Ever since she first appeared in 2007, digital diva Hatsune Miku has been beloved by anime fans. Starting as the face of Crypton Future Media's Vocaloid 2 voicebank, she kicked off the company's "Character Vocal Series" — which also includes Kagamine Rin and Len, Megurine Luka, and lots of others.
Over the last 14 years, though, Miku has become an idol in and of herself. The virtual idol has concerts, sponsorships, and festivals to her name. And she's a constant presence in the world of anime!
Read on for just a small handful of her appearances and influences:
Theme of Black Rock Shooter
Before teaming up with vocalist Nagi Yanagi, 11-member group Supercell was a dojin music band whose "lead vocalist" was Hatsune Miku. One of their early hits, "Black Rock Shooter," was inspired by an image drawn by artist Huke. The mysterious girl, depicted with a flaming blue eye and a super-powerful cannon, would go on to become a heroine of many backgrounds.
When BRS finally got her own anime, naturally the Supercell song was used for the opening... and, naturally, with Miku still as the singer. BRS has about as many back stories as she has appearances in other media, meaning that every time you meet her, you'll learn something new about her. If you're looking for a place to jump on, though, try the 2012 anime!
Giant Robot Battles in Shinkalion
It's not uncommon for idols to get guest roles in anime when they reach a certain level. Hatsune Miku has made lots of cameos, but she's also played herself in Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion. The series, about kids piloting bullet trains that transform into cool robots, features Hatsune Miku as a recurring mecha pilot.
She's back again for the first season's film, and going even bigger. She kicks the movie off by battling Godzilla, for a start. Then, at the end, she performs the show's theme song in her Snow Miku attire.
Spooky Music for Yamishibai
Hatsune Miku sings plenty of cute songs... but her digitized tones (because, you know, she's digital) do lend themselves to spookier songs. Composers have made good use of that effect, and so have anime series. In particular, Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories has recruited her twice for theme songs.
The short-form show adapts urban legends into spooky shorts, in the style of traditional Japanese paper theater. If you brave some of the earlier episodes, you'll be serenaded by Miku afterwards: season 1 ends with her song "Kaikai Emaki," and season 2 episodes close out with "Shijukunichi Eyes."
Her Own Anime?
Rumor has it Hatsune Miku will be going for broke and getting her own anime series! Details are light so far, but it seems the production will combine anime, live action, and music to create a fun fan experience.
There's no telling just when this project will see its way to completion. But considering it's promising a deeper look into the "Miku-verse," along with appearances from her friends, we're definitely on board! Hopefully before long, she'll make her way to anime stardom.
The Voice of Miku
She may not actually be Hatsune Miku, but voice actress Saki Fujita is the voice behind the voicebank. Thanks to the Vocaloid software, she's sung hundreds (if not thousands) of songs without actually saying a word. In the meantime, she's got an impressive anime career of her own!
Fujita is closing out her long-running roll in Attack on Titan as Ymir, for one. You can also hear her as Ayano Sugiura in Yuruyuri, Mahiru Inami in Wagnaria!!, and many more. And, as Miku makes more appearances in anime, Fujita is involved as well. Be sure to keep an eye (and ear!) out for her.
Miku continues to help composers get their songs out into the world and enchant fans globally. We can't wait to see where she goes next!