Monday, May 9, 2011

Miku Hatsune hits Stateside! a Toyota!

I'm a big Vocaloid fan. Not only is the music really good, but the fact that it's all done on a computer without the need of a physical singer is amazing to me. I'm not the only one who loves it, too. If you know an anime or Japan fan, chances are they know what Vocaloid is and probably have a favorite song. Now Japan has gotten a ton of Vocaloid merchandise, games, programs and even two live concerts. We US fans, on the other hand, have to resort to imports. That may change soon, though, as there have been rumors of the program being sold in American stores as well as online, which could not only open up a ton of possibilities for composers but will also finally introduce our favorite group of musical robots to the rest of the country. In fact, just a few days ago we got our first taste of US Vocaloid....just, not the way we though we would have gotten it....

Around four days ago Toyota released a commercial for their new 2011 Corolla on their Youtube page. Seems pretty typical, right? Well not totally. What made this stand out was the fact that the spokesperson for the car turned out to be none other then Vocaloid's own poster child, Miku Hatsune, marking the first time the character has ever appeared in the states. The spot itself depicts Miku driving the new Corolla to her latest concert while "The World is Mine" played in the background with the theme being that both Miku and the car have big potential contained in compact packages. Now yes, I agree with you. The fact that Miku makes her debut as part of a car commercial is pretty weird, but at the same time it's also kinda awesome. Unfortunately, I'm in the minority on that...

While I may like it, a lot of other fans think it's the worst possible way to introduce foreign audiences for numerous reasons, such as the song choice, the way she looks, the fact that there's no explanation for what she is and that there's no special edition of the Corolla to go along with her. In my opinion, whoever has these problems isn't thinking outside of the box. The world of Vocaloid is currently only known by those who like anime or Japanese music. That's basically it. The fact that Toyota actually decided to use a Vocaloid character to act as a mascot for a new car they plan to sell here is pretty gutsy. Not only are you using a Japanese pop idol, but the music you used is kept in it's native tongue AND you go so far as to call the Corolla "the official car of Hatsune Miku." That takes some serious ping pongs since about 90% of people who may see this on TV won't know who Miku is to begin with. Toyota handled it almost perfectly. They describe the car, they describe Miku a little bit and they show her off just enough at the end to show you that she's an animated singer. Wanting her to be in her racing outfit while a more obscure song is playing while she drives a car colored like her is....kinda nitpicky.

There are some things I would have changed, though. nothing major, really. The first is Miku's design. The face in particular is a bit too thin and, as a result, makes her look kinda weird. Though they did follow her reveal up with some shots from her first concert, which kinda helps. The second would be the scream from "The World is Mine" being used. Really, not the best choice. If anything, they should have revealed her singing part of the song's chorus, which probably would have come off better. Other then that, the commercial is perfectly fine and, as an anime and Vocaloid fan, a huge treat to see. What are your opinions on it? Do you think it's pretty cool, weird, or bad and why?

Haven't seen it yet, well here it is:


  1. Wow, I'm not too familiar with the character, but this is a certainly a pretty cool way to advertise a car! The song is kinda catchy, but the car looks pretty sweet! And, who knows? Maybe more car commercials would be like this in the near future.

  2. I liked it personaly. I know a lot about vocaloid I love the music Videos (My Favorite being "love is war" that video was so bad ass. I hope to see more of this in the future. I think it’s another mean for bringing otaku culture to the US

  3. I love Vocaloid a lot !!

    Miku is my fav , love her