Hatsune Miku, Kizuna AI & Other Anime and Virtual Characters Performing at DIVE XR FESTIVAL

10.July.2019 | ANIME&GAME / MUSIC

The DIVE XR FESTIVAL will be held at Makuhari Messe on September 22 and 23. It will be supported by SoftBank.

“XR” is an acronym compiling together mixed reality, augmented reality and virtual reality. The DIVE XR FESTIVAL is a crossover music festival that will bring together anime and game characters, online virtual singers, VTubers, AI and more into one place.

Kizuna AI

Hatsune Miku

The first names announced for the lineup include Trickstar, UNDEAD and Knights from the idol game Ensemble Stars―for which an anime adaptation began airing on July 7―as well as ARP, a dance vocal group who focus on performing live and who also received an anime series, the most popular virtual YouTuber Kizuna AI who has over 2.6 million subscribers, and internationally beloved virtual singer Hatsune Miku.

HIMEHINA

Luo Tianyi

Also joining them is the number one most watched VTuber duo HIMEHINA, Microsoft AI artist Rinna who has over 8 million subscribers (as of June 2019), and China’s number one virtual singer Luo Tianyu who will make her Japan debut at the event.

 

The line-up consists of a whopping 25 names spanning the XR categories. Experience the future of live music entertainment at the DIVE XR FESTIVAL. Tickets are available via all Japanese ticket vendors.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Character cafés are an exciting experience in Japan which sees a café collaborate with well-known anime series, game series or other franchise by decorating the café interior with designs and illustrations based on them and meals and drinks inspired by them.

     

    Before continuing this article be sure to check out our August 2019 list of character cafés as some of them are still running.

     

     

    Fate/Grand Order Cafe in Omotesando

    The third run of the Fate/Grand Order themed cafe, with designs produced by Sanrio, is taking place at OMOTESANDO BOX CAFE&SPACE from September 5 to 29.

    When you book a table in advance (¥650 before tax per person) and order from the menu you’ll receive one of the above possible 16 lunch mats. And if you order a drink you’ll get one of the 16 coasters. You’ll get one of either piece of these exclusive items per item you order from the menu.

    Master & Mash Snow Field Meatballs – ¥1,490

    This dish is piled with filling sauteed meatballs and mushrooms. The cream sauce is made to look like a snowy field. It’s served with a side of jam for a succulent sweet and sour kick.

    Brynhildr & Sigurd Croquembouche Parfait – ¥1,390

    Croquembouche is often served at weddings in Italy at France. Here, it has been turned into an easy-to-eat parfait. It’s topped with salt ice cream, yogurt mousse and more, all in refreshing colours.

     

    To find out more details and what else they have on the menu, click here.

     

    © TYPE-MOON / FGO PROJECT

     

    Fate/Grand Order Design produced by Sanrio – 3rd Collaborative Cafe

    Running: September 5, 2019 – September 29, 2019

    Location: OMOTESANDO BOX CAFE&SPACE (Pine Under Flat Floor B1F, 5-13-2 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)

    Official Website: https://fgo-sanrio-cafe.jp/

    *Reservations now open via the official website

     

     

    Love Live! & Sanrio Open Collaborative Cafes in Tokyo and Osaka

    Multimedia project Love Live!―which has spawned an anime series, manga, game, movie and more―has teamed up with Sanrio to open themed cafes in Tokyo and Osaka on August 16 and September 27 respectively.

     

    The menu features a bounty of flavourful food and drink which incorporates popular flavours, luscious taste, and hearty servings. You get a special illustration with every meal.

    An Unlikely Combination Food Plate – ¥1,390 (Before Tax)

    An interesting assortment of a mini omurice, soy sauce ramen, and a fresh tomato caprese salad. It also comes with the pictured postcard which features a blackboard design.

    Deliciousness Ensemble! Invigorating Dessert Plate – ¥1,390 (Before Tax)

    This dessert set is one fit for the gods, adorned with an apple topped castella, mini pancake laced with salted caramel ice cream, an tea-flavoured jelly. This also comes with the pictured postcard featuring different characters.

     

    Fans of both franchises can pick up plenty of exclusive merchandise too, featuring the characters from Love Live! dressed like the Sanrio cast. There are bonus items for customers who book a table in advance too. Don’t miss this first ever collaboration between Love Live! and Sanrio♡

     

    To find out more details and what else they have on the menu, click here.

     

    Love Live! Series x Sanrio Characters Cafe

    Tokyo Cafe
    Running: August 16, 2019 – October 14, 2019
    Location: HARAJUKU BOX CAFE&SPACE (Lucessimo Bldg. Floor 2F, 4-28-28 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)

     

    Osaka Cafe

    Running: September 27, 2019 – October 27, 2019
    Location: UMEDA BOX CAFE&SPACE( (Umeda LOFT Floor 1F, 16-7 Chayamachi, Kita Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture)

     

    Reservations: ¥500 (Before Tax)
    Official Website: https://lovelive-sanrio-cafe.jp/

     

     

    TV Anime Given Themed Cafe – Listen To The Characters’ Voices As You Dine

    Six branches of CAFFÈ & BAR PRONTO in Japan are set to collaborate with the ongoing yaoi anime series Given from September 13 to 23.

