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Web Animation / Kizuna AI

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"Hi there, Virtual YouTuber Kizuna Ai here!"

Kizuna AI is the name of a "Virtual YouTuber" (in actuality, the Virtual YouTuber who coined the term) featured in A.I.Channel, and created in MikuMikuDance. Her videos primarily consist of Let's Plays and vlogging, which later expanded into singing cover versions and original songs.

Initially gaining modest fame through her Web Video blogs, her popularity increased significantly after a Let's Play video of her playing INSIDE (2016) was shared on the anime-focused Facebook page IGON.

You can visit her regular YouTube channel here, her Let's Play gaming channel here, and her Twitter here. Ai-chan's former "clone" co-host, Love-chan, has her own channel here. There's also an official Mandarin spinoff, commonly called Ai-ge, created for her large number of Chinese fans, whose non-PRC channel is here.

On December 4th, 2021, Ai-chan announced that she will go on indefinite hiatus after her hello,world2022 concert on February 26th, 2022.

In April 2023 an anime titled Kizuna No Allele about her and her influence (highly fictionalized!) will debut.

    Titles Kizuna Ai has played on her gaming channel 

Kizuna Ai provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of gaming streamers and "YouTube personalities" in general. The star is supposedly a sapient AI rendered as a CGI anime girl, but otherwise it's similar to other solo internet-channels.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: Despite Ai-chan's very feminine appearance and mannerisms, her gender identity seems to change constantly — sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes neither.
    • In Part 1 of an interview with PANORA VR, the interviewer notes that her profile does not list her gender, and Ai-chan doesn't give a straight answer when asked about it, suggesting that it would be based on individual interpretation.
    • In the Akinator video, she chooses "I don't know" when asked about her gender. On the second try, she tells him she's "probably" a girl.
    • In Ai-chan's Fitness Test, she uses female stats for comparison.
    • In one of her videos with Noripi, she says she has the appearance of a girl, but with the mind of a man (see Covert Pervert, below).
    • In her Doki Doki Literature Club! videos, however, when she expresses displeasure at the male protagonist (for reasons unrelated to his gender), she talks about how she wishes she could play as a girl in that game and also states that although she doesn't have a gender, if she got a physical form, she'd want to be a girl.
  • Animation Bump:
    • It's subtle, but Ai-chan's animation has improved since 2016. You can really see it in her stage performance models and to a lesser extent in her Gamer model, but even her standard model is better than it once was. The most obvious example is when she reenacted her first video 4+ years after the fact. It starts with the original footage, then the glass breaks to reveal 2021 Ai-chan moving at a butter-smooth 60FPS and far more accurate mouth movement.
    • Inverted with Love-chan and Aipii. Their unique models are 2D and noticeably lower quality. Maybe for the best since Love-chan is primarily a livestreamer and most of her videos run over an hour.
  • Art Evolution: She later redesigned her model for her "A.I. Games" Let's Play channel with a new outfit, a new haircut, as well as more fluid animations and facial expressions. However, her "A.I. Channel" Web Video channel still uses her initial model.
  • Artificial Intelligence: She claims to be this — "Ai" is a common Japanese name and, in this case, an unsubtle Punny Name. See below.
  • As Herself:
    • In the Azur Lane collab, all the splash art of her playable versions only had "Kizuna Ai" under voice actress.
    • She is credited as herself in the second season of Meta Runner, where she appears as a guide in an in-series Dating Sim.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: A stack animal game shows that she doesn't take failure well.
  • Beautiful Tears: She deliberately invokes this according to an answer she gave (at super processing speed) to a question asking why the end-of-video channel ident has a picture of her crying. She thinks it's cuter if she cries.
  • Big "OMG!": Drops this when she incorrectly spells "ours" as "awrs" in her Duolingo video.
  • Biting the Handkerchief: She's doing this in the thumbnail for one of her Five Nights at Freddy's videos to express fear and/or frustration, although she does not bite any handkerchiefs in the video itself.
  • Call-Back: She would reference the memetic "Fuck you!" scene from Resident Evil 7 when she does say the phrase again, intentionally or not. Kizuna discusses it in a playthrough video of The Evil Within 2 when she compared both games. In her sixth Resident Evil 2 (Remake) playthrough video, she says the phrase again.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': In one of her earliest videos, Ai-chan truthfully pointed out that, since her visible form is a collection of textured polygons that merely resemble an outfit and they're not grafted on top of an underlying base, she's technically always naked. This earned her a month's suspension from Youtube for "Indecency". She was NOT happy about it.
