KAITO (カイト) is a Japanese VOCALOID developed originally by Yamaha Corporation and distributed by Crypton Future Media, Inc.. His VOCALOID3 update was developed and distributed by Crypton. He was initially released in February 2006 for the first VOCALOID engine. There has since been a second installment developed for the VOCALOID3 engine dubbed KAITO V3. His voice is provided by the famous Japanese singer, Naoto Fūga (風雅なおと).



The product's name was invited to be chosen by the public, and "KAITO" was selected from among the applicants, which was Shu-tP's offered idea.[1][2] One of the reasons why his name "KAITO" was selected was because it would be easy for non-Japanese speakers to pronounce, and it looked fitting with the name "MEIKO" when they were put next to one another.[3]

KAITO's codename was "TARO";[4] it likely came from "Yamada Tarō (山田太郎)", a placeholder name for male characters and the Japanese equivalent to "John Smith".

KAITO is often mistakenly called "Kaito Shion" or "Shion Kaito", particularly by overseas fans. "Shion" was a fan-created term used to refer to him during the 2007-2009 period. Due to its common sighting, it is still incorrectly used by fans as his family name even as of the VOCALOID4 engine's release. Officially, the character is known just as "KAITO"; he has no family name or surname.


The illustration was done by Takashi Kawasaki. Crypton did not set his character and profile except for his package design. Like MEIKO, he was not made with the aim of giving character or personality to vocal synthesis software.[5][6] This was also emphasized during the development of the V3 vocal banks, with Wat stating how different the intention of the CV series was to the intention of KAITO and MEIKO. This led to the updates taking a totally different course of development in comparison to the Appends of Miku, Len, Rin and Luka.

KAITO's muffler has become one of his most iconic items. During his V3 update, there was fan outcry over the idea of it being made transparent. In answer to this, Crypton stated that cloth can be made out of anything, including plastic; there was a lot more freedom with it than many realized.[7]

KAITO has no official given age. In one doujinshi, Maker Hikōshiki Hatsune Mix he is portrayed as a middle aged man by KEI, but it should be noted that what the artist depicts in the comic is not official, as he mentioned in a magazine interview.[8] A common myth within the fandom is that KAITO was intended to be middle aged, which may have generated from this fan comic. KAITO has never been officially depicted as any specific age bracket.

Because of the story of his rediscovery in 2008, KAITO was often depicted with ice cream. This gave birth to the "Item War" Internet Meme tradition.


Music featuring KAITO

Examples of usage

Romaji/English Threadnation
Featuring KAITO
Producers EZFG
Category Original song
Romaji/English Tamashii Nagashi
Featuring KAITO
Producers nyanyannya (music, lyrics), Yokanko (illust)
Category Original song
Romaji/English Jougen no Tsuki (First-Quarter Moon)
Featuring KAITO
Producers Kurousa-P (music, lyrics), Ittomaru (illust), gram6design (video)
Category Original song
Romaji/English 1/4
Featuring KAITO
Producers CircusP (composition, arrangement), Sleppu (illust), nostraightanswer (video)
Category Original song

More Examples of usage 


Romaji/English Sennen no Dokusouka (A Thousand-Year Solo)
Featuring KAITO
Producers Yanagi-P (song), U (illust)
Category Original song
Romaji/English FLOWER TAIL
Featuring KAITO
Producers yuukiss (music, lyrics, video), Umu (illust), Sacrow (logo)
Category Original song
Romaji/English Old Radio
Featuring KAITO
Producers Urara-P (music, lyrics), Piihyara-P (tuning), gindara (illust)
Category Original song
Romaji/English Tokiwasurebito (Time-Forgotten One)
Featuring KAITO
Producers sigotositeP
Category Original Song
Search for music featuring KAITO [show/hide]

Additional information


The act of putting a character on the boxart was carried over to following VOCALOIDs to encourage creative activities by individuals, expanding the characters based on each user's individual needs.[9][10][11]

KAITO's V3 release repeats many aspects of what made the CV series popular, and he is already due a series of "beginners guides" in magazines such as DTM.

See also: KAITO/Marketing and VOCALOID in other media


  • Since YAMAHA and Crypton printed different dates for KAITO's release (YAMAHA: 14th, Crypton: 17th), some fans within the Japanese VOCALOID community celebrate KAITO's release date anniversary during all days between the different dates.
  • When it came to the KAITO update, the voicebanks went under much experimentation throughout the developing process. This was because although Crypton were veterans at producing VOCALOID voicebanks, they did not have so much experience with masculine toned vocals such as Fuuga Naoto's. This was due to the fact all of their other VOCALOIDs intended for the consumer market had come from female vocalists.
  • Owed to the difference between VOCALOID KAITO and VOCALOID3 KAITO, Wat himself referred to the two packages as like "brothers" due to their very separate natures.


KAITO's character status

KAITO's rise to fame is often considered a matter of luck, since KAITO was "a commercial failure" when he was first released. He sold only 500 units in his first year,[12] in which he needed to sell 1,000+ units to be considered "successful". After this failure, 100 units were sold in Jan 2008; then this amount began to rise rapidly. By June 18, 2008, KAITO was reported to have now sold an additional 1,000 units, twice as much as his initial sales. This shocked the Vocaloid developers at Crypton Future Media, who were surprised by the sudden attraction to the old VOCALOID software.

At the height of his sales, he was the only one of the two VOCALOID engine vocals to have a consistent ranking as one of the Crypton's Top Ten Products. In 2010, KAITO was ranked as the 7th most popular VOCALOID product they sold.[13] In some instances after his rediscovery, VOCALOID KAITO was even more popular than the VOCALOID2 engine Appends for Miku and the Kagamines. His design has also spawned many producer based derivatives.

