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OtapediaMEIKO (Vocaloid)

MEIKO is speech synthesis and desktop music (DTM) software sold by Crypton Future Media that was released on November 5, 2004.


MEIKO was developed and is sold by Crypton Future Media. She is the first Japanese synthesizer to use the Vocaloid engine developed by Yamaha. Her voice is provided by singer-songwriter Meiko Haigo. Vocals and backing chorus can be created with the software by inputting lyrics and pitch. No music genre was specified for MEIKO. She can be used for pop, rock, jazz, R&B, and nursery rhymes. Her name, MEIKO is based on her voice provider.

On February 4, 2014, MEIKO V3 was created using Vocaloid3.

Package Illustration

MEIKO's package illustration is of a brown-haired anime-style girl holding a microphone. Music software generally has illustrations of the instruments they emulate on the packaging. LEON and LOLA, English Vocaloid released by ZERO-G prior, had realistic illustrations of lips. The illustration of a microphone was initially proposed for MEIKO. However, in order to appeal to inexperienced music software users, the name and package were finalized to have a "character who sings". The illustration was designed to invoke movement and rhythm. The illustration for MEIKO was created by Crypton Future Media. The illustration for MEIKO V3, as with Hatsune Miku V3, was created by iXima. Her design was changed in V3, adding on a necklace and bracelets. Unlike KAITO and other first-generation Vocaloid, she does not wear a headset mic.

The use of character illustration was considered effective, leading Crypton Future Media to use character illustration for subsequent Vocaloid software releases.

While the illustration was not initially intended to be used as a character, Crypton released the Piapro Character License in 2009 which defines the terms through which MEIKO can be used as a character.


Release to 2006

Due to the unnatural singing voice compared to human singers, the initial response from the music industry was unfavorable. However, MEIKO allowed DTM enthusiasts to add vocals to music using only a computer, even without special equipment connections. In the virtual market where 1,000 sales is considered a hit, 3,000 units were sold in the first year. DTM magazine published articles on using MEIKO from March 2005. At the same time, many reader submissions to the magazine's "Super ★ Spicy Dojo" used MEIKO. In July 2005, the voice provider Haigo Meiko herself made a guest appearance at the magazine's audio corner. In 2006, a contest for music using MEIKO was also held, and the best works from the contest were then covered by Meiko Haigo. While MEIKO was a hit among amateur DTM enthusiasts, the software was not widely known.

2007 and onward

In mid-2007, sales of MEIKO, which had already been abandoned, began to grow. Videos using songs created by MEIKO were posted on the video posting site Nico Nico Douga and they were gaining popularity. Nico Nico Douga was growing rapidly at that time. On August 31, Hatsune Miku, the first to use Vocaloid2, was released by Crypton. Hatsune Miku was a huge hit that surpassed MEIKO. Many videos using Hatsune Miku were uploaded to the video posting website. The existence of the Vocaloid series, including MEIKO, became widely known to non-DTM enthusiasts.

The release of Hatsune Miku pushed the image of the Vocaloid software as a character. Subsequently, MEIKO became considered a character related to Hatsune Miku. MEIKO's popularity soared.

Since 2007, many original and cover songs created using MEIKO and music videos using package characters have been produced and posted on Nico Nico Douga. In particular, a video by OneCupP (ワンカップP) titled “初音ミクが来ないのでまだスネています” (I'm Still Sulking Because Hatsune Miku Hasn't Come Yet, Hatsune Miku ga Konai no de Mada Suneteimasu) propagated MEIKO's image as a drinker with the verse “ワンカップを一気飲み 明日は届くといいな” (I'll drink a glass and hope she arrives tomorrow). The MEIKO figure released in 2011 included accessories such as a wine bottle and wine glass.

Merchandise at a Glance

Item Date Released
Nendoroid Petite: Vocaloid #01 (Good Smile Company) November 2009
Nendoroid Plus Plushie Series 06: MEIKO (Gift, Good Smile Company) January 2010
Nendoroid Meiko (Good Smile Company) December 2011
Pullip Meiko Groove May 2012


Speech Synthesis
Desktop Music
Wikipedia Haigou Meiko
Wikipedia MEIKO
Wikipedia KAITO
Official Website
Official Website (Meiko V3)

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Hatsune Miku