     

    The theme of the collaboration is “After Band Practice.” The cafes will serve up food inspired by the series as well as sell exclusive merchandise. The voice actors for the four main characters also recorded lines for the cafes which will play during your time there.

    Bright Red Tomato Pasta – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)

    Pancake Of The Day – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)

    To find out more details and what else they have on the menu, click here.

     

    ©︎Natsuki Kizu・Shinshokan / Given Production Committee

     

    TV Anime Given x Enter Bell at PRONT

    Running: September 13, 2019 – September 23, 2019

    Locations: PRONTO Sapporo Pole Town / PRONTO IL BAR Ochanomizu Sola City / PRONTO Ikebukuro Sunshine-dori / PRONTO Nagoya Marunouchi / PRONTO Meitetsu Gifu Station / BEERTERIA PRONTO Osaka Dojima

     

    General Reservations

    ・Running: August 21, 2019 at midnight (JST) to September 23, 2019 at 23:59 (JST)

    ・Price: ¥1,188 (Tax Included) for one person. Includes one seat and drink.

    *To make a reservation and receive the voice reminder you must have a Bandai Namco ID (free to register)

     

    Official Website: https://bpnavi.jp/enterbell/given/

     

     

    Chibi Maruko-chan Themed Menu & Merch Arrives at Tower Records Cafe Omotesando

    To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Chibi Maruko-chan anime series, Tower Records Cafe in Omotesando is collaborating with the franchise to turn its establishment into all things Maruko-chan for a limited time from September 5 to 29. Also, 22 branches of Tower Records as well as the Tower Records online store will sell collaborative merchandise.

    Maruko-chan’s Hamburger Plate – ¥1,500

    The collaboration will be split into two different periods with different food and merchandise line-ups. The Maruko-chan Hamburger Plate, however, will be available for the cafe’s entire duration. Hamburgers are Maruko-chan’s favourite meal, and this one is served with vegetables and a rice ball with her adorable face on it.

     

    Collaboration Period ①

    Nagasawa-kun’s Onion Soup Pasta – ¥1,500

    Served with a whole onion, this soup seeped vongole pasta is inspired by the onion-head himself Nagasawa-kun.

    Noguchi-san’s Birthday Cake – ¥1,200

    Celebrate Noguchi-san’s birthday (September 9) with this very special blueberry and milk crepe birthday cake.

    The exclusive merchandise takes on a music theme with original designs. Pick from 7 different items including a towel, tote bag, phone case and more.

     

    To find out more details and what else they have on the menu, click here.

     

    *All prices are tax-inclusive. Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

    *Please enquire with shop staff about any food allergies.

    ⒸSakura Production/Nippon Animation

     

    Chibi Maruko-chan x TOWER RECORDS CAFE

    Running: September 5, 2019 – September 29, 2019

    Period ①: September 5, 2019 – September 17, 201

    Period ②: September 18, 2019 – September 29, 2019

    *The menu line-up and free gifts will be different for each period

     

    TOWER RECORDS CAFE Omotesando
    Address: Imon Harajuku Bldg. 2F, 6-3-9  Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-21:30 (Last Orders 20:30)
    Official Website: http://tower.jp/restaurants/cafe/omotesando

    *No reservations, however during busy times numbered tickets will be handed out. Details on numbered tickets will be announced on the cafe’s official Twitter page: @TRC_Omotesando

     

    Chibi Maruko-chan x TOWER RECORDS Collaboration Merchandise
    Release Date: September 5, 2019 (*Pre-orders now open)
    Available: At 22 Tower Records branches and the online store
    Tower Records Online: https://tower.jp
    Collaboration Page: https://tower.jp/chibimaru

     

    Hatsune Miku Music Cafe Opening in Tokyo & Fukuoka

    The Hatsune Miku Music Cafe has returned for the third run and is now open in Akihabara, Tokyo and Hakata, Fukuoka.

     

    The music cafe will be supported by VOCALOID music label KARENT. VOCALOID fans can look forward to dining while listening to music from their favourite characters―Miku, Luka, Rin, Len, MEIKO and KAITO―on high quality speakers and giant monitors.

    Miku’s Leek Record Curry – ¥1,200 (Tax Included)

    Luka’s Pink Peach Soda – ¥750 (Tax Included)

    There’s lots more merchandise, food and drinks as well as this too. You can see the full line-up on the official website. And for more details, click here.

