Sapporo Snow Festival and Snow Miku 2014

For the past few years, I’ve been vaguely aware of the virtual Vocaloid idol sensation Hatsune Miku, but never thought much of her or her music. After recently starting Hatsune Miku Project Diva F and buying a Nendoroid of another Vocaloid singer, Gakupoid, I can finally say that I have more than a passing interest Miku and her Vocaloid friends. 

Since the northern hemisphere is entering winter, it’s the perfect time for the annual Snow Miku unveiling! For four years, Snow Miku has been a fixture and unofficial mascot of sorts for the Sapporo Snow Festival held in February, with her adorable face adorning everything from tram cars to snow sculptures in the city in northern Japan. After fans grew frustrated with the “recycled” designs that were the first three Snow Mikus, they decided to leave her design up to the fans themselves. 
For Snow Miku’s 5th anniversary, the theme was “magical girl,” and fans ultimately decided on the witch-like design featured above. Interestingly, the Miku and animal familiar designs were created by different artists and selected separately, but I think they look lovely together! But I’m a sucker for magical girls and rabbits, it’s true. 
Trams with this year’s Snow Miku design will be running through Sapporo now through March in honor of the festival. The recorded announcements on the tram were even done by the Hatsune Miku voice actress, Saki Fujita, herself! 
There will also be “live” Hatsune Miku performances in February featuring the 3D design pictured above. I’m not sure I quite understand the appeal of watching a projection of an anime girl singing and dancing, but it’s interesting, none the less. 
Of course, the big draw for me is the exclusive Snow Miku Nendoriod that Good Smile Company will be releasing in conjunction with the Snow Festival in February. Isn’t she adorable?! 
Usually Nendoroids come with a variety of facial expressions, posing options, and accessories. Here it looks like Miku is performing some kind of magical attack. I love the detail put into the base! 
Of course, it’s not all about Hatsune Miku. Her other Vocaloid friends have gotten some festive designs, as well… 
The free texting app LINE has even released some new Vocaloid stickers, though they’re not in celebration of the Sapporo Snow Festival in particular. They’re not only available for the Japanese version of the app, but the North American version, too, so if this post has made you just a little Miku crazy (like me), they may be able to satiate you! 

About Anne Lee

Also known as apricotsushi. Anne can be written with the kanji for apricot (杏), and sushi was the most quintessentially Japanese thing I could think of when I was 13, resulting in my goofy, albeit memorable, nickname.