So, in the age of highly digitized robopop, is Miku the next logical step? How long have we been hurtling toward an entirely synthetic pop persona? As science-fiction writer William Gibson puts it, “Hatsune Miku’s Wikipedia entry is like some impossibly cool lost artifact of mid-’80s science fiction.”

Gibson, who based his 1996 novel, Idoru, around a virtual media star, sees her as another stage in the evolution of fame. “I think Miku is more about the fundamentally virtual nature of all celebrity, the way in which celebrity has always existed apart from the individual possessing it. One’s celebrity actually lives in others. It’s a profoundly mysterious thing.”