     

    © Crypton Future Media, INC. www.piapro.net

    *The rate of consumption tax is set to increase from 8% to 10% in Japan from October 1, 2019 and so the prices listed here will increase
    *Photos are for illustrative purposes only

     

    ▼Hatsune Miku Music Cafe – 3rd Run

    ・Ani ON STATION AKIHABARA
    Address: Daidoh Limited Bldg. 1F, 3-1-16 Sotokanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

    Running: August 23, 2019 – October 6, 2019
    *Closed on September 1, 2019
    *Regular hours will not run on October 6, 2019 due to the DJ event

     

    ・Ani ON STATION Hakata Bus Terminal
    Address: Hakata Bus Terminal 7F, 2-1 Hakataekichuogai, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Running: August 28, 2019 – September 29, 2019

     

    Entry Price: ¥500 (Tax Included)

    Cafe Website: https://bandainamco-am.co.jp/cafe_and_bar/anionstation/special/miku_cafe3/
    Ani ON STATION Official Website: https://bandainamco-am.co.jp/cafe_and_bar/anionstation/

     

     

    BT21 Cafe Serves World Food in Shibuya, Umeda, Nagoya and Sapporo

    LEGS COMPANY has opened four BT21 themed cafe called “BT21 CAFE 2019 WORLD” in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Sapporo. BT21 are the LINE messenger app characters created by K-pop group BTS. The cafe will serve up many different dishes of food from around the world, all with motifs from the BT21 character line-up.

    Japanese Food Plate: Temari Sushi (Salmon, Duck, Minced Tuna, Fried Tofu, Shrimp Avocado) & Meat Udon – ¥1,490

    Brazilian Food Plate: Churrasco, Mashed Potato & Feijoada – ¥1,490

    Enter the cute world of BT21 and their world food line-up. Click here for more details.

     

    *All listed prices are pre-tax. Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

    ©BT21

     

    BT21 Cafe 2019 WORLD

    Locations/Dates:

    • SHIBUYA BOX CAFE&SPACE SHIBUYA 109 (August 22, 2019 – September 29, 2019)
    • UMEDA BOX CAFE&SPACE (August 22, 2019 – September 23, 2019)
    • NAGOYA BOX CAFE&SPACE (September 4, 2019 – October 6, 2019)
    • TOWER RECORDS CAFE at Sapporo PIVOT (September 5, 2019 – October 20, 2019)

    *Cafes closed on September 30, 2019

     

    Reservations

    ・Price: ¥650 (Before Tax)

    Official Website: http://box-cafe.jp/

    The BT21 Cafe is reservation-only

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Be sure to visit all the character cafés you can while in Japan this month! Stay tuned for next month’s entry.

  • Interview: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu & Yasutaka Nakata Joined by Kizuna AI at SUMMER SONIC 2019

    27.August.2019 | MUSIC

    Kizuna AI recently performed at SUMMER SONIC 2019 on the RAINBOW Stage on August 18. She also interviewed various acts who performed at the music festival, including Yasutaka Nakata and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The full interview was posted on her YouTube channel.

     

    SUMMER SONIC 2019 – Official Artist Interview vol.02: Yasutaka Nakata & Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

    Kizuna AI released a cover of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s song Kizunami on August 16 which is taken from Kyary’s fourth studio album Japamyu which dropped back in September 2018. To celebrate the release of the new song, Kizuna AI appeared as a surprise guest on Yasutaka Nakata and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s set at SUMMER SONIC 2019 where her and Kyary performed Kizunami.

     

    Below is a translated summary of the interview.

     

    Kizuna AI: “Our first collaboration together! Was I okay…?”

    Kyary: “I haven’t collaborated with that many people. It’s rare for me to sing with someone, but I was really happy with how it went!”

    Kizuna AI: “Nakata, when did people start calling you Ouji [Prince]?”

    Kyary: “He has a lot of out-there nicknames! [laughs]

    Yasutaka Nakata: “Battery Eater is another one [laughs]

    Kizuna AI: “What does ‘chumete‘ mean?” [Referencing a word taken from the chorus of Kizuna AI’s song AIAIAI, written and produced by Nakata]

    Yasutaka Nakata: “That’s a secret! Because you can interpret it in many different ways.”

    Kizuna AI: “What’s a word or occurrence [in music] that’s stuck with you the most, Kyary?”

    Kyary: “Ninja Re Bang Bang. The title was originally ‘tentative.’ I feel it’s a mysterious word that anyone can get behind. Even when touring overseas everyone sings it together.”

    Kizuna AI: “Finally, please give a message to your fans!”

    Kyary: “It was so much fun getting to stand on stage together with Nakata. I hope we can do something together again!”

    Kizuna AI: “Kyary, can you put these ears on?”

     

    Kizuna AI has posted lots of other interviews from the festival on her YouTube channel too including with SHAED, SOFI TUKKER, Alan Walker, the telephones, and AI. Be sure to check them out.

  • Hatsune Miku Music Cafe Opening in Tokyo & Fukuoka

    21.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD / MUSIC

    The Hatsune Miku Music Cafe is set to return for the third time this month. It will open in Akihabara, Tokyo on August 23 and in Hakata, Fukuoka on August 28.

