Can a change of hairstyle bring revival to the 15-year-old Hatsune Miku?

On August 31, 2007, the anthropomorphic sound library software “VOCALOID2 Hatsune Miku” jointly developed by YAMAHA and Crypton was officially released, and this day was also designated as Hatsune Miku’s birthday.

初版V2软件封面 Original V2 software cover

Fifteen years later, for the entire ACG industry, few things can be called the “butterfly effect” more than the impact of the birth of Hatsune Miku.

She once became the center of the entire NicoNico barrage network creation ecology. Many musicians and painters who became the mainstay of the industry in the future took this as a starting point, and jointly promoted the development of the barrage website in the world. At first, “mikufans” The famous station B is also one of its fruits…

In 2009, the first concert in the name of “Hatsune Miku” was held. The cramped stage space, rudimentary projection screen, and rough 3DCG model formed a sharp contrast with the enthusiastic audience waving glow sticks under the stage.


Such a scene was enough to confuse many people at the time – how could someone go to the scene to watch the pre-recorded electronic audio and video, and shouted “Her Royal Highness Princess” to the image on the stage.

Just like the audience under the stage, it is probably difficult to imagine that many years later, when these AR performance technologies are more mature and similar concerts are held more and more, the virtual singer like Hatsune is no longer standing on the stage. They are Vtubers who have real actors after the two-dimensional image.

在2020年BML-VR上表演的vtuber“花谱” vtuber “Flower Spectrum” performing at BML-VR 2020

At the C100 exhibition held last month, Vtuber became the label with the highest number of related works, but it is hard to find a V home that can squeeze into the top ten in 2019. It is no wonder that the “V circle” originally used to refer to the creation ecology of VOCALOID is now more used by the Vtuber circle.

Hatsune Miku, who has just turned 15 years old, once represented people’s imagination of “future idols”, but now it is always associated with “retro” and “nostalgia”.


“Living in the linkage” is probably the best summary of the current status of Hatsune Miku’s existence.

In today’s Internet, apart from the release of new linked products or the news of a cameo in the game, it is almost difficult to see any news about Hatsune Miku.

前阵子推出的以初音和其他V家成员为主题的拓麻歌子电子宠物 A few days ago, the electronic pet Takuma Utako was launched with the theme of Hatsune and other members of the V family.

In all kinds of “idol”-themed mobile games, Hatsune Miku has become a frequent guest, but most of them appear as “legendary seniors”, even in their own mobile game “World Project Colorful Stage” , her existence is also closer to the background in the world view than the protagonist.

Everything seems to be saying “The era of Hatsune Miku as the protagonist is over.”

A while ago, Hatsune Miku-related fan creations rarely ushered in a small peak. Around Hatsune’s new hairstyle with double ponytails on the top of her head, a group of creations with this theme emerged.

这个新发型也成为了近年诞生祭的热门标签 This new hairstyle has also become a popular label for birth festivals in recent years

It’s just that the source of this look is not a new song or event, but a small commodity in the collaboration between Hatsune and Sanrio this year. Hatsune imitated the appearance of Yugui’s dog’s ears and tied the double ponytail with a bow. stand up.


It is hard to say whether this popularity comes from Hatsune, or Yuguigou, who has surpassed Hello Kitty and was elected as the most popular character of Sanrio every year. It has become the most popular new image of Hatsune in recent years.

Twi  @cacaotane Twi @cacaotane

Many people predicted at the time that she would set off an imitation boom on Tiktok and return to the peak in this battle.

It’s just that such a sight didn’t really happen. Maybe it’s because such a hairstyle is difficult to restore in reality. Yugui Hatsune, who has become a trend on Twitter, is very popular on Tiktok, which is regarded as a new weather vane.

尝试还原这个发型的coser也表示“真的很难” The coser who tried to restore this hairstyle also said “it’s really difficult”

But such a result is not surprising – Hatsune Miku, a virtual idol, did not become popular in the past simply because of her image, and there is no reason to become popular today because of a new hairstyle.


The cooling down of Hatsune Miku’s popularity is usually blamed on the decline of the creative ecology, especially the fading out of creators who relied on V family songs to become famous in the early days.

There is a relatively negative opinion called “Bokaro Takata Theory”, which is literally translated as “V Family Stepping Stone Theory”, which refers to the fact that some musicians have accumulated popularity by producing V Family songs and then are excavated by record companies, but after reaching the public, they seem to “go ashore.” “Generally, I rarely mention my “V family P” origin, let alone go back to making virtual vocal music. Among them are Yonezu Kenshi and YOASOBI, singers and music groups that have a place in today’s Japanese pop music scene.

The same phenomenon also happened among the painters and dancers who created around V’s house.

In the eyes of many fans, the popularity of a V family song is usually not just the composer’s credit. From illustration to PV to community second creation, behind each hall song is the common help of the entire community atmosphere. And the popular person who had the opportunity to let more people realize the charm of Hatsune, but after embracing commercialization, turned his head to draw a line with the V family. This behavior is of course tantamount to crossing the river and tearing down the bridge.

But this view is not necessarily true.

In 2022, when it is widely believed that both the V family and Nico are gradually out of breath, the number of submissions received for the “VOCALOID Festival” held every year as usual has reached a record high. Original songs, REMIX songs, dances and other forms of performance works. The same endless stream proves that the vitality of the VOCALOID creation community is far from over.

今年“VOCALOID文化节”的主宣传图 The main promotional image of this year’s “VOCALOID Cultural Festival”

The fact that creators from “V family P” can be recognized in the music world just brings a unique attraction to the creation ecology of V family, so that more young people are still willing to choose it as a creative tool. On the contrary, the technical problems surrounding Hatsune’s backlog became a constraint to a certain extent.

