A person who once lived and worked in Japan described the country to me like this: “It’s the furthest you can get from Earth without actually leaving the planet.” To the outside observer, it can be a very weird place–especially when it comes to music. (We’ll leave a discussion of the whole Hello Kitty fetish for some other time.)
My major Japanese obsession (outside of unagi sushi) is Babymetal.
But I’m also pretty freaked out about Hatsune Miku, Japan’s virtual pop star.
Yes, she’s a hologram-ish thing. From The Plaid Zebra:
Hatsune Miku, known as the world’s most famous virtual diva, hails from Japan. Specifically, she’s the brainchild of Crypton Future Media, a mascot for a voice bank.
Vocaloid is a singing synthesizer program developed by Yamaha Corporation a decade ago. There are many different voice banks created by pre-recorded sounds from voice actors, but none have reached the heights of Miku, who’s become the face of the Vocaloid cultural phenomenon.
Continue reading and see some pictures here.