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Tohoku Zunko ((とう)(ほく)ずん()) is a Japanese VOICEROID and VOCALOID developed and distributed by AH-Software Co. Ltd., and was created in collaboration with SSS LLC.. She was released in September 2012 for the VOICEROID+ engine and in June 2014 for the VOCALOID3 engine. An update to the VOCALOID4 engine was released in October 2016.[2]

In January 2021, a crowdfunding campaign was started to create a voicebank for the AI synthesizer NEUTRINO.[3][4] It was released later that year

She also received a CeVIO AI song voicebank on January 27, 2022 alongside her sister Itako.[5][6]

Her voice is provided by the Japanese voice actress, singer, and narrator, Satou Satomi ((さと)()()(とう)), who is known for her role as Tanika Ritsu from the Japanese music anime "K-ON!".[7]

Concept[]

Zunko is a high school student in her 2nd year. Her special ability is "Zunda Arrow" which transforms any kind of mochi into zunda-mochi after being strucked by thunder.

Her hobbies are archery and making cakes, particularly zunda-mochi. Her dream is to own her own "Zunda Café" in Tokyo as well as a "Zunda Shop" in Akihabara. This was mentioned in a short bio that was included in her strap.

Etymology[]

Her family name, "Tohoku", comes from the Tohoku region in which she was made to support after a tsunami struck the area in 2011. Her first name, "Zunko", is derived from "zundo" mochi.

Appearance[]

Zunko's clothing is based off of Zunda-mochi, a type of (Japanese rice cake) with sweetened green soybean paste. It is a local specialty in the Tohoku region.

Relations[]

History[]

On June 20, 2013 fundraising campaign was in effect with the goal of creating a VOCALOID voicebank for Zunko if the required funds (¥5,000,000) were met by July 20th the next month. [12] Since then, the campaign was successful and her VOCALOID was released in June 2014. A VOCALOID4 update was announced on September 29, 2016 called Tohoku Zunko V4 Natural alongside a VOICEROID+EX voicebank for her sister Kiritan. They were both released a month later.[13]

On November 22nd, 2019, in a VOICEROID 10th Anniversary livestream, AH-Software announced an English version of VOICEROID, and revealed Zunko as the first English voice. Zunko's twitter confirmed on the same day that it would be a crowdfunded project.[14][15] However, in December 2020, it was revealed that VOICEROID development has silently ceased due to conflicts between AH-Software Co. Ltd. and AI, Inc., the developer of the software AITalk which is what VOICEROID is based on.[16][17][18] This caused development of Koharu Rikka's VOICEROID2 voicebank to be moved to CeVIO AI. The status of whether or not Zunko's English voicebank will be moved to a different engine is currently unknown.

On January 26, 2021, a crowdfunding campaign was launched to create a voicebank of her for the NEUTRINO software, like her sisters.[3][4] The campaign is set to end February 22 and by February 3 has met its goal of ¥7,500,000.

Marketing[]

Zunko has a basic terms of use policy. After registering with the owners, Tohoku region-based companies can use her for advertisements and doujin works. She was originally created to help promote the recovery of the Tohoku region, which was the region devastated on March 11, 2011 by a major earthquake and tsunami. Prior to becoming a VOCALOID, she had a campaign to become a VOICEROID where she had to reach 4.5 million yen.[19] Zunko had to gain 5 million yen between June 20 to July 20 and she gained all the funding she needed about week before the deadline on July 12.[20]

Voicebanks[]

Tohoku Zunko - Talk
Originally Zunko was made to have a VOICEROID voicebank first. So this voicebank represents most what Zunko's original concept was as a vocal. The vocal is meant to feel warm.
Tohoku Zunko - Natural
The Tohoku Zunko vocal is a voicebank that was made to match its VOICEROID counterpart. The idea is that speech and singing vocal results can be used in the same production and yet the listener can identify them as the same vocalist projecting itself.
Tohoku Zunko - Others
  • Tohoku Zunko (Voidol), November 13, 2019
  • AI Zunko (NEUTRINO), July 3, 2021
  • Tohoku Zunko Song Voice (CeVIO AI), January 27, 2022

Reputation[]

Reaction[]

Tohoku Zunko's VOCALOID software began development after a successful crowdfunding campaign. Two similar events occurred for her sisters Itako and Kiritan to be released for VOICEROID, both were also successful.

Trivia[]

  • She is the first VOICEROID produced with a crowdfunding campaign.
  • Zunko's straps come with a short bio for her:
    • Her hobbies are archery and making cakes.
    • Her dreams for the future are to own her own cafe in Tokyo.
  • Zunko is the only VOICEROID that will solely work on Japanese-local Windows computers.

Achievements[]

  • Second VOCALOID & VOICEROID collaboration effort.
  • First successful crowdfunded campaign VOCALOID & VOICEROID.

References[]

External links[]

Official[]

Articles[]

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