Hatsune Miku is a Japanese VOCALOID developed and distributed by Crypton Future Media, Inc., and was initially released in August 2007 for the VOCALOID2 engine. There has since been numerous installments such as additional voice banks dubbed 'Append', as well as an upgrade to the VOCALOID3 engine, which includes her long awaited English vocal release. She was the first release for Crypton's VOCALOID Character Vocal Series, the third Japanese VOCALOID, and the seventh VOCALOID to have been created overall. She is considered the most popular and well known VOCALOID and the first to become a pop idol.
When KEI illustrated Miku, he was given a color scheme to work with (based on YAHAMA synthesizers' signature blue-green colour) and was asked to draw Miku as an android. Crypton also provided KEI with Miku's detailed concepts, however, Crypton said it was not easy to explain what a "Vocaloid" was to him. KEI said he could not create an image of a "singing computer" at first, as he did not even know what a "synthesizer" was. It took him more than a month to complete the commission.
Miku was originally intended to have a different hairstyle, but after trying out pigtails, KEI thought they were more suitable. Her pigtails have since become an iconic part of her design. On June 22, 2012, Hatsune Miku' s twin tails even earned her the title of the Twin Tail which best represented the 2000s, marking her the best set of Twin Tails from the dawn of the 21st century. She now shares her twin tail distinction with other characters like Sailor Moon (who won best Twin Tails for the 90s period).
The digital design on Miku's skirt and boots is based off synthesizer program colours, and the bars represent actual bars within the program, following Crypton's ideas. Part of her design is based on some of Yamaha's keyboard models, particularly the DX-100 and the DX-7. The thin squares around her pigtails are futuristic ribbons made of a special material that floats in place. As seen in KEI's art for Miku, they are able to hold Miku's pigtails in place without having to physically touch the hair itself. The ribbons are also reported by KEI to be the hardest item on the character's design for cosplayers to recreate.
After an internet meme involving Hachune Miku, Miku was associated with a spring onion (often mistaken for a leek due to the similar appearance). This, along with KAITO's association with ice cream, started a discussion called "the Item War" within the Vocaloid fandom, where it became traditional for new Vocaloids to have an item assigned to them and the items were debated upon until one stuck via an Internet Meme. This occurrence has since died out.
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