Virtual idols bring new life to entertainment industry

By Li Wenrui | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-07-24 14:12
Chinese virtual singer Luo Tianyi, Bilibili mascots 33 and 22, and Japanese virtual idol Hatsune Miku (from left to right) greet the fans on stage at the BML holographic concert in Shanghai on July 19, 2019. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

An ocean of glow sticks, waves of cheers and applause, nearly 10,000 fans and an electrifying atmosphere took over Shanghai last Friday for the Bilibili Macro Link VR concert. Similar to the annual Nico Nico Chokaigi event held by Nicovideo, a Japanese video sharing service, the BML took place in China under the sponsorship of Bilibili, a China-based video sharing website themed around animation, comic, and game (ACG).

Different from conventional concerts with flesh-and-blood musicians, this event specifically focuses on a VR experience. All the performances are delivered by more than 20 famous virtual idols, including Chinese Vsinger Luo Tianyi, Vtuber Kizuna AI, Bilbili's own mascots 22 and 33, and Crypton Future Media's Vocaloid character Hatsune Miku.

The opportunity to witness Luo Tianyi and Hatsune Miku performing on the same stage was just one of the many reasons devoted fans flocked to the city from across the nation. For first-time goers, the experience was surreal and unforgettable.

"The theatrics were so dreamy, very impressive. And all of us here support our idols. Tonight, seeing Hatsune Miku and Luo Tianyi to sing One More Drink, I was deeply touched!" one fan gushed.

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