Unlike KAITO, KAITO V3 was very well received upon release. Crypton updated their music software sales page with those of March 2013 in the following month and the presenting data that showed KAITO V3 was an all-time topper in sales.[14] He managed to even surpass MEIKO V3 in sales and in August 2014, was in 3rd place while she remained in 6th; 1st and 2nd were held by Hatsune Miku V3 and Hatsune Miku V3 complete.

In 2014, Crypton's Sonicwire download store reported that KAITO V3 had gained 4th position in all Vocaloid sales.[15] In 2015, the package came in 6th position.[16]


It was generally believed that the failure of KAITO's initial software was owed to the reader demographic of DTM magazine, of which 80% were male. It is suggested that this is why Meiko, being female, succeeded.[12]

A sudden change in opinion regarding KAITO occurred on September 16th, 2007, when 'Tatsunami' uploaded a parody of the song in Higurashi no naku koro ni, "A Request From Hatsune" onto NicoNicoDouga. During this time, Miku was extremely popular on NicoNicoDouga, yet almost nobody knew of KAITO, or produced songs using him. The video begins with the words "please sometimes recall [KAITO]," as well as Miku saying "where are you and what are you doing now?" which is from the song "Dear You". "初音ミクからのお願い。"
  Niconico  Nicozon

About four hours later, "An Answer To Hatsune Miku" was posted by 'Ice-P'. In this video, KAITO responds with, "yes? I was eating an ice cream," and then proceeds to sing a cover of "The Ice Cream Song" (originally sung by Saeko Shuu in 1960). KAITO's last dialogue in this video is "Miku, let's eat it together next time." It happened that Ice-P was producing the cover when he saw the video Tatsunami uploaded. This introduced many people to KAITO and gave him his signature item. "初音ミクへの回答 "
  Niconico  Nicozon

After the turnaround in popularity, many producers began to revalue KAITO as a VOCALOID, which became much of the reason why KAITO stayed popular. His voice became acknowledged for its all-round usefulness and in turn for being highly compatible with the VOCALOID, giving him flexibility in his performance. KAITO proved useful for variety of male roles that other Japanese male VOCALOIDs often did not suit; even though he was the only Japanese male powered by VOCALOID, and the engine was well known for being difficult to work with in comparison to VOCALOID2. Even Wat himself reasoned that much of his popularity was owed to his singing capabilities. Wat quoted one of his acquaintances upon their reaction to KAITO. He stated they were shocked at hearing such a "beautiful male voice".[17]


Kaito's failure initially led to the focus on mostly female vocals in Vocaloid projects by Crypton Future Media. A possible legacy of this is that the majority of the vocals produced for the Japanese version of Vocaloid are female rather than male.


An independent search on Nico Nico Douga revealed that most VOCALOIDs had less than 1,000 videos uploaded on Nico Nico Douga in 2011 between July 1st and December 15th. However, KAITO managed to make it into the top six of a few lists. KAITO was the 6th most popular VOCALOID in terms of uploads, receiving 1404 uploads. KAITO had the 6th highest number of views with 1,561,894 views and 118,479 mylists. KAITO did not make the top 6 average list, however, he was the 3rd most popular VOCALOID based on the mean number of views with 414 views and 19 mylists, which is a more truer reflection of his popularity.[18]

In 2015 a survey showed KAITO as the 5th most popular Vocaloid during the year 2014 on website Nico Video.[19]

  • First Japanese male vocal ever released
  • Only VOCALOID voicebank announced as a "failure"
  • Subject to a sudden opinion change around
  • Most popular VOCALOID voicebank
  • Last VOCALOID voicebank produced
  • First VOCALOID voicebank to be updated
  • First male bilingual VOCALOID.
  • Was used in the oldest known VOCALOID related song ever released
  • First VOCALOID by Crypton to be updated to VOCALOID3


Do you like KAITO?

The poll was created at 00:14 on November 20, 2015, and so far 3780 people voted.
What characteristic of KAITO do you like?

The poll was created at 00:14 on November 20, 2015, and so far 3617 people voted.


Kaito 300x172
The image gallery for KAITO may be viewed here.


  1. Fuga Naoto Blog - お返事!
  2. Morio Morito Blog - MEIKOとKAITOのパケ絵描いた人について+α "Illustrators that illustrated Meiko and Kaito"
  3. INTERNET Watch - クリプトン・フューチャー・メディア社長 伊藤博之氏(前編) (Crypton Future Media president Hiroyuki Itō (part one))
  4. 最初のコードネームは、MEIKOはHANAKOで、KAITOはTAROということですね。
  5. Nico Nico MUGEN wiki - KAITO
  7. Wat talking about KAITO's muffler
  8. - KEIさんの描き方について聞いてみた (Interview with KEI about drawing style)
  9. IT Media News - 異例の売れ行き「初音ミク」「ニコ動」で広がる音楽作りのすそ野 (Extraordinary sales for Hatsune Miku as Nico spreads the music)
  10. Crypton MEDIA phage - [Vocaloid2情報] 出張終了のお知らせ。
  11. G-Search side B - バーチャルアイドル?ボーカロイド?今話題の初音ミクって何? (Virtual Idol? Vocaloid? Hatsune Miku is the new topic now?)
  12. 12.0 12.1

External links

Japanese Crypton Future Media Inc. official homepage Link
Japanese KAITO V3 product page Link
English deviantArt , art and media community Link
Japanese Pixiv , art and media community Link
Japanese Piapro , art and media community Link