7 Most Popular Japanese Vocaloid CharactersVocaloid’s anime-inspired singers skyrocketed the software into fame by seamlessly blending the cultures of music, tech and otaku. There are over 80 official idols available for “hire,” but many fans agree that these 7 Japanese Vocaloid characters stand out from the rest.
7. Lily (リリィ)
Based on the anime persona of her voice actress, Yuri Masuda, Lily’s sense of style, golden hair, and vibrant blue eyes have stolen the hearts of her fans. Her claim to fame is being the first Vocaloid character ever featured in a commercial music video. “Lily Lily★Burning Night” is Lily’s most popular song, and the first of hers to enter Vocaloid’s Hall of Legend.
Holding an ax in one hand and her stuffed rabbit by the neck in the other, MAYU is a Lolita fashionista with edgy yandere vibes. Having over 40 songs to her name, MAYU entertains a loyal fan base with her violent affection.
5. Rin & Len Kagamine (鏡音リン・レン)
Don’t be fooled by their almost identical appearance—Rin and Len Kagamine aren’t twins, but are female and male “halves” that share the same soul. Originally marketed as “two vocalists for the price of one,” super-kawaii Rin is nonetheless the more popular of the two. However, Len holds the unique achievement of being the first Vocaloid voiced by a singer of the opposite gender. Vocaloid producers wanting to add a touch of youthful charm to their upcoming hit need look no further than these two voices.
4. Kaito (カイト)
Initially labeled a “failure” in a male-dominated market, Kaito’s lack of software sales led to a trend in creating mostly female Vocaloid characters. However, following a collaboration video between Kaito and Miku a few years later, the blue-haired idol rose in popularity. Producers consider his voice one of the most flexible, even in his earliest version, when he debuted as Vocaloid’s first male character.
3. Gumi (グミ)
Said to be one of the most natural vocalists, Gumi has the most voicebanks of all the Vocaloids and even can sing in English! In a 2015 poll, her popularity came second only to the legendary Hatsune Miku. Though her cute appearance brings smiles to her fans, producers agree that it’s Gumi’s preppy voice that draws followers in the most.
2. IA (イア)
If there’s a Vocaloid idol who can rival even Hatsune Miku, it’s IA. Capable of mature, melodious tones and quick tempos, IA is equally revered for her mysterious and airy appearance. She became the first VOCALOID3 idol to reach over 1 million views on Japanese video sharing site Nico Nico Douga.
1. Hatsune Miku (初音ミク)
The heart and soul of Vocaloid, Hatsune Miku launched the voice synthesizing software from obscurity to worldwide fame. Today, Miku has become a touring holographic pop idol, the host of many video games, and even the official sponsor of the 2011 American Toyota Corolla. From being voted the #1 most-wanted vocalist at the London Olympic Games to starring in her own opera, Miku continues to redefine the pop idol image to the awe and adoration of her fans.
Top 6 Must-Have Vocaloid MerchandiseIf you’re a Vocaloid fan ready to elevate your dedication to stardom, great news: Vocaloid encompasses a lot more merchandise than just software! Here are 6 must-have collectables that any Vocaloid groupie would be proud to add to their stage show.
Vocaloid ShirtsHaving the perfect outfit can make any singer’s performance shine, but you don’t need to be an idol to own a five-star wardrobe. Wear your favorite Vocaloid wherever you go, and tell “your world” that you are the ultimate fan! T-shirts are ideal conversation starters, and sure to connect you with other fans and new friends, too.
Vocaloid DakimakuraAlso known as “hug pillows,” dakimakura have been adopted by the otaku community as an expression of dedication to a husbando or waifu. Vocaloid fans can purchase body-length pillows of their idol crushes, and take their snuggling experience to the next level with a dakimakura pillow heater—a USB gadget that imitates the comfortable temperature of a human body, fills your chest with fluttery feelings, soothes you to sleep, and makes all your fandom dreams come true.
Vocaloid FiguresVocaloid figures primarily come in three distinct styles.
- Figma: Posable figures with interchangeable parts
- PVC: Fixed-pose figures boasting extreme detail
- Nendoroid: Chibi-stylized figures