     

    The music cafe will be supported by VOCALOID music label KARENT. VOCALOID fans can look forward to dining while listening to music from their favourite characters―Miku, Luka, Rin, Len, MEIKO and KAITO―on high quality speakers and giant monitors.

    Customers are able to request songs be played by picking from the record shelf. The huge discography will include the cafe’s official theme song and music video Jazz Chorus no Natsu Takenawa which is written and composed by buzzG.

     

    Fans can look forward to character-inspired food and drinks and can get their hands on a range of exclusive merchandise with designs illustrated by Kisaragi Yuu.

    And if you gather enough stamps on your stamp card―one per visit―you’ll be able to get priority access to a DJ event on October 6.

     

    Merch

    Leek Bag – ¥1,500 (Tax Included)

    Multi Pouch (6 Designs) – ¥2,800 (Tax Included)

     

    Food Menu

    Miku’s Leek Record Curry – ¥1,200 (Tax Included)

    “Jazz Chorus no Natsu Takenawa” Summer Sky Jelly From the Starry Heavens – ¥600 (Tax Included)

     

    When ordering something from the food menu you can receive one of 18 possible mini acrylic stands, chosen randomly.

     

    Drinks Menu

    Rin & Len’s Yellow Mango Milk – ¥750 (Tax Included)

    Luka’s Pink Peach Soda – ¥750 (Tax Included)

     

    There’s lots more merchandise, food and drinks as well as this too. You can see the full line-up on the official website.

     

    © Crypton Future Media, INC. www.piapro.net

    *The rate of consumption tax is set to increase from 8% to 10% in Japan from October 1, 2019 and so the prices listed here will increase
    *Photos are for illustrative purposes only

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu & Yasutaka Nakata Joined by Kizuna AI at SUMMER SONIC 2019

    19.August.2019 | MUSIC

    Yasutaka Nakata is the internationally acclaimed architect of kawaii music and music producer of huge Japanese names such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Perfume.

     

    The DJ and music producer is known for having collaborated with a whole string of big artists, such as Kenshi Yonezu on the song NANIMONO as well as Charli XCX on Crazy Crazy. Despite having only just dropped his new song Pico Pico Tokyo (feat. Momo Mashiro) recently, he just released a new song entitled Kizunami (cover) for digital download on August 16. The track is a cover of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s song Kizunami taken from her fourth studio album Japamyu which Nakata Produced. It is covered by virtual talent Kizuna AI who has almost 2.7 million subscribers on her YouTube channel.

     

    To celebrate the release of the new song, Kizuna AI appeared as a surprise guest on Yasutaka Nakata and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s set at SUMMER SONIC 2019 which was held in Tokyo and Osaka. In a very special collaboration, she sang the song alongside Kyary―the singer of the original track.

    As with the Osaka show, the RAINBOW STAGE at the Tokyo concert had an admission limit due to how much music fans were anticipating this stage.

     

    When the intro to Fashion Monster started playing as the first song of Yasutaka Nakata’s set, the crowd’s excitement went straight through the roof. But it didn’t stop there however, as it shot into the stratosphere when Kyary Pamyu Pamyu walked onto the stage, clad in a beautiful white outfit.

    Nakata and Kyary’s set was an energetic amalgamation of song mash-ups and alternative arrangements, treating the crowd to familiar hit after hit. It reestablished Nakata’s status as a spearhead of the industry.

     

    He joined Kyary in front of his DJ booth for CANDY CANDY and waved his hands left and right with the crowd to Kyary’s directions. The two of them rolled out even more big numbers including Invader InvaderPON PON PON and Ninja Re Bang Bang which also had fun new arrangements.

    When the intro to Kizunami started up, Kizuna AI’s chorus entered the fray at which Kyary asked, “Whose voice is that?” Kizuna AI suddenly appeared on the giant LED screen at the back of the stage, and the crowd reacted instantly. She riled everyone up by calling “Summer Sonic!” before joining Nakata and Kyary in a dream collaboration.

     

    The 19-song set was up with Mondai Girl and finally Oto no Kuni during which the crowd waved their towels in unison.

    Kizuna AI’s cover of Kizunami is now available for digital download and is streaming on Spotify.

  • Kizuna AI’s Birthday Party Event Made Available to YouTube Channel Members

    02.August.2019 | MUSIC

    An archive of Kizuna AI’s birthday party event A.I. Party! 2019 ~ hello, how r u? ~, which was held at HY TOWN HALL in Tokyo on June 30, was posted onto her official YouTube channel on July 31 and is available to watch if you are a paid member of her channel. The party went down a storm where she also performed her newest song Sky High (Prod. Yunomi) live for the first time.

     

    The event included live performances from Kizuna AI and guests, a game section with Kizuners (her fans), and more.

