Good news for all you Hatsune Miku fans: the virtual diva is ready for you to enjoy in high definition. Ever since her US debut in Los Angeles this past summer, bootleg copies of her concert have been appearing and quickly shut down on YouTube and other video sites. Luckily, Sega is now sharing some wonderful HD footage of the event that you don't want to miss. Watch the official video below, along with some other sanctioned HD press recordings that give you a good look at the 'holographic' pop star. They're followed by some other great Hatsune HD stuff you'll want to check out. Seeing Miku in high def isn't as cool as actually being there in person, but it's still pretty great, and it's about to get better. The official DVD (¥6300 or ~$82) and Blu-Ray (¥7350 or ~$97) of the concert will drop on December 21st of this year. Let the Miku madness commence!
The official SEGA coverage of "Mikunopolis" at the 2011 Anime Expo in LA this year is top notch:
Our next video gives you a much better idea of what it was like to watch the event from the press booth. The following 15 minute clip includes most of the first six songs performed at the concert:
Finally, here's Hatsune Miku performing "Electric Angel", a fan favorite:
While viciously defensive of their intellectual property, SEGA is becoming more gracious with sharing video of Hatsune Miku for free. The official YouTube channel is slowly releasing more and more great footage from Miku's concert in full HD. There's too many wonderful videos for me to embed them all, but here's one to show you the quality:
On a non-concert note, Hatsune Miku became the official spokespersons for the 2011 Toyota Corolla. As part of that marketing campaign, she appeared in several ad spots. You can watch them individually, or see them in the compilation video below. Putting virtual characters into commercials is far from new (in fact, it's one of the oldest tricks in the book), but I think it's really cool that Miku now has enough star attraction to be the face of a major line of cars. That's Mickey Mouse territory:
For a fake sixteen year old, Hatsune Miku certainly gets around. She's sold out concerts in Tokyo and Los Angeles, starred in her own series of popular video games, and become the spokesperson for Toyota. As her fame grows, it's hard to separate out how much is due to the character of Miku, and how much stems from the arrival of a new wave of user-friendly technology. Miku is just one of several artificial singing voices produced by Crypton Future Media using Yamaha's Vocaloid software. During the LA concert, the other characters (Ren & Lin, and Luka) certainly got their own roaring response from the fans. Could Crypton (and SEGA) create as many new pop divas as they like?
Having seen her 'in person', and watching the joy on her fans' faces when she rose onto the stage, I'm starting to think there's something unique about Hatsune Miku. Not in her voice or 'holographic' performances - those technologies can be replicated and will undoubtedly be replaced as engineers improve upon the concepts. No, Miku's special simply because her fans have decided she's special - maybe because she's the first real pop star of her kind, maybe just on a whim. But while you don't see them in the HD concert videos, there are thousands upon thousands of fans that write songs for Miku and share that seemingly endless content with each other to their mutual delight. It's that self-propelling user base for the Hatsune Miku avatar that really makes this diva something special. As long as those fans love making, sharing, and listening to their own music sung by a pretty face, this trend is only going to get bigger. So all you human idols out there better prepare yourselves: Hatsune Miku can ride the waves of popularity as well as any flesh and blood singer, and it looks like her tide is rising. At least for the foreseeable future.
After all, life for a pop star is never certain...even if you're synthetic.
[image credit: SEGA]