November 1, 2007
Crypton Future Media, SEGA, 2Channel
Ueburi blog: Akita Neru
Boukaloid, is a play on words. It literally means Fireproof-loid and has the same pronunciation as Vocaloid in Japanese and roughly translated into "so-and-so-caloid" (fake vocaloid).
Akita Neru is regarded as a Boukaloid.
October 14, 2007 a Japanese TV program from TBS, Akko ni Omakase! (アッコにおまかせ), was to feature the newly released Vocaloid 2 by Crypton Future Media, Hatsune Miku. However, the segment did not feature Vocaloid in a positive light, nor was there even focused on Hatsune Miku. Instead the time was spent speaking negatively about otaku and stating that such software would further fuel a fetish for 2D moe characters. Originally, the purpose segment was to feature an interview with a Crypton employee, and also show the capabilities of the Vocaloid program for composing purposes by DTM users. Despite the hours claimed to have been spent on interviewing, there were only seconds of Miku singing. Later Crypton apologized on their blog for having accepted the interview by TBS in the first place.
A few days later, October 17, 2007, a phenomenon happened when popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo failed to give any image results of Miku, in the same instant the Japanese wikipedia page about Hatsune Miku had been deleted for suspected copyright violation. Eventually this incident lead to the creation of the iconic song "The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku" (初音ミクの消失) produced by CosMo (bousou-P).
As speculation and confusion continued conspiracies surrounding the event were spread by 2Channel (a Japanese news+imageboard). There were theories that Hatsune Miku was being censored and that the interview on TBS had something to do with it, a popular theory was that Dentsu (an advertisement company) was trying to remove Hatsune Miku searches because she grew more popular than their virtual idol, Kyoko Date (伊達杏子). While other rumors stated that Dentsu had slandered Vocaloid and the fans of it, and were pulling strings to wipe out Miku from internet existence. A report by ITmedia on October 18th reported that both Yahoo Japan and Google were investigating their image search servers to try and figure out why the search results were not functioning. As it turned out, the problem was of a technical nature, Hatsune Miku was so hotly sought-after as a search term that on October 17, 2007 the search engine's servers incorrectly identified the name as spam and locked it out. The problem was fixed and the wikipedia page was also restored, both Google and Yahoo officially apologized and lifted the block on the search results, by October 19th things were fully restored.
During this time the debates on 2CH were still active and users involved proclaimed that they were getting bored of the situation by posting the phrase akita neru (飽きた、寝る。). Then an anonymous user appeared and began to troll the debate and thread capped all Vocaloid related threads, proclaiming that Vocaloid otaku were gross (kimo ota; キモオタ) and finding it pathetic to like 2D moe characters. An agitated Vocaloid fan tracked the postings and discovered that the vandalism and trolling messages were done by cellphone use; leading further suspicions that the troll worked for Dentsu. At some point a user commented that they wouldn't get angry if the troll turned out to be a cute girl. This turned the incident into amusement and eventually a mocking personification was illustrated by a Japanese artist known as Smith Hioka. The character was named after the phrase Akita Neru (亞北ネル), and the situation is often referred to as "The Akita Neru Disturbance" (亞北ネル騒動). The yellow haired, side-ponytail character sported the letters "DEN2" on her upper arm, carried a cellphone and wore bike shorts; the term "Boukaloid" (防火ロイド) was coined around the same time of her reveal, in reference to the flaming incident that happened within the bulletin board. The theories of the troll working for Dentsu resulted in Akita Neru's personality reflecting the concept trait of tsundere, which can briefly be described as a character who comes across as being cold or hostile but has a hidden warm and friendly side that later manifests itself. She is also portrayed as a Vocaloid "wannabe", showing her hostile side about official Vocaloids but secretly wants to be friends with them...
Boukaloid on Fanloid Wiki
- Akita Neru, a female Boukaloid. An officially recognized derivative of Hatsune Miku.
- Akita Nero, a male Boukaloid. Viewed as the assumed little brother of Akita Neru.
- Akita Naru, a female Fanmade Boukaloid that is based on the concept of Boukaloid.
- Akita Nemuri, a female Fanmade Boukaloid and unofficial younger sibling to Neru.
- Mitsune Saire, a female Fanmade Boukaloid. Not related to the Akita family.
- Mirai Ne, a female Fanmade Boukaloid, Not related to the Akita family but is a derivative of Neru
- Orana koe, a female Fanmade Boukaloid, and is not related to the Akita family
- Sailor Music 水手音樂 , a female Fanmade Boukaloid, and is not related to the Akita family (Also we don't know if she is a Boukaloid)
- Akai Berubetto, is a fanmade Boukaloid, and is not related to the Akita family but to the Berubetto Project.
- Kyoko Date is a Virtual Idol character who dates back to 1996, she was eventually was redesigned to appear in the PC social environment Second Life.
- MikuStar: Akita Neru (Boukaloid)
- Canned Dog: Hatsune Miku gets featured on TV (but not) (Sunday, October 14th, 2007 at 3:16 am)
- NicoPedia quote: Also remembered as "The image censorship of Hatsune Miku" (初音ミク画像検閲事件)
- Canned Dog: Conspiracy theories please (Wednesday, October 17th, 2007 at 1:17 pm)
- Tsunami Channel: Plot to Unlink Miku Hatsune from the Net? - "Tsundere 48" by Akira (2007-10-22)
- MikuStar: Akita Neru (relatively simple explanation)
- IRC-Galleria: about the “disappearance of Hatsune Miku”
- NicoPedia quote: "それを書き込んでいるのが可愛い女の子なら腹も立たない"
- The Interviews: Smith Hioka
- J-Cast: 「時代が私に追いついた」 バーチャルアイドル、伊達杏子復活 (2007/8/17 20:26)
- Wikipedia(ja): 伊達杏子