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Hatsune Miku’s Never-ending “Play”

初音ミクという終わらない「遊び」
Hatsune Miku’s Never-ending “Play”

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“Hatsune Miku” is the name of the singing voice synthesizier software that was released by the Crypton Future Media Company back in August 2007. At least, that was the original meaning behind “Hatsune Miku”. Now, however, whenever we speak the name Hatsune Miku, we’re not just talking about the software. With her long, blue green twintails swaying behind her on the stage, Hatsune Miku is the “diva” that so many crazed fans wave their glow sticks for at concerts around the world. This “imaginary” singer sparked a huge physical movement, which became a huge phenomenon. In fact, it continues even today. And within it, you could argue that she does indeed, “exist”.

hatsune-miku-play-01

So far in 2016, Hatsune Miku has made more than 20 live show appearances. Starting from when she took the stage in Zepp Fukuoka on March 23rd, she traveled to five major cities in Japan giving 12 performances in total, and then, continuing from April, she began a tour spanning three countries and 10 cities in North America. Cities she visited cities included seven in the United States: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and New York, her first show in Toronto, Canada, and additional two first performances in Mexico in Monterrey and Mexico City. Then, in June, she put on three shows in Taiwan. She’ll return to Japan in September, where she plans on appearing in large-scale events like “Hatsune Miku Magical Mirai 2016” at Makuhari Messe. In all fairness, this isn’t the story of an actual singer. This is the story of a Hatsune Miku that doesn’t really exist.


It’s said that there are over 500,000 songs related to Hatsune Miku today. It’s a count so high that it would be impossible for one person to listen to all of them in one lifetime, with Hatsune Miku singing her way across the online world. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, this virtual diva has materialized into one that seems to really be there. Even though everyone knows she isn’t actually real, people cheer her name whenever she descends onto stage. It’s all a kind of “play”. Everyone just enjoys pretending what it would be like if Hatsune Miku really did exist. Let me give you a similar example. Right now you could say that Pokemon GO’s explosive boom stems from the same kind of “play”.

Once we went to check out this state-of-the-art “play”. Right there before us, Hatsune Miku came “alive”. Even now, the appeal of this kind of “play” doesn’t seem like it’s going to fade anytime soon.

Related links
Miku Expo official site : http://mikuexpo.com/na2016/
Miku Hatsune Magical Mirai official site : http://magicalmirai.com/2016/

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Author
Toshihiro Fukuoka
Toshihiro Fukuoka

Born in 1957. After being chief editor of computer magazines for “EYE・COM” and “Weekly ASCII”, he started e­magazine “Tokyo KAWAII Magazine” in 2010. Producing Miku Hatsune’s concert “Natsu Matsuri Hatsune Kagami” in 2013, and currently working as professor at Digital Hollywood University.

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