Since her inception in mid-2007, our diva queen Hatsune Miku has made multiple brief appearances in anime, video games, and even music videos of popular bands. Also known as cameo appearances, these are instances where the character or object makes a direct (or indirect) appearance in the medium. These cameos often varies in scale as some roles are more prominent than others (i.e. characters cosplaying as Miku are more significant compared to, say, posters or billboards).
Keep in mind that guest appearances and other instances, such as collaborations with Crypton Future Media or licensed promotional events where Miku was featured in, are different from cameos. So we will not discuss her guest appearance in the David Letterman show or the recent LUX advertisement featuring Miku herself.
One of her earliest cameo appearances was in the anime Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei in mid-2008, where she appeared briefly for a few seconds in an audition for Meru Meru’s role. She appeared again in Lucky Star’s OVA in the same year. Rather than actually showing up, it was a cosplay of her by the character Kagami Hiiragi whose appearance was magically transformed into Miku by Kotana, resulting in a significantly longer on-screen time.
Her foray in the realm of anime did not end there. She recurred again in the following years with various roles; posters of Project Diva Extend could be seen in Accel World’s Akihabara, she attended school in Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, references in the form of Hatsune Migu made appearances in several Himouto! Umaru-chan episodes, and she sang one of WataMote endings. Miku’s most notable cameo in anime is (arguably) in Hyouka’s third arc, where members of the Kamiyama High manga club were dressed up as Cryptonloids during a festival held in the school (this is the source for the header, if you’ve been wondering).
Miku has many cameo roles in video games too, though it numbers fewer than her anime cameos. Some of these cameo roles were limited to her singing in the background, as is the case in Syndicate, where she could be heard singing in a club in one of the game’s levels. Miku’s most common type of video game cameos, however, were unlockable costumes and items, as demonstrated in Phantasy Star Portable 2 and Tales of Graces. Other cameo roles in games like No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle and Akiba’s Trip are vaguer, such as leeks with a description referring to Miku.
Unfortunately, Miku’s cameos in other media like movies are less significant, if not uncommon. One of her more prominent cameos was the usage of her highly popular song Last Night, Good Night (by kz) as the opening theme of Mememe no Kurage, a film that was, regrettably, unpopular with critics. Moving on to TV cameos, her songs were used in several commercials like Shu Uemura (a Japanese make-up company), LG, and Glico. Miku also sang a background song for the Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger show and had an infamous cameo in A.N.T. Farm, where the character Chyna was dressed up as Miku (let us all forget this ever occurred).
Other cameo appearances include manga like Binbougami ga!, Girlfriends, Hetalia World Stars, and Weekly Jump strip (mostly cosplays). Miku has since appeared in a few music videos too, most notably One Direction’s One Way or Another and deadmau5’s Professional Griefers (again, mostly cosplays). Finally, we have all the Vocaloid-themed goodies in the highly popular online avatar community Gaia Online such as Happy Melody, Princess of the World, and, of course, the ever-important leek!
Do you think Hatsune Miku’s list of cameos will grow substantially bigger as time goes by? Share your opinion below!
Hetalia: World Stars (chapter 11)