How Did A CGI Anime Character Named Hatsune Miku End Up Performing On The "Late Show"?

If you haven't heard of vocaloids yet, get ready.

This is Hatsune Miku. She's a "vocal synthesizer software" and she's hugely popular.

The first "Hatsune Miku" software released by Crypton Future Media in 2007.

Crypton Future Media licenses her out to whoever wants to work with her. The company hired manga artist Kei Garō to draw the cartoon to go with the voice synthesizer, but aside from that, it's the Hatsune Miku fan community and the artists that use her software that come up the bulk of her work.

"Right after the release what happened was — on that first day even — right after the release, people were already making and uploading their music," Crypton Future Media's CEO Hiroyuki Itō told BuzzFeed News via a translator. "It started to expand very fast and the popularity raced."

Hatsune Miku is a "vocaloid," and there are a bunch of them.

This is the most popular Hatsune Miku song on YouTube currently.

View this video on YouTube

The song is called "World Is Mine" and it was done by a producer named ryo. He's a member of Supercell, an 11-member J-pop group. And when "World Is Mine" was released it hit number 7 in the US and worldwide iTunes store. But all kinds of producers have released music featuring the software though, including Pharrell Williams.

You can really make Hatsune Miku sing anything though.

View this video on YouTube

YouTube is the real source of Hatsune Miku's explosion in popularity. Crypton Future Media estimates that Hatsune Miku creations have pulled in almost 88 million views on YouTube, but that number constantly changes. If you can figure out how to program it, you can make Hatsune Miku sing it.

She's been in a bunch of video games too.

Hatsune Miku has popped up in a bunch of music and rhythm-based video games. The first one was put out by SEGA. It referenced the fan community and their contributions to the character.

"The concept was that the music and the clothing created by fans would be incorporated into the game," Itō said. "You basically hit buttons to the rhythm of the music."

Hatsune Miku performs live.

This is what it looks like.

There have been Hatsune Miku concerts all over the world. Hatsune Miku performs with a band and a team that's in charge of the 3D projection of the character on stage. It works similarly to the way the band Gorillaz perform.

"It started out as a promotion, but from there it went into a real concert production and got bigger and bigger," Itō said.

This summer she opened for Lady Gaga.

In April, Lady Gaga announced that Hatsune Miku was going to be opening for her for the first month of Gaga's ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball.

"It wasn't really different than a concert of a really big star elsewhere — a human singer," Itō said. "Even people who go to a Lady Gaga concert have probably not seen her before on stage real."

There is tons of Hatsune Miku cosplay.

There's a nearly infinite amount of Hatsune Miku fan art.

And there are all kinds of Hatsune Miku merchandise.

In 2011, Toyota even used her to advertise their new Corolla.

So now, she's become the first vocaloid to meet David Letterman.

And the reactions online have been pretty interesting, to say the least.

holy shit at Hatsune Miku being on letterman tonight WHAT

I'm not sure if watching this miku/letterman train wreck will be a great end or a terrible end to my birthday

I can't believe Hatsune Miku is on Letterman

I think I was mostly excited just to see a really old white man say Hatsune Miku


You can watch Hatsune Miku make history with the first-ever vocaloid performance on late night television here:

View this video on YouTube

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