East VS West: Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku coming to America is big news, but just how big is it? Around the same time this character was announced for a concert at Anime Expo, a Toyota car commercial appeared with a rather strange concept:

I’m not sure exactly what their angle is. Even among people who are familiar with anime in the west, the number of people who are familiar with Hatsune Miku are even less. So how did this commercial come to be? Do they think that this virtual idol performing in America is big enough to take the country by storm? And of all things, why advertise through a Toyota Corolla?

Equally perplexing is this rendition of Hatsune Miku, “Americanized” so that it may appeal more to the western audience. The first thing you notice is that while they go for a more “realistic” look, they rob her of even looking Asian. They also gave the 16-year old character a boob-job:

This new and “X-treme” Miku appears to love tanning salons, curling irons, abusing eyeliner, and partying till the sun comes up. Even if I can look past all that, nothing can change the fact that X-treme Miku looks like a drag queen cosplaying as Hatsune Miku.

Just what is the reception to all this from the general public, if any? I have a hard time believing anyone who isn’t familiar with this character will care at all, and many who do know are livid about this representation of their beloved icon. Looks like a lose-lose scenario.


About Dae Lee

-Dae, aka Mizu -Writer, broadcaster, and podcaster on New School Kaidan

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