As you can guess it, yet another Hatsune Miku figurine has been announced. That said, once again I start to wonder : why is the Diva so marketable?
Her huge fanbase perhaps? And the fanbase alone is a paradox since it’s technically by the fans, for the fans. Sure, the big companies supply merchandise, but aren’t most Vocaloid songs done by fans of the franchise? Vocaloid, after all is a computer program and is generally available to most people, Miku included. So the fanbase in itself is an endless cycle – the fandom generates more material, which in turn generates more fans. So that’s reason number 1 for you : Hatsune Miku is a self-sustaining fandom.
That done, what about her character design? Surely, there must be a reason why there are so many different figurines of Miku. In fact, I dare say that we’ve seen almost one or two new figurines of her per month, for the past year. Let’s go through her character design :
- Stage-performance clothing. Now, this is of course, predictable given the nature of the Vocaloid programs, so it isn’t exactly much to be amazed about – furthermore, we even have figurines from games like Idolmaster which have about the same kind of clothing.
- Twintails. Oh come on, it’s not like we don’t have a fair amount of twintailed characters already.
- Face design – No, sadly.
And since we established that design isn’t as big a factor, this brings us back to the first point – popularity.
The Vocaloid fanbase seems very absorbing. It takes these fans into itself, and using that, generates a franchise. Look at all the merchandise! All the shirts, all the badges, all the costumes, all the albums, all the CDs, all the videos, all the concerts! All of this over a computer program! Hatsune Miku and friends had transcended from being merely the mascots of computer programs into what seems to be a microcosm of reality – it’s almost as though they’re actually the divas and stars the fans seem to portray them as.
They even get creative, too! Look at all the art done, all the comics, all the canon. We even have characters making up new Vocaloids, such as the likes of Akita Neru or even ‘Sakura Miku’, both of which have had respectable popularity amongst the Vocaloid fanbase. What the Vocaloid franchise is best for, is in fact, its ability to sustain itself. Such is the nature of all fandoms – this need for self-sustainment, something the likes of Hatsune Miku seems to be doing just fine , so much so that it’s much better compared to the likes of other fandoms. It seems as though the fandom would never die out.
That said, it’s likely that no matter what happens, we’ll see countless reiterations of Miku , as figurines, with all sorts of varying designs and whatnot, and even used in more application. Remember all the figures based off Vocaloid songs, songs that weren’t created by Crypton, but by the fans themselves. It’s almost as though instead of Crypton being the face of the Vocaloid franchise, these fans shine greater under the spotlight.