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Some say that pop idols in Japan aren’t so much born as they are manufactured. A skilled producer can carefully tailor almost every aspect of his rising star’s appearance and public persona by tightly controlling how she’s presented in the mass media, which generally has a cozy, cooperative nature with recording companies.

If you’re feeling cynical enough, you might even ask what the point is in even working with a human being, if all of the individual’s uniqueness first has to be washed away in order to produce a blank slate for the producer to work with. It’s a question that, apparently, executives at record company Pony Canyon couldn’t come up with an answer to, as suggested by its newest idol, a sex doll, and the event it held for fans to come and meet her face-to-face.

When a well-endowed young woman is given a great opportunity in show business there are oftentimes whispers that she got it by sleeping with someone in a position of power, and while you’d be forgiven for assuming that about Silicon Maru, since she is, after all, a sex doll. That’s not the case, though, as she actually earned her singing debut after impressing Pony Canyon executives with her acting performance.

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Silicon Maru was cast in a major role in Lovetopia, a “nonsense love comedy” that was first broadcast last December and takes place in a town populated by sex dolls. Given the three-month blocks for which Japanese TV shows are produced, the series has wrapped, with its DVD set going on sale last month.

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With Silicon Maru, there isn’t the concern of her looks fading that haunts other starlets. Nevertheless, her handlers are determined not to let her recent fame go to waste, and are trying to parlay her television success into a singing career. Her debut single, “Silicon Maru’s Song for Raising Humans,” (which is, incidentally, not the song featured in the above video) was released just last week.

Of course, being a successful idol these days is all about creating personal connections with the fans. One of the most direct ways to do this is by staging events where fans can come and shake hands with the singer, and this is just the route Pony Canyon decided to go down. So on April 12, the company held the first ever handshake event for Silicon Maru, allowing fans who’d purchased the Lovetopia DVD set to come and press the flesh…to silicon.

Producers estimated a modest turnout of 50 people, but they soon realized their prediction had been off by several magnitudes. Nearly 10 minutes after opening the doors, the event hall in downtown Tokyo was still empty.

With Silicon Maru’s debut song echoing throughout the deserted room, her producers decided to shut the event down ahead of schedule. “Maybe people were embarrassed to come,” hypothesized one insightful staff member.

Still, Pony Canyon remains optimistic about the sex doll’s singing career. “The song’s download numbers are good. Don’t be shy, and please come next time,” the team has asked Silicon Maru’s allegedly existing fan base.

If we could be so bold as to offer an observation, we can’t help noticing how successful AKB48, and it’s numerous sister groups, have been by having not just a single vocalist, but a whole array of them. Maybe it’s time to retool the Silicon Maru musical concept as something grander than a solo act. After all, even though no one showed up for her first public appearance, simple math suggests that a team of 48 singing sex dolls would attract 48 times that attendance.

We hope so, anyway.

Sources: Livedoor, Zakzak
Images: YouTube