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Popular virtual YouTuber Kizuna Ai selected as ambassador for new 'Come to Japan' campaign

By Dale Roll, SoraNews24

You may have heard of Kizuna Ai, the virtual YouTuber whose introduction to the world at the end of 2016 became an instant hit. Her channel now boasts more than 1.5 million subscribers, and, despite not being a living human, her whole image and personality are crafted to seem like she is a real person, just in a different world. She is often cheerful, very expressive, and is always out to prove that she’s not just a picture on a screen. Her videos are also subtitled in English, which means that almost everyone can enjoy her funny antics.

▼ This is her first video, a self-introduction.

Having amassed such a huge following in just over a year, Kizuna Ai has been selected as the ambassador for the new campaign of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)’s New York branch. “Come to Japan” is aimed at U.S. citizens, since, while Japan is a popular destination for people from Asia, for various reasons Westerners are less inclined to travel there.

Kizuna Ai has dutifully (and excitedly) accepted the nomination and has already released her first “Come to Japan” promotional video. The topic? Food, of course!

In the video, Kizuna Ai “receives information” from JNTO, but since she is not a human and hasn’t experienced Japanese food herself, she appears to be learning about it at the same time as we are, which makes for a nice change of pace from ordinary documentaries.

▼ There are lots of cute moments like this where her excitement gets the better of her.


Her video talks about three types of Japanese food: sushi, ramen, and Japanese sweets. But it’s not just about what they are; she also goes into detail about what kinds of each type of food there are, how best to eat them, and some fun facts about them, so even veterans of Japanese food might learn something from the video.

▼ There are even quizzes! Can you get them right?


Source: Kai-You

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Popular Japanese YouTuber is virtual schoolgirl who plays games, has existential crises【Videos】

-- Japan’s newest virtual YouTuber boasts 17 years of idol experience, is only 12 years old【Videos】

-- Japanese pro cosplayer causes pandemonium at World Cosplay Summit

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Why do Japanese think that something like this would get a foreigner like me get interested in Japan.

Instead, Kizuna Ai is a big turn off for most foreigners.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I understand "cute" animated characters and mascots are a big part of Japanese society (nearly everything has some 2D charming creature or character promoting it) but can be a bit overwhelming. It comes off as Japan is one giant anime wonderland where anime guides the winds of its culture when it really doesn't. Japan is so much more than this. A different medium than this stereotype would've been better. Introducing things other than already well-known sushi and ramen would also be a plus.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Japan is so much more than this."

Milktooth, any suggestions on what Japan should feature instead?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kizuna Ai's popularity exploded when a video of her playing the adventure platformer game "Inside" was posted on Facebook and spread from there. In the following weeks, other news sites published articles about the channel, including Tubefilter, The Verge, and GoBoiano.


A.I. Channel is a YouTube channel hosted by the animated character Ai Kizuna, a Japanese “virtual YouTuber” who is best known for uploading various Let’s Play and vlogging videos.



0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why not just use a real Japanese woman instead?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think many folks here think that this anime form of marketing is intended only for Westerners. Newsflash: It's Not.

It is also targeted at Asian visitors...many of whom grew up watching Japanese Anime, Doramas and reading Manga.

So while the white folks and other westerners may not be comfortable with this anime girl, others in Asia may be so.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

OMG.....please forgive me I clicked on the video for almost 2 minutes, PAINFUL, I am going to have nightmares tonight, awful!

1 ( +2 / -1 )


It is also targeted at Asian visitors..

Non-Japanese Asians are NOT into kiddie anime stuff featuring underage girls in squeaky voice.

This stuff only appeals to Japanese audiences.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


And a lot of Westerners as well as non-Japanese Asians are. Most don't even think of these animated characters as "under-aged girls in squeaky voices" but merely a vessel to convey information and as a form of entertainment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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