A few hours ago, EXIT TUNES announced their own VOCALOID character, MAYU, during one of their EXIT TUNES ACADEMY live events. The official Twitter account for the event also linked to the official homepage, which currently only has a character image as well as usage guidelines and a link to the official Twitter account (@exittunesstaff). No information is available yet about who is going to voice her. The original illustration and design is by Hidari, who has worked with EXIT TUNES on numerous album covers before and provided the character visual concepts for FRACTALE. According to several tweets from people who went to the event as well as an article from 4Gamer, MAYU will be a yandere middle school girl and that EXIT TUNES is planning something for summer Comiket.
UPDATE: A demo video played during the event had been uploaded by EXIT TUNES and then removed. Currently, users can click on the speaker on her head on the main page to hear a different demo song, Caramel Sugar. The official Twitter account has now added that MAYU was born on May 6th and is 15 years old. Furthermore, when the promotional video was shown at ETA, the voice database was only 60% complete and the development staff felt it was okay to upload it. However, when people higher up were told that it was only 60% complete, the video was removed from Twitpic, although it did manage to garner 30,000 unique views. The development staff also stated that production was being handled by EXIT TUNES directly and not through some other company and that they had hoped to have gotten a prototype out for everyone to play with at the time of the reveal. They also stated that they wanted to compete on the quality of the voice bank.
The usage guidelines allow for the use of the name MAYU as well as derivative work illustrations based on the character and voices created through the software but do not allow for use of the original illustration and logo. Individuals and doujin circles can, without prior approval from EXIT TUNES, freely use them as long as distribution is limited in scope or is one of the “noted distribution methods,” regardless of whether money changes hands in doing so or not. Furthermore, commercial entities can freely use the voice without prior approval from EXIT TUNES.
The noted list of ways one could use the character consists of: decal cars (itasha), playing cards, candy, key chains, plastic protectors, cases, games, cosplay clothing, cosplay photographs, coasters, stickers, (cell-phone, etc.) straps, towels, tumblers, leaflets, T-shirts, doujinshi, stuffed toys, computers, music sheets, figures, hats, posters, mice (the electronic kind), mouse pads, mugs, robots, CDs, DVDs, augmented reality, virtual reality, and MikuMikuDance models.
4Gamer’s report of the live event gives a bit more detail as to how MAYU was introduced to the audience. After a four-song combo from cosMo, the name “MAYU” came up on the screen, puzzling the audience before they started cheering again. DJ UTO, head of EXIT TUNES, and Hidari both came up on stage to introduce the new character. Hidari described her as a “yandere middle-schooler” and pointed out the line separating MAYU and VOCALOID characters up until now, saying that there were a lot of characters who came off as kind and gentle, whereas MAYU would stand out amongst them. UTO then talked about the liberal usage guidelines related to the character. Finally, the audience was treated to a fully animated video that Hidari had a hand in — the promotional video for the song Kami Uta, composed by 164 and coming out on an upcoming Mayumi Morinaga CD.
UPDATE: According to a tweet, EXIT TUNES posted the announcement video that was aired at the live event. In it is a portion of MAYU singing 164’s Ama no Jaku (originally a GUMI song). Apparently the video has now been deleted along with the announcement tweet. Later, EXIT TUNES posted an official response and apology, stating that they had received instructions from the development team to remove the video because right now the MAYU sound bank is still in development and doesn’t really exist. A subsequent tweet bluntly stated that “at this point in time, MAYU’s voice does not exist.”