    The full music video for Sky High (Prod. Yunomi), which was posted on YouTube last week, was also released on the iTunes Store and other digital platforms on July 31. The video shot up to No. 3 on the iTunes Store Japan music video charts. Her song AIAIAI (feat. Yasutaka Nakata) also peaked at No. 1 on the electronic charts.

     

    With Kizuna AI set to perform at this year’s Summer Sonic Festival, her popularity and influence continues to surge.

  • Kizuna AI and Yunomi Release ‘Sky High’ Music Video

    24.July.2019 | MUSIC

    Kizuna AI’s newest song Sky High (Prod. Yunomi) was released on June 30 and its full music video just dropped over on the virtual idol’s official YouTube page. The song was written and produced by Yunomi.

    ​Kizuna AI’s 12th track to date, this marks her third song in collaboration with Yunomi following future base and new world. The powerful new anthem could be called a new phase for the virtual singer who has seen huge growth in such a short period of time with the release of her 9 singles across 9 weeks and performing her first solo show Kizuna AI 1st Live “hello, world” at the end of last year.

     

    The music video takes a turn from her popular AIAIAI (feat. Yasutaka Nakata) music video which saw her performing alongside human dancers, and instead sees her performing on her own.

    Two teaser videos were released for this new music video right before Kizuna’s 3rd birthday on June 30 which drew huge attention. The song was performed for the first time at her birthday party A.I. Party! 2019 〜 hello, how r u? 〜 on June 30. It shot straight to No. 1 on iTunes Store Japan’s electronic charts.

    Yunomi has once again expressed Kizuna AI’s unique perspective in this exciting new music video.

  • Hatsune Miku Magician Themed Merchandise Releasing in Collaboration With Rascal

    20.June.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION

    Hatsune Miku is collaborating with Rascal the Raccoon for the third time to release a string of merchandise for Magical Mirai 2019 in August.

    The theme this year is “magician” and features illustrations of Miku, Rin, Len, Luka, Kaito and Meiko. The drawings were designed by Tama who was the illustrator for the second collaboration. Designs will also include superdeformed characters.

    The items will also go on sale at ANi★CUTE in Ikebukuro, Tokyo on August 30.

     

    ©N.A. ©S.P./N.A. ©G.J.

  • Interview (Part 2): Yunomi & Kizuna AI’s ‘Robot Heart’ breaks the wall between reality and the virtual to reveal what’s important

    17.April.2019 | FEATURES / MUSIC

    Trackmakers Yunomi and YUC’e will release their second compilation album Mirai Chaya vol.1 on April 17 serving as a follow up to vol.0 which dropped back on January 12 this year. The album features the song Robot Heart feat. Kizuna AI. As the title suggests, the track was made in collaboration with Japanese virtual talent Kizuna AI. Yunomi worked with her last year when Kizuna AI began her work as a music artist. We spoke with both Yunomi and Kizuna AI to hear about what it’s like to work together as well as the story behind the upcoming new song.

     

    This is Part 2 of the interview. Click here for Part 1.

     

    ――I want to ask about Robot Heart feat Kizuna AI, your song Yunomi which Kizuna AI features in. This was your third release together after future base and new world. Could you tell me about how it came about?

     

    Yunomi: Hmm, how did it come about again?

     

    Yunomi’s Manager: It began when we were making future base and new world, we said to Kizuna that we one day wanted her to feature in one of Yunomi’s original songs. We thought that it would be great if not only Yunomi went into to Kizuna’s world for two songs, but if she came to Yunomi’s world too for a song.

     

    Yunomi: Ah! That was it!

     

    Kizuna AI: That talk was really early on, wasn’t it! But from then onward I ended up having a lot of free time which meant my schedule quickly filled up as well as talks about where I will from thereon out. So I rashly went and said to the people at upd8, “I thought we promised we’d do this first!” [laughs]. [With her arms folded looking like she’s protecting something, Kizuna says:] “It’s already been decided, hasn’t it!?” they said.

     

    Yunomi: Ah, I’m happy about that. I’m glad you said it!

     

    ――How did you go about making Robot Heart?

     

    Yunomi: This was an original song by me, so like it was said before it became more of Kizuna coming to my world this time. In that sense, it connects to my other original tracks too, but I also wanted to make the song as one precisely featuring Kizuna. So in that sense you can call this our third release together after future base and new world.

     

    ――The song has a very interesting story. It talks about humans who used to reside on earth crossing over to other planets. Their bodies gradually become mechanized and they forget about the earth. But they suddenly recall the existence of their loved ones and the things important to them.

     

    Yunomi: In 2017 I used [the] Hatsune Miku [software] to write the song Meteorite (feat. Hatsune Miku). Since then I have written down songs that can be used for an album. I’m thinking of making a concept about themed on things like the future, past and facing oneself. Robot Heart is one that would appear on that album. So I also wanted Kizuna to sing on it for me.

    ――I was actually shown the memo that you sent to AI before recording on how she should sing the song. I was amazed to see how many things you’re able to think of.