In terms of the development trend of electronic sound sources, products with too much “electronic sound” like Hatsune are actually quite outdated. The new generation of anthropomorphic sound sources mainly promotes more realistic and natural sounds and more convenient tuning. features, including leveraging deep learning to automatically identify and express different tonal emotions.

像是如今各类“电影解说”短视频所使用的AI配音就是这类音源软件的使用场景,这些虚拟朗读员(VOICEROID)通常也会有自己的名字 For example, the AI ​​dubbing used in various “movie commentary” short videos is the usage scenario of this kind of sound source software. These virtual readers (VOICEROID) usually have their own names.

But it is clear that what Hatsune Miku fans want is precisely the kind of “god training” that conveys all kinds of real feelings with electronic sounds full of virtual sense. The reason why it is special.

Crypton, who originally created the Hatsune sound source library, has been working hard to keep Hatsune’s voice consistent with the original V2 version in subsequent updates, and even in the fifth generation because of a disagreement with Yamaha, the developer of VOCALOID (the latter’s idea is to make Hatsune’s voice) consistent. In this generation, it showed a more realistic sound effect), and turned to develop its own singing voice synthesis engine. This is of course a good thing for fans, but it also limits the popularity and development of Hatsune to a certain extent.

保留着原本的声音气质,NT软件封面上的初音却少了当年的机械感 It retains the original voice and temperament, but the Hatsune on the cover of NT software lacks the mechanical sense of the year.

Listeners feel that today’s V ‘s golden songs are far less prolific than in the early years, largely because related companies have greatly weakened the promotion of V ‘s songs. Just like the Hatsune audio game that was able to launch completely different works for the PSV and 3DS platforms in the past, now it is an old book and the whole platform has been eaten three times, and the tracks are still the same. But this happens to be in line with the commercial needs of fans for games – those players who will pay for games happen to be more willing to pay for old songs.

“特别好评”便说明了许多问题 “Extraordinary praise” explains many problems

The virtual idol in the name of future is deeply influenced by the past everywhere.


Hatsune Miku is a unique virtual idol. She always maintains her youthful vitality. She can show completely different music and dance styles with the help of different creators. She has no private life and personal emotions, breaking many conventions of real idols.

But it is still difficult for her fans to escape the cycle of traditional idol circles.

In today’s Vtuber circle, there is a kind of “pain literature”, that is, when the anchor is still popular and his career is on the rise, fans imagine that the anchor will be out of breath and have a difficult life after many years, and create with this theme. Various sad essays. This is also a common phenomenon of spontaneous fan abuse among idol fans.

The same thing happened to Hatsune Miku more than ten years ago. Just the second year after Hatsune came out, when the first peak of popularity was approaching, there was a composer who wrote it in the tone of Hatsune Miku. After many years, no one came to create Hatsune. She said goodbye to everyone for this. song.

That song is called “The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku”, and it is the “Mythical Song” that V’s family has ranked third in the number of hits on Nico so far.

This song has also appeared on Konami’s audio game arcade SDVC, but later, due to copyright issues, the “Hatsune Miku” in the song name was hidden and renamed “Disappearance”, which gave it more legendary meaning.


Flowers are not a hundred days of red , everyone at that time knew that this principle was also applicable to virtual idols. But in reality, it is the passion of most fans that disappears first.

The dream of many people who want to become a ” V Family P ” always stays in the initial tutorial, and they no longer have the energy to like each of their favorite Hatsune illustrations on Pixiv ; the P owners who follow no longer contribute, nor do they listen to them. Every new song on the weekly chart is free; the hatsune fufu at the bedside is put into the closet, and there is only one sentence left when I see Hatsune on the Internet occasionally: “I’m super, Hatsune Miku!”

In fact, in the more than ten years that it is not long or short, it has become popular in a small area at first, to a theme event called “Magic Future” five years later, and then to the opening of Nippon Budokan and The Tokyo Gymnasium’s solo stage, and even global performances, has become one of the most representative roles of “Secondary Elements” Hatsune Miku has already reached a peak that can be reached by idol industry products and a due life cycle. Her fans In this process, he grew up and entered the society, gradually fading out of his former hobbies.

The virtual idol is forever young, but her fans will still say goodbye to youth.


In 2016, a registration form in Japan launched a marriage registration form with the theme of Hatsune Miku.


In the eyes of the public, this is probably a kind of peripheral goods of the “rehabilitation” type. Only those fans who shout “I want to marry Hatsune Miku” will buy it. On the other hand, it reminds everyone: “The audience of Hatsune Miku is similar. It’s time to get married.”

But among Hatsune Miku fans, there are not a few newcomers who really use this form for marriage registration.

A fan named Renoah and her husband became attached to Hatsune and finally entered the palace of marriage. Not only did they use the Hatsune-themed form as a marriage registration, but Hatsune was also seen everywhere at their subsequent weddings.

《Hand in Hand》也是2015年“魔法未来”活动的应援主题曲 “Hand in Hand” was also the cheering theme song for the 2015 “Magic Future” event

Five years later, just as Hatsune’s birthday is approaching this year, this marriage registration form has not only launched a new version, but also has a corresponding birth registration form.

At this time, Renoah’s daughter also happened to be born. On August 31, Hatsune’s birthday, Renoah submitted a birth certificate for her daughter, wishing that the girl who was born listening to Hatsune’s song could grow up with a smile like Hatsune on the form.


Unchangeable idols can still witness and participate in the lives of fans with time.

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