In a video recently uploaded to Japan’s Niconico Douga, Hatsune Miku appears as a marionette from the Edo period. The video is a period-style tribute to videos created with MikuMikuDance, a free 3-D animation program often used in the creation of Vocaloid music videos and other fan videos. This particular clip doesn’t actually feature any synthesizers or computer animations but brings Miku to life with true Edo flair.

The video is called【Edo MMD】Summer Village【Hatsune Miku Dolland its style is unlike any Vocaloid video we’ve ever seen. Miku is actually an Edo-style stringed puppet, moving through the motions associated with Japanese summer to the sound of a shamisen (three-stringed Japanese guitar) and a bamboo flute. Miku plays her own miniature shamisen, frolics with a watermelon, plays games with a young boy wearing jinbei, and lights sparklers late at night. Everything about it screams traditional summer in a quaint, little village.


Judging by the comments flying across the screen, Japanese people were really taken with the life-like motions of marionette Miku. They found her quite cute and really loved the subtle shifts in her body language, like when the puppet appears to blow out a match. Like Pinocchio, life has been breathed into this mobile Miku doll!

Personally, while I am incredibly impressed, I find myself residually disturbed by this Miku’s blank and soulless eyes…. I think I’d do better with a Miku Muppet.


Source: Niconico via Net Lab (Japanese)

▼ If you’re interested, watch the video here or on Niconico!

▼ Or, just check out some more of these screenshots!