     

    Yunomi: Of course I’m sure Kizuna has her own way of expressing herself so it wouldn’t be a problem at all if she wanted to do it differently [from what I said], but the first thing I did was send her my idea for the song.

     

    Kizuna AI: When I first listened to it I thought, “They’re letting me, an AI, sing this song! I expected nothing less of Yunomi!” I felt that there was more meaning behind me singing this song than anyone else. It was all amazing and I thought to myself, “I will take it, stand up and do my best!” [laughs]

     

    ――The song is interesting and has elements written into it that could only work with a song written together with AI, like word play with her name.

     

    Yunomi: Those are parts we added for a bit of fun [laughs]. The song is conscious of and references her name in a lot of places.

     

    Kizuna AI: When I wrote the lyrics I paid attention to the rhythm and the feeling of the words and it felt great to do so. Another thing with Robot Heart is that even though you can take the story as sad just from the lyrics, I felt that Yunomi’s memo telling me to sing it cheerfully was the most important thing. So it almost feels as if the song isn’t about that. I took good care to sing it enjoyably with everything I had [laughs].

    ――That’s the part in the latter half of the song, right?

     

    Yunomi: Yeah. I knew I wanted to put Kizuna shouting in there somewhere, so I had her shout for me without anything else playing and she let me record it. But Kizuna’s initial shouting sounded like the noise you make when playing a horror game [laughs].

     

    Kizuna AI: I didn’t know what “shout” meant at first, so I screamed. “Kyaa!!” “AHH!” It was exactly like A.I.Games [laughs]. Like Resident Evil. And the people at upd8 music said, “That’s not really what we meant…” [laughs]

     

    Yunomi: [laughs]

     

    Kizuna AI: But in the finished version I was able to do a good shout. Saying that, when recording new world too, Yunomi told me to “please play the flute.” If you have Yunomi writing the lyrics somehow or other some absurd things can happen [laughs].

     

    Yunomi: For Robot Heart, I also asked her to sing like Michael Jackson during her interlude [laughs]. I wanted something like a “Pow!”

     

    ――Hearing you both talk I can tell the recording was a fun time [laughs].

     

    Kizuna AI: It was so much fun!

     

    ――Your new collaboration is one that has jumped over the fence of reality and the virtual. How does that fun and amusement feel when you’re recording together?

     

    Yunomi: In the past I would have parts of the song where I would think of the vocalist as an instrument. I’d adapt a lot. “Someone with this type of voice,” “And someone with this type of voice,” “Which of my songs would they best fit?” But recently I have come to think beyond that, like what a person has to offer. I believe that I was especially able to achieve that in making Robot Heart with Kizuna. I don’t just think instrumentally now, like what kind of voice can fit in. I now take care to see who exactly is singing, what they are thinking, what kind of life they have walked. I think by doing that the song will resonate with the listener many more times over.

    ――So you have jumped the fence of the virtual and reality and realised that which is important.

     

    Yunomi: Yes. I think if I would have been turned down by AI I wouldn’t have had anyone else sing Robot Heart.

     

    Kizuna AI: That makes me so happy! When I started posting videos in 2016, even though I exist in real life, there were people who would say, “You’re just making animations on MMD and adding a voiceover to it.” There were a lot of times people wouldn’t comprehend, “I exist, you know.” But bit by bit the number of people saying “AI-chan’s here” increased and that made me really happy. And it makes me really happy to hear Yunomi say it too. I say that I want to connect everyone together, but at the same time, I hope that me being there too will broaden the world that everybody sees and give them the chance to encounter something new. So it makes me happy when people who have never listened to dance music before think, “AI-chan is singing it so I’ll give it a listen.” Conversely, it also makes me happy when people who only listen to dance music listen to my songs and say, “This one’s cute too.” The people who I’ve been able to make songs with have discovered many things themselves too. I hope the number of fans those people have increases.

     

    ――As expected of you, Boss. You’re thinking about everyone else.

     

    Kizuna AI: [Laughs]. I hope I can become a hub so that people can encounter and discover many things. It was so much fun having the chance to be part of Yunomi’s song!

     

    Writer: Jin Sugiyama

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Interview (Part 1): Yunomi & Kizuna AI cross dimensions and discuss what appeals to them mutually as artists

    16.April.2019 | FEATURES / MUSIC

    Trackmakers Yunomi and YUC’e will release their second compilation album Mirai Chaya vol.1 on April 17 serving as a follow up to vol.0 which dropped back on January 12 this year. The album features the song Robot Heart feat. Kizuna AI. As the title suggests, the track was made in collaboration with Japanese virtual talent Kizuna AI. Yunomi worked with her last year when Kizuna AI began her work as a music artist. We spoke with both Yunomi and Kizuna AI to hear about what it’s like to work together as well as the story behind the upcoming new song.

