#45 - Hatsune Miku Fans

00:0000:00

Our fandom journey this season takes us all the way to Japan to talk about fans of the world’s most famous virtual pop idol: Hatsune Miku! How did such a relatively niche thing become a global phenomenon? And who is pulling the strings??

Next week, we’re off to Mexico to talk about fans of that exciting sport: Lucha Libre!

Episode outline

Fandom Facts

Origins:
Hatsune Miku is a VOCALOID. What is a VOCALOID? A VOCALOID is a singing synthesizer application developed by YAMAHA. It was an international effort to create a synthesizer to act as a replacement singer. The original VOCALOID engine was release in 2004. Hatsune Miku was the second VOCALOID released as part of the VOCALOID2 engine and the first member of the Character Vocal Series created by Crypton Future Media Inc. Her name literally means “the first sound from the future.”

She is also a humanoid persona: a 16-year-old girl with long turquoise twintails and her voice is modelled after Saki Fujita. In September of 2007, Amazon.co.jp reported over 57 million yen (Over a half-million USD) in sales for the Hatsune Miku software, and she has recorded over 100 000 songs. She has since been portrayed in many different media, and is also a Japanese pop idol, among other things.

Size of Fandom:
The vocaloid subreddit has over 15000 subscribers, and the Hatsune Miku subreddit has over 2600. The actual number of fans is probably somewhere in the low hundreds of thousands though:

She’s beautiful, she’s talented, she’s immensely popular…and she’s not real. Hatsune Miku the virtual popstar creation of Crypton Future Media in Japan, has sold out another concert. Her much anticipated second annual March 9th (39) performance was seen live by over 2000 attendees, watched by thousands more in theaters screening the concert around the country, and streamed in real time to over 160,000 fans via Nico Nico Douga. That is a level of attendance reserved for world class entertainment, and Hatsune Miku didn’t fail to deliver. Her nearly three hour show featured multiple encores, special guest appearances, and was met by fervent enthusiasm by her fans attending live in Tokyo.
SingularityHub - 160,000+ Watch Virtual Popstar Hatsune Miku Return to the Stage (video)

Changes in Fandom:
Interest in Hatsune Miku has been steady, with a slight decline in the last few years (according to Google Trends data). There was a huge spike in interest around the time of her release (Oct 2007), and interest in her (and other VOCALOIDs) has been pretty stable ever since.

Around the world:
While Hatsune Miku enjoy fans from around the world, the most interest in her stems from Japan, and, to a lesser degree, from countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, Chile, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

Last Episode’s Famous Last Words

Z
Hatsune Miku is popular in part due to dating sims.

G
A portion of her fanbase does not know that she is not a real person

T
Are there male counterparts? Is Hatsune Miku peak moe?

 

 


The Verdict

Z is out.

G is out (Hatsune Miku). 1000% in on vocaloid technology.

T is mostly out.

This week’s spotlight

Nothing this week. Sorry.

Famous Last Words

This week’s famous last words around next week’s fandom, Lucha Libre!

Z
Why are masks important to Lucha Libre?

T
In mask, out of mask… Is there a Bruce Wayne-like character, who is never in the same place at the same time?

G
In American Wrestling, working on a limb … is always the left side. In Lucha Libre: it’s always the right side. Why?

Where can you find us online?

We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media:

  • If you want to help us to create more amazing fannish content, become a patron on Patreon; even as little as a dollar a month pledge really helps us out!
  • If you want to be part of our podcast (or just want to check us out), we record our podcast LIVE on twitch.tv every monday at 20:00 Eastern Time!
  • For all the latest updates, check us out on Facebook or Twitter
  • To see the latest hijinx from our conventions or even our daily lives and adventures, check us out on Instagram
  • For our latest convention updates, Let’s Plays, and other in-real-life video, check out our YouTube channel
  • We’re also on iTunes, and Google Play, and would love it if you could leave a review and rating!
  • if you want to reach us, and for some reason none of those work for you, try nick@thenickscast.com
  • You can check out our website; that will mostly bring you back to this stuff.
  • Everything is thenickscast, so if you can’t find us, go on your social network and search for that!
  • … You’re still looking for ways to reach out? You can also use the hashtag #fanthro on Twitter!

What is “Fanthropological”?

How did you read this far without asking this question?!

Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan’s-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share those to the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish.

Who is “The Nickscast”?

We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative. Dare we say, the most creative.

Ahem

We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It’s what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.

We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren’t “those Weird-o’s”, but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. Because everyone’s a fan.

Credits

Sources

Music / Sound

  • All music and sound for this week’s episode were provided by Nick Green!

Artwork

Share | Download