J-pop's virtual idol: Hatsune Miku

A slightly niche but popular boy idol group in Japan

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We talked about two of the most popular mainstream boy groups of J-pop in this article. Now, we would like to introduce you to two slightly less mainstream pop powerhouses from Japan. Let’s start with Chōtokkyū!

J-pop idols performing in Japan


All-male group Chōtokkyū (Bullet Train) group was formed in 2011. The first group was formed by five main dancers and a background vocalist: Kai, Ryouga, Takuya, Yuuki, Yuusukey, and Takashi as a vocalist. The band is characterized by having a very particular style of making J-pop. This includes unconventional videos with lyrics aimed at social change, while still having a style that is sticky and full of vitality.

So far they have produced 11 singles. Chōtokkyū released their first album “RING” on December 3, 2014. They released a second album “Dramatic Seven” on October 26, 2016. The group has attracted attention for its highly entertaining performances and its live interactive shows. During the shows, there is a sense of integration with the public that participates as ‘wagon number 8 of the bullet train’. Tickets were completely sold out on several large shows.

It is worth saying that this band’s repertoire is constantly renewed with unpublished content. This is what allowed it to remain standing in the music industry due to the originality of its songs and videos. For those interested in current J-Pop, Bullet Train is one of the most original and fresh alternatives available in the Japanese industry. The group has achieved national and even international success and is expected to continue growing over time.

Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku is not a regular artist at all, as she is a virtual singer. She is part of the Vocaloid group that uses a voice synthesizer. Her voice is presented in more than 100,000 songs released worldwide. Hatsune Miku means ‘The first sound of the future’.

Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Rin, Kagamine Len, Megurine Luka, Kaito, and Meiko are collectively referred to as the Piapro Characters. They have been developed for a line of Crypton voice synthesizer products Future Media, INC. They are commonly called Vocaloid. This software recreates a carefully recorded and processed singing voice for each character. This makes it possible to generate the vocal parts of a complete song, simply by entering a melody and lyrics on a computer.

Since the creation of Miku, more than 170,000 sounds have been introduced for her. This has definitely helped her gaining a total of more than 100 million views on YouTube. This spring she embarked on a tour of ten cities with a live band to exhibit the most shared singles: almost all the shows sold out. Hatsune Miku and the other characters are very famous singers in Japan and throughout Asia, despite not existing in reality.

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