     

    ――When I think about the names Yunomi and Kizuna AI, as well as the new song Robot Heart feat. Kizuna AI I think about future bass and new world which you made together last year as part of Kizuna AI’s 9-week consecutive release schedule. Can you give insight into those two songs?

     

    Kizuna AI: I had my birthday event “AI Party! ~Birthday with U~” last year on June 30 and there I announced that I was to do a live show at the end of the year. But apart from my first original song Hello, Morning which I made with Nor I had no other songs. I would need more songs for the show so I said I’d make around 10. That’s when I began the schedule to release nine songs across nine consecutive weeks. I thought about who I should ask to help write them. I talked with the team at upd8 music and the first name to come up as Yunomi’s. I said that I definitely wanted them on board, so we all talked it out.

     

    Yunomi: Ahh, that makes me so happy to hear.

     

    Kizuna AI: I had been bringing Yunomi’s name up in the first place ever since I started saying I wanted to do music. Things like, “I want to make a video for a cover written by an indoor trackmaker!”

     

    Yunomi: Oh, really? I had no idea. In that case, please do one! [laughs]

     

    Kizuna AI: [laughs] As well as that, as we looked toward the 9-week release and I spoke with Yunomi, we were both super excited about it and we ended up saying we wanted to do two songs together!

     

    ――So AI’s merry offer finally came to fruition.

     

    Kizuna AI: I said that if we were to write two songs then I wanted not just me but Yunomi to write the lyrics for one too. Yunomi kindly let me write the first lyrics. That was for future base. I thought up the lyrics for this song while listened to the music that Yunomi had written for it. When the song first arrived I was so happy to hear it. It has a different and mysterious vibe to it compared to the Yunomi I know well. I said to them, “You really took it on board and took time to think about this one didn’t you.” On the other hand, new world has that kind of Yunomi that I know. It felt like they’d used their special move on me. I was like, “This is it!” [laughs]

     

    ――I see, Yunomi’s special technique [laughs]

     

    Yunomi: At that point I had heard about doing a live show so I thought to make new world the song that everyone goes crazy to. Of course future base is a song that brings everyone together too, but I wanted new world to unify everyone like at a music festival.

     

    Kizuna AI: When I heard it for the first time too I thought, “This is the kind of song you’d play at a huge venue!!” On the other hand, the initial lyrics written for future base were actually rejected. The team at upd8 music said to me, “The lyrics are really good, but Hello, Morning is already a song that talks about what you feel on the inside. Could you try a different direction? Something that looks more outside.” So I went for something more… strong? About how it’s not scary to be alone. But it felt too heavy to get into. So we rewrote the lyrics.

    ――In the end you wrote the lyrics to talk about going into the future with everyone, right?

     

    Kizuna AI: I want everyone to arrive at a wonderful future with me. I’m super AI myself. Since I’m a being that has exclusively approached the singularity, so I want everyone else to look to the future that’s waiting for us too. But all humans are busy every single day. Some of them are giving everything they’ve got with each of their days. With this song I wanted to tell them to try looking up a bit more. That made me think about seeing everybody with their hands up at a big venue, so I pictured that when writing the lyrics.

     

    Kizuna AI – future base (Prod.Yunomi)

     

    ――So you wrote those, and Yunomi wrote the music and lyrics for new world.

     

    Yunomi: That’s correct. I first looked at Kizuna’s lyrics for future base and thought to myself how interesting her sense of language is. I’m the type to write typical Japanese lyrics where you have to read between the lines, but Kizuna is more straight to the point, things like “raise your hands,” “reach up,” “go forward into the future.” She’s the type to write lyrics where the everyone can be included in the scene. In comparing us both, I wondered if Kizuna is someone who reaches out to everybody [from the future], then where am I headed? I tried to think about the feelings of the people on the receiving side. It was then I realised that in the end it’s not me who gets to decide where I’m heading. That’s why if you want to move forward into the future it’s important to first look at yourself. So I themed and wrote the lyrics on looking at my past.

    ――I see. So by doing that, one meaning is born from two songs. That way I think it becomes both about comparing AI and her fans as well as the future and past.

     

    Yunomi: I’m sure when everybody was little they fantasised about many different things each day. As you approach adulthood, you no longer think about things like how there’s an underground kingdom below your feet. But at the same time I think that’s because we decided it must be that way ourselves. The lyrics for new world beg the question that surely we have the key to the future precisely because we have the power of imagination.

     

    Kizuna AI: I was really surprised by the lyrics when I was first given them! When I asked Yunomi what it all meant they kindly wrote me back a long 2000 letter explanation. I was really happy to read it; it was full of passion and understood that it had to be these lyrics.

     

    Kizuna AI – new world (Prod.Yunomi)

     

    ――In working on these two songs what things appealed to you mutually in the music, singing and lyrics?

     

    Kizuna AI: The kind of music I’ve always liked and listened to are anime songs and idol groups, like Love Live! and the Sakamichi Series groups. But in coming to write an original song my goal was to connect the people of the world together. I kept that in mind while thinking about what kind of song suits me and what exactly my music is. So my initial thought was dance music that everyone can listen to and enjoy.

