A Virtual Star

The Net has been buzzing over the world’s first holographic pop star, whose high-definition concert videos have suddenly gone viral despite being out for several months.

Miku Hatsune, a green-haired, 16-year-old anime idol, has been around since 2007 when she was “launched” by Japanese software maker Crypton Future Media as the first character in a series of Vocaloid software packages.

At that time, the cyber singer was only a voice, but since then she has been developed into a fully visualized performer. In March, she gave her first solo concert in front of a full band playing live. Miku’s avatar is a life-size hologram that follows the songs note-for-note with amazing precision. Since the spring, the Miku show has traveled Japan and become an instant sellout wherever it plays.

In addition, a petition signed by 14,000 of Miku’s fans helped secure her a place on the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Akatsuki explorer spacecraft, which was launched in May. The capsule contains three custom aluminum plates featuring pictures of Miku.

Though Miku is the first virtual musician to play a solo concert, she isn’t the first to actually tour. X Japan has been using a hologram if its late guirarist, Hide, in its stage shows for years.