Japan’s biggest pop star isn’t even a real person—she’s a hologram.
Neojaponisme has a really good series on the decline of popular consumption in Japan, but the fourth installment more or less directly addresses this (using not whatsherface above, Hatsune Miku?, but AKB48 and Arashi): viz., that the overall severe decline in raw numbers of people consuming culture means that the very devoted niche fans of something like this—let me repeat that Hatsune Miku is created for an audience that is a strictly delimited niche even within Japan—are able to propel it to what ends up being stardom, for lack of a better term.
You know her name cause she’s TEH BIGGEST POPSTAR IN JAPAN.
Let’s hope Newsweek takes the hint, as The Atlantic did. :) I hate it when niche stuff like this gets broadcast out as Orientalist “Japan so clazy” bullshit.
Hatsune Miku is also representative of the perfect niche for foreign magazines to latch onto. because her fanbase is heavily internet-based, which bleeds quite easily into foreign countries, where the internet is more mainstream compared with Japan (where, as the neojaponisme article describes, it is more “nerdy” and “techie”)
she also fits the creepy-anime meme re:Japan that American newspapers love to latch onto sometimes. OMG how weird is Japan?!?
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