Japan's holographic rock star -- Miku Hatsune

Japan's holographic rock star -- Miku Hatsune

Virtual idol Miku Hatsune has gone from a character marketing voice synthesizing software to a full blown pop star -- pretty clever for a hologram

Forget the tantrums, entourage and ridiculous riders. Here's one rock star that only needs electricity to keep her happy.

Following on from Japan's cybernetic pop star, Miku Hatsune has been filling venues in Japan since her first solo live show in March of this year. Originally a character designed to promote Yamaha's vocaloid synthesizing technology -- we all know how Japan loves its characters -- Miku has now taken to the stage and attracts fans in their thousands. 

hologram singersFans collect 3D models of Miku.

Into a new dimension 

Miku Hatsune (literally "future first-sound") debuted on August 31, 2007 at age 16 -- an age she will presumably always remain -- when Crypton Future Media released its first character vocal series software package.

The company decided it didn't only need a cover star for the software, but a character to represent the voice. Her voice was sampled by voice-actress Saki Fujita

Miku has already been shot into space, when on May 21 this year the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the Japanese Venus spacecraft explorer Akatsuki.

A petition of 14,000 fan signatures ensured the explorer has three custom aluminium plates depicting Miku on its exterior.

The concerts feature a full live support band and special hologram guests. With 3D TVs taking off in Japan and 3D concerts with 3D characters, one wonders if the humble manga or anime will survive another generation. 

One things for sure, in a world where most J-Pop stars are considered too old by their mid-20s, Miku can outlive them all.

Robert Michael Poole is a specialist on the Japanese music and entertainment scene.

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