The Washington Post

Aimi Eguchi unmasked: The newest threat to Justin Bieber’s pop supremacy?

Aimi Eguchi, the composite pop star that shocked Japanese fans. (YouTube)

Eguchi was the latest addition to a very long list of pop icons for the Japanese girl group AKB48. She quickly rocketed from “researcher” (think: understudy or trainee) to icon when she appeared in a commercial for Japanese candy manufacturer Ezaki Glico along with three of the group’s most popular members.

Eguchi’s skyrocketing fame, however, made fans of the group suspicious. The troupe is highly heriarchical, with millions of fans voting every year for the most popular member in an American-Idol-esque competition. In short: Eguchi hadn’t paid her dues.

On June 19, Ezaki Glico revealed Eguchi’s secret via a new ad: She wasn’t real — just as skeptical fans had suspected. But the news still shocked some who were convinced she was a flesh-and-blood member of the group.

Eguchi is nothing more than 150 gigabytes of data — a composite of the three other girls who appear in the ad.

As newly minted Post blogger Dominic Basulto wrote Wednesday, we may be closer to living forever than we thought.

(Source: Gizmodo, SingularityHub, Channel News Asia)

Emi Kolawole is the editor-in-residence at Stanford University's, where she works on media experimentation and design.



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