Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hatsune Miku hits the nyan singularity



It was recently reported that the upcoming Hatsune Miku Project Diva F game for the PS Vita will feature Miku singing the all-too-famous Nyan Cat song.

To many casual Vocaloid fans, or those with a passing familiarity of all things internet, this is nothing more than a cute mashup... but to those in the know it is nothing short of meme recursion.

When The Nyan Cat video launched last year, it used a remixed Vocaloid song (Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya) as its background music. The original mix of the song was uploaded to the Japanese website Nico Nico Douga in 2010 and used Hatsune Miku's vocals for the 'lyrics', but the Nyan Cat remix does not. In a sense, then, Miku is covering a song that she already recorded.

But the decision to include The Nyan Cat Song in Project Diva F is something of a singularity considering that one of Miku's first hit songs was itself recorded from a meme.

Wayyyy back in 2007, Yamaha's Vocaloid voice synthesizer was being given a makeover and the character of Miku as we know her was born. To showcase the new face of the voice software, a demo video of a chibi Hatsune Miku singing Ievan Polka was recorded as a joke after the popularity of the Leek Spin Girl meme (which features the 18th century polka song as its background music) peaked at roughly the same time as Miku's Vocaloid software launched.

So in other words... a synthetic pop star who had an early hit song recorded from an internet meme in 2007 just had a song of hers used in an unrelated internet meme last year and is now paying homage to said (second) meme by re-recording it for a video game launching later this month.

Loyal readers, we have come to meme-ception.

While my head is still spinning from trying to sort all of that out, I thought I'd at least give you the benefit of seeing the opening CG movie for Hatsune Miku Project Diva F which may or may not ever make its way over to a North American localization...


...if it does, I'll finally have the reason I need to buy a Vita.