William Gibson Not Impressed by Hatsune Miku


William Gibson, the author who kick-started the cyberpunk genre and popularised the notion of a virtual idol, is singularly unimpressed by Hatsune Miku it seems.

What Gibson’s twittering about her “rez” is all about is less than clear, but that he is not enamoured by her is clear enough:

Hatsune Miku doesn’t really rock me. I want higher rez, less anime.


So Hatsune Miku involves some sort of ongoing crowd-sourced evolution?

His followers also seem less than enthused by the world’s leading virtual idol:

From what I understand she will change as the trends change, the idea being an idoru that can never fall out of favor.


Yeah, most of her songs are developed by fans, refined by the people at Crypton and then synched to her visuals.


Think of her as a piano with a personality and a publisher – you get enough composers and some rise to the top.

Fortunately, the world’s media now seems to agree Miku is actually a hologram and not a virtual idol after all…

Japanese observers continued a discrete parallel conversation about his comments in Japanese, wondering just what the hell he was on about:

The great SF writer William Gibson has mentioned Hatsune Miku!

He seems pretty past it. We should explain to him about Miku at an SF con if we get the chance.

By “rez” he means “high rez,” right? He wants her in realistic 3D, not anime style? I’m sure Sega can help with that.

I suppose it would be a bit weird if Gibson praised her; though actually, when I met Crypton’s CEO in San Francisco he was wearing a Neuromancer T-shirt…

Well, it’s less about Miku herself and more about the spontaneous formation of a community of creators and fans around her image.

Also we have to do something about this idea that Miku is a holographic virtual idol which is spreading overseas. I think that coloured Gibson’s comments about her there.

“Doesn’t rock me” – I think we can safely translate that as “みくみくにされなかった”

Hiroyuki Itoh, Crypton’s CEO, chimes in:

So William Gibson tweeted about Hatsune Miku. I read Neuromancer 20 years ago!

When I think about it, it all seemed more futuristic back then. Now the real future is here, we have to be conscious of it. The feeling that the future’s not really living up to the hype kinda sucks.

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    Avatar of Sukunai
    Comment by Sukunai
    23:07 18/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Who gives a fuck what Bill Gibson thinks, I think Philip K Dick and Ridley Scott did more for cyberpunk that Gibson ever did.

    He's clearly only complaining about Miku's lack of visual detail clarity. Let's see him do a better job after going a standing stop to where Miku is in just a few years eh.

    Writing a book is not the same as computer programming Dick. You should already know that.

    Avatar of Observer
    Comment by Observer
    23:34 18/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    i watched some vids on youtube about one of Mikus concerts. In my oppinion she could have had a better resolution on the screen. in my eyes she looked kinda misty, or blurry. (dont know how describe it proberly)
    If that is his problem i definitely can understand him, but time will improve the grapics anyway so we just need to wait.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:00 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    She was pretty low quality in the concert. But the concert was also not filmed in great quality either.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:23 23/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    he clearly mention that he doesn't want miku being in anime style, he prefer rez or whatever it is called i don't really care. well, his opinion doesn't matter thought, who the hell want this fucking rez, i prefer anime style you shithead. if you want to be rocked, then i'll gladly throw rock at you as long as you want. if he want the realistic one why don't he go grab someone in RL, that will be very-very-very realistic compare to the imaginative one being in 3D. JUST GO TO HELL you dipshit

    Avatar of Kentaru
    Comment by Kentaru
    19:44 05/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    That "rocked" part of the comment just made my day and calmed my anger a bit about this too.

    Avatar of Carrot_Glace
    Comment by Carrot_Glace
    23:18 18/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I agree with you about Gibson. But, you know, PKD wasn't really cyberpunk.

    Avatar of General Jack D. Ripper
    22:54 18/11/2010 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    So he prefers Miku to have a more "3D" design (as in similar to those in post-FF10 character design.)

    Looks creepy to me

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    00:07 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I guess he'd like her to have a human like appearance. Well, too bad. ^_^

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:25 23/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    well, but others do not want it. one person's opinion doesn't really matter right. no matter how professional he is, all that matter is people would enjoy it or not.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:24 09/11/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Whats wrong with anime visuals? It looks great, sometimes even better than real life people. Not the detail, but they appear to how the artist want it to appear (which is as perfect as possible) so it looks better overall (in style anyways).

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    01:28 19/11/2010 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Translation: I spent years and decades doing shit and I didn't even managed to do any technologic conquests as quick as this green haired little girl did? Damnit!!

