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Akita Neru (Japanese: 亞北ネル) is a fan-made Vocaloid character which is originally a gijinka version of trolls vandalizing Hatsune Miku threads in the Japanese textboard community 2channel. She which succeeded to show a path to official franchises for Vocaloid derivatives is one of the great milestones in the Vocaloid history.
The birth of Akita Neru is deeply related to a bunch of unhappy events on mass media and major search engines happened in the middle of October, 2007. Those incidents led Japanese internet users to have strong doubt over the existence of Anti-Miku negative campaign by a Japanese major advertising agency and TV stations.
In this situation, many strange comments had been posted to a series of threads in 2channel’s /newsplus/ (news coverage for current topics) board, which worked as a sort of the headquarter against this topic. Those comments were usually posted at intervals of a few seconds, and always said like “It’s our misunderstood. Let’s call it quits.”, “I’m tired.” or “It’s over. I’m going to sleep.” in quite similar stylistic. 2channel users doubted that trolls of posting those comments were “provocateurs” organized by media companies and an advertising agency which wanted to calm down this situation.
The situation was completely changed on October 20th, by a trap post with a URL of recording and displaying IP address of clicked users. One of the domains captured by this trap was identified that it belonged to an online marketing company which worked on online forums such as 2channel to moderate reputations of client companies. At that moment when all users became convinced of the existence of provocateurs, all trolls posts ended up.
Based on this prologue, the character was created to poke fun at those poor trolls by user Smith Hioka (スミス・ヒオカ). The first illustration titled “Kakikoloid: Akita Neru” (Post-loid: Akita Neru) was posted to 2channel’s /newsplus/ board on November 1st, 2007.
Her name coined by him, Akita Neru, actually came from trolls’ impressive comments “I’m tired.” (飽きた, Akita) and “Going to Sleep.” (寝る, Neru). “DEN2” tatoo on her left arm refers to Dentsu, a name of the advertising agency under suspicion in this incident. Besides, she has a cell phone because the IP address of a troll belonged to a proxy service to browse HTML pages in cell phones.
Akita Neru is also called as a nickname “BOUKALOID” (防火ロイド, lit. Flame-Prevntion-Loid), a pun for Vocaloid. People has been utilized her since the early days in the Vocaloid fandom and given many additional personalities to her. In particular, she is known as the representative of tsundere culture in the fandom because people found that nature in troll’s attitude, sticking to threads contrary to the remarks, and they has caricatured it as the incarnation’s personality in their creations.
As of July 2013, about 4,000 videos involving Akita Neru have been uploaded to Nico Nico Douga (NND). An additional 68,500 can be found on YouTube, including reuploads from NND. Thousands of pieces of fan art of the character can be found on pixiv, deviantART and Zerochan.
On April 15th 2008, Neru’s creator Smith Hioka announced in his blog post that he struck a licensing deal with Crypton Future Media (CFM) for the sake of producing official character goods, which defined Akita Neru was a derivative of Hatsune Miku. In addition, it became possible to upload fan creations for Akita Neru to Piapro, Vocaloid creators community run by CFM, since the creator accepted to share the ownership of the character with CFM, and allowed to create fan works for Akita Neru under Piapro Character License. This conclusion of a licencing deal by the Vocaloid derivative creator and CFM has effected to a smooth path to the official franchises of subsequent fan-made Vocaloid characters.
Under this license, a figurine and a plushie for Akita Neru has been released from Good Smile Company since 2009. She has appeared on Vocaloid spin-off novels and manga series including hachune MIKU no nichijo ROIPARA! by Ontama (おんたま) and CHIBI Miku-san by MINAMI (みなみ). Sega’s rhythm game Hatsune Miku – Project DIVA - series has featured Akita Neru since its first title.
Figurine, Plushie & Neru in Project DIVA
Left: “Tsutaetai Kedo Akita Neru” | Right: “Stop Nagging Me!”
Left: “Triple Baka” /w Hatsune Miku & Kasane Teto | Right: Miku Miku Dance: Hatsune Miku vs Akita Neru
Relationships with Other Characters
Akita Neru had often appeared with another Miku’s derivative, Yowane Haku, in the early days of fan works. Besides, the following official Vocaloid Kagamine Rin/Len had duets in several popular songs because they coincidentally had the same theme color with Akita Neru.
Left: “The Melancholy of Detective Haku Yowane” | Right: “Okay, Green is the Enemy”
Editor’s Note: Registration is needed to browse the original videos listed in this section.
unkar.org – 【話題】仮想アイドル「初音ミク」、音楽制作ソフトとしては異例の２万本の大ヒット、「ニコニコ動画」などに様々な自作曲を掲載★４ (Thread Archive, Japanese)