Thursday, June 23, 2011

Beyond technology - wonder of Japan

For your interest, I pasted here an article about how far Japanese technology develops in entertainment industry in this country. Amazing to know.

TOKYO: Japanese confectionery company Ezaki Glico confirmed on Sunday that Aimi Eguchi, one of the latest additions to Japanese female idol group AKB 48, is actually a 'virtual idol', reported Japanese media. Eguchi has received a lot of publicity because of her flawless looks and her uncanny resemblance to other AKB 48 members.

Now, the truth is out.

Glico recently launched a television commercial featuring Eguchi and a few other AKB 48 members to promote their new candy. They also posted a video Sunday, on a website to promote the candy, showing how the commercial was made.

This step-by-step video revealed that Eguchi is really a computer-generated composite of the best features of AKB 48 members Atsuko Maeda (eyes), Tomomi Itano(nose), Mariko Shinoda (mouth), Yuko Oshima (hair/ body), Minami Takahashi (outline) and Mayu Watanabe (eyebrows).

AKB 48 member Yukari Sasaki provided the voice of the 'virtual idol'. The video shocked fans of Eguchi, who were convinced that her features were more the result of good genes than the skilful use of computer graphics.

Indeed, it would have been hard to tell - AKB 48's management had gone to great lengths to maintain the illusion, even creating a fake profile page for Eguchi that claimed she was a 16-year-old girl from Saitama.

In addition, Eguchi had also been featured in a magazine, complete with faked photos and biodata. Although Eguchi is not a real person, some observers say she possesses the purest essence of what an idol is – a completely artificial persona created by putting together the traits that fans love the most.


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