Japan is known for its cutting-edge and futuristic technology. Moreover, Japan is a major player in the sphere of virtual reality and Artificial intelligence. One of the advancements in the field of AI is the emergence of virtual influencers, created by a blend of CGI and animation. While some of these influencers are 2D in appearance, distinguishable from real-life ones, many of them have terrifyingly human-like visuals and features. CGI influencers like Imma and Liam Naruko look almost lifelike. Virtual influencers as content creators are not just related to just any one genre. From singing live, giving fashion tips, modeling, endorsing major brands and even having love lives, these influencers can virtually achieve anything. Let’s look at the top 10 Japanese virtual influencers!
1. Hatsune Miku
Hatsune Miku is a CGI influencer created by Crypton Future Media. She is a virtual musical artist and performs in live concerts via animated projections. Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita is behind the virtual idol’s vocals. Miku is a prime example of Japanese innovative technology. Since her “debut”, the virtual idol, defined by her long turquoise braids, is credited as the creator of over 22,000 songs. In 2010, she debuted at the top spot on the Japanese Oricon Chart. Hatsune was even slated to be a performer at Coachella, a super popular annual music festival organized in California, which was later canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
With her signature pink hair and bob cut, Imma is a widely beloved CGI influencer in Japan. She was also the first virtual fashion model in Japan. Created by Aww Inc., Imma’s features are insanely human-like. She has collaborated with many successful firms like Dior, IKEA, Amazon, Puma, Nike, and Porsche. She has been featured in numerous fashion and lifestyle magazines and publications and was even featured in VOGUE Japan. Imma enjoys a good popularity on Instagram, racking up 403k followers on Instagram. She also talks about social issues, movies, and arts via her social media platforms.
Zinn is a virtual male model who rose to fame owing to the success of his “sister” Imma. He is also virtual influencer Ria’s boyfriend. He is produced by Aww Inc. Zinn’s personality is calm, enigmatic, and private, in stark contrast to his bubbly and cheerful sister. Not much information is available about Zinn’s personal life. His Instagram feed is full of modeling shots. As a model, Zinn has been featured in the Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo in 2020, and the SLY X PUMA collection campaign.
4. Liam Nikuro
Liam Nikuro is a Japanese-American music producer and virtual influencer. He also works as a model and is a fan of basketball and fashion. Liam has also met with major music artists like The Weeknd, Posty, and Skrillex. Created by 1sec Inc., Liam was the first male virtual influencer in Japan. He is an avid enjoyer of music and draws inspiration from the brilliant artist Bruno Mars. Liam also attended the NFL game owing to his love for basketball. He believes that influencers should “make people happy”.
Kaf is another Japanese music virtual idol. She is affiliated with KAMITSUBAKI Studio. Apart from producing her original songs, also covers Japanese songs by other artists. Her “appearance” is a lot like Hatsune Miku, with her 2D imagery as an 18-year-old girl with short-length and two-toned eyes. At the “age” of 14, she made her musical debut in Count0, a virtual music fest. A year after her debut, she released her first EP Hana to Shinzo. Her musical discipline is characterized by relatable tunes with melancholic flair. Kaf celebrated her high school graduation last year in March with a concert titled Bokura Tameiki Hitotsu de Otona ni Narerunda.
Aw Inc., the virtual reality company behind the creation of many virtual influencers like Zinn, is also the creator behind Ria. She is termed the “Newman”, the space between virtual space and Earth. Based in Tokyo Japan, Ria was first introduced in 2019. She has appeared in both domestic and international fashion magazines. Working as a model, Ria’s social media feed is full of her professional works and she also showcases a side of Japan that many people don’t know.
Teresa is a Japanese-American virtual singer slash influencer. She primarily uploads her music content to YouTube, both original and covers. The virtual influence has also expressed her interest in modeling and fashion aside from music. Like the virtual idol Kaf, she is also affiliated with the talent management company KAMITSUBAKI Studio. So far, she has produced nine original songs and seven music videos. Teresa also endorses various brands like Evian through her social media posts.
8. Aoi Prism
Aoi Prism is the ultimate version of Gen Z virtual influencer. Her virtual on-screen fashion can be a very good inspiration for Gen Z, which is a mix of Japanese kawaii style and street chic. In an interview, she revealed that she draws inspiration for her outfits from the likes of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. She said she is obsessed with Sailor Scouts and 90s Egg magazine. Aoi Prism is the best virtual influencer to follow for fashion-forward, dynamic, and fun fashion inspiration.
Another fashion-forward virtual influencer to follow is Ella. She was created by Disney Japan. In her social posts, she is often seen hanging out with Disneyland mascots Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, apart from exemplifying her superb fashion skills. Ella also considers herself an architectural enthusiast. She is a bit of a skincare geek, and frequently shows her fans her favorite skincare and beauty products.
10. Myra Keiko
Myra Keiko is a virtual music artist based in Japan. Under her record label PUSHPOP Recordings LLC., she has released her album Hajimari and various singles like Tippy Top, Summer Time, Sunset, Alive, Rainbow Dreams, and Super Star Astronaut. Myra started as a 2D anime character but she later switched to a 3D avatar following the release of her first single “Believe”. She often dons crop shirts with baggy jeans or sweatpants. Myra also produces music videos for other virtual idols like Strangefeelz. She has a loyal fan base and enjoys popularity on Instagram with over 3000 followers.