NHK World is an English-language, Japan-based TV station that caters to an international audience. In the October 17th episode of one of their programs named 'BEGIN Japanology', they've talked about character and mascots in Japan. The following is the episode's description from the NHK World website
Japan has every kind of character and mascot you can imagine. It's said that over 80% of Japanese people own some sort of character or mascot-related merchandise. An affinity for images of this kind has been around in Japan for centuries, and with the 21st century has come a new breed of character: a "virtual idol" that gives live concerts. 
On this edition of BEGIN Japanology, our theme is characters and mascots. Loved all over Japan, they offer deep insights into the country's culture.
Obviously a Vocaloid fan would guess that the "virtual idol" here would refer to Hatsune Miku who is after all considered as a character for her Vocaloid software developed by Crypton Future Media. You can view the whole episode above and the Miku segment begins at around 20:10 in the video.
Thoughts and Analysis
Like most media outlets that have featured Miku and Vocaloid in general, it first shows the character and then a short demo of the program which shows how easy it is to use. It then goes to show off the concerts.

What's a little different from the rest though was that it later focused on Isao Tomita's plan to feature Miku in his latest symphony. Therefore, unlike Miku's previous public performances where the tempo was already pre-determined and the background band members are the ones who would adjust to her. In an orchestra, the tempo depends on the conductor wherein all members, including Miku, have to adjust which proved to be a challenge. I didn't know that during the Isao Tomita performance, some one was actually controlling when would Miku sing the next part.

That was some new insight with regards to Vocaloid public performance and I'm glad Vocaloid continues to get media attention. It's a known fact that Miku is still in the forefront when it comes to Vocaloid popularity but I do hope the other Vocaloids would have the spotlight on them as well.

It worth noting that an overseas Vocaloid fan, Johnny Harbort, who is also the head writer for was reached via email for an interview but according to him, none of it was featured. He was still regardless, seen briefly in the episode as one of the audience in the Mikunopolis Los Angeles concert.

Leave a Reply.