Tetsuko Kuroyanagi is one of the most beloved and respected personalities in Japan: an actress, voice actress, interviewer, and charity worker who has appeared on television for more than 40 years. And now there's two of her. Sort of.
Meet totto, an android modeled on Kuroyanagi herself. The android was modeled from a 3D scan, and her voice synthesized using audio from her original's 42 years of television work. Her name comes from Kuroyanagi's childhood nickname -- which also supplies the title of Totto-chan!, a new drama starting next month about the personality's childhood. The android, and the project surrounding it, were created as part of the hype around the new drama.
A video has been released showing totto interviewing Kuroyanagi in the style of the actress's own talk show:
According to the android's official website, the creation is the beginning of something called the Totto no Yume Project. The site hints that totto will assist Kuroyanagi in spreading smiles throughout Japan and the world, and that she'll get better at conversing over time.
It's a cool idea, but hopefully totto's creators won't be too offended if we, you know, just sort of keep an eye on things.
Kara Dennison is responsible for multiple webcomics, blogs and runs interviews for (Re)Generation Who and PotterVerse, and is half the creative team behind the OEL light novel series Owl's Flower. She blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos.