This week, pop superstar Lady Gaga arrived in Japan, sporting the aqua colored hair she's had for weeks now. She's in the country for a Japanese earthquake charity event. She wore wrist bands that read "Pray for Japan" in English and Japanese.
But as soon as she stepped off the plane, her Japanese fans wondered something her Western Japanophile ones already have been: Is Gaga taking fashion tips from virtual idol Miku Hatsune?
Miku Hatsune is a virtual idol with blue-green hair. She's a character for the Yamaha's Vocaloid software, and she's gone on to spawn Sega arcade games. The virtual idol's even held concerts. When Sega put on Miku's concerts, fans were pumped. When other companies did, fans got pissed .
Gaga arrived at Narita Airport outside Tokyo dressed in green from head to toe—green here refers to the environment, not Miku. Yet, Gaga always strives for the unreal and outrageous, making her at times seem virtual.
Miku is popular enough in the West to merit a bizarre ad campaign from Toyota. Looking through the Japan lens, she does look influenced by Miku. Looking through the Gaga lens, she looks like she's run out of new colors for her hair.
Miku's popularity has made it easy to draw connections between anyone sporting blue or green hair and the digital idol. Japanese magazines for young females are even running spreads on Miku Hatsune cosplayers and tips on dressing like Miku and styling her hair.
Watch this Miku Hatsune make-up walkthrough.
Fashion magazine Koakuma Ageha, noted for supplying models to Sega's Yakuza series as in-game hostesses, published two pieces on Miku Hatsune cosplay, including one the July issue.
Unusual, because gal magazines typically do not provide cosplay advice. Koakuma Ageha was originally a fashion magazine for hostesses and hostess fashion, but has since become a mainstream "gal" fashion rather.
The publication still provides advice on how to dress up as "butterflies of the night" in heavy make-up, big hair, and evening wear. It's cosplay, alright, but cosplay of a different sort.