Meet Eguchi Aimi. She’s the newest member of Japan’s teen girl group, AKB48. Like the rest of her 47 band mates, she’s the embodiment of the a tween pop idol. She’s got a sugary voice, perfect hair, shiny skin, and an unrelenting desire to plug consumer products, namely Glico’s Ice No Mi candy. She appeared in the June 13 issue of Shukan Playboy magazine, where she was described as the “Ultimate Love Bomb.” Aimi’s star was rising fast.
What makes her special is that she doesn’t exist.
Glico now admits that Aimi is actually a computer generated image created by mashing up the features of AKB48’s other members.
The band and the candy company struggled to pass Aimi off as an actual organism, but some of the band’s obsessive fans had raised suspicions when they noticed the uncanny resemblance to other members. Others noticed a somewhat eerie quality to her movements. Here is her self introduction video.
Glico released a video showing how Ms. Eguchi was made later. On their website, you can even try it yourself and build your own virtual pop star by cannibalising the body parts of the other members of AKB48.
According to her profile, Aimi is supposed to be 16 years old, from the suburbs in Saitama Prefecture. She is fond track and field.
Here is the commercial that the photoshopped pop star appeared in. Care to play spot-the-hologram?
One has to wonder how much cheaper and ingenuous it would have been to just hire another teenager to act cute in a candy commercial. Stranger still, this isn’t the first time the J-Pop industry has debuted a virtual pop star.
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