A bunch of fans of Aimi Eguchi, the newest member of the Japanese idol group AKB 48, were shocked to discover that she was actually a computer generated composite of the "best features" of other members of the group. This must happen every day in Japan.
Aimi Eguchi made her debut in a candy commercial last week. Some fans quickly pieced together that she was actually a fake, thanks to some clues. Here are just some of the great only-in-Japan details about the story:
- Eguchi is the newest a member the popular AKB 48 idol group, which has 61 other members. That's basically an NFL team of dolled-up, giggling Japanese women.
- The slogan of Ezaki Glico, the candy company the commercial is for, is: "Hitotsubu 300 meter." No news reports have been able to explain what that means, but apparently fans used that as a clue to reveal Eguchi's non-humaness because Eguchi's profile on AKB 48's website listed her favorite sport as "track-and-field." Seriously, someone please explain what this slogan means because we are going crazy trying to figure it out.
- Eguchi isn't actually even Japan's first virtual pop star. That would be Hatsune Miku, who plays stadium concerts via hologram.
This is so different than in the U.S. We don't learn that our pop stars aren't human until their carefully calibrated cyborg brain chip malfunctions and they go on a murderous rampage. That reminds us: Has anyone checked Lady Gaga's head for screws? [Singularity Hub]