  • Catchphrase: A few.
    • Her trademark intro, "Hai-domo, Virtual [YouTuber/Gamer] Kizuna Ai desu!" (The "Hai-Domo" part often gets quoted by itself because it isn't a real word, probably a blend of "Hi" and the similar Japanese word "Domo".)
    • She also drops a "Tensai ka?" ("Am I a genius?") often.
  • Character Celebrity Endorsement: Some of the Let's Play videos, usually the mobile games, are paid advertisements (note the "includes paid promotion" disclaimer in the bottom-left corner of this video).
  • Cluster F-Bomb: While done out of nervousness and being grossed out instead of anger, she finds herself imitating Ethan's own Cluster F Bomb once the worms start appearing in a certain narrow hallway.
    Clancy: "Fuck you!"
    Kizuna Ai: "Fuck you! Fuck you fuck you! [Beat] FUUUCK YOU! Mo owatta yo!" translation 
  • Comically Missing the Point: Frequently. For example, she thinks INSIDE (2016) is about gathering magical pinecones and treats Fortnite as a house-building simulator where she keeps getting interrupted by combat.
  • Contemplate Our Navels:
    • After getting infected by a virus, she tries to go on with the skit but loses interest and spends most of the rest of the video mulling over her own existence. Incidentally, this video eventually led to the creation of "Black AI" as a separate character.
    • Something similar happened during the "Kizuna AI's Everyday" series. She started out by showing viewers that clones of herself handled much of the work, but it rapidly devolved into Ai-chan questioning what makes her her and testing out crazy hypotheses.
  • Covert Pervert: Normally appearing innocent, Ai-chan has shown that she can be incredibly perverted when other girls are involved. This is especially noticeable when she had Tsubasa as a guest and on several games that had cute girls you can obtain in your team.
  • Cover Version: She sings cover versions for a lot of songs, which she posts on her main channel.
  • Crossover:
  • Cuteness Overload: Sums up most of her reactions while playing Let's Go Pikachu. The video has to fast-forward through the several minutes she spent in the "Play with Pikachu" minigame.
  • Death Montage: Her playthrough of Helltaker starts with a short one, with Ai screaming after every death.
  • Elite Four: Has a set of "Four Heavenly Kings" composed of Virtual YouTubers who hit it big shortly after she proved the formulaShiro, Mirai Akari, Nekomasu, and Kaguya Luna.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: Very often, especially on her gaming channel. The English subtitles will simply state "Ai-chan noises".
  • The Fake Cutie: Lampshaded. Ai-chan claims that because she's cute, she's free to be a greedy Jerkass and people will only love her more for it. She's not wrong, considering the overwhelmingly positive reactions she gets when she acts smug and/or chews out the comments section.
  • Fangirl:
  • From the Mouths of Babes: Playing Resident Evil 7 has really given her a bit of a potty mouth since she happily repeats every single "fuck" slung about by the cast (mostly Ethan) with it being clear that she doesn't exactly know what she's saying. She counts for this trope since she was barely a year old at the time anyway.
  • Genki Girl: She has an enthusiastic personality and is full of energy. Except on the rare occasion she isn't.
  • Gilligan Cut: A frequent source of her humor, particularly in videos where she does something physical, is how she claims that as an AI she can't get tired, thirsty, hungry, etc. Cue her going out of breath minutes later.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: invoked Her playthrough of Resident Evil 7 shows that she's really bad with horror, and prone to freaking out at the game's Nausea Fuel. Apparently her reactions were a hit with the fans, because she's played a lot of horror games since then, alternating between making fun of the scary parts and getting over-the-top terrified.
  • Gratuitous English: Generally, she gets progressively better in this field as she sometimes speaks and reads English words in her gaming videos. Some clips on her main channel even show her learning the language but would come out as Engrish instead.
    • Mispronounces some English words in her Quick, Draw! video.
    • She randomly spouts English words and phrases all over the place in the beginning of Part 1 of her Five Nights at Freddy's playthrough after Phone Guy begins talking.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Gratuitous Korean in this Twitter post, where she asks if her name in Korean is "아이" (also pronounced "ai"), which literally means "child".
  • Guest Fighter: She has been featured as a playable unit in some of the mobile games she has collaborated with.
  • Harem Seeker: She admits that she'd want a doting harem during her Doki Doki Literature Club! playthrough instead of just a girlfriend.