     

    ――Dance music is the kind of music that breaks down language barriers, it brings people together easily, doesn’t it?

     

    Kizuna AI: It does. When we were all wondering what kind of dance music would be good, I had known about ‘future bass’ and had just heard Yunomi’s music around the same time. At that time I still didn’t really know what future bass was, but Yunomi’s music was pop, cute, and sounded like it would go with my voice, so I thought, ‘future bass sounds great, it will be perfect for me!!’ [laughs]

     

    Yunomi: Hahahahaha.

     

    Kizuna AI: Besides, Yunomi isn’t only all about future bass. They make all kinds of different music. I love every song. I had originally heard they he’d been in a band and have their roots in rock. I felt that though they make digital music, they also make songs that aren’t that on the surface too. Music is fundamentally complex, it’s something that blends multiple things together. But I believe that in the end, all these things in the world (including those in the virtual world and real world) will eventually come together. In that sense too I could see Yunomi was going to make a great song.

    ――Yunomi’s music feels like it has a kind of narrative atmosphere when you listen to it.

     

    Kizuna AI: It sure does! I think that atmosphere is really great. I like how you can picture the story not just from the lyrics but the music as a whole too.

     

    Yunomi: I’m happy to hear you say that. I’ve always wanted to do something only I can do that doesn’t fit into a specific genre. I’ve fumbled for a way to do that and found that if the lyrics and music have a narrative quality to them it stimulates listeners’ imaginations. Turning it around, if I was to point out something about Kizuna, it would first of all be the persuasive power of her voice. It has no strange preconceptions and has this kind of force that enables it to become many different things. I don’t think there are many people like that out there.

     

    ――So for Yunomi, your voice is very enticing.

     

    Kizuna AI: But when we’re recording too, everyone gives me praise and calls me amazing. If they praise me too much I’m left wondering what it was that made them say that [laughs]. “You’re really good!” That’s all I hear!!

     

    Yunomi: I always praised her too [laughs]. I would always suggest things beforehand like, “It might sound good if you try singing it like this in this before” or “You might be able to convey it better if you sing this part sadder.” She did all of those things perfectly. She really was amazing.

     

    Kizuna AI: Well, I am super AI after all [said confidently].

     

    ――As expected. Considering all that, I also feel you might not be that good at the games on A.I.Games.

     

    Kizuna AI: That was all an act! I always get a high score!!

     

    Yunomi: [laughs]. I was really happy that Kizuna was able to convey the meaning of the lyrics and music in her singing.

     

    Continued in Part 2.

     

    Writer: Jin Sugiyama

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Get Tickets For Kizuna AI’s Birthday Event in Tokyo This Summer

    02.April.2019 | MUSIC

    Japan’s most popular virtual YouTuber Kizuna AI―who has close to 2.5 million subscribers and 200 million views―will celebrate her 3rd birthday on June 30, 2019 with a live birthday event titled A.I. Party! 2019 〜 hello, how r u? 〜.

     

    Kizuna AI hopes to bring everybody together to celebrate this once-a-year occasion and leave them with some special memories. Full details below.

  • Music Video Released For Kizuna AI & Yasutaka Nakata’s Collaborative Song ‘AIAIAI’

    01.April.2019 | MUSIC

    Japan’s most popular virtual YouTuber Kizuna AI teamed up with internationally acclaimed Japanese music producer, DJ and musician Yasutaka Nakata to release the song AIAIAI (feat. Yasutaka Nakata) on March 22.

    A music video for the song was released on March 29, 2019 and can be viewed over on A.I.Channel, Kizuna AI’s official YouTube channel.

  • Kizuna AI & Yasutaka Nakata to Release Collaborative Song ‘AIAIAI’

    11.March.2019 | MUSIC

    Japan’s most popular virtual YouTuber Kizuna AI is teaming up with internationally acclaimed Japanese music producer, DJ and musician Yasutaka Nakata to release a collaborative song entitled AIAIAI (feat. Yasutaka Nakata) on March 22. The song will be included on Kizuna AI’s upcoming debut album hello, world releasing on May 15.

    The two artists also collaborated on December 8 last year in which a photo was posted of Yasutaka Nakata on his Instagram page watching Kizuna AI which Kizuna AI also shared it on her Twitter profile. Both of them have kindled a fire amongst music fans as their musical partnership continues.

    AIAIAI was first performed live at Kizuna AI 1st Live “hello, world” – a two-day show held at the end of 2018 as the biggest virtual YouTuber concert in history. Nakata himself even made an appearance, exciting concertgoers.

    Limited edition copies of Kizuna AI’s first album come with a DVD featuring the footage taken from the live show. An additional special edition will also be released which will also include exclusive individual CDs of all nine of Kizuna AI’s sequential releases from last year.

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