The software maker Crypton Future Media has announced on Tuesday that the third virtual singer in its Character Vocal Series will be Megurine Luka. The Character Vocal Series uses voice samples and Crypton's version of YAMAHA's Vocaloid software engine to create entirely new songs when ordinary computer users type lyrics and musical notes. Crypton's official blog had announced on Monday that voice actress Yuu Asakawa provided the "moody yet husky female voice" for the "cool, somewhat mysterious" character. A "version 0.9" of her rendition of "Amazing Grace" can be heard on the official blog, as well as unmodified and tweaked versions of another demo song. The character's software will go on sale in Japan on January 30. Unlike its previous two characters, Crypto advertised Luka's 3GB vocal as "Japanese/English bilingual," and chose her name to express its hope that she will transcend borders and cultural barriers. The name "Megurine" can be read in Japanese as the "sound that travels (the whole wide world)," and the name Luka invokes the homonymous Japanese words of "nagare" (flowing) and "ka" (song) or "kaori" (scent).
The first virtual singer from Crypton Future Media was Hatsune Miku, whose voice was provided by Saki Fujita and whose name can be read as the "first sound of the future." The relative ease in which users can create Miku songs from scratch made her a big hit for fan-made music and online videos. Hatsune Miku eventually inspired several official manga (including one drawn by Crypton's character designer Kei), many unofficial dōjinshi manga and software, and the requisite merchandising. She also made anime cameos, won the Free Entry Award in the Seiun Awards for science fiction and fantasy, and won the Network Award in the Anime Kobe Awards.
The second character duo from Crypton Future Media was Kagamine Rin and Len, as voiced by Asami Shimoda. The brother-sister duo's name Kagamine literally means "mirror sound" and their given names Rin and Len symbolized "right" and "left." The musician and occasional anime voice actor Gackt lent his voice to Gackpoid, a separate spinoff from the Vocaloid vocal music synthesizer that SSW's Internet software company developed. Berserk manga creator Kentarō Miura drew the character design for Gackpoid.