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This is like that holographic Tupac Shakur, only not creepy! Maybe a little sad, though…

Remember when a holographic version of Tupac Shakur performed in front of a live audience? I thought that was amazing and not a little creepy–just what would they come up with next, I wondered? Well, it seems that they’re well ahead of the curve in Japan. As you can see from the pic above, a girl is performing for a gaggle of Japanese people–but in a twisted, Roger Rabbit kind of way, it seems she’s not all there. Because she’s a virtual girl called Hatsune Miku, and she’s somehow taken the Japanese music scene by storm without even being alive!

What if Joaquin Phoenix could actually create Scarlett Johansson instead of just talking to her through a smartphone?

It looks like the Japanese are getting there…But I’ll do without the huge eyes, thank you.

I’m sure it takes the magic of many computer programmers to make her do a whole concert, but any Suzuki off the street can by the basic Miku Hatsune software program, which apparently lets you construct your version of the character within a computer environment.

Why even leave the house if you’ve got this? Don’t answer that. It was a joke…you know that, right?

I’ve no idea if the image above is from the basic software or more advanced, but I know that many people create detailed VR environments for their character. The main intent as I understand it is to let ordinary people make music. And by all accounts, they do! Apparently you can record any music you want using the voice of the character, and then even make your own CDs. According to my wife, who knows about these things, you can even sell the CDs you create, which means that there’s a lot of music out there being sung by a pretty girl that…well, isn’t really! Wild.

Oh my God! She jumped out of the computer like in “Weird Science!” Oh, wait–that’s just someone dressed like her, you say?

I think you can actually change this doll’s expression by putting different faces on it. Wild again!

“I said you’re NOT going out like that, young lady!”

Miku Hatsune’s popularity has created the standard wave of anime tie-ins and dolls, some of them uncomfortably erotic (see above!), as well as legions of cosplayers, (mostly) girls her dress up in costumes inspired by the character they love. There are soooo many Miku Hatsune inspired products out there that I couldn’t possibly show them all, but you haven’t lived until you’ve seen the cars below:

In Japan these are called, “Itta-sha,” which could be loosely translated as, “far-out” or “tricked-out” cars. I think the description works here!

I dunno, you could probably take this one home to mommy without too much trouble.

A McDonald’s mashup is kinda charming…old Ronald’s getting long in the tooth, you know.

Guess which one is Miku Hatsune! Too easy, you say? But they all have Hello Kitty faces. How can you tell?

The company that markets Miku Hatsune’s “Vocaloid” software, Crypton Future Media, not only allows the sale of CDs created with their products; apparently they are also extremely generous and flexible about copyright, allowing for free use of Miku Hatsune’s likeness in many cases. This doesn’t mean just posting the stuff online, though; apparently the Hello Kitty/Miku Hatsune images will actually be sold as t-shirts! I wish we had softer copyright laws back home. I think it would inspire more creativity!

I won’t be going, as I see Miku Hatsune wherever I go these days anyway…but have fun.

Maybe you should go see Miku Hatsune when she performs again in the US–after all, I think you’d agree that she’s cuter than Tupac Shakur.

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