Sega's Biggest 'Miscalculation' Turned Into Viral, Internet Gold

Japanese game maker Sega has screwed up too many times to count. But there's one thing Sega got so right. But only after it got everything so wrong.

At the 2011 Tokyo Game Show, Sega showed a new Hatsune Miku game, but it featured a slightly unsettling Miku.

Hatsune Miku is a virtual idol who started out on Vocaloid software, but has since went on to hold massive concerts and star in her own games. This is what she originally looked like:

The "new" Miku shown at the 2011 Tokyo Game Show was based on the Nendoroid brand of plastic figurines. With those big, lifeless eyes, gaping mouth, and hunched over posture, the life-sized, lollipop-carrying Nendoroid Miku seemed more "creepy cute" (キモカワイイ or kimokawaii) than cute.

Online, this new Miku was dubbed the "electric goblin" or "Sega's greatest miscalculation" (though, I can think of worse Sega blunders). Yet, every time this particular Miku appeared at promotional events, the character drew a flurry of attention. Images of the bigheaded Miku went viral, popping up in countless threads and on numerous blogs:

Instead of being called a "blunder", fans started saying a somewhat cutesy, "It's Miku!" (ミクダヨー or Miku dayoo) whenever she popped up in threads. This iteration of Miku has taken on a life of its own and proven so popular that Sega has actually trademarked "Miku dayoo" in Japan. There's also been the inevitable parade of merchandise, hoping to cash in. She even appeared in a 7-Eleven commercial this summer in Japan.

But even as this latest Miku craze roars through Japan's geek subculture, there are still moments when folks pause, realising just how creepy this Miku can be. Take this recent fax (via @yamineko4205), promoting a new Miku figurine.

Well, it's Miku, alright.

這いよる混沌!「着ぐるミクさん」コラまとめ~ミクダヨー~動画もあるよ! [Naver] ミクダヨー [ニコニコ]

Top photo: Good Smile/Sega


    Sega's biggest miscalculation, is not making Sega games!

      Actually i'd say their biggest miscalculation is making too many silly ambitious decisions with their games rather than refining the stuff that actually works like Nintendo do or taking the time to consider what fans may or may not actually like.

      Look at a lot of their Sonic games. The Mega Drive games were classics. But then once they got to 3D they started throwing too many stupid tedious gameplay styles and gimmicks (e.g. Big the Cat fishing, Werehog slow platforming/brawling, terrible kart racing minigames in Adventure) and with them a tonne of bugs in general - not to mention bugs in the classic gameplay since they have less time to refine it when they're too busy focusing on everything else!

      While Nintendo's had Mario branch out with games like Mario Party and Mario Kart, they were standalone games (e.g. ONE game of kart riding OR Kart Racing) and Nintendo put enough effort and refinement into them to make them work.

      SEGA's attempts have simply made games/characters like Sonic a weak "jack of all trades", and it's only in recent history with a game like Sonic Generations (and arguably Sonic 4 Episode II to an extent) that they've really put together something worthy of the Sonic name.

        I know what your saying. What I'm saying though, is Sega wastes so much money on cheap movies tie-ins and publishing lackluster games, instead of concentrating on their own IP. Sega IP - which they have so many good IP's, it's not funny. Also, of note in previous years, their top games (actual Sega games) have been great! AfterBurner Climax, Sega Rally Online, Outrun Online, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Battle Online, Yakuza 3 & 4, and so on. Also, their recent HD re-releases have been great - Sonic Adventure 2, Jet Set Radio, Nights into Dreams, Wonderboy Collection, Alex Kidd Collection, Streets of Rage Collection, Golden Axe Collection, Sonic CD, and not forgetting Rez HD a well. 'Blue Sky Sega' is the real Sega, and if they stick too this and discard all the crap, they will be alright. Also, continuing to publish Creative Assemblys' games is their only worthwhile endeavour, in Publishing! I do disagree though, with '3D Sonic is shit,' as Sonic Adventure & Sonic Adventure 2 are great, and how Sonic in 3D should be done - with some major upgrades to the camera of course! But since Sonic Adventure 2, 3D Sonic has been lame, though Sonic Generations is def. their best since then, and an big step in the right direction.

        Last edited 08/12/12 12:15 pm

      actually sega's biggest miscalculation was hiring that tony takoushi guy, srsly everything went downhill after he was hired.

    Ah, Scumbag Companies - People come up with a random phrase and then the company connected to the entity in question steal it and trademark it so no one can use the 'people's phrase' commercially without permission.

    I'm surprised that McDonald's in australia haven't tried to hijack the nickname of 'Maccas' that the lower class apply to it all too much.

      It's funny you mention that...

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