VTuber Kizuna Ai Goes on Indefinite Hiatus Next February
posted on by Egan Loo
Popular virtual YouTuber (VTuber) Kizuna Ai will go on indefinite hiatus after her online "Kizuna Ai The Last Live 'hello, world 2022'" concert on February 26. The announcement posted in Japanese, English, and Chinese on Saturday cited an update to "future activities with the goal of further developing Kizuna Ai" as the reason for the hiatus.
The Kizuna AI YouTube channel "A.I.Channel" first launched in 2016. Since then, she has become the world's most iconic Virtual YouTuber and was on Newsweek Japan's list of "globally respected Japanese people." Her main channel has 2.99 million subscribers, and her "A.I.Games" channel has over 1.52 million subscribers. She has since appeared in television programs and commercials, and performed as a musical artist. The existing videos on her channels will be archived. Her Twitter, Instagram, and other social media accounts will also stay online but will not post updates except for "important announcements."
In April 2020, Nozomi Kasuga signed on as an advisor at Kizuna AI Co., Ltd. — thus formally confirming that she is the voice actress behind the character. The company was formed out of Activ8, the talent agency which managed Kizuna AI and other virtual YouTuber talent. The move followed reports of debt at Activ8. The company reported a total deficit of 675 million yen (approximately US$6.1 million) in its third annual quarter of 2019. Its statement of retained earnings was negative 720 million yen (approximately US$6.6 million).
Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web