I thought this was pretty cool.
This is Miku Hatsune, one of the most popular Vocaloid characters out of Japan.
Hatsune Miku translates as â€˜first sound from the futureâ€™, which is appropriate since she is the first of Cryptonâ€™s â€œCharacter Vocal Seriesâ€. ï¿½Mikoâ€™s voice is based on Yamahaâ€™s Vocaloid technology.
Back around 2007, Crypton decided to use a different marketing strategy from ZeroGâ€™s. Instead of focusing on high end studios, they changed their focus to the public in general, especially targeting teenagers.
In addition to an extremely appealing voice, they also needed to develop an image. Enter manga artist KEI. Kei had come up with Miko, and gave her the physical characteristics, but left it up to the public to collectively give her personality.
You could say that the collective energies of contributors and fans from all over the world have given Miko a soul of her own, somehow traversing the boundaries between the perpetual near future, and the present. The physical and the virtual.
Mikoâ€™s immense popularity has resulted in some pretty astounding sales figures as well. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
The initial sales of Hatsune Miku were so high that Crypton could not keep up with the demand. In the first 12 days of sale, nearly 3,000 sales reservations were made. This was around one sale in 250 in the music software industry, quoted as â€œan impossible numberâ€ by Wataru Sasakiï¿½the person in charge of the planning and production company â€˜surpriseâ€™. ï¿½Amazon.co.jp stated on September 12, 2007 that they had sales of Hatsune Miku totaling 57,500,001 yen, making her the number one selling software of that time.
The decision to combine Vocaloids with a manga character was an instant magic formula that brought Vocaloids from an obscure niche into a new genre of music. This strategy has opened the floodgates of collaborative content creation which has sparked a whole new dimension in artistic creativity.