Even by the standards of pop stars, Hatsune Miku is eccentric and protean, her mystique elusive. Her eyes are too round and blue to be real. She can be buxom or boyish, and almost painfully sultry — all in a droid-ish, understated way. She dons a school uniform, with thigh-high power boots and a flared ultra-micro miniskirt. Her pig-tailed turquoise hair is so long that she risks tripping over it as she dances lithely in front of her adoring, sell-out crowds.
The crowd last month at Laforet Harajuku, an upscale shopping complex in Tokyo's most fashionable area, looked like it'd stepped out of Barbie's very messy dream house. Its members wore oversized bows, eyeball-shaped pinky rings, spiky neck collars, and pink—lots and lots of pink. They'd assembled to watch Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, a new face in J-Pop whose debut album Pamyu Pamyu Revolution was arriving in stores that day. She emerged dressed like her fans, with a giant bow on her head and in a dress designed like a Rubik's cube.
Songs For Japan, the unique, star-studded album collection created to help raise money for victims of Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters, continues to benefit the survivors through Japanese Red Cross Society. On the 8th of November senior executives from four major music companies – EMI, Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music Group – met with Japanese Red Cross Society Vice President, Yoshiharu Otsuka, in Tokyo to recognise the milestone of $10 million raised and donated from the global sales of Songs For Japan. The occasion was a reception hosted by Frances Moore, chief executive of worldwide recording industry organisation IFPI.