Perfect Pop Star Is Revealed As Digital Fake
8:25am UK, Sunday July 03, 2011
It has been revealed that a member of Japan's biggest girl band does not actually exist.
Fans of the group AKB48 were shocked to learn that the newest addition to the group, Aimi Eguchi, is in fact a computer-generated avatar.
She is a digital creation made up from features of six of the other girls.
Followers became suspicious after Eguchi was chosen to front a major Japanese ice-lolly campaign - an endorsement usually given to the more senior members of the group.
The group's fans also questioned the perfect pop star's resemblance to some of the other girls.
Their concerns about whether the star really existed were confirmed this week when her management released a video showing her being created.
Aimi Eguchi is a computer-generated avatar created from other members' features
Eguchi had posted on her website that she was a normal 16-year-old from a town north of Tokyo who enjoyed track and field sports. In reality she is a digital fake.
AKB48 hold the Guinness record for being the world's largest pop group with 58 members. They have also scored eight number one singles in Japan.
While bands like Gorillaz have created cartoon alter-egos, AKB48 have taken it a step further.
Times music critic David Sinclair told Sky News: "What is reality these days? You have a lot of people, a lot of images that can be created very quickly and very easily.
"People have avatars on social networking sites, whole films are made of avatars. It's the world we live in."
He added: "This doesn't surprise me about Japan. They've always been ahead of the game."
Confectionary maker Ezaki Glico which uses Eguchi for their marketing campaign has now published a tool on its website allowing fans to create their own AKB48 girls and share them on social networking sites.