His name is Akihiko Kondo and his obsession turned into much more for him. Recently, he spent $18,000 dollars in a ceremony, marrying a pop culture computer character named Hatsune Miku. His marriage was not a legal one but more of a (publicly held) type of ceremony.
In Japan, this character is well known. Hatsune Miku was developed by Crypton Future Media and is made as a specific piece of Vocaloid software. The Hatsune character, is created by using Yamaha Corporation’s Vocaloid 2, Vocaloid 3, and Vocaloid 4 singing synthesizing type technologies.
This includes Crypton Future Media’s Piapro Studio which consists of a singing synthesizer VSTi Plugin. This character was the second Vocaloid sold that uses the Vocaloid 2 engine. This character is the first Japanese Vocaloid to use the Japanese version of the Vocaloid 2 engine. Her voice is modeled after Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita.
This particular character is a 16-year-old girl with long, turquoise twin-tails. Many people were upset and shocked by the news of Akihiko Kondo doing this. Even Kondo’s own family, didn’t attend the ceremony. Akihiko Kondo cuddles up at night with a stuffed doll in the likeness of her.
The Miku character, has been marketed in such a way that she has become a virtual idol of sorts. Miku has even “performed” inside stadiums onstage as an animated projection. This method is achieved by using a rear cast projection on a specialized coated glass screen display.
All of this raises many moral questions and has people wondering what the future might be for relationships with technology. It seems that some people are already married to their devices, as they spend more time with them, than with family and friends.
The Hatsune Miku character name, originated by combining the Japanese words for first (初 hatsu), sound (音 ne), and future (ミク miku. This means “the first sound of the future”. What a future the world has to look forward to, if we continue down this pathway.
In September 12, 2007, the sales of Hatsune Miku totaled 57,500,000 yen ($506,639.17 dollars). This made this virtual doll performer, the number one selling software for this time period. With the success and branding of the Vocaloid 2 package, this later led to further expansion and possibilities. Originally, the Hatsune Miku character was targeted towards professional producers. This all changed, as the character seemed to rise to some kind of fame.
How long will Akihiko Kondo remain “married” to this character for? Perhaps things will change for him as time passes. Until then, people will continue to mock and try to understand why he did such a thing.