- "Kagamine" redirects here. For other uses, see Kagamine (disambiguation).
Kagamine Rin & Len (鏡音リン・レン), codenamed CV02, are Japanese VOCALOIDs developed and distributed by Crypton Future Media, Inc., and were initially released in December 2007 for the VOCALOID2 engine. They are the second set of vocals for Crypton's Character Vocal Series and are both Character Voice VOCALOIDs. There has since been numerous installments such as additional voice banks dubbed 'Append', an update to the VOCALOID4 engine, and an English vocal.
Their voices are provided by the Japanese voice actress, stage actress, and singer Asami Shimoda (下田麻美 Shimoda Asami).
The development of the Kagamines began when Crypton formulated the concept of making a pair of female and male voicebanks. The first idea was for two voices of a girl and her mirror image of the opposite gender, just like twins.
Crypton had the intention to distribute them as twins, but this was not adopted. After seeing many works that depict their relationships differently, Crypton announced in a magazine interview that those would meet their ideal. However, Crypton's final announcement was that they were neither siblings nor lovers. During Append production, Wataru Sasaki (aka. Wat) described them as having one soul between the two of them. Wat also described that the Append boxart makes the pair seem like twins, due to the fetal position they were in.
When the Kagamines were being recorded in 2007, their names were not yet decided. Their given names of Rin and Len were said to be based on "right" and "left" according to Asami Shimoda. She later confirmed in an interview after the Append release that the names were based on Ken and Rin from Hokuto no Ken, derived from a discussion about names that were familiar from her childhood.
Their surname was derived from the developing code combining Kagami (鏡, mirror) and Ne (音, sound).
Their codename of "CV02" means "Character Voice 02".
KEI was given a concept by Crypton that included Rin and Len's approximate ages as well as the idea of them being 'mirror images' and, like Hatsune Miku, androids. KEI was not given any further direction as he had already drawn the art for Miku, the first release in the Character Vocal Series.
Rin was the first of the Kagamines to be illustrated and, following Crypton's concept, Len was made to match her. Their leg features were designed to mimic speakers. The keytar Len is often featured holding in merchandise is a YAMAHA KX5. Their main design, of which is most noticeable on their boots, uses the YAMAHA EOS as a design base.
Also, each Kagamine has a particular musical clef symbol associated to their design. Rin has a G-clef (Treble-clef) on her shirt and Len has a F-clef (Bass-clef) on his. In their Append redesigns, they are found on chokers rather than their shirts.
When Rin and Len received a new set of vocals during their Act2 release, KEI took the opportunity to fix flaws in the original artwork.
Kagamine Rin's introduction artwork:
- Rin has "Act2" on her arm under her "02" tattoo.
- Rin's top was changed in the introductory image between versions around the armpit area. Frills were added to the bottom of her top in Act2.
- Her shoulder was not correctly drawn in the original version.
- All of the yellow bands on her outfit were made bigger on Act2.
- Her fringe was made thicker above the left eye.
- In Rin's original artwork, her left knee was thicker and her right leg was too short. KEI corrected this in her Act2 version. Her right leg and left foot positions changed.
- Forearms were shortened in Act2.
- The cyber-on-normal clothing design on her detached sleeves was changed from a green bar to a blue one.
Kagamine Len's introduction artwork:
- He has "Act 2" on his headphones.
- The cyber-on-normal clothing design on the detached sleeves were changed from a green bar to a blue one.
- His fringe was reshaped and other strands were adjusted.
- Len's face, particularly around the cheekbones, was reshaped.
- His left knee had a minor tweak.
- Kagamine Rin's leg position was changed in the boxart so it was lifted off the ground. The only way the previous position would have worked was if her leg were deformed or broken.
- Rin's body itself compared to the length of her legs is shorter than in the original boxart, where the legs were longer.
- Rin's knee is rounded instead of sharp.
- Both had the cyber details changed on their detached sleeves.
For their appends, Wat wanted them to have a sense of transparency with their design. In clarification to what he meant by this, he stated the "transparency" was in reference to their hearts. Their Append design and the official illustration were made by オサム (osamu).
Continuing the tradition of the Item War Internet Meme, many items were proposed for the pair. In the end, Len's item was a banana because his hair was commented to resemble a bunch of them, while Rin's item was an orange since her bow gave the impression of orange leaves. Before her release, Rin had the road roller assigned to her by accident in a video that suddenly received many views on December 1, 2007. Len had yet to be revealed at the time of the road roller meme.
For the V4x design, Rin was given a more silver/whiter look to make her appearance more refreshing. The design was also based more on the EOS B700 rather than the Kx5 because of its more whiter appearance. In addition, more synthesizer based music symbols were used.
- Hatsune Miku; another member of the Character Vocal Series.
- Megurine Luka; another member of the Character Vocal Series.
