“When you say that to my face I actually get kinda embarrassed...
... Well, I don't feel bad about it though.”
—GENBU's quote on the VirVox website
GENBU (ゲンブ), also known as Kurono Takehiro (玄野武宏), is a Japanese vocal developed and distributed by VOLOR, and was released in December 2018 for the first Synthesizer V engine. He was the first male Japanese voice database to ever be released. He later became part of the VirVox Project in May 2021.
GENBU later received an update to the Synthesizer V Studio engine as a Standard voice database in July 2020.
On August 1, 2021, a Synthesizer V AI voice database for GENBU was announced. At the time, a crowdfund was planned but was later canceled due to the lack of the required permissions. Continued production of the AI voice database is currently unknown.
His voice provider is Gallo, a Japanese voice actor and game scenario writer.
GENBU's voice is described to be calm and soothing and resembles his somewhat weak personality. He may seem a bit straightforward to the point of being called rude, but he cares about the people around him.
His name, "ゲンブ (genbu)", means "black tortoise". In Japanese mythology, it is one of the four guardian spirits of Kyoto and one of the four symbols of the Chinese constellations (the "Azure Dragon", the "Vermilion Bird", the "White Tiger", and the "Black Tortoise"), which are said to be four mythological creatures appearing among the Chinese constellations along the ecliptic, and are viewed as the guardians of the four cardinal directions. It also represents the north direction and the winter season. It's sometimes called "the Black Warrior of the North" (北方玄武 Běi Fāng Xuán Wǔ).
While the kanji for "genbu" is written as "玄武" in both Japanese and Chinese, the Chinese pronunciation is "Xuanwu" (Xuánwǔ).
GENBU's real name was later revealed to be Kurono Takehiro (玄野武宏).
The rope around him is similar to a shimenawa, which are ropes found around Shinto shrines, sacred landmarks, and usually at ground-breaking ceremonies before the construction of a building begins. They can also be found on yorishiro, objects that are capable of attracting and housing kami spirits.
The "white tiger" most likely inspires his white kimono-like clothing. It is one of the four symbols of the Chinese constellations, it represents the west direction and the autumn season. It was most likely simply used as part of the monochrome-color scheme that onidaruman wanted to convey while also relating to the theme of the four beings that appear among the Chinese constellations, as there doesn't seem to be any other design choices related to the "white tiger".
His black gloves have red visualizers on them. The visualizers cannot be viewed on GENBU's official art, as the side that has them is obscured. They are missing from GENBU's 1st anniversary illustration, although the illustrator's comments say that the visualizers simply had been forgotten.
The pattern on his left shoulder could be a reference to his name.
- Shirakami Kotarou - Fellow VirVox Project member.
- Aoyama Ryuusei - Fellow VirVox Project member.
- Wakamatsu Akashi - Fellow VirVox Project member.
- Kigashima Sourin - Fellow VirVox Project member.
- GENBU (Synthesizer V), December 23, 2018
- GENBU Standard (Synthesizer V Studio), July 15, 2020
- GENBU Standard Lite (Synthesizer V Studio), July 30, 2020
- Kurono Takehiro Lite (TALQu), July 16, 2021
- Kurono Takehiro (CoeFont CLOUD), August 2, 2021
- Kurono Takehiro (VOICEVOX), February 28, 2022
- GENBU AI (Synthesizer V Studio), Status unknown
In May 2021, GENBU was confirmed to be part of VirVox Project, a small doujin circle that focused on marketing him along with three other male characters at the time of introduction. They provided him with the name "Kurono Takehiro", and with VOLOR's permission, they hoped to create merchandise, 3D models, and physical copies of GENBU along with any potential voice databases that may release at a later time. They conducted a survey with fans for an interest check on these ideas.
On July 19, VirVox Project announced an additional speech library for Takehiro using the CoeFont CLOUD AI text-to-speech synthesizer.  It released on August 2 with one expression noted as "Happy".
On December 3, GENBU and the other members of VirVox Project were featured in 4-paneled comics illustrated by onidaruman. These comics were originally written in Japanese, with English translations by Xuu.