    Comment by Anonymous

    Translation: I spent years and decades writing novels about high-technology based on hard facts and technology of the age and somehow I managed to inspire some green-haired little girl with one of the most annoying voices in existence? Damnit!!

    Fixed that for you, bro.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:05 20/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Vocaloid inspired by Gibson? Don't make me laugh. Come on, you can't actually believe this bullshit yourself.

    He wasn't the first to work with the concept of a virtual idol by far, and none of the Vocaloids were ever meant to be virtual idols in the first place. It just happened by itself. It was a decentralized process and therefore not inspired by anything.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:25 09/11/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Annoying voices eh? Lol I find your wierd American english accent to be more annoying >.>

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:14 19/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.8)

    seeing all these comments that support Miku and against her...make me remember the scened in Oremo no Imouto, well its glad that we can share our opinion, but please... stop the bashing and stuff, we are all human that are free to express correct, but also sometime need to watch the words to be used^^,

    On a side note, I am Hatsune Miku fan, I bought a 55 Singapore Dollar ticket just to see her 3 songs in AFAX 2010 concert, bought a 15 dollar magazine just for her poster with Rin,
    people said I am weird, but people this is how I show my appreciation to Miku and those that make her popular as she is now today...
    to those who judged me with cold eyes, I DONT CARE! I LIKE HER AND HER SONGS! So, HATERS, *middle finger*
    Thats all, have a nice day^^

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:46 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Finally someone with some sense in their mind. You like Miku, fine. I personally don't like her, which is also fine.
    Can we now please go on?

    Comment by Tenno Seremel
    03:57 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Holy crusades are unstoppable. Internet is serious business.

    Avatar of William
    Comment by William
    06:29 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol true that itll be until william gibson dies when its done

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:26 19/11/2010 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    If Miku's fans stop acting like rabid retards, there wouldn't be any bashing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:51 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Well look who threw the first stone in the first place. If you Gibson fans stop acting so defensively innocent then there wouldn't need to be any arguing as well.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:24 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Crap, some of her fans are acting like the Twilight kids when Stephen King ripped their little 'preciouses' a new asshole."

    This. Thank you for wording it perfectly.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:02 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I sure hope you can back that accusation up.

    Avatar of 404mage
    Comment by 404mage
    04:15 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I really didn't see it as stone-throwing.

    He just doesn't like Miku. She isn't his cup of tea, so what? There are going to be some people who just don't like her, or even, not really care one way or another.

    Crap, some of her fans are acting like the Twilight kids when Stephen King ripped their little 'preciouses' a new asshole.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Gibson who? Oh yeah, THAT William Gibson who wrote "The Sprawl Trilogy" which is the base of everything cyberpunk, including but not limited to Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:57 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Imagine your favourite movie is getting an award.
    is it wrong to talk about it passionately with others?

    It's like that.. Vocaloid has never been this famous. So let us have some fun ok? No need to insult miku if you don't like it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:01 19/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Do I give a fuck if Gibson doesn't like my lovely Miku?
    umm... No?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:26 23/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    he want to be rocked, or maybe he's gay

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:06 18/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.7)

    There will always be those who play down just how epic Miku. I'm guessing he wants her more like the idol in Macross. To be honest though, it she was like that, I doubt she'd be as popular. That's just me though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:02 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    like the French TV show.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:12 19/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Willaim Gibson can suck mah jewish dick, miku~.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:26 18/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    You can't say something like that about Miku.. she's like.. awesome.. Even if she has no real body, or anything. She lives in my heart! and that's what really matters. QuQ

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:14 19/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    William Gibson? Aah!! Ano hito ka??? ...Dare dakke? Maa ii ka. Po Pi Po Pi Po~

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    02:50 19/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    This isn't totally surprising. For one thing, Gibson is infamously out of touch with technology, and it took him forever to even get away from using a typewriter and fax machine and actually embrace the Internet. He's not really into Japanese culture, but will visit Japan for a few weeks for a dose of the weirdness of the "mirror world" and more inspirations for his books.

    I'm pretty sure his idea for the titular "Idoru" came from the now long forgotten virtual idol, DK-96, who looked like she was modeled after a human (3D model), and voiced directly by an actual singer.

    Now, he's not even a sci-fi author. At least at "Pattern Recognition" where I stalled on actually reading his books. It's like he's always written about the early 21st century, but now it's not fiction, so he just writes about normal people. The bridge trilogy ("Idoru," etc) was very thinly cyberpunk, but mostly contemporary.

    I guess what I'm saying is... Yeah, there's no reason to expect he'd be hip to something strange and synthetic like Miku. He's not any kind of otaku and is even known for being out of touch. He just has a good feel for how a technology will be practically used over time, and for what emotional connections people will make to curios and nicknacks.