Music featuring Kagamine Rin and LenEdit
- Kagamine Rin is featured in 537 songs and 542 albums on this wiki.
- There are listings for notable, original, and cover songs.
- Kagamine Len is featured in 453 songs and 395 albums on this wiki.
- There are listings for notable, original, and cover songs.
Examples of usage
The Kagamines were marketed as "2 vocals for the price of 1" and were aimed to catch the interest of the growing VOCALOID fandom. Unlike Hatsune Miku, they were not an immediate hit, failing to meet marketing expectations despite receiving the same level of promotion Miku received at the time of their release. After the release of their "Act2" voicebanks, sales picked up steadily and the Kagamines eventually became one of the more heavily marketed VOCALOIDs though have never met the marketing strength Miku gained before them.
- It took 25 hours (4 hours a day) to record all the Kagamine Appends.
- Some call Rin and Len by the incorrect names "Lin" and/or "Ren". Though the romanized version of the words could be either, the English version was confirmed as "Rin and Len". Since there is no dubbed version to contend with, the names remain the only official names in existence for the vocals. This is also backed up by the origins of their names as "R" (Rin)" and "L" (Len).
- Note; "L" and "R" mean "Left and Right". They are the letters you find on a set of headphones (and sometimes other equipment such as speakers). Usually, there is not enough space to write "left" and "right" on headphones. "L" refers to left ear and "R" is right ear.
- A total of 10 voicebanks makes the Kagamine package the most expansive set of vocals within the VOCALOID2 era. They are currently 3rd in the total number of vocals released behind Miku (with 15 vocals) in second and GUMI (with 17) in first.
|Kagamine Rin/Len's character status|
During the VOCALOID2 era, the Kagamine package competed with the Megurine Luka package for 2nd place in the top 10 products. Usually, the Kagamine package managed to get the 2nd place spot, pushing Luka to 3rd place.
Their Append outsold the Miku Append package during the period after their release. The Act2 package and Append secured 4th and 5th spot between them in Crypton's end of year top 10 VOCALOID sales despite only being available for a short period of time (mostly owed, but not entirely, to pre-orders). However, in June 2011, their Append had fallen to 8th place, one place below KAITO's VOCALOID voicebank.
During 2013, when both KAITO V3 and Hatsune Miku V3 were released, the charts were disrrupted. When the charts resumed some form of order, the Kagamines were left in the 5th or 6th spot, leaving them overall more popular than Luka by MEIKO V3's release in 2014. Their Append had not been sighted for months and was by now completely off of the charts. After MEIKO's V3 release, they disappeared from the charts, leaving them as the only Character Vocal Series member with no products in the charts. By mid-2014, they, along with the VOCALOID2 Megurine Luka package, would only make temporary appearances in the charts, but no longer held any form of constant ranking.
In 2014, Crypton's download store, Sonicwire, reported that the Kagamine Append package was the 8th most sold VOCALOID package on the store, while their Act2 product claimed 5th place. In 2015, the Kagamine V4x package claimed 5th position, while the English bundle version claimed 4th. The sales were based on acquired sales through pre-orders and sales for just 6 days. In January 2016, the bundled version of the update held the 1st place spot on Crypton's ranking, followed by the Japanese package in second.
The Kagamines were slow to gain popularity in the Japanese fandom after the backlash from their original voicebanks. In later years, although they gained the second-highest number of songs, they were not as popular as Hatsune Miku.
In the Japanese fandom, Rin is the more popular of the two, with more related works than Len.
By the time of their V4x release, the duo had over 100 hit songs between them.
Their designs spawned many producer based derivatives.
An independent search revealed that most VOCALOIDs had less than 1,000 videos uploaded onto Nico Nico between July 1 and December 15, 2015. The Kagamines, however, managed to gain enough views to not fall into this category. Rin received 2,811 uploads while Len received 2,021. Rin had the 3rd highest total views during this period of any VOCALOID with 5,327,456 views and 477,046 mylists, and Len managed 4,555,580 views and 413,901 mylists. When sorted by average, Len was third with 2254.12 views per video and 204.8 mylists (which was more than Miku’s), and Rin had 1895.22 views per video and 169.71 mylists. However, when the views were based on the more accurate mean total, Len and Rin achieved 355 views/16 mylists and 349 views/16 mylists respectively per video, ranking last among the top 6 VOCALOIDs. However, the Kagamine software was the only VOCALOID package to be be in all top 6 lists besides GUMI.
In February 2014, Vocaloid Otaku user "Dessert>desert" decided to run a test to see how many illegal VOCALOID downloads were made via torrent. The Kagamine package was ranked the 3rd most popular illegal of the singular package downloads with 4,777 downloads. They were beaten by MAYU at 11,404 and VY2v3 at 12,434 downloads.
In 2015, a survey showed that Kagamine Rin was the 3rd most popular VOCALOID in 2014 on Nico Video while Kagamine Len was the 6th most popular.