Hatsune Miku is more than a little big in Japan. She appears on billboards, in TV commercials, and gives sold-out concerts to legions of fans the world over. Of course, being a popular singer in and of itself isn't something that out of the ordinary. However, what makes her unique is the rather large obstacle she had to overcome in her path to fame—namely that Hatsune Miku isn't even a real person; she's a computer program.
Yet, despite her unquestionable commercial success, the creation of the world's first major virtual idol didn't begin as a ploy by an ambitious record label. Rather her creation came along largely as a random fad—a fad capitalized upon by both fans and companies alike that catapulted her into super-stardom.