VIZ Media now holds the U.S. product licensing rights for Hatsune Miku, the popular Vocaloid virtual pop singer from Japan.
Hatsune Miku is a blue-haired digital female avatar in the Vocaloid Character Series software created by Crypton Future Media that uses Yamaha’s Vocaloid 2 engine. The software creates synthesized vocal tracks using Hatsune Miku’s vocals from either lyrics or a melody. Crypton’s Vocaloid program combines pre-programmed samples derived from the voices of many popular actors/singers.
In Japan, the popularity of Hatsune Miku has appeared in video games, music videos and sellout “concerts,” where she appeared on stage as a 3D hologram backed by a live band. Most recently she appears in a new commercial for the U.S. market for the 2011 Toyota Corolla.
“Hatsune Miku is the world’s first true digital pop star and her notoriety is spreading fast across North America,” says Tracy Hanchett, director of consumer products at Viz Media. “Her development explores a whole new hybrid of digital technology and organic creativity. The Hatsune Miku brand is richly developed in Japan, where she stars in several video games by Sega, as well as CDs, books, arcade games, collectible figures, apparel and other accessories. We’re very excited to showcase this new property at the 2011 Licensing International Expo and welcome the opportunity to work with innovative product partners to further cultivate the Hatsune Miku brand for a new U.S. market.”