Hatsune Miku’s birthday is actually on August 31st. Sorry. I’m late. But now is as good a time as any to introduce her to the uninitiated.
Who Is Hatsune Miku?
Hatsune Miku CV01 is a mascot for a music software for Crypton Future Media. “CV” stands for Character Vocal Series. Her name actually means “first sound of the future”. Miku is a voicebank using actress Saki Fujita’s voice. This may surprise you, but Miku is NOT a Vocaloid anymore. However, Crypton and Yamaha will still collaborate and sell Vocaloid products.
Miku’s Music Career
Hatsune Miku is probably most well known as a cyber celebrity or virtual idol. Composers have been writing entire albums in multiple genres with her for over 16 years. Crypton claims she has released over 100,000 songs, with over 170,000 Youtube videos, and featured in over a million artworks. There could be more; I sort of doubt this information is up to date.
Some famous songs include Triple Baka, PoPiPo, Ievan Polkka, and World Is Mine. I’m not caught up on the scene so there could be more recent hits. Some of my favorites, aside from the aforementioned, are Melt, Rolling Girl, and Onigiri wa Doko Kashira. Miku owes a lot of her popularity to the Japanese website, Nico Nico Douga.
She even has live concerts. Fans cheer and even coordinate choreography with their light-up sticks.
Is She AI?
No. Despite the comparisons and her anime look, Miku Hatsune has always been a software program. Perhaps AI could be programmed to use Vocaloid to create music. But Miku’s popularity has always been due to “the promotion, support, and cultivation of the Hatsune Miku community.” Her artists and composers, like ryo, are recognized for their work, but to a lesser extent. There are Vocaloid AI products and features. However, she was released in 2007, before all the 2020 AI shenanigans.
Miku’s marketing is insane. She has her own video game series, Project DIVA on Playstation and Nintendo Switch.
She’s been featured in racing car brands, collaborations with other IPs, figurines, trading cards, food, tech products, festivals, amusement parks, and humanitarian organizations. There’s probably more; no there IS more. A favorite commercial of mine features Scarlett Johansson. She’s featured in a lot more products than you may realize. Please check out the Domino’s Pizza App ad, I beg of you.
In more recent news, Hatsune Miku and Pokemon will collaborate in the month of September with Project Voltage. 18 illustrations will depict Miku as a Pokemon trainer for each of the 18 Pokemon types.
Miku may be the most popular, but there are even more out there. Remember: Hi Miku! This is Scarlett. Being true to who you are makes all your dreams possible.