Kotonoha Akane & Aoi (琴葉 茜 ・ 葵) are a pair of Japanese vocals developed and distributed by AH-Software Co. Ltd. in collaboration with AI, Inc., and were released as a single shared Standard voice database for Synthesizer V Studio in July 2020. They originally debuted as VOICEROID+ speech voicebanks on April 25, 2014 (later updated to VOICEROID2 on June 9, 2017).
Their voice provider is Yui Sakakibara (榊原ゆい; Sakakibara Yui), a Japanese singer-songwriter.
The Kotonohas are a pair of sisters, with Akane being the elder sister and Aoi the younger sister. Akane is described by Aoi as a "natural airhead", while Aoi has a gentle personality, but is more firm than Akane. Because Akane lived in Kansai for a long time, she is used to speaking in the Kansai-ben dialect.
Their birthday is April 25, the same day they originally released as VOICEROIDs.
Kotonoha (琴葉) is derived from the words koto (琴, 13-string Japanese zither), no (の, Japanese possessive particle that in classical Japanese was often omitted in writing, especially when writing down full names of people from important clans) and ha (葉, leaf, plane, lobe, [pine] needle, blade [of grass], spear, fragment, piece). Literally, it can be translated to either "leaf of a koto" (if using the most common definition of 葉) or "fragment or piece of a koto". Thus, both Akane and Aoi can be considered to be two fragments of a metaphorical koto which when joined together complete the instrument (or, in this case, the voice library).
Akane (茜) refers to both Rubia argyi (Japanese madder, an east Asian flowering plant) and the red dye that is extracted from such flower. Aoi (葵) refers to a hollyhock flower like the one incorporated into the Tokugawa shogunate's official seal or mon (which was officially called 丸に三つ葉葵 Maruni Mitsuba Aoi); it also shares furigana with aoi (青い, "blue").
Kotonoha Akane and Aoi wear matching traditional-inspired thigh-length dresses embroidered with music notes along the front and their matching iconic string knots (reminiscent of Japanese Kichō knots 几帳結び) on their chests. They wear matching hair ribbons on opposite sides of their heads and thigh-high visualizer-inspired boots. Both girls have long waist-length hair and hime-style cut bangs. Akane's theme is pink and black while Aoi's is blue and white.
- Kotonoha Akane & Aoi (VOICEROID+), April 25, 2014
- Kotonoha Akane & Aoi (VOICEROID2), June 9, 2017
- Kotonoha Akane & Aoi Standard (Web Synthesizer V), July 22, 2020
- Kotonoha Akane & Aoi Standard (Synthesizer V Studio), July 30, 2020
- Kotonoha Akane & Aoi Standard Lite (Synthesizer V Studio), September 24, 2020
- Kotonoha Akane & Aoi (A.I.VOICE), February 2021
On June 30, 2020, AH-Software Co. Ltd. held a Twitter campaign in which users were able to apply by DM to receive a set of Synthesizer V Studio Pro, Synthesizer V Kotonoha Akane & Aoi, and Synthesizer V Saki packaged versions. Ten users were ultimately selected.
Merchandise featuring the Kotonoha sisters' Synthesizer V designs were distributed on the official Kotonoha Akane & Aoi BOOTH account. Merchandise included an embroidered polo shirt with the Kotonoha logo and a 15-inch PC case.
On February 27, 2021, Akane & Aoi appeared at a live concert performance titled Kotonoha Rock Fes 2021 (コトノハロックフェス2021) held by i-Pairs Inc. in celebration of the release of their Synthesizer V library. The sisters performed live on stage as a projection on a screen with a live band performing various original and cover songs.. The event started as a crowdfund with a goal of raising 3,400,000 yen. Over 4,183,444 yen would eventually be raised prompting for the creation of exclusive MikuMikuDance models of the girls' Synthesizer V costumes.
Akane & Aoi won the Grand Prix Music Category Award for the "35th Vector Pro-Registry Award" on Vector PC Shop
- Kotonoha Akane & Aoi Synthesizer V Product Page
- Kotonoha Akane & Aoi VOICEROID Product Page
- Kotonoha Akane & Aoi Official Twitter
- AI, Inc. Official Kotonoha Website
- Kotonoha Sisters BOOTH Account