Manly Miku apparently not having proved a debacle enough, Hatsune Miku finally has an official American version, although not everyone seems likely to be overjoyed by the design selected.
The winning version, by American artist “Exiled Artist“:
The version was solicited from the public in a competition to create a design for the upcoming “J-Pop Summit Festival” organised by Crypton’s “Piapro” site and San Francisco’s Japan Town:
J-POP SUMMIT Festival is held in Japan Town, San Francisco on 27th and 28th August, 2011.
This year, Piapro.jp collaborates with Japan Town on the festival based on the theme of “Gambare Nippon”, and we collected ideas for the design of street banner in Japan Town and a model sheet of “American Hatsune Miku” which people imagine. Consequently, we have received a lot of feedback and applications from not only creators in Japan but also creators all over the world! Thank you very much!
Crypton have acknowledged the version so fans are now stuck with it:
We have adopted the work of a creator in the U.S. and the prize is a trip to Japan for the next Hatsune Miku Live! Congratulations! Miku’s costume in this work pictures her homecoming from L.A. and the work will be adopted on a commercial basis or used for projects related to the next concert.
The competition drew quite a few entries (most of which, it has to be said, are not very good at all, and a large proportion of which appear to be by Japanese artists), an unrepresentative selection of which are visible below:
The selection criteria for the winner are not clear, although Miku has already adopted a cheerleader motif for her charity edition “Ganbare!” Nendoroid, and Japanese certainly have an unrivalled love for such tawdry Americana.
The online Japanese reaction is very mixed, probably not a good sign when it comes to the normally unconditionally adored Miku:
“USA! USA! USA!”
“Who wants a cheerleader?”
“It’s good, isn’t it?”
“Miku’s been made into a bitch?”
“It does not seem well thought out.”
“The way yanks love cheerleaders so much is weird.”
“More mundane than I thought.”
“It’s not bad, but it is pretty nineties and overly simple.”
“The proportions are certainly off.”
“I suppose it will pass.”
“It looks like some 10-year-old eroge design.”
“I preferred the macho version.”
“Wasn’t the American version this:”
“That is so much better!”
“I wanted to see something like this:”
“More of this guy’s art:”
“Leave this sort of thing to the Japs, guys.”
“What was wrong with the Japanese version anyway? The wapanese over there seem to like it.”
“When they said ‘American version’ I was expecting a monster…”
“Toyota’s manly Miku was the best.”
Considering the response of American fans to the last effort to alter Miku to fit supposed American tastes, the reaction of actual Americans should she be be foisted upon them will doubtless be interesting to behold.