Monday Morning Inspiration: Virtual Japanese Pop Star

Hatsune Miku is a sort of virtual pop star in Japan. Technically speaking, she’s a “Vocaloid“, an avatar for a singing synthesizer application developed using technology pioneered by Yamaha.

The idea of a virtual pop star isn’t exactly new – Gorillaz have been doing something similar for years after all (see previous post) – but what makes Miku intriguing to me is that she’s actually a piece of software that you can buy and then program to perform any song you want using a computer; her creators advertise her as “a singer in a box”.

Personally, I think the Miku phenomenon in Japan has a lot in common with Hello Kitty. Her creators have deliberately given her few characteristics and present her as a sort of blank canvas that her fans can project their own feelings and desires on to her (as well as program to perform any song they like). This has helped to make Miku insanely popular in Japan, where she’s appeared in video games and anime and has performed sold out shows across Japan in holographic form.

This might just be a glimpse at the future of entertainment.

Via Cartoon Brew.


11/12/14 Update: The video originally embedded with this post has been removed from YouTube; an alternate version has been substituted.