An analysis of anger responses within the context of virtualized consumption of Hatsune Miku

Lukman Aroean, Philip Sugai

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Does anger reflect deep meaning of attachment and integration? In an effort to explicate the above notion and to capture the rapidly evolving consumer behaviour in the digital virtual terrain, the paper investigates the responses of fans to a break-out phenomenal from Japan, the virtual celebrity Hatsune Miku (HM) to a controversial report from CBS news (see Johnson, 2012). The meteoric rise to fame of HM, a Crypton Media-produced Vocaloid character which resembles a 16-year girl, is demonstrated by the sales of total HM brand goods reaching 10 billion yen (approximately $104 million USD), and by more than 350,000 vocaloid videos on YouTube and 92,600 such videos on Niconico douga - a Japanese YouTube-like site (Wikia, 2012; Santos 2011). On one side, the responses from fans to inaccurate claims by CBS news are replete with furious, cynical, and sarcastic comments that not only defend the credibility of HM, but also brutally criticize the validity of the proposed “fake-ness” of HM. Such comments even go beyond attacking the author of the article, and retaliate with attacks on America as a nation in response to a perceived attack on Japan within the article itself. On the other side, the responses unveil the deep adoration and love of fans to HM and the meaning, the aestheticism, and the values that HM gives to these fans and co-creators globally.

With the ignited deep anger from HM fans due to the CBS report opening an unprecedented view of the “inner thoughts” of HM from “her” fans, this paper contributes to the domains of virtualized consumption and consumer emotion by exploring HM fans’ responses, extracting a number of key concepts and themes, and examining the link between them, including her real-ness and desired experiential rewards that the fans claim to truly enjoy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-5
JournalAdvances in Consumer Research
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Virtualized consumption; anger; grounded theory; emotion; conceptual map

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