The influence of Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku (first name and usually referred to as Miku due to Japanese naming standards) is one of the most popular “anime” girls to ever exist. She’s, essentially, an instrument used to replicate singing, using a voice provider to get that done. 

Miku has been a worldwide phenomenon, holding concerts where she “appears” in a hologram (she was set to be at Coachella 2020!) and being featured in mainstream songs as well as being in some anime as a cameo. What makes her so special is the fact that she’s not real, yet she can sing and “hold concerts” by being projected (alongside some of her fellow VOCALOIDs, such as the Kagamines, Len and Rin). 

Miku has some popular songs, too, it’s not like she’s obscure. The most popular song she’s in, where she’s the main vocals, is titled “Aishete Aishete Aishete” (Love Me, Love Me, Love Me) and produced by popular VOCALOID song producer Kikuo has over one billion streams on Spotify and over 70 million views on YouTube.

Not to mention the video games she appears in. Project DIVA and Hatsune Miku: Colorful Stage! come to mind first, but there are plenty others; she’s a very flexible digital software. The games she appears in are generally rhythm games that feature songs producers have made using her. 

One great thing about Hatsune Miku (and other VOCALOIDs) is that people who can’t sing well can use her for vocals when they themselves cannot. She has both Japanese and English voice banks as well as a very wide vocal range. Many people have made covers of popular songs using her, or even covering other VOCALOID songs with her (usually translating a Japanese song into English or vice versa).

Another great thing about Miku is how flexible she is as a character. She has no canon personality, so she can be used for any song genre. This has also lent to different interpretations per viewer, including interpretations of her design. For example, some fans will interpret her as very nice and friendly, and portray her that way when interacting with her friends. Some interpret her as mean and will portray her that way. Neither of these are wrong!

Miku is a huge phenomenon across the globe due to her flexibility as a program. I highly encourage looking up some songs that use her; you’d be surprised to see what people can do.