Last year, Sega held concerts for virtual idol Miku Hatsune. The concerts enthralled fans and even garnered international media coverage. The latest Miku Hatsune concert wasn’t held by Sega, and all it did was piss everyone off.
Miku Hatsune is not a Sega character per se. She’s a character for Yamaha’s Vocaloid software that has since taken on a life of her own, appearing in several rhythm games for PlayStation Portables as well as Japanese arcades.
Sega brought Miku to life in hologram form with thousands of fans lining up in rain or shine to see her perform. Last fall, Sega even held a sold out digital concert outside of Japan in California.
What made the concerts so special is that Miku was projected on a transparent screen, giving her the appearance of actually performing. She was the fulfilment of Japan’s late 1990s virtual idol fantasies — fantasies that began with Kyoko Date.
In 1996, a Japanese talent agency launched virtual idol Kyoto Date, who released a hit single “Love Communication”. There were plans to have Kyoto tour, but fading popularity and logistic issues prevented that from happening.
After Sega was successfully able to bring virtual idol Miku Hatsune to life, Tokyo-based entertainment company 5pb’s efforts at holding a concert for the digital music star came up short. After the Miku Hatsune Live Party 2011, fans hit the internet for a bitch fest on how craptastic the concert was. Some angry fans even took to Twitter, demanding their money back from 5pb’s president.
The show, which was shown online through a pay wall, apparently featured Miku Hatsune on a television screen — not a cool, transparent screen, but like a regular TV. What’s more, the character’s rendering was not as good as when Sega handled the concert.
But what really drove fans batty was the decision to raise ticket prices as well as have a 30 minute intermission, during which commercials played. The entire event, it seems, was only an hour long.
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