Otaku USA Magazine
2023 is Hatsune Miku’s Year

You cannot escape Hatsune Miku.

Ever feel like you see Hatsune Miku everywhere? Don’t worry, it’s not just you. Miku is, in fact, just about everywhere. Besides the countless collabs the virtual sweetheart has under her belt, Miku’s 2023 is off to a busy start.

This year is extra special because the Jpop queen is preparing for her birthday — Miku is finally turning her canon age this year on August 31st. The big sweet 16! They grow up fast, huh? 

As of the day of writing this, Miku is wrapping up her tour alongside the other Crypton Future Media virtual singers, Rin and Len, Megurine Luka, Meiko, and Kaito. The Thunder Bolt Japan Tour started in Nagoya in February and finished off strong in Sapporo on Saturday, March 25th. Good news for international otaku, you can stream the concert until March 31st. Here’s a little taste of what to expect; you’ll also be able to listen to her latest singles.

Besides the official Crypton-recognized songs, the verified Hatsune Miku YouTube channel updates their top recommended singles, and the singer software has been featured in creators’ songs. Miku’s addictive voice is used in over 5,400 creator singles, some of which are featured in her many rhythm games. The World’s Largest VOCALOID Record Label: Karent features the latest albums and songs uploaded by musicians from all over the world. Ranging from pop to rock, the best singles featuring Miku are mixed into a mega compilation CD known as Digital Stars. Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be more concerts, Digital Stars, the Miku Expo spinoff, is made for the individual creators who submit their original and remixed Miku songs.   

Plus, there’s more where that came from! This virtual pop princess has two more scheduled concerts (as of now) for 2023. 

Magical Mirai returns this summer in Osaka and Tokyo for its 11th show. This event combines an exhibition hall lined with special artwork and collaboration info and a 3DCG concert with Crypton’s pool of vocaloid talent. Another unique summer show will debut Miku’s collaboration with Kodo, a Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble, at NHK Hall in Shibuya.

Due to the spread of COVID-19, Miku Expo was put on hold, but is now raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign. Production starts October 2023 for the 2024 Expo. This time, the event theme song is by a music producer from the US. The initial funding to hold the expo was met some time ago — now the next stretch goal will add the winner of MikuExpo ‘23 VR Song Contest: Plaything to the song setlist.

Meeting the second stretch goal, the winner of the costume contest design will be donned by Miku during the performance of Plaything

This month we also learned that Miku doesn’t just like Jpop and Dance-pop. When the turquoise-haired vocal synthesizer has downtime, she chills in her room studying with Lofi. This is a Lofi gal we can support! It’s evident that whatever new endeavor Miku gets up to, there will be fans who follow.

Image courtesy of Akihiko Kondo

Did you really think we were done?! That word does not exist in Miku’s world.

Okay, so this may not be recognized by Crypton, but an unofficial Miku Doujin by Akihiko Kondo (the man who legally married Hatsune Miku) known as Wedding Shikata with 2D Characters, 4th Edition is currently on sale. This how-to guide doujinshi explains how others like Kondo can marry their favorite 2D characters, too. 

Year after year Hatsune Miku outdoes herself. This year being her official 16th birthday, we expect to see much more than we already explored. If one thing is for certain, Miku does it all and there’s nothing getting in her way of reaching the top.

If you could choose a dream project or collaboration featuring Miku, what would it be? We’re all ears!

Brianna Fox-Priest

Brianna Fox-Priest is a freelance journalist based in Tokyo. Covering video games and Japanese pop culture, her work can be seen in Otaku USA, Anime USA, Jotaku Network, and Sprudge.