Virtual pop idol drives men wild
Sunday 08 December 1996
Despite the success of her debut single ("Love Communication"), despite the fan mail from her male fans ("You look so cute on your Internet home page," ran one lust-struck letter), and the success of her CD-Rom, Kyoko lacks several ingredients usually considered essential to pop success. Formally known as DK96, she is a computer animation - a Virtual Totty.
"Most teenage pop idols have their songs written for them, their voices electronically altered and their images pre-packaged," says Ms Date's "manager", Yoshitaka Osawa, "so there's no reason why a computer animation can't do the job." Since its recent release, "Summer of Love" has become one of the most closely-watched singles in the Japanese charts, and TV talk shows and commercials show the buxom starlet strutting (virtually) through New York and Tokyo.
Kyoko's popularity has less to do with the innate appeal of digital women than with a brilliant marketing profile designed to push all the right psycho-social buttons among young Japanese. Made flesh she would be 5ft 4in tall, and a fashionably anorexic 95lb. Her sport of choice is soccer, recently popularised by Japan's nomination as co-host of the 2002 World Cup. Even her name sounds suspiciously like a pastiche, a cunningly calculated chime of the American verb "to date" and the name of Japan's finest female tennis player, the recently retired Kimiko Date.
Sociologists would find plenty to chew on in the fictional biography provided for Kyoko by her creators, the music publishers, Hori Productions. Her father is a sushi vendor, an endearingly working-class profession for a young starlet, and most intriguing, her family home is in a town best known for its proximity to a large US military base.
The pleasures traditionally pursued by young women in such bases are not ones with which squeaky-clean teen idols would traditionally want to be associated, however interactive.
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
PAs cleared of fraud - and Nigella Lawson left reeling at 'ridiculous sideshow' of drug allegations and public dissection of marriage to Charles Saatchi
Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow attends Justin Bieber Believe premiere
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 Bonuses for goals and top four finish as Luiz Suarez joins Premier League's top three earners
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: PHP Deve...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: This Big 4 giant is seeking ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have personal tax exp...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...