Kizuna AI