New York Comic Con 2014: Hatsune Miku Cultural Phenomenon

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My fascination with Hatsune Miku is well documented on the podcast so the panel at this year’s New York Comic Con was a no brainer. CEO of Crypton Future Media, Hiroyuki Itoh was on hand with a translator to give us some insight to the history and crazy success of Hatsune Miku.

Crypton Future Media is a music software company based in Sapporo, Japan and they have built themselves into the number one distributor of music related software in the country. The vocaloids (singing vocal synthesizers) started with Meiko 2004 and Kaito 2006 which met with limited success. It was when Hatsune Miku debuted in 2007 that things really took off.

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Since then she’s become a genuine star with more than 100,000 songs created, more than 2,000,000 videos on YouTube, and over 2.5 million Facebook fans. Live 3D concerts have been staged, she opened for Lady Gaga this past summer, and appeared on The David Letterman show in early October. There are toys, books, a racing team sponsorship, and food tie-ins including Domino’s Pizza (with the box having been designed by a Domino’s employee).

Hatsune Miku is seen as a platform for creativity and there’s even a website (piapro.jp) which is used as a hub for the creation and sharing fan art, videos, music, and more.

The big announcements were the new English vocal support along with a new vocal editor coming to the West for PC and Mac called Piapro studio which will be distributed by BigFishAudio.com. For fans of the other vocaloids in the series, announcements came that Megurine Luka would see Version 3 released in the First Quarter of 2015 and Kagamine Rin/Len would hit Version 3 in the Third Quarter of 2015.

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The idea that a vocaloid could ever achieve even a modicum of success outside Japan would have been laughable even a few years ago. With an appearance on the Letterman show and a slate of concerts underway, it’s clear that Hatsune Miku has become a juggernaut bent on nothing less than worldwide domination and she appears to be well on her way.

Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

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