Sunday, August 23, 2009
Vocaloid is a singing synthesizer application software developed by the Yamaha Corporation that enables users to synthesize singing by just typing in lyrics and melody. Hatsune Miku (初音ミク) is the first installment in the Vocaloid2 Character Vocal Series released on August 31, 2007.
The name of the title and the character of the software was chosen by combining Hatsu (初, First?), Ne (音, Sound), and Miku (未来, Future).
The data for the voice was created by actually sampling the voice of Saki Fujita, a Japanese voice actress. Unlike general purpose speech synthesizers, the software is tuned to create J-pop songs commonly heard in anime, but it is possible to create songs from other genres.
a popular video with a comically-altered Miku holding a leek, singing Ievan Polkka, presented multifarious possibilities of applying the software in multimedia content creation.
As the recognition and popularity of the software grew, Nico Nico Douga became a place for collaborative content creation. Popular original songs written by a user would generate illustrations, animation in 2D and 3D, and remixes by other users. Other creators would show their unfinished work and ask for ideas.
A Hatsune Miku manga called Maker Hikōshiki Hatsune Mix began serialization in the Japanese manga magazine Comic Rush on November 26, 2007, published by Jive. The manga is drawn by Kei, the original character designer for Hatsune Miku. A second manga called Hachune Miku no Nichijō Roipara! drawn by Ontama began serialization in the manga magazine Comp Ace on December 26, 2007, published by Kadokawa Shoten.
Her first appearance in an anime is in (Zoku) Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei, where she (and various other people and characters) try out to be the voice of Meru Otonashi. For online multi-player games, the Japanese version of PangYa started a campaign with Hatsune Miku on May 22, 2008 in which a player could purchase her outfit for one of the characters.
Her first appearance in a video game is in 13-sai no Hello Work DS (13歳のハローワークDS?) for the Nintendo DS where she is included as one of the characters
Hatsune Miku was given a PlayStation Portable game called Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA that was released on July 2, 2009 by Sega.
Hatsune Miku made a cameo appearance in the Lucky Star OVA in the form of Kagami's cosplay in her dream. She made a vocal appearance in the finale ending theme of the anime Akikan!. Hatsune Miku received the 2008 Seiun Award in the free category.
On August 27, 2008, Victor Entertainment released the album Re:package which contains a collection of songs performed by Hatsune Miku and composed by a pair of dōjin artists named Livetune. The album sold over 20,000 copies in its first week and successfully broke into Oricon's charts by placing fifth for the week.
Following up with the success of Re:package, Victor Entertainment released Livetune's second Hatsune Miku album, Re:MIKUS, on March 25, 2009, which contains many remixed versions of original songs from various original music artists, such as Supercell and kz.
It also contains four more original songs sung by Hatsune Miku, which again were made by original dōjin artists.
As a virtual idol, Hatsune Miku is scheduled to perform a "live" concert on August 23,2009. In addition, singer Gackt will perform alongside Miku.