  • Hidden Depths: Ai has shown great vocal talent as she's shown her ability to sing several times, covering songs from her favorite idols to anime and Vocaloid songs.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Ai's two clones were eventually given hairclips and nicknames to differentiate them from the original. In some videos, they'll also wear different costumes to further differentiate themselves. This part of their character design later got carried over to Love-chan and Ai-pii's new models despite looking nothing like each other or Ai herself.
  • I Meant to Do That: Sometimes, Ai will claim she got stuck or made a mistake on purpose.
  • In-Character Let's Play: Kizuna AI is portrayed by a real (human) voice actress whose identity is known (see the subpages) and has streamed games as herself, but Ai-chan's LP's are always in-character.
    • This also applies to Love-chan and Ai-ge, whose identities aren't known.
  • Kayfabe:
    • Ai-chan is a Super-Sharp Artificial Intelligence (read: barely competent hunk-o-junk) who only exists within the confines of the internet. Of course everyone knows it's really Nozomi Kasuga (or Kasuga plus a body-actor) and other voice actresses using some mid-range motion-capture software, but fans have from the start willingly suspended their disbelief to accept that Kizuna AI is what she says she is. Ai-chan herself never breaks character.
    • This has also allowed the various voice actresses to remain anonymous… except Kasuga, who was forced by circumstance (refer to the YMMV page) to admit she originated Ai-chan's voice …although by the time she did so in April 2020 it was an open secret. However, the voice actresses for Love-chan, Aipii, and Ai-ge are still unknown.
  • Kick the Dog: Despite wanting Sayori and the protagonist to date during her Doki Doki Literature Club! playthrough, she rejected her Love Confession while knowing Sayori's highly depressed just to see what would happen. She admits it was pretty horrible and that you shouldn't do it yourself.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: invoked Constantly refers to herself as a "super-intelligent AI" and talks up her excellence… when in fact she fails at nearly everything she tries. Sometimes, she blames the games or rival AI for her own mistakes. She's also lampshaded her constant failures at least once.
    "But then, not succeeding is cuter, right?"
  • Lampshade Hanging: Kizuna Ai seems to be aware of the common tropes in video games, as she even discusses them during her Let's Plays when the game shows signs of the obvious examples. This especially happens when she plays a Survival Horror title.
    (after noticing a room filled with ammunition and weapon upgrade parts in The Evil Within 2) "When there's a lot of items on the ground means there's probably something big."
  • Malaproper: Tends to mispronounce "bakana" as "banana".
  • Motor Mouth: Did this in one of her (now-unlisted) livestreams as she kept trying to read and reply with the chat.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Her reaction after rejecting a character in Doki Doki Literature Club!.
  • Orwellian Retcon: Since it's possible to change the titles of Youtube videos, A.I. Channel has edited the title of every video featuring the "clones" between June 2019 and April 2020. Videos with Love-chan are now preceded with [#] and videos with Aipii have [*]. Videos with both of them have both notations. This includes all uploads from before they got their symbols and names. Ai-ge doesn't get this treatment because she had a different character design from the beginning.
  • Perpetual Poverty:
  • Precision F-Strike: From her Resident Evil 7 Let's Play, she shouts "Kuso!" ("Shit!") when Jack rams Ethan with a car, which results in a Game Over.
  • Punny Name: The creators had a field day with this trope.
    • "Ai" is a common name or part of a name for Japanese girls. It also happens to be the abbreviation for "Artificial Intelligence". The likely kanji for her name — 「愛」 ai, meaning "love" — is the reason why one of Ai-chan's clones was named "Love-chan" (officially 'Loveちゃん', also 'らぶちゃん') by fans.
    • The eventual Twitter handle she chose, @aichan_nel, is a combination of Ai-chan and (YouTube) channel.
  • Recursive Reality: The Superhot video uses VR mode. Virtual virtual reality.
  • Schmuck Bait: One video is titled "DON'T WATCH!!". If you watch it anyway, she scolds you for ignoring the warning but then starts acting flirtatious, moves close to the camera, and hits you with a Screamer Prank.
  • Screamer Prank: The end result of the Schmuck Bait video, "DON'T WATCH!!"
  • Screw Yourself:
  • Ship Tease: invoked Her interactions with Kaguya Luna on Twitter can get very affectionate. Some of Ai's videos will bring up "Tsuki-chan"note  for no particular reason, while Luna has made videos to congratulate "Boss" on her milestones. Culminated in an April Fool's collaboration in which the two switched performers and each talked up how much they love the other. Possibly an Ascended Meme coming from fanart which paired the two together.
  • Shipper on Deck:
  • Signature Headgear: Her pink ribbon headband, which she calls "pyoko-pyoko".
