Created in 2007, Miku Hatsune was the first Vocaloid to take the internet by storm. With hundreds of fan works created using her voice and character, she soon became not only Japan’s but the world’s most popular virtual pop star. She has since made live concert appearances in Japan and America, an unprecedented achievement for someone who isn’t even real. Riding on Miku’s wave of success, a couple of her predecessors (Kaito and Meiko), and a few of her successors (the Kagamine twins and Luka Megurine) have also enjoyed varying levels of popularity, with some of them appearing on stage along with Miku.
There are, however, more Vocaloids than just the 6 that most people are familiar with. For varying reasons, these Vocaloids have not reached the same levels of success as Miku and friends, and they are what I call the forgotten Vocaloids. Below are 3 of these Vocaloids, and perhaps it’s a good thing that they were forgotten.
Released just 2 months before Miku, Sweet Ann is the scariest-looking Vocaloid of the batch. If you look at her neck, that’s not actually a choker, but stitches. I don’t know who thought this was a good idea, but she was based on the bride of Frankenstein, which is why she has those stitches. She is 23 years old and her name is a play on her homeland, Sweden (Swed-en = Sweet Ann).
A relatively recent Vocaloid (released in 2010), Ryuto takes on the look of a buck-toothed 5 year old boy wearing a Gachapin costume. In case you don’t know who Gachapin is, he’s a green dinosaur popular among children in Japan. Ryuto was revealed as the avatar for the Gachapoid Vocaloid software, which is targeted at “young” producers. You have to wonder though, how many 5 year olds are writing their own songs using a synthetic voice that sounds like a duck?
Arguably one of the dullest Vocaloids, Hiyama does not have many traits that make him stand out. Described as a 22 year old school teacher, he wears a suit and a blue tie, which is rather plain compared to the outfits of all of the other Vocaloids. Contributing to his lack of popularity is the complaint that his voice sounds similar to that of Kaito, an existing Vocaloid. An uninspiring look and voice has left Hiyama as one of the least used Vocaloids in Japan.
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