Is Aimi Eguchi Real or Virtual? Updated!

Aimi Eguchi is a member of the Japanese girl group sensation AKB48. She has been recognized by fans as one of the most popular girls in the group.


(Aimee Eguchi)

Her appearance in a commercial (see the news report below) has caused fans to speculate if she is in fact a real person, or just a CGI creation.

Netizens believe that Eguchi's appearance is a composite of the most popular AKB48 girls—real girls that appear in the Aisu no Mi ad.

Eguchi does appear to be somewhat stiff in the commercial, and her mouth movements appear off. But maybe she's nervous. Or maybe it's because she was created in a hard drive to sell this snack. As one Netizen notes, her first name "Aimi" (愛実) could be a wordplay on "Aisu no Mi" (アイスの実). The name of the song AKB48 sing in the snack commercial is "Aisu no Kuchizuke" or "Ice Kiss".

Her magazine and candy commercial are the only times Eguchi's apparently appeared in public, leading to further questions if she really exists.

Update: It turns out that Eguchi is a composite of six band members; see the 'Making of Aimi Eguchi" video below.

Thanks to Winchell Chung (aka @nyrath) for the tip. End update.

Virtual singers like Miku Hatsune have fascinated Japanese audiences this past year; see Virtual Star Hatsune Miku In 3D Hologram Concert Video. Hatsune was recently instantiated using an HRP-4C robot; see Robot Cosplay! HRP-4C Robot As Hatsune Miku At CEATEC 2009 .

William Gibson popularized the idea of an idoru or virtual idol-singer in his 1996 novel of the same name.

Thanks to Misja van Laatum for writing in with the tip on this story; via Kotaku.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/17/2011)

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