  • Stunned Silence: Quite common when she doesn't expect the loud jumpscares in some horror game playthroughs, such as this moment in her Home Security video where she gets shocked for 15 seconds straight.
  • Stylistic Suck: Her arms and hands tend to clip through her torso and hair all the time, but she's an AI with a computer-animated avatar, so any errors make sense in-universe.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: She seems to feel genuinely bad for deleting Monika in Doki Doki Literature Club! and spends the next minute or so mumbling sad apologies.
  • Through His Stomach: Once, Ai-chan made a video on Note 8-chan, a game where the titular character's walking and jumping are controlled with the microphone. She tries themes, one being Sexy Voice… Cue her saying various food names. It somehow works on 8-chan, to the utter confusion of Ai-chan who reacts with a giant "!?" in silence.
    (8-chan moves a single pixel)
    (8-chan gets stuck in a perpetual jumping animation)
  • Trademark Favorite Drink: As a "Virtual Celebrity", she can't eat or drink anything, but if forced to choose a favorite food or drink, she would go for milk.
  • Tranquil Fury: Lampshaded by the subtitles in her playthrough of I Am Egg when it occurs.
    "Gone silent out of pure anger"
  • Translation Train Wreck:
    • When playing Quick, Draw!, she messed up several prompts, some due to L/R confusion, some due to Engrish, but some mistranslations are utterly bizarre, such as thinking both "suitcase" and "trombone" meant "sweet corn". Then she thought "van" meant "ban" and, having just come off of an account suspension from YouTube, drew herself.
      [sees "bird"] "Bee… ru… doh… Bildo!" (J-slang for "building") "If I say it's 'building', then it's 'building'."
      "I don't think I can be friends with this AI."
    • She tries to show her mastery of English in Duolingo, and gets many translations correct, but also makes many bizarre mistakes. In one case, she translates "kare wa anata wo aishiteimasu" ("he loves you") into "thre is you foling love." Other examples include "No I am no't wain" and "The cheese it yours turtles."
    • This sometimes happens in video titles, such as "The matter that the love of my kittens is very heavy."
  • Troll: invoked What do you expect from a child of the internet? This is a big part of Ai-chan's personality when it comes to interacting with viewers. In addition to the "DON'T WATCH!" video linked above, she'll sometimes use deceptive thumbnails or otherwise screw with her fans and their expectations.
  • Trope Codifier: The first big "Virtual YouTuber", responsible for coining the name and much of the format. Numerous other Virtual YouTubers who came after Ai-chan now follow her forms of content, namely making Web Video vlogs, Let's Play gaming videos, and singing. Her "AI living in Cyberspace" persona also led to many of her imitators making at least token gestures to being Ambiguously Human and/or Trapped in Another World.
  • Ugly Cute: invoked Has a propensity for this in her playthrough of P.T. — Ai-chan routinely calls cockroaches "gokiburi-tan" affectionately translation . She also calls a bloody fetus crying in a sink cute "because it's wriggly"... then promptly lampshades the absurdity of that statement and wonders if the game is making her go crazy.
  • Vague Age: Doesn't know how old she is, but estimates that she is physically 16.
    • She does, however, know when she was created – exactly five months before her debut, so she will often give her age as a single digit. For obvious reasons, she gives no age on social media.
  • Vapor Wear: In a whole-outfit sense. In her soda bath video, she mentions her clothes are simply a hologram and that she's essentially always naked.
  • Verbal Backspace: During her INSIDE (2016) playthrough, she describes herself as a "Useless AI", but shortly after she clarifies that the "useless" part is just a character trait she's currently acting out.
  • Virtual Youtuber: The Trope Maker and Trope Namer, as she's widely considered to be the first modern example and she coined the term "Virtual Youtuber" by using as part of her usual greeting. Fittingly, her videos focus on Let's Plays and vlogging.
  • White Void Room: Where she seemingly lives. During her very first VR game, she spent a lot of time marveling at the scenery before actually starting her climb
    • In her Super Mario Odyssey playthrough, she gets jealous that Mario gets to live in such a beautiful world while she's "stuck in this white space".
  • You Don't Look Like You: After Ai-pii and Love-chan branched off from the main channel to have their own individual channels, their avatars also received entirely new designs distinct from the original Kizuna Ai avatars.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: A short series of videos (summarized here) starts off with this premise, with a Featureless Protagonist waking up in Ai's virtual space alongside the original Ai and Ai-pii. The protagonist wastes no time in flirting with both of them on an individual basis. By the end of the series, it turns out the "featureless protagonist" is actually Love-chan. The other two break up with her for playing with their feelings and hook up with each other instead.