    Avatar of Trollkastel
    Comment by Trollkastel
    23:35 18/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I used to be his fan, but now he crossed the line!
    *throws all her gibson books away*

    00:19 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Don't throw them away give it to me and i'll use them as toilet paper.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:27 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Burn them and post the pictures on the Internet in true otaku fashion. Become that which you hate.

    Comment by Anonymous

    You're a moron.

    Comment by Anonymous

    You can kill yourself too with miku :] .

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:27 09/11/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Miku cant die :P

    Avatar of Mizushima 水島
    Comment by Mizushima 水島
    00:34 19/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    BLASPHEMY she will conquer the world no matter wut u say

    Avatar of alex251
    Comment by alex251
    22:44 18/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    "William Gibson Not Impressed by Hatsune Miku"

    - my first thought was: "who to hell is William Gibson ?"
    Gibson, the game, you lost it...

    (for the guys who don't know why we are talking about him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idoru)

    Avatar of Kicker
    Comment by Kicker
    22:48 18/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I seriously thought he's a music critic.

    Avatar of Kaarme
    Comment by Kaarme
    23:06 18/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    He shouldn't be impressed by Miku. No matter how you look at Miku, there's still plenty of room for development. While I like the design a lot (I like contemporary anime character design anyway), the actual singing leaves much to be desired. I have yet to hear a Hatsune song that didn't sound highly artificial in a negative way. Maybe in 10 years Gibson will change his opinion, proving it's not just prejudice.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:31 09/11/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    No one said it was perfect. Anyway most of the works are made by everyday people, I have yet to see an expert make a song yet. But the "World is Mine" song is a lot better than most of our pop music "singers" (they are horrible at singing, the talented singers I know are all underground).
    I can list them but you know who they are.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:38 19/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I like the songs in Miku's voice, what else matters?

    If she is making the songs herself? I could care less.

    If she is constant in her looks and doesn't follow trends? So they adapt Miku to what is popular, if I like it I like it, else I'll just listen to her earlier stuff.

    If this Gibson person doesn't like it, why doesn't he make an idol himself.

    Avatar of Maderlulz
    Comment by Maderlulz
    22:43 18/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.5)

    William Gibson is a graphics whore <_<

    Avatar of jamesownsall
    Comment by jamesownsall
    22:47 18/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    He's more likely just 'surprised' by new ideas.

    Either he'll fathom it eventually(I doubt this) or he'll keep his ego higher at all times.


    Avatar of alex251
    Comment by alex251
    22:50 18/11/2010 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    - he tried to be cool and epic failed - he prob. meant hi-resolution 3D CGI

    Avatar of Shivann
    Comment by Shivann
    00:32 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    surprised by "new ideas"?
    "(...)a synthetic personality named Rei Toei, the Idoru (Japanese Idol) "

    If he's suprised at all, is probably because is already here, not because is a new idea; he already had that idea xD

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:42 19/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.8)

    He doesn't like Miku simply because she isn't like what he expected when he created Rei Toei. Goes to tell something about his ego.

    @Rashid: I wonder who really is the close minded one here if you think your image of Miku fans is in any way universal. Given the amount of expertise in various fields (theory of music, signal processing, production techniques...) it takes to make good music with Vocaloid I'd say you're pretty far off.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:02 19/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    It's really far fetched to credit the invention of virtual idols to him. From the top of my head there's Macross that featured one two years before Idoru, but I'm sure there are a lot more examples, in western literature too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:53 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Probably because we aren't posting to feed the trolls like yourself.

    Comment by Rashid Hasbun
    04:32 19/11/2010 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    I have vocaloid here. The point is not become obsessed/fanatic with it.

    I can understand there could be a lot of intelligent fans of miku, but reading this comments is hard to spot one or two.

    Comment by Rashid Hasbun

    dont try to enlight to the fans they will never hear you in the same way they never read a book and just clap their hands for miku.

    Avatar of General Jack D. Ripper
    22:55 18/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Probably this mean having character design similar to those in FF7 Advent Children... though I could be wrong

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:02 18/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Weird that would be...

    They can put it at twice current HD resolution and she'd still look the same. What he oughtta ask is a complete remodel/design.

    As much as I want her to look a BIT more human, I guess most otakus prefer her with big eyes and puny mouth.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:35 09/11/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol Miku IS a character designed like anime characters.
    Make her look more human? More like Lady Gaga or Britney Spears? Oh god, please no. No no no. Stay original and keep on looking better than the sad excuse we have for "pop idols" *shudder*

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